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Are you at a point where you’re considering outsourcing your fulfillment to a third-party company? It can be difficult to understand how to make this decision, and you’re definitely not alone. Keeping your fulfillment in-house can seem out of reach, or simply too expensive. However, thousands of companies are successfully taking care of their own fulfillment in-house. The bottom line is, it is possible! This article will explore the many benefits and ways to maintain your own fulfillment processes.
What is self-fulfillment?
Self-fulfillment is when a company chooses to control the entire shipping process instead of using a third-party service. The entire shipping process, from the very first step of receiving the initial order to the last step dropping the package off with a shipping service, is managed on site.
How do I know if self-fulfillment is right for my business?
Your hard work and dedication is the reason you’re seeing success and growth in your business today. You may not be ready to hand over the fulfillment process to a third party and want to directly oversee the process. This is when self-fulfillment might be right for you.
Self-fulfillment allows you to ensure packages are being shipped and delivered according to your standards. Controlling your own fulfillment process will require time, resources, and employees; however successful companies all over the world have shown that it is possible.
Let’s jump into some best practices for managing your self-fulfillment
Find the right warehouse layout and location
Determining the right warehouse layout and location is the first building block to a successful self-fulfillment operation. Yes, the size of your warehouse matters, but more importantly it’s how you manage and utilize that space. If you’re unsure of what warehouse layout is right for you, there are many resources and professional consultants with years of warehousing experience. Companies like Hoj Innovations take a close look at your historical operational data to determine the best layout and design, and custom tailor your equipment to maximize your space.
Invest in the right software
Investing in the right Warehouse Management System (WMS) for your operation will make a world of difference when it comes to your company’s overall growth. If you’re looking to increase productivity, efficiency and accuracy, a WMS is crucial in achieving these goals. Many Warehouse Management Systems exist to help you manage your fulfillment levels, simplify the picking and packing process, and reduce error. Investing in the right WMS will reduce time to shipment, resulting in happier customers and increased employee productivity.
Technology is ever changing. RF guns have been widely used in the warehousing industry, but with the advances in computer processing and visual displays, tablets have become more reliable and easier to use. WarehouseOS™ is a powerful, yet relatively inexpensive, solution that brings the power of big-box fulfillment into the hands of businesses of any size. Whether you’re shipping 100 orders a week, or 20,000 orders a week, this tablet-based software eliminates mis-shipments, improves overall picking speed, and much more.
Click here to read more about WarehouseOS™ and the power of tablet directed picking.
Choose the right shipping service
98% of customers say that delivery is a key part of their brand loyalty. Once your orders are ready to ship, you need a reliable shipping service to ensure the packages are delivered accurately and on time. There are many factors you have to consider when deciding what shipping service is best for your fulfillment needs. Location, rates, package weight, tracking options, and time to delivery are a few to consider. Consider the reputation of different shipping services and be sure to compare and receive pricing from several services before making a final decision.
Provide better customer service
In order to navigate the competitive nature of the e-commerce industry, customer service is important in helping your company stand out and create customer loyalty. Streamlining your communication can help you maintain satisfied and happy customers. From the moment your customer places the order, till the moment the order arrives on their porch, it is important to keep the customer notified and informed. A survey reveals that 93% of customers want to stay informed throughout the delivery process, Additionally, 88% of customers said they track the status of their online order. Keeping constant, streamlined communication creates a more positive shipping experience. Satisfied customers are more likely to return and spend more or recommend you to a friend.
Create a positive warehouse environment
Making sure your employees are well-trained and happy at work should be a priority. Because you trust your employees with fulfilling orders and creating positive customer experiences, proper training is crucial in ensuring your employees are confident and competent in their role. In order to attract and retain top talent in the current job market, it is important to ensure your employees are happy at work and have the resources they need to be successful. Listen to your employees and take action on their feedback to help them feel valued and heard.
These are just a few steps to help make your self-fulfillment process as effective and successful as possible. Many moving parts go into fulfilling orders, which is why it is crucial you seek out professional advice when mapping out your operations. With proper planning and the right resources, self-fulfillment can be a rewarding and key component to making your business succeed. If you’re interested in learning more about warehouse design and optimization, contact us HERE.