Warehouse Management Analytics!

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The rise of e-commerce was a significant change for supply chain managers and leaders. Customers now have access to anything their hearts desire, and inventory management has become a new animal.

The right application of warehouse management analytics can enable significant growth for companies, forced to focus on smaller package sizes, not the pallets and cases of the past.

Supply chain leaders need to understand the flaws of traditional warehouse management styles, the benefits of warehouse management analytics, and follow a few best practices to use them to their fullest potential.

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Should You Choose Self Storage or a Portable Storage Container?

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Effective utilization is one of the main things that is required for any building, be it a home, in a commercial space or at your workspace. Renting self-storage or portable storage space is a good option if you cannot accommodate a lot of things in your living space.

This happens when people are shifting from one place to another. They would prefer not to take the majority of their stuff with them generally. Along these lines, placing your things in a storage room is a good option.

But it might be confusing to contemplate if you need a storage container or not. Here are some tips to figuring out if you want a storage container or a self-storage container unit.

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How to Optimize Material Handling!

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One of the priorities of distribution and manufacturing firms is to regulate costs, especially since they operate with slim margins. This explains why such industries spend a significant time enhancing programs that emphasize advancing operational productivity. However, part of this is to manage and optimize material handling.

Material handling can affect the company’s operation, from forecasting, production, and after-sales to support. And due to the complexity of material handling and its effects on the operating margins, it’s essential for business owners and managers to understand how it works and learn ways to manage it efficiently. 

In this article, we’ll outline tips for optimizing material handling throughout the supply chain.

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Warehouse Fulfillment – Move Material to the People, Not Vice Versa!

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“Here Come The Bots!”

Wow!  This was the headline caption on the presentation I was about to see.  I had just joined the company.  I had just spent the last few years in Retail.  I had done a lot of research on how to improve efficiencies and productivity in Online/E-Commerce Fulfillment Distribution Centres.  And I had lived through the agonizing process and resource challenges of fulfilling E-Commerce orders during the Holiday season, which is far and away the busiest time of the year in Retail.

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6 Ways To Improve Your ECommerce Order Fulfilment!

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The need to improve your ECommerce order fulfilment is the entire process your company goes through when you receive an order from a customer until it’s delivered. On the other hand, you’ll also have to deal with returns when customers want to send something back because they changed their minds, had a problem, or it needs to be fixed. 

Order fulfilment is vital in organizations. This activity includes collecting and storing inventory, fulfilling orders, and managing the post-sales process. A company with an efficient order fulfilment strategy can eliminate costly mistakes, reduce shipping expenses, and save resources.

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Self-Storage Has Become Big Business! (Infographic)

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While immensely popular in the United States, self-storage solutions have remained pretty uncommon throughout Europe… that is, until now.

More and more entrepreneurs are recognising the untapped opportunity presented by the storage industry and as a result we are seeing a major increase in the availability of facilities in Europe.

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On-Demand Warehousing Pros and Cons!

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Suffering from order growth overwhelm? I’ve been there. And right now, you might be thinking of giving this new-fangled on-demand warehousing a go. 

Storing your products can cause a major headache when you’ve run out of space and you’re running out of money. And while in the past your options were limited to a 3PL fulfilment service or purchasing your own warehouse, there’s now a new kid on the block in the form of on-demand warehousing.

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Keys to Success in Warehouse Management/Order Fulfillment! (Video)

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E-Commerce continues to be the fastest growing sales channel anywhere in the world.  E-Commerce globally has been growing at over 20% per year and will continue to grow at that rate for the next several years.  (Source: https://www.statista.com/statistics/288487/forecast-of-global-b2c-e-commerce-growt/  )

With these ever-increasing order volumes and changes in online shopper expectations there is enormous pressure on E-Commerce company Supply Chain distribution and fulfillment operations.

What are the keys for E-Commerce companies to be successful in fulfilling all of these orders and demands from online consumers?

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3 Tips to Keep Self-Storage Clean and Organized!

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It is a saying that ‘Cleanliness is next to Godliness. All cultures have emphasized it to keep your surroundings and self-storage clean and tidy.

Since Self-storage facilities are a second home to your belongings, you also need to keep them clean, just like your home. A self-Storage facility is a safe and secure way to store your belongings away from home.

In the age of consumerism, we buy much more than we may ever need.

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The Anatomy of a Highly Optimized eCommerce Distribution Centre!

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A lot has changed over the years in regard to distribution centers.

What once was a fancy term for “warehouse,” a storage place for merchandise until it could make its way to retail shelves, the modern distribution center has become one of the critical aspects of determining a retail business’ success or failure in the age of eCommerce.

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Why ECommerce Fulfillment is Critical for Online Sellers!

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Technological advancements have made our lives more convenient. Different sectors of the economy have benefited from novel innovations; however, businesses can be considered as the biggest winners and ECommerce fulfillment is critical.

From manufacturers to retailers, technology has greatly improved the efficiency and operations of these sectors. The emergence of ecommerce redefined how entities and their customers relate. Today, the ecommerce sector has made it easier for people to purchase their desired products hassle-free. 

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Machine Learning in Warehouse Management!

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Machine learning, a branch of artificial intelligence, has already been used across many industries to improve efficiency and productivity.

The technology has been in development for some time, with the uptake being slowed down by some industry’s reluctance to adopt it.

However, it’s now being used by many businesses, including logistics companies and retailers seeking help for warehouse management.

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Logistics in the Golden Age of E-Commerce!

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For the last two decades, the field of e-commerce fulfillment (logistics) has been going through the golden age because of the equally growing market of e-commerce providers (online sellers). However, other logistics companies improved their fulfillment game in 2018. New players in the field, such as ShipBob, presented the public with cheaper fulfillment solutions.

With all the changes in the e-commerce industry, customers are expecting faster services and response times. Amazon suddenly changed the game by introducing the 2-day shipping program of Amazon Prime. Target tried to counter this move, but Amazon launched ‘Amazon Prime Now,’ which ensures deliveries over two-hour delivery time.

After the launch of these fantastic services, customers’ demand will only increase.

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Which is Better? Amazon FBA or 3PL?

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E-commerce is defined as the buying and selling of products or services exclusively through electronic channels. If you’ve made an online purchase through eBay, Shopify, Amazon (through Amazon FBA), and other platforms, then you have made your purchase via an e-commerce site.  More and more people spend their time browsing on the internet and the more likely they are to buy stuff online.

Admittedly, the e-commerce industry is booming. Retail e-commerce sales in the United States are projected to grow at a fast pace in the coming years, going from 322.17 billion U.S. dollars in 2016 to just over 485 billion US dollars in 2021.

Why You Need Order Fulfillment Services

 If you’re looking for a business that will eventually get you out of your 9-5 job, or looking to expand your existing business, having an online presence and web-based store could fulfill this goal. For beginners in the e-commerce trade, what do you need to do to get more sales, with a lot of online businesses competing for customers’ attention?

Amazon

Customers want products that will give the best bang for their buck with speedy delivery, and good after-sales support. Here’s where the different companies offering order fulfillment services come in.

What is an Order Fulfillment Service?

 Order fulfillment is defined as the steps involved in receiving, processing and delivering orders to end customers. A fulfillment service is defined as a third-party company that provides these order fulfillment steps on behalf of another party, such as an online seller.

Let’s look at the pros and cons of using either Amazon FBA (Fulfillment By Amazon) or a 3PL for your fulfillment needs.

Fulfillment By Amazon

 FBA, or Fulfillment By Amazon is a business model wherein e-commerce sellers on the Amazon Marketplace, big or small, can have their products stored in any of Amazon’s giant warehouses, pack and deliver them to customers, handle customer support, and returns.

FBA Pros
Expertise and Reach

 Amazon has one of the most advanced e-commerce fulfillment service in the world, can help you scale-up or grow your business and as of the last measured period, the source estimated 90 million paying Amazon Prime subscribers in the United States, up from 63 million in June during the previous year.

Amazon Prime customers are eligible for 2-Day Shipping, Free Shipping and other benefits. If you sign up your products for Amazon Prime, your products are eligible for free shipping, too.

Customer Service and Returns

FBA handles customer service and returns. Listings are displayed with the Prime logo, so customers know that Amazon handles packing, delivery, customer service, and returns.

They handle the fulfillment services side of the business and saves your time, so you can focus on the other aspects of your business.

Multi-Channel Fulfillment

With Multi-Channel Fulfillment, you can fulfill orders from other sales channels using your inventory stored in Amazon order fulfillment centers. Single-source your inventory to streamline your fulfillment operations, manage your inventory through an online user interface and can direct Amazon to return your inventory in e-commerce fulfillment centers at any time.

Cons of using FBA
Customization

Little to no order customization. Sellers must comply with existing Amazon .processes.

Branding

Items are shipped in Amazon boxes. Sellers can ship in generic boxes which may cost extra.

Warehouse Pricing

Storage fees are generally higher compared to 3PLs and usually rise during holidays.

Higher order handling fees for non-Amazon orders.

Communication

Solutions are based in standard processes which may pose little opportunity for dialogue.

Conflict of interest

The fact that Amazon may actually be a competitor to the seller. Amazon is in the business of selling, they just happen to offer shipping services. For Amazon, it’s free product and market research, and they’re making money off you.

Third Party Logistics (3PL / TPL)

Third–party logistics in logistics and supply chain management is a company’s use of third party businesses to outsource elements of the company’s order fulfillment services.

Pros of Using 3PL
Customization

Boxes/bags and all internal packaging are customized to a specific brand. Processes are adapted to your business’ operation and specification.

Warehouse Costing

Attractive storage costs that is variable. Customer pays storage space on a given month. Some 3PLs even offer free warehouse storage for a limited time.

Communication

Has onboarding processes, frequent communication before and after product launch. Collaborative approach is encouraged.

B2B (Business to Business)

Certain 3PLs can handle both B2B and B2C (Business to Consumer) fulfillment, resulting in one e-commerce fulfillment partner for all sales channels.

Cons of Using 3PL
Finding a Trustworthy 3PL company takes time.

Not all 3PL providers are created equal. It takes time to find a good company to work with from the beginning. Once you find someone you can trust, you can rest assured that your goods are being properly cared for. The initial search could be stressful but it will all be worth it once you find a reliable 3PL company.

Bad Service Reflects on Your Company

An inefficient 3PL provider could make your company look bad. Your customers do not care who is in charge of getting the product to them. All they care about is the end result. It is very important to look for a good distribution center early on to avoid customer-satisfaction issues in the future.

Amazon FBA or 3PL in Conclusion

Order Fulfillment Services are a crucial part of your business and a major factor in determining its success or failure. Whether you entrust your fulfillment services to FBA or a 3PL, there is a greater chance that you will be in good hands – these are fulfillment experts, after all.  The key difference is you as the owner,  – what do you want for your brand and what kind of customer experience you want to give to your consumers.

If you are happy to use Amazon’s existing system and tap into their wide customer reach, FBA may be a perfect fit for your company.  If, however, you would like more control over your order fulfillment services, partnering with a 3PL could be the best solution. Make sure your order fulfillment service provider is experienced with the type of operations you need before you entrust them with your reputation.

Amazon FBA article and permission to publish here provided by Dona Dimaculangan at 3p-logistics.co.uk. Originally written for Supply Chain Game Changer and published on March 8, 2018.

Streamline your Entire Distribution Centre or Warehouse at One Time!

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How many times have you looked at your Distribution Centre operation and thought about how you would re-layout and streamline the process flow if you had the chance?

When you are starting with a new, empty facility it is clearly much easier to layout the operations to make the best possible flow of materials and processes.  But when you have an existing operation which has evolved over a long period of time, you are likely faced with utilities, equipment, infrastructure, walls, and paradigms all of which have resulted in a rather inefficient flow of materials and people and processes.

This was the situation we had in one of our Distribution Centres. In this particular Distribution Centre the current layout of the operation had been the result of many iterations of adding new customers, new products and new processes over time with the associated fluctuations in demand for everything.

Yet with the launch of our Global Process Excellence project we had unleashed our employees to make the improvements they had imagined could be made for a long time.

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