E-commerce businesses live and die by the efficiency and speed of their fulfillment. Since the rise of Amazon Prime, the standards for all e-commerce retailers have changed. As a result of which, the patience of consumers has decreased steadily. Customers want their product delivered on the same day or as soon as possible. Catching up with the two-day delivery of Amazon Prime isn’t realistic for many businesses. If your business cannot deliver the product quickly and accurately, customers will find someone else who can.
So, how do you do that? Here are 10 steps to improve operational efficiency in e-commerce fulfillment.
1. Simplify Processes
Have you been layering new processes over the existing ones? Do order flow and product flow crisscross the floor? If yes, a new perspective at the physical processes and steps involved in product flow and order fulfillment is required. Once in place, continually evaluate and update for improvement.
2. Incentive Pay
Introducing incentive pay can bring about a major improvement in overall labor productivity. A good starting point is in pick and pack, where more than 50% of your warehouse labor works. Though, you need to be sure that you are not paying for the productivity which is already there. So evaluate carefully.
3. Develop Effective Managers
The effectiveness of management directly impacts the productivity of everyone working in the warehouse. Evaluate areas where managers need improvement to get better productivity from the entire fulfillment staff.
4. Keep it organized
One can tell about the type of operation and efficiency in e-commerce fulfillment, simply by having a look at the overall appearance and organization at the warehouse.
5. Offer Training
Providing regular training on processes and systems is of utmost importance in running efficient operations within the warehouse. Develop and document SOPs and providing cheat sheets are some to offer training to employees.
6. Focus on Order Fulfillment
As the order volume and SKUs increase, it is essential to provide fulfillment staff with the required tools to meet the challenges. It is necessary to create an environment that can help pickers perform at the highest level.
7. Use a Bar Code
Bar code technology can help fulfillment centers to track orders and products, verify the accuracy, gain early visibility, speed processes and eliminate unnecessary paperwork. It can drastically improve your savings while reducing a considerable amount of labor time.
8. Improve Customer Service
Ecommerce is a service-oriented industry, which means that even the smallest of details can create a large difference. There is nothing more satisfying for e-commerce businesses than ensuring the satisfaction of customers.
9. Invest Warehouse Control Software
Review to know the efficiency of your warehouse. Is it offering the throughput required by your operations? Look for warehouse control software that is available in the market and then decide if an upgrade is needed.
10. Keep Improving
Even when you have performed and achieved improvement through the above-discussed steps, never settle for the status quo. Strive continuously to improve and focus on how to increase the productivity of employees.