An examination of your Supply Chain in E-Commerce and corporate fulfillment center is the first step in determining your strategies. This assessment should involve a warehouse operations audit or assessment to see whether your warehouse operation is as efficient as possible. Take into account both the quantitative and qualitative aspects of warehouse processes, systems, and operations.
Assess your center’s processes and costs first, then respond to the following questions:
- How can you save money on labor in your warehouse when it comes to receiving and filling orders?
- How can you send it to the consumer in the shortest period of time and for the least amount of money?
- How can you enhance inventory control to avoid warehouse back orders, as well as instances when goods are temporarily unavailable and shrinkage?
- How can you expand the storage capacity of your current space?
Regardless of your distribution center or warehouse size, or the industries you serve, these questions address common issues.
Strategies for Supply Chain in E-Commerce
Each company’s Supply Chain and issues are unique, there is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all strategy.
Here are ten primary techniques we’re advising multichannel E-Commerce businesses, wholesalers, and distributors on. Only a thorough evaluation and alignment with your company’s objectives can make it the right plan for you.
1. Improve the Efficiency of the Inbound Supply Chain
Getting inbound products and materials on time and as ordered is a big job for many companies, whether they are a pure-play E-Commerce businesses or an Omnichannel shops. Your goal should be to accept the product and move it through the system so it can be put aside or cross-docked to fill orders.
- Check out how things are going now and how much it will cost to fix receipts that don’t comply at the fulfillment center and the back office.
- Find out which vendors are to blame for most of the delays and extra costs.
- Through EDI, your company and your vendors can set up computer systems that work better together.
- Set up programs for vendors to follow the rules.
- Check to see if some inbound and fulfillment tasks, like ticketing and final inspection, could be done more quickly and cheaply upstream in the E-Commerce supply chain.
- Find out how to get rid of or reduce traffic at the receiving port and in the truck yard.
2. Reduce Shipping Costs and Delivery Times
In terms of delivery times, your customers want you to compete with the big names. Respond to their needs by delivering their orders faster and at a cheaper cost.
Examine the operation of a multi-distribution facility. Make sure to factor in the costs of extra buildings, staffing, and administration when planning the operation.
3. Expand the Present Warehouse’s Capacity
Changing locations isn’t always the greatest option. You will have capacity challenges, poor productivity, and storage limits if your distribution center is not properly thought out and constructed, regardless of its physical size. Your company can postpone a move to a new location by addressing certain key concepts.
Address the 28 critical principles to consider when creating a warehouse layout and enhancing productivity.
4. Improve the Correctness of Paperwork and Reduce the Time it Takes to Handle it
Implementing bar code technology is one of the cornerstone technologies for warehouse systems and automation. Within the warehouse’s four walls, barcodes allow you to trace the “what, who, and when” of all actions. Making barcode scanning one of your first initiatives will pay off now and in the future.
In areas including receiving, putting away, replenishment, picking, packing, shipping/manifesting, returns, cycle counts, value-add operations, and labor tracking, barcode technology can help.
5. Improve Your Labor Management
The majority of fulfilment centers and warehouses rely on expensive physical labor. If you can’t get a good return on investment through automation, a significant strategic goal for your fulfillment center should be to manage labor more effectively.
Consider how labor adjustments can reduce the cost per product, line, order, and shipped carton.
6. Increase the Number of Orders Picked Each Day
One of the most critical functions of the supply chain in E-Commerce in the warehouse is order picking. A successful customer experience hinges on order accuracy and fast order fulfillment. Picking and packing are typically the two areas where businesses may save the most money on labour costs.
Voice picking, pick-to-light (and put-to-light), selecting modules, and robotics automation may provide a return on investment for many applications in bigger distribution facilities. They must, however, be tailored to your facility, goods, and material handling procedures.
7. Make Better Use of Existing Warehouse Space
When you include the overall fulfillment costs of personnel, occupancy, and storage and material handling equipment, warehouses are expensive to run. Warehouse space accounts for 15 to 20% of the cost of each order.
The expansion of a warehouse’s capacity should not be limited to changes in space usage and stock placement.
Conduct a space utilization analysis and come up with ideas that consider warehouse layout, product flow, labour efficiency, storage and material handling alternatives, safety, throughput, and warehousing system functions.
8. Lower the Cost of Outbound Shipment
Every client’s business has a continuous initiative like this. Outbound shipping prices are higher than all other fulfillment costs combined. Due to a lack of alternatives, it will continue to rise.
- Take a look at your shipping information.
- Is there any room for improved rate negotiation?
- Do you browse around for the best deals?
- Is it possible to save money by implementing a company-wide shipping system?
9. Use of Third-Party Logistics as Opposed to In-House Fulfilment
Is your company still required to own and manage its own fulfillment center? Is it possible to achieve faster delivery from a third-party logistics (3PL) provider by utilizing multiple distribution centers? Although this strategy is not suitable for every company, many large organizations find 3PL to be a cost-effective solution.
10. Pick a New Information System and Put it in Place
Many firms, whether they use an ERP, an OMS, or a WMS, should have this strategic purpose. Many firms require new systems as a foundation for more advanced technologies and automation.
However, research and our own experience suggest that more than half of larger installations (those costing more than $1 million) are not completed on time or on budget. These projects may put organizations at risk due to the expenses and methods of execution.
Avoid poor project management, which is at the foundation of large-scale system implementation issues.
Make sure to use these 10 strategies for your Supply Chain in E-Commerce and reap the best results.