It tends to be challenging for retail businesses to ace occasions of peak demand. They have to rush up fulfillment operations to serve massive order volumes and cater to claimed service levels. In the end, your exact measure of success is delivering order packages to the correct address in time, increasing customer satisfaction and business profits.
Here are some best tips to implement the most efficient order fulfillment even when your retail business is at times of peak consumption.
1. Make use of automation
Are you among companies that keep to what they know, even when there are inefficiencies in the way they follow? Or does your firm always look forward to continuous improvement? Either this or that, an open-source point of sale system is a genuinely worthy approach to try.
Changing to this automation does not imply robots will manage your warehouse. It, instead, allows you to remove every tedious manual step with high susceptibility to human errors.
For instance, when you get an order, this system will help streamline standard steps. These include verifying, fulfilling, picking, packing, and delivery. It enables the optimal processing speed accordingly.
Also, if the orders come in from various channels, it may be puzzling to fulfill them. By standardizing and automating the order-filling process, you will prevent confusion. Above all, your warehouse employees will have orders delivered as fast as possible.
2. Manage your inventory the right way
To carry out efficient order fulfillment, do it right from the beginning. Before receiving an order, you should be ready to control and manage your stock inventory appropriately. Otherwise, there will be a good chance that your business becomes vulnerable to every sort of problem.
First things first, it is advisable to remain aware of your demand forecasting. You need to anticipate when the demand peaks are. This approach enables you to order the proper stock level as such. Further, keep track of the lead time from your suppliers beforehand. By doing so, you are most likely to respond well to seasonal sales fluctuations.
Necessarily, you likewise know precisely the current quantity of products in your supply chain. If not, you could wind up receiving orders for items you do not have. The aftermath is the supply chain blockage and unfilled orders.
3. Pay enough attention to picking and packing
In essence, picking and packing is a loss-making part of your order fulfillment process. Spending more time on finding, packing, and shipping an order means an increase in your loss.
Automation helps minimize the time used for picking and packing. It works to decrease errors at the same time.
What is more? Automation aside, you can do some other things in the warehouse to boost your order filling efficiency. To be more specific, consider how well you have arranged your items on your shelves. We suggest keeping your most sold and fastest-moving products in the most effortlessly accessible position. For those often purchased in the same order, bring them together.
But that is not all. Ensure your stock-keeping units are explicit and a breeze to understand. The process of picking and packing is susceptible to errors if you have a complicated and poorly-organized warehouse. The possible consequence is more returns from purchasers and added strain to your supply chain.
4. Keep an eye on the reverse process
We know many of you put plenty of thought into having your products delivered to the customer’s doorstep. Meanwhile, how much attention do you pay to the reverse procedure?
When returning a product, customers are adding an entirely new chain to your order filling process. It is reverse logistics.
As a retail business, you cannot avoid returns. Yet, it can become a source of trouble once handled inappropriately. One of your crucial aims should be to have returned items back into your inventory as fast as you can. If you leave it unaccounted for a longer time, the fulfillment chain will suffer more issues. For example, you reject orders or over-order items since you think there are not enough of them in the warehouse
5. Boost visibility and scalability
Last but not least, it is significant to figure out that you will fail to optimize your fulfillment process unless the visibility level over it is decent.
Should some data be difficult to notice on spreadsheets, you will have difficulty defining crucial areas for enhancement and growth. We recommend leveraging inventory and order management software.
Dig into the insights offered by that system before making the best, most informed choices around the main areas. For instance, identify whether you frequently make errors in picking and packing procedures. Else, are you noticing a specific supplier is not delivering stock quickly enough? Be sure you define the underlying cause of any order-filling problem.
In a nutshell
It is critical to make the most of your fulfillment operations and ensure their readiness to deal with peak volumes. In what ways? Follow the tips mentioned above. Further, seek advice from your automation system provider. We hope you excel at shipping items to the purchaser’s front door or to store shelves.