Refine your fulfilment centre strategy I The Storage Place

An effective fulfilment centre can be the catalyst for increasing the success and reputation of your eCommerce operations. You can grow your online store, expand your product offering and increase your profits. Scaling your business sounds great, doesn’t it? But, in order to do so, you must have an effective order fulfilment strategy as there are so many things to consider – even the minute details that may seem irrelevant. Working closely with your UK fulfilment centre and being aware of all the intricate processes can fast-track your online store to greater success quickly.

You may think you know all there is to know about order fulfilment, but as the industry frequently changes, inevitably, operations and processes must follow suit. So, let’s dive into the world of fulfilment and take a look at all the questions you should ask of your fulfilment centre, so you can develop and refine a killer strategy that amplifies results for your online store.

Knowing the ins and outs of what a fulfilment centre does and how they do it is invaluable. The best fulfilment centres are meticulous in their operations, providing close attention to detail and leaving nothing to chance. But how you determine your order fulfilment strategy is specific to the needs of your business. Sadly, there isn’t one specific formula that all merchants can adopt to ensure results, as your strategy must be tailored to fit the requirements of your business. 

The order fulfilment process contains four steps – processing, picking, packing and shipping. For outsourced fulfilment, each of these processes is streamlined for maximum speed, accuracy and efficiency. Regardless of the size of your business, once you start outsourcing, you’ll never look back! 

There is plenty of information available online across different fulfilment centre websites, but it is often generic. It is difficult to specify exactly the type of processes different businesses should adopt for their order fulfilment as there many types of online stores. For example, an international company with a global network will not require the same strategy as a start-up store or a much smaller company. That’s why you should tailor your fulfilment process to your business.

4 Tips for effective fulfilment management

Now you’ve got your fulfilment outsourced, how can you effectively manage this to maximise its impact? Strategy is the single most important word for any business; your e-commerce business won’t grow without one that covers all bases. Thankfully for you, we’re the experts around here, and we know all the intricacies of the fulfilment process, so check out our tips for effective management. By the end of reading all our great tips, you’ll be equipped with an airtight strategy, and your online store will be ready to explode into life.

1. Integrate your inventory with cutting-edge technology

Firstly, we have to talk about technology. Digital applications are there to make our lives easier, so utilise the software of your fulfilment provider. Integrate your marketplaces and warehouse systems into one place, and obtain the best visibility and traceability. You can then manage the entirety of your inventory, and you won’t have to stress yourself out with any complicated developer tasks.

You can integrate your Shopify, eBay or Amazon channels seamlessly and track the progress of each from the comfort of a centralised system. Technology is your friend if you utilise it sufficiently.

2. Check your locations

Customers expect fast and cost-efficient deliveries. It won’t matter a jot if you have all the stock but a poorly managed delivery service. Therefore, you need to really think carefully about where your stock is located. Try to minimise the amount of distance between your shipping zones, as this will only lead to higher waiting times and dissatisfied customers.

How can you do this? Ascertain where your main customer base is, and ensure your shipments are located in an area that allows them to reach your customers quickly. This is the smart play, as you’ll benefit from lower shipping costs and happy customers. If your customers are nationwide or international, discuss the shipping options you have with your fulfilment provider about where you can locate your stock.

3. Plan the growth of your e-commerce business

SKUs and monthly order volume are the key indicators which will determine your strategy. How many SKUs do you sell, and how many orders do you ship? Why not dream big and envisage your business growing bigger and wider and think about what will happen at the point of expansion? As your orders and SKUs increase, you’ll need a reliable outsourcing fulfilment partner to ensure your inventory is managed effectively.

4. Contingency planning

Shipping means obstacles may occur when you least expect them, and they are usually due to external factors that cannot be controlled. Whether it be adverse weather that impacts delivery times, unwanted damage to your products, or issues with a carrier, having a contingency plan in place that can limit the impact of any such unwanted occurrences is advisable. This may entail having several items of stock across different locations so that if there is an issue with supply, you can still fulfil orders by disseminating them from a different location.

Why choose TSP for your order fulfilment?

Outsourcing your inventory to a trusted 3PL provider like The Storage Place is the best way to refine your overall fulfilment strategy. Why? Well, below are just some of the abundance of benefits that simply cannot be rivalled by our competitors.

  • 7 miles from the Port of Tyne – one of the UK’s busiest and fastest shipping ports.
  • An international base with over 250 locations worldwide.
  • 24/7 access to your inventory – no matter where you are based. Keep updated with extensive stock reports and real-time data.
  • Integrate with over 50 e-commerce platforms.

Quite simply, we have all the tools, knowledge and expertise you’ll need to elevate your order fulfilment in the UK and around the globe to next level and beyond. Discover further information here about all that we can offer for your e-commerce business. Obtain your quote today and refine your order fulfilment strategy with TSP.

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