With the trend of online shopping growing bigger all the time, fulfilment centres are being stretched to their limits. No matter how big or small they are, many are struggling to keep up and need to find ways to be more efficient to be able to survive. Those that can’t adapt and rise to the challenge will lose out to the competition.
There are many challenges that they face from outdated inventory control systems, to supply chain issues, to poorly trained employees. All of these things and more are undermining their success. In this article, we will go over some of the essentials to put in place in your fulfilment centre to increase efficiency.
An Efficient Fulfillment Center
1 – Use the right software
The Internet of Things (IoT) has enabled many companies in a wide variety of industries to become much more efficient. Since the IoT allows devices to communicate with each other, you can make sure that processes run on their own and in the most efficient way possible. This can be utilized very effectively to help keep track of inventory or for tracking IT assets.
Using barcodes and RFIDs allows devices to track and manage items as they enter your warehouse as well as when they get picked and shipped. There is very little that needs to be done by a human and it is extremely accurate so there is far less waste.
Things speed up considerably when you use the right software so you are able to get a lot more done. This speed will free up people to focus on areas that need work or to make sure they are doing what they can to grow the company.
2 – Diversify
Right now the supply chain is in disarray and shows no signs of improving anytime soon. This means that your fulfillment center is likely facing the same problem that many other businesses are. That is, you are not getting your merchandise into the center on time and often have orders that never arrive. This means that you need to have a more diverse system.
Part of that diversity is having multiple centers in different areas of the country. With the help of some of the software mentioned above, you can then make sure that you are getting more of a certain product when it’s available in the part of the country where it sells the most.
3 – Run some audits
It is a good idea to take some time a couple of times per year to run an audit of your systems and processes to see how things are working. You may end up spotting some bottlenecks that are slowing down your entire operation that were going unnoticed previously. These audits should include how your delivery scheduling is working and if there are frequent delays. Another obvious area to focus on is how quickly the turnaround from when units arrive in the warehouse to when they are available to sell and be shipped is.