Since the dawn of Amazon, the standard for efficient order fulfillment has risen exponentially. Where once two-day shipping was considered a luxury, it has now become a requirement. In an industry where customer expectations rule all, retailers must take on an adaptable 3PL logistics supply chain if they ever hope to beat competitors and secure positive buying behaviors from their audience.
While most manufacturers and logistics supply chains are well versed in the potential calamities associated with order fulfillment and inventory management, every great system can spin out of control. You may venture into new areas, have new vendors, shorter deadlines, and faster manufacturing or distribution operations. At any point in this process, you can easily lose control and visibility into order fulfillment needs.
Problems You May Encounter
- Overstocking: When a company experiences rapid growth, most will scramble and stock-up on inventory. When data is not used to determine the correct amount of inventory needed at the product sales rate, this will lead to extreme product waste. Items will expire, may not fit in with current trends or simply may not sell– all of which is bad for your pocket.
- Backorders: Imagine opening a delivered package only to discover half of your expected delivery arrived, and now you’ll have to wait for items on backorder. These two things can destroy customer relations and ultimately ruin your reputation as a retailer. Your current customers will look towards competitors with more accurate deliverables.
- Stock-Outs: Without a proper inventory management solution, you will not know how demand is affecting your inventory. If your inventory is running at precariously low levels without your knowledge, you take the risk of running out of key inventory that can stop production in its tracks. When a product is out of stock, your customers have no choice but to look towards competitors for similar products.
Strengthen Your Order Fulfillment
- Easy Returns Processing: Implementing a reverse logistics software with your 3PL logistics company is key to customer satisfaction. The ability to return unwanted products will boost your reputation with your clientele, and the software in place will help keep meticulous records of the inventory being sent back. This will help decrease the overstock in products that have continuously performed poorly.
- Understand How Your Inventory Is Moving: Barcode scanners, mobile computers and RFID will help your order fulfillment operation by allowing you to track inventory real-time. This influx of data will accurately track products that are coming and going from your warehousing team.
- Get A WMS (Warehouse Management Software): Track inventory, process customer orders, track the shipment and delivery status with one software. This allows your distribution centers to collect and share order data, which will provide your team an accurate view of your business. This information is crucial when modifying a business on ever-changing customer needs.