Posted on 30/09/14, filed under Pick and Pack, Storage Space, Warehousing | No Comments
Does your business have a large range of products? If so, the last thing you want to be doing when orders come in is spend hours hunting down everything you need to fulfill them. Having a well-ordered inventory is therefore fundamental to making your business run efficiently and productively.
Tips to creating a well-organised warehouse:
Create a good work space – start by binning anything that’s not needed, such as rubbish or leftover packaging materials, to create clear work spaces and surfaces for those picking and packing items for shipping. Install shelving to utilise the vertical space, both on the walls and standing shelves to create aisles – but make sure aisles are kept clear at all times.
Implement a labeling system – don’t be afraid to use modern technology, such as barcodes and scanners, to help you keep track of inventory. Arrange your products in categories and keep items in the same category in the same area and label accordingly. Also label the aisles, A-Z, for example, and shelves, A01, A02 and so on. This way you can assign a product category to a particular shelving area. Consider attaching images to boxed items to help you determine the contents without having to open the box.
Arrange products by popularity – after selling and reviewing products, organise them by their popularity, putting the most popular products at the front of the shelves and the least popular items at the back. This enables easy access to the products you will pick and pack most often.
Make regular stock checks – stock checking allows you to keep track of the amount of each item you have at any given time. Stock checking benefits every stage of running your business, from manufacturing products, purchasing and delivery and re-ordering stock. One such method is to set regular stock reviews, which are then followed by stock orders to return stocks to predetermined levels. Bear in mind the popularity and shelf-life of each of your products.
These are the tactics used by professional third-party logistics companies, which operate vast amounts of warehouse space and inventory, to significantly improve warehouse organisation, stock management and order fulfillment. They employ sophisticated computer systems, specialised equipment and resources, and experienced staff to give the best service to their customers so they can focus on their business.
To find out how a third-party logistics team can seriously enhance your business contact RT Page on 01903 736300
4 Downfalls of DIY Warehousing and Distribution
How a Warehouse Management System Takes Care of Everything
Posted on 17/09/14, filed under 3PL, eCommerce tips, Supply Chain Logistics, Transport | No Comments
Unsuccessful deliveries can lead to customer dissatisfaction and time wasted by both parties in attempting to sort out redelivery, cancelling orders and refunds. But by implementing the following improvements in communicating with your customers along their purchasing journey, you can avoid all the pitfalls of unsuccessful deliveries.
Request their phone and email details
This allows you to send an order confirmation email with their order number on it. If your logistics department or supplier is properly equipped you will also be able to contact them via email or text to advise them as to the expected day and time of delivery, with the option to change the delivery slot. Being more flexible to suit your customer ensures they will be available to take delivery of their parcel.
Offer order tracking
This allows customers to track the status of their order, enabling them to adjust their plans and be available to take delivery of their order. And if they miss their delivery, they will be able to see where they need to go to collect it.
Have a customer phone line
A customer phone line or online chat facility service on hand are some of the best forms of communication. They give a human face to your business and can ensure customer satisfaction, even having the option available serves you well. Some customers shy away from electronic purchasing, but with the option of human interaction they are more likely to feel comfortable to buy. This online form of customer service also provides the opportunity to change the delivery time to ensure they are available to take delivery of their order.
Effectively communicating with your customers during the order fulfillment process improves your overall customer service, business reputation and customer satisfaction, increasing the chances of return purchases and creating loyal customers.
Make your order fulfillment process efficient and satisfying for you and your customers by contacting RT Page on 01903 736300 or at firstname.lastname@example.org
Ecommerce: Finding Customers & Keeping Them
3PL Solutions: Why Flexibility is Important
Shipping and Returns: What the Customer Wants
Protect your reputation with reliable transport services
Posted on 27/08/14, filed under eCommerce tips, Storage Space, Supply Chain Logistics | No Comments
It is crazy to think the first Christmas store has opened already this year, the Christmas cards will be on the shelves soon and some keen (crazy) people have already started their Christmas shopping.
Nevertheless the run-up to Christmas is the biggest selling period of the year for many retailers and it is important to stay ahead of the game to maximise your sales and revenue. The perfect recipe for doing so is preparing now and switching to a reliable third-party logistics (3PL) provider in time.
Why? Because 3PL companies have the experience, staff, resources and technology to:
Deliver your customers’ orders in time
When the orders pile up it can be difficult to keep track and fulfill orders on time. With a 3PL company’s technology to direct orders made on your website straight through to the warehouse, ready to pick and pack, you can trust they will be sent to your customers on time.
Store high quantities of stock
With the increase in orders made at Christmas you will need hjgher levels of stock. A 3PL company will have the space you need, along with professional staff and systems to manage your stock for you. Add to this a stock control system which synchronises stock levels in the warehouse to stock levels displayed against each product on your website and you can rest easy.
Save you time, money and worry
During the Christmas retail rush using a 3PL provider to manage your supply chain logistics frees you from the time, finances and worry of doing it yourself, enabling you to focus and be top of your game for the front-of-house customer services side of your business.
The run-up to Christmas is a huge opportunity for your business; don’t risk managing your whole supply chain yourself when you can maximise your ecommerce and make this your best Christmas yet by calling RT Page on 01903 736300 or contact us at email@example.com.
6 Top Tips to Plan Now for a Blockbusting Christmas
Outsourced Warehousing Crucial in the Run Up to Christmas
How to Choose the Right 3PL Provider
Posted on 05/08/14, filed under 3PL, eCommerce tips | 1 Comment
With the sun blazing outside the last thing you’re likely to be thinking about is Christmas. But anyone in business, and especially anyone who has experienced the ecommerce Christmas whirlwind, will know it is never too early to start planning.
So to help you start your Yuletide preparations, here are our 6 Top Tips to plan now for a blockbusting Christmas:
- Stock up – when the Christmas shoppers start you don’t want to be running out of stock and losing out on sales, therefore it should be in your plans to prepare which products you wish to promote during the winter and Christmas and stock up closer to the time. You should also consider planning a stock control system which syncs your stock levels with the amount of products in stock displayed on your website. Nothing is worse than selling a product to a customer which is out of stock.
- Have Christmas offers – offering special Christmas deals during the seasonal upsurge of shopping spend is a great way to encourage more sales and give yourself an edge over your competitors e.g. free shipping, 2 for 1 on Christmas gifts, a free gift when you spend over £x for instance.
- Offer special shipping and delivery deals – what customers want at Christmas is to spend little money on delivery and to receive their products as quickly as possible – especially those last minute shoppers. Therefore, consider offering free or discounted shipping, or a special ‘last minute purchase’ delivery deal. Customers are more likely to spend more on products if they get a discounted or quick delivery. Also make sure your last order date and your returns policy are prominently displayed – customers want to know if they can return gifts or receive orders in time for Christmas.
- Ramp up customer support – the more purchases during Christmas the higher the chances that customers will have enquiries. It is important to deliver very efficient, helpful customer support and educate your customer service team on any special offers and changes during the Christmas season. Good customer support can generate returning customers and a glowing business reputation.
- Use a third-party logistics (3PL) provider – there are pitfalls to DIY warehousing and distributing, and these are likely to be exacerbated during a busy period such as Christmas. Using a 3PL company enables you to make your order fulfillment seamless, improving the customer experience you provide and boosting your reputation. Orders will go straight from your website to the warehouse, where they will be fulfilled by professionals with specialist equipment and technology.
- Plan how to clear excess stock – it is important to start planning now what you will do should you end up with excess stock after the merry spending season. Because clearing your shelves could mean increasing sales and profit.
Start planning now and find out how you can maximise and streamline your business to make this your best Christmas yet by calling RT Page on 01903 736300 or contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Making Sure Your Stock Sells Out Every Time
4 Must-Knows for Ecommerce Businesses This Christmas
The 4 Pitfalls of DIY Warehousing & Distribution
Posted on 24/07/14, filed under eCommerce tips, Warehousing | No Comments
No business wants shelves full of stock so to maximise sales you need to know what’s selling and what’s not, what trends are influencing sales at different times of the year, and have a plan what to do with unsold stock.
5-step guide to selling all your stock
1. “Smell what sells” – as English business magnate Alan Sugar would say, monitor what sells like hotcakes and what’s gathering dust and organise your stock into A class, B class and C class items according to their level of popularity. Take into consideration seasonal holidays, events and even weather forecasts, which could influence the popularity of products e.g. winter coats, gardening tools, tents. This enables you to order the right amount of each product so you don’t have extra stock or miss out on sales, saving you money and increasing your profits.
2. Update item descriptions – make the product descriptions marketable, give shoppers a reason to buy e.g. “with summer around the corner…”, and think of seasons and events. Both product and shipping information should be clearly explained in detail, as this has been found to improve sales.
3. Adjust prices – review and adjust the prices of your items according to their popularity, stock level and your competitors’ pricing. This will help you sell your excess stock and least popular items whilst giving your products a competitive rate.
4. Make offers – if one item tends to be bought with another regularly, package them together in a special deal or offer the second item at a discount if they buy the first. Alternatively offer discounts on excess stock, either cutting the price on single items or if the shopper spends over a certain amount, or pair them with a popular item at a reduced rate. Giving discounts is a great way to entice customers to buy more.
5. Damaged items – if an item can still be fixed explain its condition and emphasise the discounted price to buy the item. Show the option to get the discounted/damaged item next to the one in mint condition – some shoppers can fix the item themselves and in some case they prefer to buy the discounted damaged item.
These changes will keep your inventory fresh, save costs by reducing excess stock and improving stock management efficiency. Start making stock management easier and increase sales by calling RT Page on 01903 736300