Best Practices

Labor Reduction in the Warehouse - It's About More Than Just Saving Money

Surprisingly, the task of order picking is, by far, the most costly activity in a typical warehouse fulfillment setting. The only way to reduce this cost while maintaining a functioning operation is to increase the efficiency of picking itself.

Indeed, picking is often a hidden cost center. More than building operation and maintenance, more than inventory management, more than shipping, its the fulfillment activities, including picking, that can erode the bottom line. That’s because they are the most manual-labor intensive activities, with the most room for variance and error.

A Great Partner Does More Than Just ‘Hand Over the Keys’

Most software providers provide just that: Software. Unfortunately, software is only as good as its initial implementation and support allow. This is why it's critical to ask providers: “What does your support look like?”

Any business or organization that decides to upgrade their warehouse and fulfillment systems will face challenges. “Can I afford this?” “How do I decide on a plan?” “Will I have to implement the new system myself?” “How can I integrate this with our existing systems?” “How is the data upload going to go?” “What kind of response will I get if I have a question?”

Is Shipping Your Bottleneck? How to Achieve Efficiency with a Single Workflow

When it comes to software solutions for eCommerce, fulfillment and shipping are often the last things considered. This is unfortunate, as they are often huge sources of errors and inefficiencies. This raises the question: Can a good warehouse management software help?

Elimination of Mis-Picks Results in Advantages Today and in The Future

Mis-picks in an order fulfillment operation can cause far greater problems than merely wasteful task repetition on the warehouse floor. Both company-sanctioned and independent websites offer customers opportunities to voice their opinions on just about anything these days...including the accuracy and timeliness of an order. It’s “shipper beware.”

Tracking Warehouse Operations for Fun and Profit

What is the difference between a warehouse whose operations eat away at profits, and one that meets all customer expectations while operating under budget? Efficiency, of course. But what does that entail?

The truth is that it varies from warehouse to warehouse. One operation might need to shore up its receiving procedures to cut down on mistakes. Another might be facing bottlenecks due to labor management issues. There are problems and challenges common to all warehouses, but the list of what gets done well, and what could use improvement, varies with location, company, culture, and even product.

Running An Efficient Warehouse: 3 Simple Steps for Your Operations

In previous posts, we mentioned a landmark study out of the Georgia Institute of Technology that found that fewer than 30% of U.S. warehouses were operating efficiently. This is due to that fact that, although practices and technology have improved, most warehouses have not kept up, creating a widening “efficiency gap.”

Combatting this inefficiency does not require radical change, however. Simply being able to perform routine steps quickly and easily can make your workflow a lot smoother—and your workdays less hectic.

How to Make Smart(er) Decisions Using Your Inventory and Fulfillment Data

The data kept in your warehousing and fulfillment system (if you have one) can be a treasure trove of insights into your business. The trick, of course, is knowing how to get that data out in a timely and useful way.

This is why it is so important to have a system that can generate custom reports automatically. Best-of-class inventory and fulfillment systems gather data in real time and then can push reports to you in any format you wishfor example, an email sent to your inbox. When reporting is automated in this way, you can make adjustments on the fly, creating a more nimble organization.

7 Technologies Clients Ask About When Looking for a Fulfillment Company

Each year, thousands of businesses sign on with 3PLs and other fulfillment companies to handle their fulfillment and logistics activities. That said, about 35% of companies also leave their 3PLs each year, often because there is not a good fit.

More and more, that “fit” has to do with technology.

Why Backorders Are Hurting Your Business—And What to Do About Them

In the past, whenever a merchant ran out of a given SKU, the company would simply issue a backorder while they purchased or manufactured more items. Customers would then wait for the item, taking the delay as a fact of life. Those days are long gone.

Today, modern warehouses are tracking both inventory levels and item velocity, making precise predictions about Low Stock and Out of Stock levels, and using that information to trigger workflows so that inventory never “runs dry.” In effect, data and planning have basically eliminated the backorder.

And that is a great thing when it comes to the customer experience.

Easier Warehouse Management Means Reducing Touches

Reducing the number of “touches” an order needs before it ships out the door reduces the complexity inherent in your fulfillment operation. And as complexity is removed, error goes down while speed and efficiency go up.

In most fields of engineering, complexity is the enemy. The more parts something has, the more chances there are for something to break down. The more an item is handled or taken apart, the more space there is for something to go wrong.