Posted on 26/11/14, filed under 3PL, Storage Space, Supply Chain Logistics, Warehousing | No Comments
Today, more businesses are turning to the web to retail their products and, as a result, their customers now expect a quicker and more efficient service from them. This means ecommerce businesses have to adjust their warehousing and logistics to meet their customers’ needs and compete for online market share.
How does this trend shape the future of warehousing?
Location – improving convenience and speed of delivery are becoming key factors to achieving a competitive edge. For some ecommerce businesses this could mean localising their warehouse facilities to their customers’ doorsteps or expanding abroad to facilitate overseas customers. Local warehousing solutions can therefore play a key role in the battle for online market share.
Flexible storage – as more businesses go online, the flexibility of warehouse space is also crucial. Online retail allows many more customers to shop at the same time compared to a physical store. Businesses need to make sure their warehouse space and operations can cope with the increased ecommerce demand.
All under one roof – the high speed and demand of online retail has forced businesses to make their supply chain leaner. To achieve this, many are now conducting multiple processes under one roof or outsourcing to a third-party logistics (3PL) provider to manage their supply chain, right the way through from collecting orders and stock management, to delivery and returns. This streamlines their supply chain and makes their customers happy by providing a quick and easy service.
Warehouse technology – with online retail and order complexity increasing the warehouse must be designed and operated to accommodate changes in space requirements and stock selling at different rates, in order to deliver an efficient service. As a result there is a growing interest in adopting technology such as a warehouse management system (WMS), hardware scanning and automated storage and retrieval systems, which drive operational effectiveness and productivity.
Warehouses will become an evermore important part of the retail supply chain if they offer a clear way to drive efficiencies and please customers in the ecommerce process. Choose the right 3PL provider to make your business excel and be future-proof by contacting RT Page on 01903 736300 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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Posted on 14/11/14, filed under 3PL, eCommerce tips, Supply Chain Logistics, Warehousing | No Comments
Christmas sales can account for nearly half of some companies’ annual profits. But did you know the average retailer loses potential revenue, equivalent to 10% of the revenue they would have taken, from items being out of stock?
Christmas shopping has already started and if an item is out of stock the consumer is far more likely to go and buy it from your competitors than wait and order it from you. Make it the season to be jolly for both you and your customers by keeping your warehouse shelves well-stocked and managed effectively and fulfilling each customer order cost-effectively.
3 Tips to Manage Stock Levels this Christmas:
Ensure outsourced teams are reliable – if you outsource any part of your supply chain, such as manufacturing, storage or delivery, ensure your suppliers are reliable, easy to communicate with and can cope with the increased demand that the festive season brings. If not, you could be facing delays, backlog or cancelled orders and ultimately unhappy customers.
Track and organise stock – 80% of demand will be for 20% of your products so knowing which 20% will be popular will help you order the right amount and avoid over-stocking, improving your profits. Professional third party logistics (3PL) companies use specialised software to help track stock (including popularity) and organise it for the larger demands, helping to deliver orders more easily and speedily.
Choose a ‘just in time’ (JIT) approach – retailers such as high street clothing chain Zara have shown that if your stock suppliers can deliver on demand in small, regular batches it can be a very cost-effective way to manage stock. So if your sales suddenly soar over the Christmas period you can easily replenish stock and accurately order the requisite amount. You can also save on storage costs and become reactive to any stock changes in future.
Maximise your profit potential this Christmas and become a pro at managing your stock all year round. To find out more contact RT Page on 01903 736300 now before the busy Christmas rush comes to town.
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Posted on 29/10/14, filed under 3PL, eCommerce tips, Supply Chain Logistics | No Comments
Providing an excellent customer experience is more than selling a great product. Other important factors are delivering helpful and friendly communication and an efficient and satisfying service. Delivering an excellent customer experience can provide incredible benefits for your ecommerce business, from creating loyal customers and being referred to others to helping to flourish your brand’s reputation.
4 tips to provide an excellent customer experience:
1. Keep in touch – after customers place their orders, stay in touch with them by sending order confirmations and tracking emails. Not only will these communications give them piece of mind that their order is in safe hands but it also reinforces your brand so they remember you.
2. Streamline your logistics – provide an easy and efficient service that they will want to use time and time again. This means getting your internal processes streamlined from taking orders, picking and packing to delivery.
3. Offer customer support – a customer service phone line or email for customers and visitors of your website is the next best thing to a face-to-face conversation to support them if they have any queries. It also projects the personable face of your brand.
4. Show appreciation – nothing can be more powerful than a follow-up. Thanking customers for purchasing from you adds value to their custom. Also sending them exclusive offers can help turn them into returning customers.
Start streamlining your business NOW with RT Page’s dedicated logistics team so you can focus on providing a brilliant customer experience and build an excellent reputation. Find out how by calling RT Page on 01903 736300
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Posted on 15/10/14, filed under Storage Space, Uncategorized, Warehousing | No Comments
We may mock health and safety warriors, but in warehousing if you don’t keep health and safety guidelines strict it can end with injured staff or worse.
If you’re storing shelves of stock, employ warehouse staff, conduct logistical labour activities or store products containing chemicals then you’re faced with potential hazard zones.
Keeping health and safety risks to a minimum takes planning, organisation and careful management of your warehouse. Here are a few steps to consider:
Warehouse Design & Layout
The design, layout and temperature of your warehouse should allow safe movement of goods and people to reduce injuries and damage to stock. This should be considered when organising storage areas, aisles, staircases and ramps, emergency escape routes, and loading and unloading procedures for vehicles and people. Your warehouse should be sufficient to withstand the amount and type of stock you are storing e.g. space and surfaces to avoid chemical corrosion or staff injuries.
Manual handling tasks, such as excessive lifting, pushing or pulling and twisting, can cause musculoskeletal disorders. If a risky manual task cannot be avoided, then the risk of injury must be minimised, utilise mechanical handling devices such as fork lift trucks or trolleys, ask other employees to help and adopt the correct posture and technique to carry out tasks safely.
Control exposure to hazardous situations and materials, such as adhesives, fumes, dust and bacteria. Clear leaks and spillages quickly and safely, repair punctures to containers, consider the length of time you are exposed to fumes, and avoid mixing incompatible products during storage such as chemicals and flammable liquids.
Your storeroom should not be overstocked and you should consider having a set of instructions specifying the maximum storage capacity for each area. Overstocked warehouses can result in products and boxes being left in aisles which could lead to injuries. Organising your stock is just as important as your warehouse layout, gangways should be kept clear to avoid injuries and damage to stock and to have a safe emergency escape route.
Some products, such as food or chemicals, may degrade or become unstable during prolonged storage or if stored at incorrect temperatures. The supplier or manufacturer should provide you with information on recommended storage conditions and latest storage date. Use careful stock rotation to avoid exceeding recommended storage time, temperature ranges should be constantly managed and inspect stock to detect any damage or deteriorating packaging.
Find out how you can have your warehousing and storage needs taken care of for you by calling RT Page on 01903 736300
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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
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