Warehouse Vs Fulfillment Center: What Are the 5 Key Differences?

Warehouse Vs Fulfillment Center: What Are the 5 Key Differences?

Companies that solely take care of a fulfillment warehouse, usually partner with businesses that work with non-commercial, or B2B orders that deal with large amounts of products. More substantial companies & retailers have their own warehouse and fulfillment center facilities, where they can store their redundant products, or rent storage to partake with other businesses. Generally, it's a cost-effective idea for small and medium-sized businesses to lease warehouse and fulfillment center space, depending on the terms of the contracts. Read along to know which storage infrastructure works best for your online business: Warehouse vs Fulfillment Center. In case you're looking to store your business’s inventory until they’re in demand, or small warehouse and fulfillment spaces aren't working out for you, a fulfillment warehouse is what your business requires. What Are Warehouses? When Are They Needed? It is common to compare a warehouse and fulfillment centers although they have significant differences. An ecommerce warehouse is a structure where goods and products are stored for a huge period of time. It is a facility designed to store the inventory of a business in large volumes until they are needed to fulfill an order. A fulfillment warehouse is equipped with high shelves, piled with numerous goods, forklifts, and employees moving all around the structure. Operationally, what happens in a warehouse is a static job. Supply chain management includes warehouse management and fulfillment services. [contactus_lilgoodness] What Are Fulfillment Centers? When Are They Needed? In the product supply chain, warehouse and fulfillment centers are two distinct but equally significant components. A fulfillment center, like a warehouse, is a huge structure that houses a company's goods. It does, however, serve a variety of other uses. Unlike warehouses, where products are stored for longer durations, fulfillment centers and micro fulfillment centers only hold items for brief lengths of time before shipping them out. These centers fulfill B2B and B2C orders for retailers, eCommerce companies, corporations, and other businesses. Fulfillment centers are responsible for the complete order fulfillment process in terms of operations. Order fulfillment is the process that begins with the sale of a product and ends with the customer's post-delivery experience. It includes all you need to know about receiving, processing, and delivering orders. After a customer purchases a product from an eCommerce site, inventory is selected, boxes are packed, and labels are applied before being dispatched to the customer's address. Fulfillment centers can handle both B2B and B2C orders, which either refer to large volumes of products sent to a big-box retailer or orders delivered directly to a customer's home. Outsourcing eCommerce fulfillment is a great option because it covers everything from inventory management to negotiating prices with carriers. Outsourcing order fulfillment to a third-party logistics provider can help sellers manage inventory, improve customer experience, and enables more time to be spent on the core activities of the business. The goal of ecommerce fulfillment services is to respond rapidly to incoming requests and deliver products efficiently. Unlike a warehouse, inventory in a fulfillment center does not sit around for long. While startups and small businesses may initially fulfill orders in-house, using a fulfillment warehouse is an important element of scaling up. These terms are sometimes used interchangeably, and warehouse and fulfillment services are frequently provided by the same organization. However, there are significant disparities between the two. Understanding the relationship between a warehouse and fulfillment center, as well as the necessity for both, can help order processing and inventory management greatly. Warehouse Vs Fulfillment Center: 5 Key Differences Although the terms warehouse and fulfillment center are sometimes interchangeable, they have very different meanings. Both of these structures house inventory for firms that sell products online. Every fulfillment center is a warehouse, however, a warehouse and fulfillment center aren't always equal. Fulfillment and warehouse logistics are quite similar and can be easily mistaken. Consider geometry courses to help you remember the difference. A fulfillment center and a warehouse are like squares and rectangles when compared. Rectangles are squares, but squares are not rectangles. The main distinctions are the degree of tasks completed inside and the requirements of clients they are each expected to serve. There are many differences between warehouse and fulfillment center services, which are listed below. [table id=2 /] What are the Advantages and Disadvantages of a Warehouse? Advantages of a Warehouse Products are always available: The primary advantage of warehouses is that products are available at all times, so companies need not worry about running short of stock when a need arises. As a result, retailers can focus on other vital issues rather than worrying about product shortages. In other words, just as a salaried individual who saves money does not have to worry about liquidity during a contingency, corporations with warehouses do not have to worry about the supply of goods since they have enough stock to fulfill any increase in customer demand. Sales are never lost: If a company does not have a warehouse and receives a large order from a customer unexpectedly, it has no choice but to refuse the order because there is a limit beyond which it cannot produce goods unannounced, which will result in lost sales and customers gravitating to competitors, causing the company to lose market share. Wastage is reduced: Warehouses have all of the facilities needed to safely store perishable items for extended periods, resulting in less wastage. If commodities are not housed in a warehouse, the possibilities of them being damaged are higher. In other words, because of warehouses, a corporation does not have to worry about wastage if sales are lower than expected. Disadvantages of Warehouses High setup costs: The most significant disadvantage of having a warehouse is the high initial setup cost, which many small businesses cannot pay, forcing them to rely on public warehouses or rented warehouses to store their goods. Simply said, high setup expenses are one of the most significant barriers to a company establishing its own warehouse for storing its items. Additional administrative costs: Another disadvantage of warehouses is that, in addition to the initial setup costs, the company must also pay regular expenses such as warehouse employee salaries, electricity bills, and other administrative fees, all of which lower earnings. The benefits of having a warehouse must outweigh the ongoing administrative costs for the warehouse to be successful. Negligible increase in sales: Warehouses can only assist in keeping a steady supply of items to match consumer demand; however, if a firm believes that establishing warehouses will aid in raising sales, it is incorrect; When a company has a solid product and a good marketing strategy, there will be an automatic reflection in the sales volumes. In other words, warehouses can help ensure that a company's product never runs out, but if the company's product isn't good, owning a warehouse is pointless and wastes resources. As can be seen from the points above, owning a warehouse has both advantages and disadvantages, which is why a firm should weigh the key factors before deciding whether or not to either set up its own fulfillment warehouse or rent out a warehouse from a dedicated company. What are the Advantages and Disadvantages of a Fulfillment Center Advantages of a Fulfillment Center Enables the company to focus on core aspects of the business: Using a fulfillment center allows you to delegate the fulfillment process to a trusted partner, allowing you to concentrate on growing and promoting your business, increasing sales, and sourcing products.  You can enhance the growth of your business when your eCommerce warehouse and fulfillment services are streamlined. Reduction in payroll and benefit costs: Even if you have internal fulfillment personnel, as your business grows, more manpower will be required, which means increased payroll costs and benefit packages, which will eat into your profits. You may also have problems with employee turnover, which can be costly when you consider the time it takes to train personnel to do their roles properly. Minimizing overhead costs: There are numerous fees associated with managing your fulfillment requirements. Warehouse rental, additional employees & salary, equipment, utilities, and warehouse management software will all be expenses. You can forecast your budget and estimate earnings if you choose a warehouse and fulfillment company to manage these areas because you will know the ongoing costs associated with the collaboration. Enables huge shipping discounts: You will almost certainly incur more shipping charges as an individual business than if you partner with a fulfillment center. Because of the volume of goods they manage, fulfillment centers can negotiate lower shipping prices with numerous carriers. Furthermore, because of their proximity to your consumer and how carriers calculate shipping prices, shipping rates would be lower as a whole. Management of Inventory: Inventory management must be done correctly. Managing the inventory of your business can be time-consuming and expensive. Partnering with a fulfillment company relieves you of that load. To monitor and report inventory, the most advanced inventory management systems and software systems are utilized. You always have real-time access to information, so you know how much inventory you have and what you need to reorder. Disadvantages of a Fulfillment Center Although there are a few disadvantages to working with a fulfillment center, certain customers have unique reasons for keeping their fulfillment operations in-house. These are the most significant barriers that hinder business owners from working with a fulfillment center. Relinquishing control: Business owners prefer to have complete control over every element of their daily operations, including warehouse fulfillment services. If you collaborate with a top-rated fulfillment company, the shift will be seamless. All of the advantages will become apparent in a short period, and the ultimate results will speak for themselves.  Limitations on customization: When it comes to fulfilling orders, some businesses want to put their distinctive spin on things. The most prevalent areas of customization include handwritten or personalized notes, as well as brand-specific packing materials. It’s true that when you outsource to a fulfillment center, some of these nuances may have to be sacrificed but the lower prices which you can pass on to your clients, coupled with the extra time you can spend building your business, will make up for these tiny things. Possibility of increased costs: While most clients will save money by working with a fulfillment center, there are times when doing so may increase costs, even if shipping fees are saved. This is especially common among merchants who trade in modest amounts and volumes. In the end, these smaller customers may benefit from a fulfillment center collaboration since it allows them to focus on sales, marketing, and overall business growth. Mistakes made by vendors: When you outsource to a fulfillment center, you may not be aware of an issue right away, whether your vendor sends too little or too much product, the wrong product, or worse, damaged items. You may not even be aware of an issue until you receive complaints from a customer. Working with a fulfillment center will help you avoid these problems because we'll keep track of your warehouse and fulfillment process from start to finish. Customers should keep in mind, though, that these things do happen, and that they should be prepared when they do. Fulfillment Warehouse and Fulfillment Center: Which Storage Solution is Suitable for Your Business? Each warehouse and fulfillment service has a distinct purpose. Making the best decisions for your company is critical as a business owner. The capacity to reach a wider network with full operational integration to sustain customer satisfaction is the difference between a fulfillment warehouse and a regular warehouse. Unless the purpose is only to store products for a long period, a fulfillment center's consolidated services are more valuable. Companies who choose to run their fulfillment in-house, limit their options. They're trapped with a limited number of locations if they rely on only one or two warehouse and fulfillment centers, and they struggle to optimize for speedy shipping, which can impair the customer experience. The capacity to pivot fast and go where the people are has become increasingly vital to fulfilling the changing needs necessary for customer satisfaction today. Customers demand the convenience of quick shipping at no additional expense. A warehouse simply lacks the capabilities to provide speedy, flexible fulfillment in a long-term manner. If you want to take advantage of warehouse and fulfillment services, WareIQ can be of great help. WareIQ is one of India’s leading and fastest growing full-stack eCommerce fulfillment companies that offers a variety of services from same-day and next-day delivery, shipping badges and RTO Shield, to state of the art technological solutions such as our custom WMS and our intuitive, well designed app store. We can take care of your brand's entire fulfillment requirements and ensure that you and your customers get the best order fulfillment in the country and have a hassle-free experience and raise satisfaction levels to new heights. [signup] Warehouse vs Fulfillment Center FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) What is the relationship between Warehousing and Fulfillment center?A fulfillment center is a sizable structure that houses inventory for a company, much like a warehouse. However, it also has a number of other uses. In contrast to warehouses, where products are kept for longer periods of time, fulfillment centers keep items for only a brief time before shipping them out. Does WareIQ have its own warehouse and fulfillment services?Yes, WareIQ has its large network of warehouse and fulfillment centers which helps to store inventory closer to your customers enabling same day or next day delivery services. Do fulfillment centers manage inventory? Yes, fulfillment centers do take care of sorting inventory and keep track of inventory in the warehouse but their main goal is to efficiently ship the orders out to customers as soon as possible.  How many square feet are required for a fulfillment warehouse?It will depend upon your growth plan and business type because eventually you would not want to move into, or rent or lease a space that you will immediately outgrow. How are WareIQ’s fulfillment centers and warehouses? WareIQ  has an extensive and elastic network of fulfillment centers present across tier-1, tier-2 & tier-3 cities in all zones. Few of the features:• Rapid ramping up of fulfillment infrastructure as required (21 days to go live)• Warehouses of various sizes available - large-sized, medium-sized & small-sized• Highly capable warehouse operations team to enable custom kit creation when required• Temperature controlled fulfillment centers to reduce spoilage of temperature sensitive products• Dark Stores for inventory placement near demand centers, enabling faster delivery

May 09, 2022

What is Retail Fulfillment? 6 Steps to Fulfill Retail Orders in 2022

What is Retail Fulfillment? 6 Steps to Fulfill Retail Orders in 2022

In some scenarios, customers may go to a shop and enquire about a product that is currently out of stock at the shop. The shopkeeper would have a few different ways to convey the news to the customer, without displeasing them. They could say that the stock is overdue to high demand and that fresh stocks of the product would be available in 2-3 days or something of that nature. This example encapsulates what retail fulfillment is, where a seller is trying to obtain the product for the customer. Similarly, the same process is followed by online retailers. You, as a seller, should work according to the supply and demand of relevant products. These days, a lot of sellers have gravitated to selling products online. You can see the same products with the same benefits at the similar rates offered by different sellers on multiple selling channels. All of them may not have the product physically at their ecommerce warehouse but they still continue to sell it. The question is, how? The reason behind it is that they all take advantage of retail fulfillment. What is Retail Fulfillment? The process of assembling and shipping a customer's order is known as retail fulfillment. After a consumer places an order online, an eCommerce merchant is responsible for packaging the shipment with the correct products and placing the box into transit, which is the primary difference from conventional stores, where customers browse and purchase items themselves. It is a specialized branch of logistics that is more intricate, complex, and distinct from DTC (direct-to-consumer) fulfillment. Sending goods to stores necessitates a higher level of quality control, precision, and attention to detail. You will need the necessary tools to interact with each merchant separately to ensure a pleasant encounter. [contactus_lilgoodness] What are the Types of Retail fulfillment? Retail fulfillment can be classified into 3 categories: In-House Fulfillment ModelDropshipping ModelThird-Party Fulfillment (3PL) Model In-House Fulfillment Model In-house fulfillment model is where an eCommerce seller provides order fulfillment on their own. It is either done by a small-scale business, where the scale is small enough for it to be done in-house, or a huge business which has its own resources such in-house warehouses, human resources, and its own supply chain network. Here are the pros and cons of the In-house fulfillment model Pros: Ability to focus on individual product delivery: A small business with few delivery orders can easily focus on individual deliveries they need to fulfill. A big business can also focus on individual delivery with its in-house fulfillment system. They can customize delivery according to the buyer's preference. Opportunity to save costs on bulk orders: If a buyer orders more than a single product and wants it to be delivered to the same address, the cost of delivery decreases due to taking advantage of economies of scale. Access to door-step branding: An employee with a company that does in-house fulfillment can contact customers directly, on behalf of the company. It will increase the brand presence and add extra value to your orders. Access to direct feedback: Similarly to the point above, company personnel can contact customers directly to solve any query, issue or get customer feedback. They can directly guage the customer’s preferred experiences and solve any issues on the spot. Cons: Increase in prices: In the case of a small business where the seller has to fulfill every order themselves, prices can definitely add up. For big businesses, it can be expensive if they have to deliver products to different places. Need for dedicated resources: Sellers have to put in all their effort to provide suitable order fulfillment. They need to invest in dedicated resources in order to provide a good retail experience to their customers. Increase in time consumption: Good retail fulfillment takes time. A delivery initiated from South India that has to be delivered to North India could take at least 3 days if you are not an expert, which would seem like ages in todays world of same-day and next-day delivery. Limited growth potential: If you are taking care of such an important aspect of your business such as retail fulfillment, you may end up neglecting other tasks such as product development and marketing. Dropshipping Model Dropshipping Model is where a seller does not stock inventory in their own warehouses. They get orders from their website and other selling platforms and dispatches them from an OEM warehouse or a fulfillment center. The seller functions as an aggregator. Here are the pros and cons of dropshipping model: Pros: Requires less space: A physical sellers storage space is required to showcase their shop and to store their products. An online seller can showcase their products on online selling platforms or their dropshipping website, negating the need to have a huge store. Removes the need to manage inventory: With no storage needed for products, a seller does not need to manage inventory. Sellers also do not need to hire resources for such work. Provides flexibility to your business: It gives you the benefit of running your business remotely from anywhere on the globe. It does not matter if you are working from your office or any other location. You can still do all the same things you could if you were physically present such as confirming and fulfilling orders. Cons: Lack of self-branding: Under the dropshipping model, a seller cannot do self-branding as per their requirements. They never handle the product directly. The only thing they can do is provide customised order invoices. Difficulty in quality control: The product is never accessed by the seller because orders are just confirmed and sold through dropshipping. The chances of poor quality control measures can increase without the sellers knowledge. Reduced profit margins: The model is quite cost-effective and maintenance-free so many sellers are adopting similar business models. Thus. competition is higher than in other models so profit margins are lower. Dependence on OEMs: Here, sellers do not have the freedom to fulfill the items according to their preferences. They will have to accept guidelines by the manufacturers regarding their timing, working style, rate fluctuations, etc. Differences Between B2B Fulfillment and Retail Fulfillment B2B fulfillment is not the same as retail fulfillment. It's a general term for sending things in bulk to any company. Shipping boxes from one business address to another is what B2B fulfillment is all about. It could entail delivering items to a store or a corporate facility for staff to utilize, such as shipping documents from one office to another. B2B fulfillment includes retail fulfillment. Traditionally, this meant things would end up on store shelves, but with the growth of eCommerce, it can also mean products would end up on the pages of a retailer's online shop or marketplace. If a merchant sells their goods to a retailer, they could end up in the seller's shop, godown, warehouse center or fulfillment centers or micro-fulfillment centers. On the other hand, in retail fulfillment, the seller plus retailer never asks merchants to deliver products to them. The retailer can directly send it to the buyer or a third-party fulfillment center. [table id=3 /] In order to know about other types of fulfillment, you can read direct order fulfillment and D2c fulfillment here. What are the 6 Steps Involved in the Retail Fulfillment Process in 2022? There are several steps involved in retail fulfillment and are listed below: Receiving New Inventory New inventory must be sent to your fulfillment center for storage. Each SKU will require its own storage area (bin, shelf, or pallet). You must process, organize, document and stow inventory once it arrives at a fulfillment facility. You'll need to order additional inventory as you are continuously selling products. Reorder quantity management for retail fulfillment needs a deeper grasp of inventory forecasting as well as strong collaboration with manufacturers. If you want to opt for retail fulfillment, you'll need a warehouse management strategy that includes organization, infrastructure, software, and processes for inventory tracking, as well as stations dedicated to each retail fulfillment process. Warehousing You'll be able to use those products to fill customer orders after inventory storage is complete. To avoid stockouts, keep an eye on stock levels and set reorder points so that you can order more inventory if it falls below a certain level. Your shipping prices will be heavily influenced by where you keep and ship your things (i.e., the farther away from the shipping destination, the more expensive the delivery will typically be). Picking and Packing Orders When a customer places an order, a picking list should be generated. The seller must start gathering the items needed to complete the request. Items from one order must be stored separately from those need for other orders. You can pack an order once all of the products have been selected. To save money on shipping, use boxes, poly mailers, and packaging materials that will both protect your products and add up to the smallest possible dimensional weight. Shipping Orders When you ship orders, keep an eye on the ship date as well as the promised delivery date or estimated timeline. If your online store's delivery policy requires orders to be shipped the same day, make sure you are in line with fulfilling the policy. Processing of Returns Customers will almost certainly return eCommerce orders at some point, and you must be prepared. Reverse logistics management that is well-designed can cut expenses and mitigate problems connected with returns and exchanges. Retail Ratings, Issues, and Chargebacks A logistic company is judged by its retail fulfillment process which includes the duration of delivery, accuracy, and rating by others. These days, if a fulfillment company does not meet the retailer’s expectations, the retailers may fine them which is called cashback. This cashback can be fixed or a percentage of the chargeable amount. Suggested Read : Guide to Retail Distribution What are the Challenges and Solutions in the Retail Fulfillment Process? Growing Order Volume With the passing years, online shopping is growing so the number of orders is increasing proportionally. This is leading to an increase in order fulfillment demands and handling thousands of orders is not an easy task. If you are providing a bad experience to your customers, there are high chances that you will lose them in the long run. In this situation, it is better to opt for 3rd party fulfillment companies. Lack of Visibility of Delivery Routes The retailers who fulfill the customer's demand through dropshipping methods have the pain of lack of visibility of the delivery route and it is amplified by partnering with any third party fulfillment company. Inefficient Manual Processes With a high number of orders which need to have 100 % accuracy at the scheduled time, manual processes need to be reduced as much as possible. Manually it is nearly impossible to manage retail fulfillment centers, track inventory, navigate, assign drivers and manage any other logistical processes. This reduces efficiency, kills time, and hinders growth due to which the customer experience suffers. Choice Between One or Many Retail Fulfillment Providers As a seller, when you choose multiple channels to sell your product on, you should also tie-up with several logistics companies. They offer fulfillment services in different locations, for different kinds of products and have different specializations. You can also partner with fulfillment companies, that will track the record and accuracy of different retail logistics companies and will give you the best option. Scheduling with Customers These days, many people shift their locations for work, studies and other purposes, which is also a reason for buying products online. Time is of the utmost importance to them which means that the sooner they receive their parcel, the more satisfied they will be and the more positive reviews your business will receive.  Conclusion: Does Your Business Require Retail Fulfillment? Technology has driven our life into a different world. Today in India, we have 100s of unicorns. Each of them caters to new technology and has similar ideas and creative goals which are usually to encourage eCommerce retailers like you, to partner with them to outsource various requirements. For this, you need them to plan your investment budget and set a timeline. You just need to play it smart and you can also earn revenue. A great example of this is Amazon. As we know it is the biggest online retailer in India but doesn't have a single physical store and offers only a few core products that they sell using their own brand while offline sellers like BigBazar went bankrupt. The pattern of bankruptcy shows BigBazar invested millions in procuring products, investing in new physical stores, warehousing, hiring in-house experts, etc.  As a business, when it comes to increasing sales or expanding your operations, you should always be open to adopting new trends and technology. If you are a seller, you should opt for multiple selling options and if you choose to sell online, retail fulfillment is one of the necessities to sustain your growth and increase your reachability over the nation and across the globe if you aspire to do so. WareIQ is one of the emerging players in the retail fulfillment space. WareIQ, a Y-combinator backed startup, has rapidly grown to be the leading full-stack eCommerce fulfillment company for some of the most reputed brands in India. WareIQ offers a full-stack platform for eCommerce companies to enable same-day delivery and next day delivery to customers. WareIQ manages the entire range of complex operations in the eCommerce fulfillment process, such as inbound functions like scanning and quality check, 100% accurate Pick and Pack, and inventory management across all channels, with a centralized platform for core fulfillment and shipping operations and post-shipping apps for a delightful experience and zero to minimal supply chain leakages. WareIQ has customised offerings for merchants experiencing different order volumes as well as having different delivery speed expectations. WareIQ is probably one of the very few fulfillment tech companies in the world that have same-day delivery service for their customers under their product “WareIQ RUSH”. WareIQ’s Ecommerce WMS, a centralised tech platform helps to better manage undelivered orders by reducing NDR processing time by 12 hours – a multifunctional NDR dashboard helps to track and take immediate action for undelivered orders in real-time, thereby reducing RTO by up to 10%. Automatic replenishment recommendations and easy purchase order creation capabilities on the WareIQ platform further empower eCommerce companies to leverage all possible ways of increasing their ROI. [signup] Retail Fulfillment FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) What is fulfillment in retail?The process of preparing, organizing, and shipping an order so that it reaches its intended destination, which is usually the location of the person who placed it, is known as retail fulfillment. A fulfillment service can handle some or all of this procedure. What is the most important aspect of retail fulfillment? Order Fulfillment is the most important aspect of retail fulfillment. Having your orders delivered on-time, accurate, and in line with the specifications of the ordered items is paramount to a continued relationship with the customers. Is there any benefit with a third party logistics company (3PL) in retail fulfillment? There are many benefits to working with a 3PL provider, especially one that specializes in retail fulfillment. What are the steps involved in the Retail Fulfillment Process?• Receiving New Inventory • Ecommerce Warehousing• Picking and packing • Shipping Orders• Post shipping experience What is the process of optimization in Retail Fulfillment?• Selecting a fulfillment Center • Integrated Fulfillment Software • Shipping Time WareIQ, as a retail fulfillment partner, optimises the entire fulfillment process for same/next day delivery.

May 09, 2022

What is D2C Fulfillment? 10 Reasons Why D2C Brands Need a Fulfillment Partner

What is D2C Fulfillment? 10 Reasons Why D2C Brands Need a Fulfillment Partner

Nowadays, e-Commerce logistics businesses are more convenient for both customers and sellers, and the modern world has already started to adopt this means of selling. In 2022, the benefits of D2C fulfillment by selling directly to the consumer are well known, such as better supply chain exposure, stronger customer relationships, and no middlemen involved. Also, there are numerous positive stories about D2C brands that have succeeded in getting a fast start. However, the quicker your company grows, the more critical it is to ensure that your D2C fulfillment operations can scale efficiently and capitalize on growth opportunities. What is D2C Fulfillment?  D2C fulfillment, also known as direct-to-consumer fulfillment, is an e-commerce shipping model in which a merchant sells directly to the end consumer through digital channels rather than relying on intermediaries such as retailers, distributors, or wholesalers to reach their target market. The involvement of these intermediaries may reduce your profit level and take more time to get your targeted customers. D2C brands are responsible for handling their stock and fulfilling and shipping orders that they can do in-house, such as through dropshipping or by outsourcing the process to a 3PL. [contactus_gynoveda] What are the Processes Involved in Direct to Consumer Fulfillment? The process begins when a customer places an order and concludes when they receive it. If the buyer needs to return a product, direct-to-consumer fulfillment will also handle the return logistics procedure. Here is the list of processes in direct to customer fulfillment: Receiving Inventory The initial step in the D2C fulfillment process is receiving inventory from the company warehouse or whole sellers. You should be very careful in counting the incoming stock lists to avoid future issues. Once you count the entries of the inventory, you need to inspect the quantity and quality of merchandise to ensure that you have received the proper amount of stock. Bar codes on incoming products are used in the receiving and storage processes and later, in the retrieval of goods from internal storage. Storing Inventory When goods arrive at the fulfillment center, they are inventoried and distributed immediately or sent to short-term or long-term storage. The next phase would be the proper storage of inventory. It is a good practice to store the appropriate goods, concerning their demand, instead of hoarding vast amounts of inventory in the anticipation of future sales. Processing the Order The picking and packing process of a product is dictated by an order processing management system for every newly received order. Order management software integrates with an eCommerce website's shopping cart to automatically initiate order processing in the online marketplace. Picking the Relevant Product One of the most important processes in direct-to-consumer fulfillment is picking the right items ordered by your customers. The process of picking the required item will either be automated or performed by a dedicated picking team, based on the packing slip's instructions. Product size, color, and number of units are some of the metrics mentioned in the packing slip, that is used to determine the right product to be picked Packing the Order The next interesting process after picking the required items is packing them properly. The packing team or robots will select the packing materials. Because space on delivery trucks is limited, optimizing the dimensional weight (or DIM weight) is critical for expediting transport while potentially lowering shipment costs. Return shipping material will be included by the packing teams when customers want to exchange or return the item for a refund. Shipping the Order The order is routed through a transportation channel or shipping aggregator before being delivered to the customer. Shippers and carriers calculate the billable costs of freight based on the volume. Even if the actual weight is low, as in the case of garments or other similar products, packing it to achieve the least DIM is often worth it to keep the packaging from significantly increasing the overall package weight and thus, the cost of the entire shipment. Delivery to the Final Customer The final process is delivery which means handing over the product to the customer. Shipping routes frequently use multiple carriers. For example, the carrier may pick up a package at the fulfillment center that will later be delivered to the customer's home by another carrier. These hybrid shipping methods are used for a variety of reasons such as delivery estimates and costs provided by each carrier. Why do D2C Brands Need a Fulfillment Partner? Top 10 Reasons The final stage of supply chain management is D2C fulfillment. Direct to Consumer fulfillment enables products to be delivered to the desired location. Below is the list of benefits that D2C brands experience by collaborating with a fulfillment partner: Enhanced Customer Satisfaction DSC Fulfillment companies devote their efforts to providing quick and efficient order fulfillment services. Working with a fulfillment company provides you with skilled staff and warehouse management systems. Your orders will be expertly packed and shipped, resulting in increased customer satisfaction. Obtaining Valuable Business Expertise  Companies need to value insights offered by their D2C fulfillment partners to be successful. When you find the perfect fulfillment partner and build a strong working relationship, the fulfillment company can be critical to the growth of your business. Furthermore, your partner is a valuable resource for queries about inventory planning, packaging, shipping, and other fulfillment-related topics. Adaptable Warehouse Space  Expansion and growth are crucial for any eCommerce company. However, the sudden increment in demand and supply may force you to scramble for additional warehouse space and fulfillment capacity. When you work with a direct-to-consumer fulfillment company, especially one that uses a variable cost model for the fulfillment, you can quickly and easily scale up or down your fulfillment requirements, based on demand. Differentiation From the Competition In today's competitive market, it is nearly impossible for D2C brands to differentiate themselves just based on pricing or product offerings. However, by focusing on providing a stellar customer experience during the fulfillment process, your brand can differentiate itself from the competition and establish a much stronger emotional bond with its customers. Increasing the Value of Your Offerings Every touchpoint in the order fulfillment process, especially the moment of delivery, must be streamlined if you want to be perceived as a premium service. It is much easier to justify high-end pricing when buyers believe they're getting an exclusive experience. According to a study, more than 75% of customers are willing to spend more at a company that provides a superior customer experience. Increasing Your Scalability The most difficult aspect of D2C fulfillment is scalability. Order fulfillment services are a fantastic way for brands to improve customer experiences, but they also pose one of the biggest obstacles in 2C fulfillment, because eCommerce shipping firms with a high volume of orders face unique challenges. D2C brands have a big edge over traditional stores through their ability to manage the entire consumer experience.  Improving Customer Service  It is often simpler to keep customers than it is to find new ones. Most order fulfillment companies offer phone or email support 24 hours a day, seven days a week, allowing for simple returns and exchanges. A D2C fulfillment partner can also provide you with assured delivery dates or same-day delivery services. It helps to improve the overall customer experience. Minimizing Operating Costs It is expensive to ship your packages, hire employees, buy packaging supplies, sustain quality control, and rent space. You can avoid these overhead costs by partnering with a D2C fulfillment company and sharing resources and space with other sellers. In short, 3PL fulfillment services will minimize your operating costs by outsourcing fulfillment for D2C businesses where you wouldn't hire or supervise any staff or worry about fulfillment logistics. Reducing Shipping Costs Many people will ignore outsourcing fulfillment requirements because they perceive it as an additional cost. However, D2C fulfillment service companies can save you money in various areas, including shipping costs. To begin with, a direct to consumer fulfillment partners may have fulfillment centers and shipping partners located throughout the country and even abroad. They ensure that your goods are closer to your buyers by balancing your inventory across this vast network of fulfillment centers.  Accelerating Delivery Speed The impact of being able to access numerous warehouses scattered across the country extends to reduced shipping times. Outsourcing fulfillment lets you deliver faster by locating inventory closer to your buyers. It is a huge benefit for retail businesses. Most consumers expect their purchases to arrive in two days or less. You may need a strong D2C fulfillment partner to meet those high demands and compete with the country's largest chain retailers. What are the Key Services Offered by D2C Fulfillment Companies? Inbound Logistics  Products are delivered in bulk to the warehouse, and inventoried, according to their demand, expiry date, and other metrics. Warehousing  Storing inventory is mandatory to deliver them securely to your customers. Your products are stored at the fulfillment center until they are shipped to the consumer. Inventory Management Once you have stored your inventory in a D2C fulfillment provider's warehouse, they will manage it for you. They will monitor and maintain optimal inventory levels to avoid understocking and overstocking.  Distribution Centers or Direct to Consumer Fulfillment Centers  D2C Fulfillment companies will offer distribution center services where the required goods will shift from the warehouse to these distribution centers to initiate the delivery process to the end customers. Packing and Moving  Sending orders in generic, lifeless brown boxes creates an unpleasant and impersonal client experience. The D2C fulfillment partner takes care of this by efficiently packing the orders securely with premium materials and attractive designs so that they can be shipped as soon as possible. Last-Mile Delivery Customers prefer to have their orders delivered to their homes rather than shopping in large crowds and queuing for payment, particularly during the pandemic. As a result, this requirement forces online retailers to invest in last-mile delivery management software to manage their last-mile delivery services, which are provided by d2c fulfillment partners. Returns and Outbound Logistics  Returns, also known as reverse logistics, are an essential component of direct-to-consumer fulfillment. Shippers and carriers pick up packages from the warehouse and deliver them to customers. Setting up an efficient returns process for your customers will increase your sales and reduce wastage. Route Planning and Optimization  Evaluating the most cost-effective route and mitigating any roadblocks and delays is known as route planning. It is more difficult than simply determining the shortest path between two points. D2C fulfillment companies also offer this effective service. Tracking Solutions  Customers who shop online expect real-time updates on the status of their orders. D2C fulfillment partners invest in cutting-edge technology to provide tracking solutions. It assists in ensuring efficient order mapping and timely communication with customers via fulfillment statuses. Centralized Delivery Planning  Fulfillment companies put a lot of focus on providing centralized delivery planning. Centralized delivery planning entails making decisions holistically at a higher level rather than independently at the local level. Automation  Automation eradicates the need for manual data entry, resulting in a more streamlined order fulfillment process that can process higher volumes of orders with fewer people involved. Four Different Ways of Fulfilling Direct-to-Consumer orders There are various ways to fulfill the demands of the D2C brands, and here is a list of  the 4 most prominent solutions: In-House Fulfillment In-house order fulfillment, also known as self-fulfillment, occurs when a merchant completes all the steps of the fulfillment process internally without the assistance of a drop shipper or fulfillment company. At this stage, in-house fulfillment typically consumes a significant amount of valuable time that could be spent on obtaining more customers, developing new products, and launching marketing campaigns. Both warehouse space and warehouse management are required for in-house fulfillment. Fulfillment Through an External Partner Fulfillment through an external partner is when a third-party order fulfillment company handles the shipping, storing, and order or refund processing. Employees of the fulfillment company will take on the entire fulfillment process, from receiving inventory from manufacturers to delivering products to the end customer. Inventory is stored in a 3PL-controlled warehouse, which means that companies that use outsourced fulfillment do not need to invest in their warehouse facilities. Companies that do not have enough storage space or personnel may opt for this option. Independent 3PL Fulfillment Third-party fulfillment companies are experts in direct-to-consumer fulfillment. When you work with a 3PL, you have complete control over the entire process. You can select which 3PL warehouse locations you should use for storage and shipments. Your products can be shipped in your own brands' packaging, and your 3PL can add package inserts to customize and personalize the customer experience. Furthermore, fulfillment centers also provide various services to assist you in growing your business.  Hybrid Model A hybrid fulfillment model is used by a company that uses a combination of the above order fulfillment options. A company, for example, may process some orders in-house, such as specially made items or easily perishable goods. Some businesses use drop-shipping for infrequently purchased items or that they would not want to store in-house, such as huge or expensive items. It is ideal for businesses requiring more flexibility or experiencing rapid growth. Factors to Consider when choosing a D2C Fulfillment Service You cannot randomly choose a D2C fulfillment service for your business, and the wrong choice may bring a poor reputation and significant losses to your brand image. There are a few factors that you should consider when choosing a D2C fulfillment service, and these are listed below: Price Hard-earned money is extremely, especially for a budding eCommerce retailer., As a business owner, you need to think about your requirements and available budget while choosing a D2C fulfillment service. Fulfillment services are a huge process for your business, and it is necessary to enquire about charges for various services. Try to compare the prices of 2 to 3 companies and pick the more reasonable and cost-effective option. It is not a good idea to opt for the cheapest service which may not be professional. Operational Network Apart from price, you need to consider various other things, including investigating their shipping network. If you plan on expanding your business operations, you would need a fulfillment company that already provides services in locations that you would want to expand to. Flexibility and Location Customers have grown accustomed to same-day delivery as even more eCommerce businesses strive to reduce the time between ordering and receipt of the product. When choosing a fulfillment service, the goal is to ensure that the products arrive at their destination as soon as possible and their services are flexible. The shorter the required time for delivery, the happier your customers will be. As a result, location is important when selecting a provider for your company, and don't forget to consider their flexibility. Inventory Management and Daily Reporting The next essential factor to consider is their inventory management and daily reporting services. Details about inventory levels are necessary for your business, and it is the D2C fulfillment provider's responsibility to analyze and report them daily. Look for a fulfillment provider who handles inventory management and provides regular and accurate reporting on your inventory levels to save time. It allows you to easily manage your stock levels and ensure a smooth order flow. Quality of Fulfillment Quality of fulfillment is an unavoidable factor to consider when selecting a fulfillment service provider for your business. There is a study that shows after having a bad delivery experience, 72.7% of poll participants claimed they are inclined to stop shopping at an online store. They expect to have a smooth delivery, customer support, and return options, which are not possible in self-fulfillment. Check the quality of the D2C fulfillment service by enquiring about previous client encounters, quality control procedures, etc., and choose the provider once you feel satisfied with their quality control levels. Existing Client Base The final factor to consider by you for choosing a fulfillment service provider is their existing client base. Knowledge about the experience that previous and current customers of the fulfillment company can equip you with all the tools that you need to determine if they are the right fit for your requirements. Why Should You Choose WareIQ as a D2C Fulfillment Partner? Delivering the orders to your customers directly without intermediaries is not an easy task without the help of a fulfillment service. If you want your D2C brand to shine better in this competitive world, hire the best fulfillment service company after considering the factors involved in developing your business. D2C trends in 2022 are peaking. Check every detail listed above, such as the process involved and the benefits of hiring the fulfillment service company. WareIQ stands apart from the rest as one of the best D2C fulfillment partners for businesses of every size and domain.  WareIQ, a Y-combinator-backed startup, has rapidly grown to be the leading full-stack eCommerce fulfillment company for some of the most reputed brands in India. WareIQ offers a full-stack platform for eCommerce companies to enable same-day delivery and next-day delivery to customers – an Amazon Prime-like experience but accessible to everyone. WareIQ has customized offerings for merchants experiencing different order volumes as well as having different delivery speed expectations. WareIQ is probably one of the very few fulfillment tech companies in the world that have same-day delivery service for their customers under their product “WareIQ RUSH”. WareIQ’s next-day delivery and same-day delivery services are helping eCommerce businesses set new standards concerning setting customer expectations and fulfilling them with high efficacy. At the same time, WareIQ customers realize significant cost savings and wider reach due to better negotiations with shipping partners, strategically placed warehouses, economies of scale and scope in eCommerce warehousing, and data-driven decision making. [signup] Direct to Consumer Fulfillment FAQS What is D2C Fulfillment (direct-to-consumer)?DTC (direct to consumer) is a way of marketing items directly to customers. The intermediary is either totally or partially removed from the sales process when using DTC. Suppliers offer their items directly to clients, with no merchants or wholesalers involved. Why are D2C Fulfillment products becoming more popular?D2C Market is the new Retail Market. Some of the important factors that lead to D2C brand growth are lowering the prices of products, focusing on customer-related policies, quality assurance, consumer engagement, supplying products on demand What are the core benefits of D2C Branding?D2C Fulfillment companies have more data at their disposal to help them better understand what their customers want and why. The D2C business model gives brands more control over the brand image. D2C Brands can form direct relationships with their customers, and on-demand delivery which increases the quality of sales. How does D2C Fulfillment contribute to the supply chain network?Products are normally stored in a central site or a few satellite locations in a D2C firm. D2C businesses deliver things in packages directly to customers. As a result, shipping and handling is an important aspect of the supply chain. Why do customers like the D2C business delivery model?D2C businesses provide the most streamlined, convenient, and easy buying option, making them an appealing alternative to visiting a physical location.D2C is the new trend, more than 80% of active buyers consider buying online, and then the product is made available to buy through the d2c business model. What is the difference between B2C and D2C?The main difference in B2C and D2C business models is that D2C companies sell their product directly to their customers via outlet or website without any middleman or wholesaler or retailer. On the other side B2C businesses sell their products to end consumers through any sales channel. What is the reason that D2C brands fail?When properly marketed, D2C brands can generate massive demand, but without a logistics partner in place, they would struggle to make a profit. Major reason being, D2C brands not having the time or resources to set-up new warehouses or hire staff/labor to fulfill a high volume of orders. Does WareIQ offer D2C fulfillment?Yes, WareIQ provides direct to consumer fulfillment service. WareIQ stands apart from the rest as one of the best D2C fulfillment partners for businesses of every size and domain. Is D2C the same as eCommerce?Depending on the products sold on its platform, an eCommerce website may or may not be a D2C business. For instance, Flipkart is not a D2C eCommerce website on the other hand KamaAyurveda’s own website is D2C.

May 09, 2022

What is Pick and Pack Fulfillment Service? A Detailed Guide on Warehouse Processes in 2022

What is Pick and Pack Fulfillment Service? A Detailed Guide on Warehouse Processes in 2022

It is a known fact that selling is not an easy task and when it comes to online selling, retailers need to make a lot of efforts to sell a product. You could create a website or go on multiple channels, list products, take care of door-step delivery, and a lot more. Among all the selling processes, order fulfillment is one of the most important tasks after a buyer places an order.  Receiving and sending orders entails a complicated set of interconnected procedures known as Order Fulfillment. In the process of fulfilling an order, storage, picking, packing, distribution and receipt of the product by the customer are the important stages. Pick and pack fulfillment services are one of the earliest and most crucial stages in order fulfillment. It not only guarantees that the product can be sold to the buyer’s preferred location but is also useful in branding, marketing, and tracking the product. This article will introduce you to the principles of pick and pack fulfillment as well as show you how to handle picking and packing. What is Pick and Pack Fulfillment Service? An online seller, after receiving an order on their website or another channel, sends an order confirmation message to the customer and then initiates order fulfillment. In the order fulfillment process, pick and pack warehouse fulfillment is the earliest process that a seller initiates. As the name pick, pack and ship fulfillment suggests, it is the process where ordered products are picked and packed, following a standardised process.  In a fulfillment-providing company, the supply chain must be streamlined with picking and packing fulfillment to reduce logistics costs.  Picking is choosing the appropriate product from storage, in the least amount of time, after an order has been placed. Dedicated companies that provide picking and packing fulfillment, have a sophisticated way of doing it. It is further classified into piece picking, batch picking, zone picking, and wave picking. Packing is placing the things in the correct sized box with the proper packaging materials to ensure that they arrive at their final destination unharmed and at the lowest possible cost. Packing should involve efficiently placing orders within the fewest number of boxes and use the right type of packing material(s) for each product to reduce shipping costs and maintain order accuracy. Many warehouses include a warehouse management system (WMS) that can assist in determining which box is the best fit for the order at hand. [contactus_lilgoodness] What are the Methods of Pick and Pack Fulfillment Service? Methods of pick and pack fulfillment may vary depending on the size, location, tie-ups with fulfillment centers, registration on different selling platforms, etc. A seller can change the picking and packing styles as per business requirements. Here are the standard pick and pack logistics fulfillment methods that most companies do to fulfilling orders. Piece picking method In this method, a single product is picked and sent for packing and further processes. The retailer’s pick and pack fulfillment partner picks the order from the seller's shop, warehouse or fulfillment center shelves and initiates the order fulfillment process. Mostly piece picking is done by small businesses, luxury or heavy product sellers. For them, piece picking is the easiest pick and pack logistics method. Batch picking method The batch picking method is an organized way of consolidating numerous orders to deliver to different locations. It is done, once a seller receives orders in large numbers. The orders are picked up in batches according to the pick-up location of the fulfillment center and the location of the customer. You can have a single SKU for several orders, it makes sense to bundle those orders together which will save time and resources. It is also done by small retailers, once they get a good amount of orders. Zone picking method In this method, objects are picked up zone-wise and later transferred to another zone till it is delivered. It requires a strong fulfillment network, complex coordination, and technology to achieve the most accurate results by the fulfillment center. Zone picking will need a good pick and pack Warehouse Management Software to handle and automate all the complex processes involved. Wave picking method It is a combination of batch picking and waves picking methods. Here, a person arranges the batches of products according to their zonal movement. Then they transfer the batches to the respected delivery personnel in different zones. These days, most of the good fulfillment centers are doing the same. It saves time, energy, and cost.  What are the Benefits of Pick and Pack Fulfillment Service for eCommerce Businesses? Suppose you are an eCommerce seller and do multi-channel selling, you get orders across the nation, and you can fulfill hundreds of orders in a single day. While focusing on your core work of selling, you will have to take up a new responsibility of pick and pack fulfillment and also keeping track of hundreds of orders. You will need dedicated resources and capital for it. You might not be able to solve disputes across the country, so this is where pick and pack warehouse fulfillment companies can help. They will store your inventory in their fulfillment centers. From the fulfillment centers, they will pick, pack and transport it to a shopping aggregator or courier service provider , which will then distribute it to the final location. In case you are a small seller, you can focus on the core aspects of your business such as expansion, marketing, development of new products and refining existing ones, instead of spending time and resources fulfilling orders miles away from your shop or godown.  The benefits of pick and pack fulfillment through pick, pack and ship services are listed below: Fulfillment of orders 24x7: A seller through online selling sells 24x7 so they should also have access to pick, pack and ship services fulfillment 24x7 for faster delivery and customer satisfaction. Pick, pack and ship services receive, pick, and pack items around the clock. Access to branded packing: Most fulfillment companies provide branded packing services that help you with customized packing. It saves you the cost of packaging and transportation and also the hassle of trying to make your packaging appealing to attract more customers. Transportation to the best courier service: To make pick and pack ecommerce fulfillment a better experience for both the seller and their customers, these pick, pack and ship services drop off the ordered items to the best logistics providers and courier services in a certain delivery area. They have enough experience to know who offers better delivery service in that area/city/state/region where orders need to be shipped. Customized pick and pack fulfillment methods: Orders are picked and packed after analyzing and bifurcating the ordered items according to their demand and estimated delivery time. They use the wave picking method in which they save cost, time, and energy. Professional fulfillment staff: These pick and pack fulfillment companies are professionals in the field of pick, pack and ship services and order fulfillment. They have a number of solutions for any mishap that could occur and contacts to resolve them in the shortest amount of time possible and at the cheapest rates. WareIQ's Reverse Logistics Enhanced reverse logistics: After selling the product, companies need to have a comprehensive reverse logistics service in place in order to combat any wastage that could occur. Pick and pack fulfillment services take care of the entire reverse logistics process.  Why should you choose a 3rd-Party Pick and Pack Fulfillment Service? In the era, where multiple unicorn start-ups are mostly outsourcing resources, there is a huge demand for pick, pack and ship services. Oyo outsources rooms, Ola outsources cars, etc. So the idea here is to not get stuck in micro-management and distract from the core task. Some services which you are able to outsource to pick and pack logistics fulfillment companies are: Branded Shipping Branded shipping is the shipping of a product by a seller to the buyer’s address which includes packing, packaging slips & shipping labels, sending order confirmation messages with tracking details, highlighting product presentations and adding various personalized touches. It is an opportunity to brand your business which can be done by an expert to reiterate the proper message to the target MQLs that may become SQLs in the future. WareIQ Branded Tracking Technology and automation Pick and pack businesses use cutting-edge technology and have well-trained service teams to provide high-quality, professional pick and pack fulfillment services among much more. Most pick, pack and ship services provide access to an online management system that allows you to monitor, authorize, and cancel purchases that are submitted by your company at any time. Order fulfillment Pick and pack fulfillment service providers are experts and equipped with high-tech devices, and software to mitigate any errors in the order fulfillment process. They pick items in batches, according to various metrics which make it more accurate when transferring goods from one place to another. They also use dedicated vehicles customized according to the product size, area of delivery, freight charges, and much more. Multi-channel selling If you are a multi-channel eCommerce seller, choosing a pick and pack fulfillment partner is beneficial from your business’s point of view. They provide multiple options to you such as custom picking and packing where all the sales done on multiple platforms can be fulfilled from the same location and packed in a customized manner according to the requirements of the channel. Streamlining processes Because a pick and pack fulfillment company’s major duty is to execute the supply chain in the most efficient and cost-effective way possible, there are fewer distractions for them and their employees, as well as other obligations that get in the way. When organizations have to manage major processes themselves, it isn't usually the case because individuals are continually pushed in different directions. The supply chain can be reconfigured considerably more readily if required. Pick, pack and ship services are knowledgeable about the most recent technologies and procedures, as well as the full process from start to finish. This is especially useful if there are any problems or unexpected events along the way. A 3PL pick and pack fulfillment service can put your mind at ease if you're unsure about the capabilities or requirements of your business. Assistance and scalability Scalability refers to a company's ability to handle increasing workloads and the potential for expansion. The capacity to alter space and labor based on inventory and products is another advantage of employing a 3PL fulfillment company. Many pick and pack logistics companies have deliberately established facilities throughout the country to ensure efficiency and nationwide delivery at low prices that enable higher profit margins. This can lead to a re-engineering of distribution markets, which might be a blessing in disguise during periods of rapid expansion. Reverse logistics Pick and pack fulfillment cannot be completed without a return policy. Pick, pack and ship services are done by dedicated fulfillment companies. In case of a return, they will have to perform all the similar steps in the regular supply chain, but in reverse. If a bad delivery is a bad experience for a buyer then a bad return is similar for a seller. What are the Main Points to Consider while Choosing a Pick and Pack Fulfillment Service in 2022? Hidden Fees & Additional Costs You are in a business so you have to record the expenses. Before you choose a fulfillment partner for order fulfillment, you should know all their terms and conditions. Read twice about the minimum fee, storage costs, and pallet fees are all possible fees. Inquire about fees and compare them. Also, keep an eye on any hidden costs. Knowledge About Your Pick and Pack Fulfillment Partner Visit the warehouse of your potential pick and pack fulfillment service if at all feasible, or at least contact prior and current clients to learn more about the company. Pay attention to your encounters with them; the way they respond to you will most likely be similar to how they respond to your clients after you start working with them. Also, request a demonstration of any systems that will be used. Before committing, it's a good idea to thoroughly understand their skills. Contract Duration  Check their terms and conditions regarding the duration of the contract they are offering. If you want a long-term contract then how long they can offer a partnership contract with you would be important and in case you do not feel like continuing with them then how easily can you discontinue the contract is just as important.  Prior Track Record  Always check online for any positive or negative evaluations of your potential pick and pack fulfillment service. It is always a good idea to get a sense of how other vendors and customers feel about a firm before committing. Check how long they have been in business and other metrics such as prior mishaps and how they were handled by the company. Handling of Bad Situations A business is always accountable. Before going ahead with a pick and pack fulfillment company, it is important to know what the company's procedure is if your product gets misplaced, whether they keep track of damaged goods and how often they count them. There should be full transparency between you and your pick, pack and ship fulfillment service.  Software and Technology Check to see if your potential pick and pack fulfillment service has a reliable warehouse management system (WMS), if they can link to your sales channels to automatically retrieve orders, and can provide real-time data. It should all be automated by technology and all the information about your products in the warehouse or the process of fulfillment should be at your fingertips. It will help you to be answerable to your customers directly. Conclusion: Should You Outsource Your Pick and Pack Fulfillment Service Needs? When you grow as a business, you start delegating the work to your manager, supervisors, and other employees. You hire experts with years of experience in certain fields, so similarly, you should do the same with your company’s requirements. You need to choose a cost-effect pick and pack fulfillment company for all your ecommerce shipping and ecommerce warehousing needs. They provide adaptable solutions for organizations of all sizes. If your firm is short on space, manpower, or time-related resources, a pick and pack fulfillment company can relieve tension while also saving you time and money, all of which affect your bottom line. Examine your alternatives and select the one that best suits your company.  WareIQ has emerged as one of the trusted Order Fulfillment companies equipped with all the resources in pick, pack and ship services, warehousing, logistics and much more. Established in 2019, WareIQ, a Y-combinator backed startup, has rapidly grown to be the leading full-stack eCommerce fulfillment company for some of the most reputed brands in India. WareIQ offers a full-stack platform for eCommerce companies to enable same-day delivery and next day delivery to customers – an Amazon Prime-like experience but accessible to everyone. WareIQ manages the entire range of complex operations in the eCommerce fulfillment process, such as inbound functions like scanning and quality check, 100% accurate Pick and Pack, and inventory management across all channels, with a centralized platform for core fulfillment and shipping operations and post-shipping apps for a delightful experience and zero to minimal supply chain leakages. WareIQ has empowered brands to sell more, sell faster & sell everywhere due to: Access to WareIQ’s strong nationwide network of fulfilment centres, micro-fulfillment centers & urban dark stores near their customersAccess to all major national & hyperlocal last-mile courier services at discounted rates for making same/next day deliveries possibleEasy integration across multiple online platforms & marketplaces enhancing multi-channel sellingHorizontal marketplaces: Flipkart, Amazon etc.Vertical marketplaces: Nykaa, Myntra etc.D2C platforms: Shopify, Magento, WooCommerce etc.Social commerce platforms: BikayiAccess to a superior centralised tech platform for eCommerce operationsML-based prediction engine for efficient warehouse network design & smart inventory placementCentralised platform for core fulfilment & shipping operationsPost-shipping apps for delightful experience & zero to minimum supply chain leakages (Branded tracking page with smart marketing placements; Trigger-based updates & smart communication platform) WareIQ has customised offerings for merchants experiencing different order volumes as well as having different delivery speed expectations. WareIQ is probably one of the very few fulfillment tech companies in the world that have same-day delivery service for their customers under their product “WareIQ RUSH”. With world-class WMS functionalities, WareIQ handles the entire range of intricate operations in the eCommerce fulfillment process, ranging from Inbound Operations such as scanning and quality check, through 100% accurate Pick and Pack, to Inventory Management across all channels. At the same time, WareIQ customers realise significant cost savings and wider reach due to better negotiations with shipping partners, strategically placed warehouses, economies of scale and scope in warehousing and data-driven decision making. WareIQ’s WMS, a centralised tech platform helps to better manage undelivered orders by reducing NDR processing time by 12 hours – a multifunctional NDR dashboard helps to track and take immediate action for undelivered orders in real-time, thereby reducing RTO by up to 10%. Automatic replenishment recommendations and easy purchase order creation capabilities on the WareIQ platform further empower eCommerce companies to leverage all possible ways of increasing their ROI. [signup] Pick and Pack Service FAQs (Frequently Asked Question) What is the meaning of a pick and pack service?In the order fulfillment process, pick and pack is an important stage. All items in a customer's order are first picked (collected) from their respective storage locations. Following that, the things are packed (packaged) and are then ready to be shipped  to the consumer. How do you define pick and pack warehouse?Warehouses have inventory stored that will be picked and packed as soon as an order is placed. What is the meaning of pick and pack fee?The fee associated with picking a piece of inventory out from a warehouse and packing it for shipment is called a pick and pack fee. What other services WareIQ offers?Apart from picking & packing products in WareIQ’s fulfillment centers, WareIQ offers full stack fulfillment services to ecommerce businesses, starting from cold storage facilities, customised packaging, access to tech platform with easy integrations with 20+online marketplaces & platforms, ML based inventory forecasting, analytics, order tracking, shipping & last mile delivery, post shipping apps like RTO insurance, weight lock, customer feedback, branded tracking etc. What is the meaning of pick in fulfillment?The process of selecting a specified amount of inventory from a fulfillment center and preparing it to fulfill an order placed by a single end customer is known as order picking. In shipping, what does pack mean?Before the product is labeled and dispatched to the end consumer, the items are packed i.e. items are placed into the proper box, together with the packing materials and documentation. What is the difference between picking, packaging, and shipping?Pick, pack, and ship is the process of selecting the appropriate item, selecting the appropriate box and packing supplies, and shipping it to the consumer. It may appear easy, but there is a complex system in place to ensure that your item arrives on time and in perfect condition.

May 07, 2022

What is eCommerce Logistics & How does it Work? Know 10 Latest Trends in 2022

What is eCommerce Logistics & How does it Work? Know 10 Latest Trends in 2022

A change in consumer mindset encourages evolution in the way eCommerce retailers plan on serving them. Two years ago, what began as a force majeure became a habit, where customers were able to receive everything that they could possibly think of, right at their doorstep. The answer is vast as to what is logistics for eCommerce. The eCommerce industry’s heavy reliance on a solid supply chain backbone has triggered a revolution in the logistics industry. But what is eCommerce logistics and what are the factors that it encompasses? Let’s take a look. What is eCommerce Logistics? eCommerce Logistics is the complete supply chain process undertaken by an eCommerce company to get their products from the seller or warehouse to the customers and back via reverse logistics if needed. All the proper systems and processes need to be in place for the millions of packages being shipped across the country, to multiple different locations, daily. eCommerce logistics begins with moving inventory from the origin point and ends at the customer's destination, once they take ownership of their order. [contactus_uth] What are the Processes Involved in eCommerce Logistics? As mentioned above, eCommerce logistics refers to the entire series of processes, from receiving an online order to the safe delivery of the package to the customer by the estimated date and time. The processes involved in eCommerce Logistics are listed below: Inventory Management: This process is highly critical to keeping regular track of inventory. While stacking products in the warehouse or fulfillment center, warehouse management should occur where the high-demand products must be kept handy or easily reachable, followed by the goods where their accessibility is in proportion to their demand. Ecommerce Logistics companies need to put in measures to ensure the safety and security of the inventory in their warehouses or storage spaces. Order Preparation: The next step is to gather the inventory and prepare the final order per the customer’s request. The next step is packaging and labelling. Products are packaged in a single SKU or a kit with several SKUs before being labelled as per their batches and destinations. Many companies have adopted eco-friendly packaging and labelling to lure more aware customers. Suggested Read: What are Shipping Labels? Shipping Processes: Safe and timely delivery of orders is critical to the overall customer experience. This involves updating the customer regularly with the whereabouts of their package and ensuring that there are no errors or delays while shipping or transporting the product to their location. Returns Management: Around one-third of all products bought online are returned to eCommerce companies. The reverse logistics process comes into play when the customer or delivery agent triggers the return request. However, brick-and-mortar stores experience lower returns than online retail as the customers get the look and feel of the product before buying. However, both models employ a different set of logistical procedures to reach the final goal. How Does eCommerce Logistics Differ from Brick and Mortar Logistics?  [table id=15 /] How to Choose the Right Type of eCommerce Logistics for Your Business? Know Your Requirements An eCommerce business has many requirements for which they need to hire an eCommerce logistics partner. However, shortlisting a 3PL logistics company for eCommerce, the retailer should have an understanding of their own requirements, the services that companies offer that they seek to partner with, and their available budget. An eCommerce company can ascertain which eCommerce logistics company would be the best fit for them through the following points: Customer demand per day: This refers to how many orders the retailer receives in a day and how much they expect to receive in the future.Product categorization: Grouping products into different categories helps companies better understand their eCommerce shipping requirements. For instance, perishable products require time and temperature-sensitive eCommerce logistics, while glassware demands fragile-safe transportation.Technological requirements: It is important to understand what technological services you require for daily operations and which companies provide those services. Staff Requirements: This is determined by the amount of demand and what would be the maximum and minimum operational load.Speed of Order Fulfillment: This depends on the number of orders that need to be fulfilled per day and which parts of the country those orders need to travel to.Storage Space needed: It is important for businesses to understand the scale of their operations and how much storage space they would need for available, unsold inventory. Find Suitable Partners After assessing all the requirements that are needed in different areas, eCommerce retailers can scout for eCommerce logistics companies that offer the same services. It is important to weigh your options as per the following criteria to find the best eCommerce logistics partner: Customer Service and Customisation: All businesses live to serve their customers. If the customer is dissatisfied, it affects sales and, in turn, the company’s growth. Online retailers need to check if the logistics partner can provide decent customer service, what their success rate is, and whether their services can be customised as per the customer and the product that the business caters to. Performance History: The performance of these companies influences the operations of an online retailer. Therefore the eCommerce business must collect all the relevant information on their past performance to analyse their track record, and identify certain failures and how they were addressed. same-day or next-day deliveries have become the norm these days, and the logistics company for eCommerce must be able to provide these services. If the eCommerce business has certain demands, the eCommerce logistics partner must keep a provision for exceptional distribution timelines like 10-minute deliveries without affecting the service quality. Omnichannel Presence: With severe competition coupled with rising customer expectations, it has become essential for businesses to employ multiple channels for order fulfillment. Before onboarding an eCommerce logistics provider, the business must ascertain if the 3PL company has an omnichannel presence to be able to reach as many customers as possible. Besides distribution, the partner should also provide multiple channels to ensure seamless communication and data flow between the two organisations. Technological Capability: This drives business operations productively. There are many tools utilised by 3PL eCommerce logistics providers such as a Warehouse Management System (WMS), platforms to fulfill and track orders, inventory and distribution management, and any other cloud-based tech that empowers a business’ supply chain. Having a good onboard tech platform improves efficacy and productivity, leading to fewer errors and higher performance. Their system should also be able to integrate with other fulfillment services to enable seamless transfer of data and insights between multiple platforms, smooth order fulfillment and customer service. Financial Strength: Without a solid financial backbone, no company can thrive. If an eCommerce logistics partner is monetarily weak, it can take down the eCommerce business’ supply chain, thus affecting the latter’s market image. Therefore, every company must thoroughly check the 3PL provider’s financial books before sealing the deal. The logistics provider for eCommerce must also be able to survive all kinds of business disruptions with stable financial backing. Having good relations with banks and financial institutions proves helpful in many different situations. If the logistics provider assures them of such support, they could be the ideal business partner. Scalability: The eCommerce logistics provider should have an expandable business model that inflates as the eCommerce business grows its reach. The logistics provider should be able to adapt to the growing demand and expansion of the retailer they have partnered with. Geographical Reach: Today, eCommerce businesses thrive on their reachability of tier 2, 3, 4, and lower towns and villages. The deeper and quicker their reachability, the more orders they can receive and fulfill, thus securing a better customer satisfaction ratio and obtaining access to new customers in different regions of the country. Overall Cost: The overall package deal offered by the eCommerce logistics provider is very important to observe. Your company should be able to afford them, with all the services they offer, rather than paying less for a company that does not offer important services. Companies need to strike the right balance between services and cost. Top 10 Latest Trends in eCommerce Logistics in 2022 eCommerce WarehousingInventory ManagementOrder Packaging & LabellingOrder ShippingWeight LockingOrder TrackingLast-Mile DeliveryFast ShippingSame Day & Next Day DeliveryeCommerce returns (RTO) and Reverse Logistics eCommerce Warehousing This practice is focused on storing inventory and products for the daily operations of an eCommerce business. eCommerce warehouses are storage spaces dedicated to operating an online retail business. An eCommerce business needs to ensure that it operates and sets up storage closer to its customer hubs to reduce the time and expense of transporting goods. Partners like WareIQ help store the inventory closer to areas of high customer demand, thus enabling businesses to offer shortened delivery timelines. Inventory Management Many new trends in inventory management have emerged in light of the pandemic and other disruptions like the Ukraine-Russia war. A few such developments are the Just-in-Case method of managing inventory and the extensive automation of the supply chain. Simply termed as just-in-time inventory management. Just-in-Time meant procuring the inventory as and when the demand arises. The Just-in-Case method pushes businesses to procure excess inventory to avoid hassles in case of a contingency like a lockdown or an interruption due to war. This inventory management trend has seen an upsurge in the past few months by eCommerce companies wary of being unable to meet the existing or increased customer demand due to unforeseen contingencies. The shortage of workforce and other interruptions have pushed companies to look for measures that can support and maintain the speed and efficiency of the supply chain. Automating important processes is one such method. Advanced tech like AI and Machine Learning are driving the evolution of eCommerce logistics management systems like WareIQ. These tools enable real-time tracking of inventory nationwide which has pushed the efficacy levels higher, especially in the case of cross-country shipping. Order Packaging & Labelling Sustainability is not the only trend catching up with eCommerce packaging; the minimalistic design is also gaining mileage. Besides eco-friendly packaging material, companies prefer labels and designs with minimal amounts of text and designs. (All that is covered under custom packaging for ecommerce). This trend has taken the ‘Less is more opinion to the next level. For example, Apple’s plain white boxes usually outshine other manufacturers. Sending the orders in generic, uninspiring brown boxes will create an unwelcoming and impersonal client experience. Instead, choosing an eCommerce logistics firm that provides branded packaging services can help companies create a brand and raise the visibility of their business. Besides just visual appeal, companies are also using packaging to communicate with customers. Adequate packaging needs three layers. When orders get punched, there's a label printed and stuck on another two layers of packaging and then dispatched. eCommerce logistics companies provide a wide variety of packaging strategies. For instance, bubble foil, padded paper and plastic emailer bags help to prevent the damage of goods during transportation. Order Shipping Shipping the order to the customer safely and on time has always been the priority for eCommerce businesses. But they can never ignore the affordability of the shipping charges. While companies have been tying up with eCommerce logistics providers for decades now, the pandemic has proved that loyalty is overrated. It has changed the priority from allegiance to cost and benefits. There has been an upsurge in the spot pricing market for shipping, wherein companies shy away from long term contracts and focus on getting the best price for their shipping right now. Another trend that is catching up is the need for business intelligence behind every shipment. Advanced tech backs every order from the origin to the customer and back. Weight Locking This is a great trick to avoid product weight discrepancies in order shipping services. When the eCommerce logistics partner picks up the order from the business’ warehouse, it weighs and measures the dimensions again before pushing the parcel out to the customer. Unfortunately, many times, there happen to be differences in the weight of the package due to unavoidable variations in weighing machines. There are a few useful hacks to ensure that this doesn’t happen: Calculate the Volumetric Weight of the shipment. This is done by multiplying the product of package dimensions in centimeters by 5000 (which may vary as per the carrier). The resulting weight will remain the same globally. For odd-sized packages, automating the weighing system helps avoid discrepancies in a manual cubic calculation.Associate with a supportive eCommerce logistics partner who resolves such discrepancies in a timely and effective manner.Click pictures while weighing the package which helps as an application of proof in case of a dispute Order Tracking Online retail customers want real-time information on the whereabouts of their shipments. Therefore, companies invest in advanced tech like superior order management systems to ensure effective mapping of the orders and timely communication with the customer through fulfillment statuses. Last-Mile Delivery It needs to offer sustainability, timeliness, safety, flexibility, real-time updates and much more. These criteria define a significant share of a customer’s experience with an eCommerce retailer. And the statistics say that it is an essential part of customer engagement. Moreover, peak season shipping has become a perennial trend. Customers prefer to receive their orders at home than shopping amongst huge crowds and queuing up for payments, especially during the pandemic. As a result, they push online retailers to invest heavily in last-mile delivery management software to manage last-mile deliveries and recruit and retain the right personnel. Fast Shipping No words can stress the significance of fast shipping. Customer expectations have crossed all boundaries, pushing eCommerce companies to strive toward delivering orders within ten minutes. This scenario is in the process of making next-day delivery obsolete. This requirement has pioneered the invention of dark stores across the nation to cater to the growing demand for superfast supplies. One can only imagine how much faster it can possibly get. Same Day & Next Day Delivery Many eCommerce companies now focus on speedy deliveries so that customers get guaranteed next day or even same-day delivery.  Quick commerce is the next generation of online delivery systems which enables the delivery of items within a concise time bracket of one or two days, or less than 10 minutes for some business models. As a convenience, delivery speed and efficiency continue to define customer experience. eCommerce returns (RTO) and Reverse Logistics An unsatisfied customer will initiate a return, and many eCommerce logistics companies oblige. This trend has given birth to advanced reverse logistics. Superior technology, sustainability, and creativity are driving the backward supply chain.  With a high share of products bought online being returned, the eCommerce industry has been forced to revisit its return policies and invest in reverse logistics. Conclusion: Do You Need to Outsource Your eCommerce Logistics? eCommerce is no longer linear, and fulfillment is now Omnichannel. eCommerce customers may order online via mobile apps, phones, or online marketplaces. They may want home delivery, in-store delivery or curbside delivery. All those fulfillment systems need to be taken care of by eCommerce logistics partners for efficacy and punctuality. eCommerce logistics strategies help to level up a business’s digital presence by bringing radical shifts in the business paradigm. Hiring a logistics partner is one such remarkable strategy. Here are a few benefits of delegating the task to an external expert.  The eCommerce industry is slated to experience massive growth and evolution in the coming years. As customer demand widens, every nook and corner of the sector will need to be organised. eCommerce businesses cannot manage these processes on their own. The expectations are too heavy to be borne solely by them. Delegation of the major parts of logistics can assist them in taking some load off. Teamwork will play a vital role in the sector’s development. Experienced players like WareIQ can lead your expansion story with creative ideas and are bound to enhance and improve supply chain processes. WareIQ, a Y-combinator-backed eCommerce fulfillment company for same/next day delivery. We execute this by helping you store inventory closer to your customers using our platform connected to 20+ top marketplaces & D2C websites, a nationwide network of fulfillment centers, and prominent last-mile couriers. WareIQ manages the entire range of complex operations in the eCommerce fulfillment process, such as inbound functions like scanning and quality check, 100% accurate Pick and Pack, and inventory management across all channels, with a centralized platform for core fulfillment and shipping operations and post-shipping apps for a delightful experience and zero to minimal supply chain leakages. With world-class WMS functionalities, WareIQ handles the entire range of intricate operations in the eCommerce fulfillment process, ranging from Inbound Operations such as scanning and quality check, through 100% accurate Pick and Pack, to Inventory Management across all channels. WareIQ’s next day delivery and same-day delivery services are helping eCommerce businesses set new standards with respect to setting customer expectations and fulfilling them with high efficacy. WareIQ will definitely prove to be a more reliable and trusted long-term fulfillment partner compared to dropshipping and conventional 3PL companies. [signup] Ecommerce Logistics FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) What are the basic steps in ecommerce logistics?• Order packed • Package handed off to carrier • In carrier network • Out for delivery How logistics for ecommerce business work?It works in two steps:First: Forward logistics: Distribution and delivery of goods to customers.Second: Reverse Logistics: Return or replacement of defective, damaged, or wrong shipments. What payments are accepted in ecommerce logistics?Both prepaid and cash on delivery services are available. What is the goal of WareIQ as ecommerce logistics business provider?WareIQ’s goal is to offer Amazon Prime like logistics to all eCommerce & D2C brands in India, enabling same day & next day delivery for all their customers. With WareIQ, online brands can sell on multiple online marketplaces & platforms, that is they can sell anywhere & everywhere. Does WareIQ take care of reverse logistics for ecommerce?Definitely. They have a proper team and multiple courier partners handling reverse ecommerce logistics. WareIQ has solutions for every touch points across the value chain - both forward and reverse logistics. What is an eCommerce supply chain?Supply chain in e-commerce is the overall value chain that dictates the logistics of an online store. Basically it refers to procurement of raw material, manufacturing, and distribution, storage and final delivery of the finished products to the online shopper who has placed an order from any of the ecommerce marketplace or online platforms.

May 05, 2022

What is Order Fulfillment? Top Processes, Steps Involved & Strategies in 2022

What is Order Fulfillment? Top Processes, Steps Involved & Strategies in 2022

Every eCommerce company strives to provide clients with the best products and an easy and hassle-free ordering process. When a customer makes a purchase, the crucial moment of a business’s success begins. Creating an order fulfillment system has become increasingly complex as the firm grows and attracts customers worldwide. If this process is inefficient, customer happiness and revenue may suffer. As a result, the company’s reputation is at stake. Read on to learn more about order fulfillment services and the best processes and strategies for 2022. What is Order Fulfillment? The order fulfillment process which is also called order processing, involves storing, packing, and sending products to the customers. Receiving inbound wholesale shipments, sorting stock, and storing inventory for efficient picking and packaging are all part of order fulfillment. Later, these orders are checked for quality, packed, labeled, and dispatched to the buyer’s address. The products are then picked, tested for quality and accuracy and shipped. Returns management (also known as reverse logistics) is an extension of the fulfillment process. [contactus_lilgoodness] What are the Steps Involved in Order Fulfillment? The order fulfillment process comprises various steps that can be divided into four distinct phases:  Create an order when a sale is done.Create an invoice for the order and send it to the customer. Select, complete quality check, and pack the order. Deliver the order to the customer’s doorstep. Order fulfillment is carried out at fulfillment centers or warehouses and includes inventory management, supply chain management, order processing, quality control, and customer service to manage the entire value chain. Let us break down each process to understand it better: Receiving and Storing Inventory Every item received at the fulfillment center is counted, inspected, and inventoried before storing to confirm the correct number and ensure a good quality. Each product has its own SKU or barcode allocated so that it can be quickly retrieved from internal storage. Order Processing Order processing refers to the processes involved, once an order has been placed. The order must be  based on SKUs, color, number, and size, before packaging and delivery. This will be completed in-house if self-fulfillment is determined. Packing The team selects packing materials to reduce the dimensional weight. This is a crucial stage because the weight impacts the speed of travel and the potential for cheaper shipping costs. Shipping Once the order is packaged and ready, we can choose the best transportation partner and the channel for shipping the orders to the customer. The freight charges are calculated by determining the actual package weight or the package’s dimensional weight. Most carriers have packaging restrictions to maximize revenues from the available shipping space. The shipments may be delayed if carriers refuse to accept the order when the standards are unmet. Delivery Customers are provided with tracking information to receive real-time updates on the status of their orders. Returns Processing Returns processing begins with the original customer’s order, including shipping materials and a return label. Customers can seek a return or refund if their items were damaged during delivery or if they are displeased with their purchase. A quicker mechanism for storing and disposing of returned products based on their condition is also required. What are the Different Types of Order Fulfillment? It is critical to have an order fulfillment strategy and process in place to ensure customer satisfaction. It is vital to adopt the right strategy to increase sales, maintain a great brand image, and nurture a loyal customer base. The following are some of the different fulfillment methods that organizations can consider:  Self-fulfillment When a company decides to handle order fulfillment in-house, it must address all process aspects, including storage, packing, and shipping. Businesses can either hire a third-party company to execute the process or use drop shipping, with the rest of the work done in-house. Businesses can control the product quality, customer service, simplified and timely transportation, and even material prices with self-fulfillment. However, it is logistically demanding and takes time away from marketing, sales, and product development. Dropshipping This method, also known as consumer direct fulfillment, is a business approach in which online retailers work with manufacturers or suppliers to deliver products to customers directly. In this arrangement, an eCommerce retailer does not purchase or store an inventory of the products for sale. They sell it on their websites and ship it directly from their supplier or production network to the buyer. While the seller is in charge of product marketing and customer support, the manufacturer or wholesale supplier is responsible for inventory management, warehousing, and logistics. Dropshipping order fulfillment allows merchants and distributors to expand their product lines without having to raise their inventory holdings. 3PL Fulfillment 3PL fulfillment firms manage inventory, process orders, and ship items on behalf of other companies. They can help business owners store, package, and transport their products to customers. Businesses can focus on product manufacturing, quality assurance, and customer satisfaction by outsourcing fulfillment services to a 3PL fulfillment company. These could be inventory management, monitoring SKU sales performance, forecasting customer demand, packaging, and shipping orders. Why is Order Fulfillment Important? When a business is dependent on consumer orders, it is crucial to consider the storage and distribution of products.  The eCommerce industry has been growing more than ever before, thanks to rapid digitalization and the COVID-19 pandemic. Order fulfillment is an important aspect of any business’s success. It is critical to ensure that orders are delivered to clients on schedule. It includes receiving inbound wholesale shipments, sorting stock, and shelving inventory for efficient picking and packaging before it reaches the customer’s doorstep.  Setbacks in order fulfillment might hamper their business and operational effectiveness. What are the Benefits of Order Fulfillment? Having an order fulfillment process can help you maintain track of physical items inventory and handle the end-to-end process of getting the order to the customer, despite your company size.  Businesses can effectively manage the following by using fulfillment companies for:  Warehousing Picking and packing Shipping Logistics of kitting Cross-docking International shipping The following are some of the primary advantages of using order fulfillment partner services: One can retain inventory at the service provider’s warehouses and remotely maintain the list. These warehouses can be accessed on-demand or permanently at any preferred location to ensure a flawless experience for the customer.  The distance between the product’s source and the customer’s location is reduced by ensuring speedier order delivery. Small businesses can easily use the service partner's warehouse fulfillment technology to keep stock items in areas with the highest frequency of requests. It is crucial to enhance customer satisfaction by eliciting positive feedback from customers about a speedy and flawless delivery process. Businesses may improve brand loyalty and promote repeat purchases by providing a pleasant client experience.One can use technology to make delivery services as frictionless as possible. Advanced technologies like AI and machine learning are used by order fulfillment services to improve the accuracy of product sequencing, order fulfillment, product tracking, and return order processing. It is also simple to get real-time updates on orders and keep track of stock and orders. One can prioritize product sales and revenue generation by focusing on essential functionalities like marketing, product design, product diversification, and so on by allowing service partners to peek into the order fulfillment process, resulting in increased sales. What are the Challenges of Order Fulfillment? Developing an order fulfillment system becomes more difficult as the company grows and attracts clients worldwide. A clumsy procedure may hamper customer satisfaction and income. As a result, the company’s reputation may suffer. The challenges associated with order fulfillment are: Demand Forecasting  Demand planning is crucial for appropriate inventory stock. It is essential to ensure that businesses know what to store and what to hold back on, having the capacity to estimate product demand based on client buying habits.  Inventory Management  It is essential to maintain an outstanding client experience. Inventory management issues have a detrimental impact on everything from profitability to customer satisfaction, and they frequently result in higher fulfillment costs and dead inventory stock. Businesses often struggle to keep track of their inventory and know exactly what they have, how much they have, and where it is. Supply-chain Management  An efficient order fulfillment procedure needs a strong supply chain network. Building solutions to control each risk and reduce concerns caused by unplanned events is difficult.  Multichannel  It becomes more tricky to regularly ship the correct package on schedule and in good condition to the right destination. Taking orders across many channels can be complicated with all of the stages involved in the order fulfillment process. eCommerce orders may be completed at the expense of in-store goods availability due to a lack of real-time inventory control, or merchandise on the shelf vs. in a shopping cart may be unaccounted for. Logistics and Transportation Increasing logistics costs continue to influence the ability to fulfill orders, resulting in higher consumer pricing. For SMEs and startups, meeting delivery deadlines, resource management, and ensuring how client orders are prioritized is a challenge. What is the Strategy to Choose the Best Order Fulfillment Type for Your Business? Fulfillment solutions can give considerable benefits in terms of product management, shipping prices, delivery speed, tailored shipping services, and more as a company grows and order volume increases. Consider the following aspects when selecting order fulfillment services:  Shipping Time: The faster a consumer receives their item, the more likely they may return for additional transactions. Small businesses requires these service for speedy shipping and delivery, particularly now that Amazon Prime offers choices like same-day and next-day delivery. Costs of Fulfillment Services: Although working with an fulfillment partner requires an initial investment, make sure there are no hidden fees for long-term storage because the products are in low demand. Warehouse locations for fulfillment: The closer the warehouses are to the consumer base, the faster the order will be filled. When choosing order fulfillment partners, make sure they have a large network of warehouse locations to reduce delivery distance and time. You can have a quick read on warehouse management system here. Features of the order fulfillment service: Businesses need order web applications with simple features like clear order visibility, responsive dashboards, and simple inventory management so they can focus on sales and marketing rather than working out inventory levels to organize their order fulfillment. Real-time order visibility: Total process transparency in the event of delays, among other things, are crucial while growing a business and enhancing customer happiness. The fulfillment partner should be able to track and manage orders easily.Packaging Options: Depending on the goods being carried, the selected service provider’s fulfillment center should be able to offer packaging options. Product damage can also be avoided by having a choice of packing options. Aside from packaging, using the right insulation material, such as corrugated paper, bubble wrap, or air pillows, which ensure safety of the products. Returns Management: Orders will be returned at some point. The fulfillment provider should work with the business owner to reduce or eliminate them as much as feasible through better-advanced logistics. To prevent order returns and build the customer’s faith in their products, it is essential to recognize clients who return the orders frequently. Cost, quality, and control should be addressed when evaluating order fulfillment methods. The good news is that altering the fulfillment process to fit business requirements is simple for startups and SMEs. After thorough consideration of the benefits and drawbacks, businesses can select a technique they trust and work to expand their brand and customer base. An excellent third-party logistics provider, such as WareIQ, can assist with the entire fulfillment process and any other logistics needs a firm may have. What are the Best Practices in Order Fulfillment? To assist in making informed decisions for future demand planning, create a statistical forecast by analyzing sales patterns, purchasing history, and consumer interaction. Collaborate with customers, distributors, and logistical partners to determine demand vs. supply expectations. Analyze demand across channels to see which platform may generate the highest revenue. To stay prepared for unforeseen demand surges, improve demand forecasting with the help of predictive ordering software solutions. To avoid order fulfillment concerns such as backorders, delays, and disgruntled customers, maintain clear stock visibility. To market the first-in, first-out (FIFO) products, use the first-in, first-out (FIFO) method. Create a mechanism for adding new products and stuff from the back so that older items for sale can be pushed to the front.Examine products that have not been sold in the previous 12 months to find low-turn stocks. Have sales to get them sold, and do not stock them until there is a higher demand. Inventory should be audited to ensure that it corresponds to the forecasted demand. To ensure no surplus or out-of-stock items, use cloud-based inventory management solutions with real-time analytics. Keep an eye on stock levels and put the most expensive items first. To create a unified, collaborative supply chain, work with suitable suppliers. Identify potential supply chain risks and assess all possibilities and the chance of their occurrence. Conclusion: Why Should You Choose WareIQ for Your Order Fulfillment Requirements? WareIQ has quickly risen to become the leading provider of full-stack eCommerce fulfillment tech solutions for some of India’s most well-known companies since its launch in 2019. We are a full-stack platform allowing eCommerce businesses to offer customers same-day and next-day delivery, similar to Amazon Prime, but for everyone.  WareIQ manages the entire range of complex operations in the eCommerce fulfillment process, such as inbound functions like scanning and quality check, 100% accurate Pick and Pack, and inventory management across all channels, with a centralized platform for core fulfillment and shipping operations and post-shipping apps for a delightful experience and zero to minimal supply chain leakages. Established in 2019, WareIQ, a Y-combinator backed startup, has rapidly grown to be the leading provider of full-stack eCommerce fulfillment services for some of the most reputed brands in India. WareIQ offers a full-stack platform for eCommerce companies to enable same-day delivery and next day delivery to customers – an Amazon Prime-like experience but accessible to everyone. WareIQ manages the entire range of complex operations in the eCommerce fulfillment process, such as inbound functions like scanning and quality check, 100% accurate Pick and Pack, and inventory management across all channels, with a centralized platform for core fulfillment and shipping operations and post-shipping apps for a delightful experience and zero to minimal supply chain leakages. The next-day and same-day delivery services help businesses set new standards for setting and meeting customer expectations. Due to enhanced negotiations with shipping partners, strategically positioned warehouses, warehousing economies of scale and scope, and data-driven decision making, WareIQ customers benefit from significant cost reductions and a wider reach. A machine learning-based prediction engine is deployed for effective warehouse network architecture and creative inventory allocation. All fulfillment and shipping procedures are centralized on a single platform. It's post-shipping apps are beneficial for a pleasant experience and fewer supply chain breaches. WareIQ has empowered brands to sell more, sell faster & sell everywhere due to: Access to WareIQ’s strong nationwide network of fulfilment centres, micro-fulfillment centers & urban dark stores near their customersAccess to all major national & hyperlocal last-mile courier services at discounted rates for making same/next day deliveries possibleEasy integration across multiple online platforms & marketplaces enhancing multi-channel sellingHorizontal marketplaces: Flipkart, Amazon etc.Vertical marketplaces: Nykaa, Myntra etc.D2C platforms: Shopify, Magento, WooCommerce etc.Social commerce platforms: BikayiAccess to a superior centralised tech platform for eCommerce operationsML-based prediction engine for efficient warehouse network design & smart inventory placementCentralised platform for core fulfilment & shipping operationsPost-shipping apps for delightful experience & zero to minimum supply chain leakages (Branded tracking page with smart marketing placements; Trigger-based updates & smart communication platform) WareIQ has customised offerings for merchants experiencing different order volumes as well as having different delivery speed expectations. WareIQ is probably one of the very few fulfilment tech companies in the world that have same-day delivery service for their customers under their product “WareIQ RUSH”. With world-class WMS functionalities, WareIQ handles the entire range of intricate operations in the eCommerce fulfillment process, ranging from Inbound Operations such as scanning and quality check, through 100% accurate Pick and Pack, to Inventory Management across all channels. WareIQ’s next day delivery and same-day delivery services are helping eCommerce businesses set new standards with respect to setting customer expectations and fulfilling them with high efficacy. At the same time, WareIQ customers realise significant cost savings and wider reach due to better negotiations with shipping partners, strategically placed warehouses, economies of scale and scope in warehousing and data-driven decision making. WareIQ’s WMS, a centralised tech platform helps to better manage undelivered orders by reducing NDR processing time by 12 hours – a multifunctional NDR dashboard helps to track and take immediate action for undelivered orders in real-time, thereby reducing RTO by up to 10%. Automatic replenishment recommendations and easy purchase order creation capabilities on the WareIQ platform further empower eCommerce companies to leverage all possible ways of increasing their ROI. [signup] What is FAQ?Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. What is FAQ?Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Order Fulfillment FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) What is the fulfillment process in commercial order processing?Order Fulfillment refers to the process taken by a corporation between receiving a new order and delivering it to the customer. The procedure entails warehousing, picking and packing the product, shipping it, and notifying the consumer by automated email, through text message or on Whatsapp that the product is on its way. What does it mean when an order is in the process of being fulfilled?The stages between taking new orders and providing the items to customers are known as order fulfillment, supply chain fulfillment or inventory fulfillment. Order processing, warehousing, packing, and shipping are all part of the process. The process usually indicates that the order is in the fulfillment process but has not yet been delivered. How long does WareIQ take for order fulfillment?Fulfillment takes 2 days on average & WareIQ enables same-day delivery with WareIQ RUSH and next day delivery as well. However, if the item is being shipped within 7 metro cities, the order gets delivered to the customers within 24 hours or 1 day. What is order fulfillment rate?The order fulfillment rate is a measure of efficiency that is computed by dividing the total number of orders by the number of orders already processed. The order fill rate is another name for it.Order Fulfillment Rate = Total number of order processed / Total number of orders What are the steps in the order fulfillment process?There are 6 steps, namely, receiving inventory, storage, order picking, order packing, shipping and delivery.

May 03, 2022

Top 10 Fastest & Cheapest eCommerce Courier Services in India in 2022

Top 10 Fastest & Cheapest eCommerce Courier Services in India in 2022

In the age of eCommerce retail expansion, what is highly critical for any company's success is the delivery experience of its customers. Consumers are willing to abandon a product from their cart if the shipping exceeds a week. Thus, every seller must ensure not only that they have the most efficient shipping experience for the consumer, but also the most cost-effective one. What are eCommerce Courier Services? The terms eCommerce courier services and fulfillment services are quite interchangeable in the present scenario, even though they were used to denote delivery experiences that are slightly different from each other. Courier services provide a delivery experience of small packages from the seller's location to the end user's doorstep, across several pin codes. In some cases, courier companies also cater to reverse logistics. [contactus_gynoveda] What are the Factors to Keep in Mind while Choosing eCommerce Courier Services? Every manufacturer must choose which of the many available courier companies to partner with for their eCommerce courier services. This decision is bound to have long-term implications on the seller and their customer service.  India's eCommerce boom has led to the growth and emergence of several courier companies that cater to traditional businesses and households. Sellers should bear the following points in mind when picking eCommerce courier companies to partner with: Serviceability Every seller's goal is to obtain the maximum scope that their product can reach. Thus, partnering with eCommerce courier companies that provide pan-India network coverage, should be the priority of every seller. This feature ensures that their product can reach the maximum customer base possible. Freight Cost The simple rule of any business is that the revenue must be more than the total incurred costs. While this may sound simple, the leakage of capital through unchecked expenses can be the deciding factor between a profitable new business or one that operates at a loss.  Logistics within India can be cost-intensive due to differences in fuel prices, geographical landscapes, and overhead costs such as vehicle maintenance. Therefore, some areas may face delays due to poorer road connectivity.  Delivery Speed 41% of consumers are willing to pay extra for same-day delivery. Therefore, sellers risk losing out to their competitors if eCommerce courier services don't have the flexible and efficient delivery systems that provide sellers with the advantage they seek. In this era of 10-minute, same day and next day deliveries, any delay will mitigate a customer's ability to be satisfied and give positive feedback. Keep reading on to know about the fastest courier service companies in detail here. Insurance and Security In these uncertain times, sellers need to ensure that their shipment reaches the destination intact and without any damage. Certain pin-codes within the nation tend to have a deteriorated law and order situation. Consequently, courier companies must ensure that they handle a seller's products with the required level of security.  Businesses must ideally opt for eCommerce courier companies that take responsibility for any damages that may occur to their products. RTO Returns have now become an integral part of the eCommerce shopping experience. Certain products such as clothing, see the maximum number of returns compared to other goods. Hence, a seller must appoint eCommerce courier services that can guarantee a smooth reverse logistics process so that the product will safely return to the seller.  Manufacturers can look into the RTO percentage of courier companies to measure how successful their return percentage is. What are the Benefits of Partnering with eCommerce Courier Companies? eCommerce courier service companies should not be seen as just logistical partners. Sellers must understand that the advantages that courier companies extend are beyond just the handling of the operational matters and reducing logistics costs. These benefits may not be tangible, but their impact is immense towards enabling a company's growth, ensuring that it can either work towards being profitable or retaining and even increasing its profitability. The following are some of the benefits that eCommerce courier companies extend to sellers who partner with them: Increased Network Cover Established courier companies have a solid infrastructure built up over decades. This has helped them to achieve an unmatchable pan-India network that any emerging eCommerce company would take years to rival. To give you a more realistic example, the difference between partnering and not partnering with eCommerce courier services is similar to attending a job interview versus conducting a job interview - All the cards are held by you. Being Cost-Effective Last mile delivery can easily constitute 40-70% of the entire shipment cost for a seller. This is entirely due to the capital investment, operational costs, and maintenance fees that fulfillment and courier service companies must undertake. Costs of this magnitude and frequency can swell up the liabilities side of balance sheets, proving disastrous for companies.  Best Courier services in India use economies of scale to consolidate the orders from multiple sellers for a particular geographical location. This strategy brings down the marginal cost for each seller and additional products. Branding and Packaging Upgrades Courier services for Ecommerce ensure that all packaging needs are handled with the utmost care. Being associated with eCommerce courier services that provide value add-on services through branded shipping such as personalised packaging, adds to the brand value of the seller itself. Cutting-Edge Technology eCommerce courier services are far from small-scale firms. The importance of the supply chain and fulfillment cycle has been realised, enabling many courier companies in India to turn into unicorns. With this heavy influx of capital, courier companies are investing heavily – not just into building infrastructure but also into adapting to the latest and most efficient technologies in the industry. The end-user can witness these upgrades first hand – a simple sign on a sheet of paper has transformed into using tablets for signatures and photo recognition. All these factors create a better customer experience.  Professional Help Courier companies have an established standard protocol for warehouse management, namely, handling goods from the seller's warehouse to the customer's home. These measures take into account the various adverse situations that the company could experience during delivery.  By planning ahead, eCommerce courier services can react accordingly using the appropriate contingency procedures and decide the right course of action. They are carried out after conducting various risk assessment studies and using the company personnel's expertise.  Sellers may find it challenging to cater to all the possible roadblocks in the shipment journey. As such, partnering with courier services providers, provide them with some much-needed professional help, advice, and assurance during the most crucial leg of the fulfillment cycle. Top 10 Cheapest eCommerce Courier Services in India in 2022 WareIQBlue DartEcom ExpressDTDCFedExDHLGatiShipwayXpressbeesDelhivery WareIQ Source Founded in 2019, WareIQ is one of India's leading and fastest eCommerce courier services and shipping aggregators and has partnered with all the major national and hyperlocal courier companies in the country. It has a customer base of 300+ brands in India alone, in just over 3 years. WareIQ offers a simple and convenient onboarding process, guaranteed same-day/next-day delivery, and no minimum order quantity requirements. More importantly, the Y-combinator-backed shipping aggregator provides a transparent pricing policy and strict safety procedures. It also prides itself on being one of the few order fulfillment tech businesses in the world. WareIQ's fulfillment platform helps eCommerce companies Select From the Best Courier Service in India to Optimize Logistics. Courier Allocation: For each shipment select the best shipping partner. Optimize your logistics operations with speed, cost and reliability.Control Tower: Track shipments in real-time. Collaborate at the shipping level with your courier partner, predict anomalies, catch delivery failures and overcome escalations.Optimize Fulfillment / Shipping KPIs: Make supply chain decisions backed by data – which distribution center to add to optimize cost/order, speed & RTOs. WareIQ stands out as an best courier service in India for eCommerce for the following reasons: It offers competitive rates by negotiating the best terms with its shipping partners. Its timely and efficient deliveries boost the sellers’ customer satisfaction percentage, growing their sales in the process. It relies on data-driven decisions to ensure fewer delays and issues in the shipment process.Ware IQ has a strategically located, nationwide network of warehouses and fulfillment centers. As such, it can offer a full range of logistical services in a short amount of time.It can cater to all your eCommerce fulfillment-related needs under one roof with a centralised platform. Its versatile NDR dashboard lowers processing time by an impressive 12 hours, decreasing RTO by 10%.WareIQ RUSH is one of the company’s many offerings that guarantee same-day delivery. Blue Dart Source One of the biggest names amongst eCommerce courier services in the country, Blue Dart has nearly 40 years of experience in shipping and logistics. Within India, Blue Dart covers more than 35,000 pin codes. It has been DHL’s official partner since 2002, with the two providing a formidable land and road transport infrastructure. Blue Dart offers a wide range of services, such as early morning deliveries and temperature-controlled logistics (TCL) solutions. It also provides value-added services like cash-on-delivery, waterproof packaging, and automated reports. Sellers must note that their charges may seem higher than other competitors owing to their service record and their existing pan-India network.  Ecom Express Source Ecom Express, based in Gurugram, was founded in 2012 and is a relative newcomer to the eCommerce courier service market. Regardless, it is seen as a viable option for consumers seeking both shipping and logistics services.  Ecom Express has demonstrated enormous promise in a short time, transforming into one of the top courier services for eCommerce for retail firms today. It is a trusted partner to its customers, ensuring the safest, most economical, and most dependable pick-up and delivery in India. This courier company is appropriate for users who intend to use a combination of logistics for delivery purposes. Its prices are reasonable, and its service quality and reaction time have shown great promise. It is one of the top eCommerce courier services because of these qualities. It does, however, come with a lot of room for expansion.  Ecom Express covers over 27,000 pin codes and 2600 cities across India. It provides additional security and monitoring services during storage and transit. For this reason, it is a popular choice for eCommerce enterprises that handle high-value commodities like jewels.Sellers can avail of a broad range of courier services, including express delivery and doorstep quality checks (QC) for returned items. They also guarantees that deliveries will be completed within 72 hours, both to consumers and to items returning to the origin warehouse. DTDC Source DTDC is one of the most popular eCommerce courier service providers in the country. It has been in the courier service business since 1990 and has a network of more than 10,000 pin codes dispersed across the country.  The courier company uses a state-of-the-art Management Information System (MIS) that keeps track of bulk parcels for seamless pick-up and delivery through fulfillment status facilities. Their value-added services comprise cash-on-delivery and a custom shipping process for imported and special goods. Although DTDC originated in India, it has grown to the point that it now provides services to over 240 nations. It assists your brand with Indian as well as international courier shipments at a lower cost than other market competitors, thanks to its global reach. In terms of services and prices, it may not be a viable solution for small businesses due to compromises on the number of facilities to focus more on its core offerings.  FedEx Source FedEx is another top-rated and low-cost eCommerce courier services provider for online enterprises. Established in 1973, it has close to 50 years of valuable experience in handling and shipping a wide range of products. It offers nationwide and worldwide shipping services that include door-to-door pick-up and delivery. This courier company is committed to excellence, making it a worthy logistics partner for your eCommerce enterprise.  FedEx comes with flexible delivery options and allows sellers to have their packages held at a secure location until it is ready to be sent out. It also allows customers to monitor their parcels in real-time. Additionally, clients can change the location of their shipments even if they are out for delivery, improving customer experiences with your business. The FedEx API documentation also makes it easy to manage returns, create shipping labels, and track performance.FedEx provides outstanding delivery service at reasonable prices in the places where it operates. Although it offers the fastest delivery speed and service, it only covers a fraction of the pin codes covered by other eCommerce courier services. Thus, it may not be a reliable candidate for eCommerce companies that aim to rely entirely on it and no other courier companies for logistics. DHL Source Another prominent international eCommerce Courier services provider in India is DHL (Dalsey, Hillblom, and Lynn). Its globally controlled and well-connected network of distribution centers enables it to effectively optimise supply chain solutions to increase order fulfillment throughout 220+ countries. DHL is trustworthy and readily available to meet the requirements of any eCommerce platform. The shipping giant covers over 26,000 pin codes across the country, allowing eCommerce sellers to successfully tap into the Indian market.Another critical factor to consider when choosing DHL is its environment-friendly practices. This courier company maintains a high standard when it comes to decreasing wastage in the delivery process, making a sincere effort to reduce each company's environmental footprint. The only caveat is that DHL’s courier fees within India are slightly higher than those charged by other local carriers. However, when it comes to worldwide coverage, there aren't many reputable options that can rival this company. DHL eCommerce, a branch dedicated solely to eCommerce enterprises, is also available. It is dedicated to offering a smooth worldwide eCommerce delivery service that includes accurate transit schedules and customs clearances.  Gati Source Gati, based in Hyderabad, is another well-known Indian eCommerce courier services provider that aims for total customer satisfaction. Founded in 1989, Gati has expanded at a rapid pace over the decades to serve over 19,000 pin codes within India.  This eCommerce courier company promises better reach and business growth by delivering to 735 of the 739 different districts in the country.Gati strives to meet the shipping and courier needs of small business owners, offering some of the most affordable courier services in India. It provides a diverse range of express delivery options and warehousing solutions, enabling customisable pick-ups from locations.  Shipway Source Shipway is a newcomer that specialises in offering dependable and affordable shipping services to eCommerce businesses. They allows you to focus on business operations, ensuring that your customers receive the finest shopping experience. Shipway has already partnered with 30+ eCommerce couriers. It currently provides an end-to-end shipping automation solution for fulfillment and logistics to over 12,000 eCommerce retailers. Xpressbees Source Xpressbees, best known for its speedy and affordable parcel service, is one of India's fastest courier services providers. As Xpressbees' logistics partner, you may offer your customers same-day and next-day courier services, as well as reverse logistics for return orders. These services allow eCommerce vendors to deliver a positive customer experience and boost their business performance. It caters to the end-to-end fulfillment needs of sellers and covers 13000+ pin codes, 100+ hubs and service centers.They are seasoned professionals, providing tech-based solutions for courier service requirements.It has state-of-the-art logistics centers spread across the country. Delhivery Source Delhivery, since its inception, has successfully fulfilled over 1 billion orders across India. Their aim is to build an efficient operations model for business, through a combination of world-class infrastructure, cutting-edge engineering and technology capabilities and logistics operations of the highest quality. It is one of India’s largest and most popular courier companies that is also homegrown. It offers end-to-end fulfillment solutions and serves over 17,000 pin codes and 175 cities.It offers features such as sending tracking details to customers through SMS and provides same-day/next-day delivery options.It provides multiple payment options at the time of delivery. Conclusion: How WareIQ can Help with Your Need for eCommerce Courier Services in India WareIQ stands apart from the rest as one of the best possible fastest Courier services for businesses of every size and domain. Sellers looking for a reliable and cost-effective eCommerce courier service provider can choose Ware IQ for the following attributes: Access to WareIQ’s strong nationwide network of fulfillment centers, micro-fulfillment centers & urban dark stores near their customersAccess to all major national & hyperlocal last-mile couriers at discounted rates for making same/next day deliveries possibleEasy integration across multiple online platforms & marketplaces enhancing multi-channel sellingHorizontal marketplaces: Flipkart, Amazon etc.Vertical marketplaces: Nykaa, Myntra etc.D2C platforms: Shopify, Magento, WooCommerce etc.Social commerce platforms: BikayiAccess to a superior centralised tech platform for eCommerce operationsML-based prediction engine for efficient fulfillment warehouse network design & smart inventory placementCentralised platform for core fulfillment & shipping operationsPost-shipping apps for delightful experience & zero to minimum supply chain leakages (Branded tracking page with smart marketing placements; Trigger-based updates & smart communication platform) WareIQ has customised offerings for merchants experiencing different order volumes as well as having different delivery speed expectations. WareIQ is probably one of the very few fulfillment tech companies in the world that have same-day delivery service for their customers under their product “WareIQ RUSH”. WareIQ’s next day delivery and same-day delivery services are helping eCommerce businesses set new standards with respect to setting customer expectations and fulfilling them with high efficacy. At the same time, WareIQ customers realise significant cost savings and wider reach due to better negotiations with shipping partners, strategically placed warehouses, economies of scale and scope in eCommerce warehousing and data-driven decision making. [signup] Ecommerce Courier Services India FAQs Which are the best courier services in India? • WareIQ - It acts a courier aggregator & has partnerships with all the major national & hyperlocal  • courier partners in India • Blue Dart  • Ecom Express  • DTDC  • FedEx  • DHL  • Gati  • Shipway  • Xpressbees  • Delhivery How much do eCommerce courier services in India charge?Depending on the receiver's address and the weight of the product, most of these courier services provide logistics convenience to over 45000 pins across the country and charge anywhere between INR 60-180 per kilogram for a parcel delivery. How is the delivery cost calculated?Calculate fuel and maintenance costs, yearly depreciation, registration, and any other expenditures incurred during an operational year, such as parking fees. To get a base vehicle operating cost per delivery, multiply this figure by the average number of deliveries your business does per year. Which courier service is better: WareIQ or Clickpost?WareIQ is a better option since it acts as a shipping/courier aggregator with partnership with all the major shipping service providers/ last mile delivery companies. It’s core business is providing  fulfillment services to ecommerce businesses. Hence, it also has a nationwide network of fulfillment centers in all major metros & 30 other cities that helps you store your inventory closer to your customers for faster delivery & for managing returns making the process of shipment easy. WareIQ’s fulfillment platform/WMS provides easy integrations with 20+ marketplace/ online platforms. What are the tips to find the right courier services? • Make sure to check if courier partners are available for immediate pick-ups and deliveries.  • Check if they have limitations on size and weight • Do they provide proof of delivery  • Do they provide cost to value • Do they provide package insurance How WareIQ deliver its couriers in 1-2 days? • Sellers send their stocks to WareIQ Regional Distribution center • WareIQ Intelligently places inventory across its network of 20+ FCs and connects it to right courier network • WareIQ picks, packs & ships orders across the online/offline channels  • WareIq provides solutions across every touchpoints - both forward & reverse logistics

April 30, 2022

What is Seller Fulfilled Prime? Top 6 Advantages of Using Seller Fulfilled Prime (SFP)

What is Seller Fulfilled Prime? Top 6 Advantages of Using Seller Fulfilled Prime (SFP)

Amazon Prime, a paid subscription service allows its members for availing services like two day shipping, video streaming etc. The prime members are more engaged with Amazon as compared to non-prime members. This trend has been increasing for several years, and not only has it remained unaffected by the pandemic, but its demand has been further boosted by it. Seller Fulfilled Prime (SFP) is one of the primary services offered by Amazon. Read further to understand what it is and how it could be helpful for your business. In 2015, Amazon launched their Seller Fulfilled Prime order fulfillment service, which enabled high-volume sellers to sell under the Prime label, provided they meet certain requirements needed by the service. In fact, with 200 million Prime members, as reported by Amazon in April 2021, and worldwide spending at an average of $1,400 a year — compared to the $600-per-year average spent by non-members — the Prime subscriber pool offers a significant opportunity to reach ready-to-spend buyers. Thus, sellers cannot ignore the benefits of selling to Amazon Prime members. What is Seller Fulfilled Prime? Amazon Seller Fulfilled Prime is a program that allows a seller to deliver products to Prime customers from their own warehouse or third-party (3PL) logistics order fulfillment companies that they partner with. With this, the seller gets to display the Prime badge. Joining Prime also means fulfilling orders with two-day delivery at no additional charge for Prime customers. Since 2005, Prime has ensured two-day deliveries on all orders to their customers for a flat fee paid annually. Certain items are also delivered to customers in a few zip codes on the same day. Hence, products qualifying for the Prime badge are recognized by the 200+ million Amazon Prime subscribers worldwide and are deemed to be more trustworthy and inspire more demand. Amazon says that a 2015 sales analysis recorded a 50% increase in Prime sellers’ sales. [contactus_gynoveda] What are the Services Offered by Seller Fulfilled Prime? 1 and 2-day shipping The one and two-day premium shipping service to Prime customers is the standard criterion set by Amazon to be met by all Seller Fulfilled Prime sellers. They ship the Prime orders directly to the Prime customers from their warehouse or 3PL. In some zip codes, Prime shoppers receive same-day shipping for particular items. It is also necessary that the Prime seller uses only Amazon-approved shipping companies and must adhere to Amazon’s set benchmarks. Free shipping A Seller Fulfilled Prime seller displaying the Amazon Prime badge on his listings commits to offer premium one or two-day shipping with no extra charges for prime customers. This free shipping completely depends upon program guidelines. Same-day order processing Orders received must be processed and shipped by 2 PM at the Seller Fulfilled Prime seller’s time on the same day per the program guidelines. Same-day order processing means the Prime order must be checked for various information and sent to the warehouse closest to the delivery location. Pickers must pick up the item, pack, and hand it over to the shipping carrier the same day.  Saturday delivery and pickup Seller Fulfilled Prime sellers offer Saturday delivery and pickup. This delivery and pickup came into being because Amazon recorded less than 16% of orders being delivered to the Prime shoppers within the two days by Prime sellers as promised. Fewer orders were delivered because most sellers did not work during the weekends. Order tracking Order tracking helps the stakeholders monitor all orders received at every stage through fulfillment status – processed, fulfilled, shipped, and delivered. Order tracking also communicates the regular status updates and ETD (estimated time of delivery) to the stakeholders, including the customer. 99% timely deliveries Gartner says businesses lose 71% of customers because of poor customer service and on-time delivery is the most important metric for customer satisfaction in the shipping industry. Thus, on-time delivery is a key metric and is part of the Seller Fulfilled Prime program requirements. Which Types of Business is Seller Fulfilled Prime for? There are many eCommerce products, ranging from conventional retailing and private labelling to big brands selling direct, retail, selling stocks & shares, real estate, and selling second-hand or used items. While all these products can benefit from the Prime features, it is usually the retailers who have the most to gain. Retailers compete with countless other businesses and stock hundreds if not, thousands of product lines. With the Prime badge on their products, retailers can command more demand than their competitors and achieve massive sales. Seller Fulfilled Prime can benefit brand owners who already manage their shipping to customers. It can also help new brands build up their businesses using Amazon and can encourage them to become multi channel sellers. Businesses that fulfill their orders are often reluctant to join the Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) program. It doesn't make sense for companies who have put in the investment and hard work into shipping effectively to then outsource order fulfillment for fulfilling Amazon orders. The Amazon Seller Fulfilled Prime Program makes even more sense for perishable goods or products, such as vitamins and supplements, with low shelf life or specific storage restrictions. FBA warehouses are not climate controlled and need to ship such cargo right away to avoid expiry or damage. Below is a list of products that are suitable for Seller Fulfilled Prime. Although sellers also handle a few items in the below list via the FBA program, the list is for reference only and is by no means exhaustive. Appliances and furniture itemsHigh-value products or fragile itemsSeasonal items that will sell for a few months in a yearPerishable items having a low shelf life or have specific storage restrictions such as being climate controlledProducts having unknown demand variationFast-changing fashion items such as clothing and apparelSlow-moving items/productsProducts shipped in multiple boxes What are the Requirements to Qualify for Seller Fulfilled Prime in 2022? Amazon takes exceptional care and pays a lot of attention to their Prime members during the purchasing period and product delivery, as it is one of their highest priorities. Hence, Amazon has strict requirements for sellers to qualify for the Seller Fulfilled Prime program. Here are a few of the basic qualifications for the Seller Fulfilled Prime program to be met by the seller:  Eligible sellers or their 3PL partners must go through the Seller Fulfilled Prime trial period and meet the following requirements on a minimum of 50 Amazon Prime trial orders.  Sellers register for a 90-day trial period. Seller’s listings DO NOT have the prime badge during this trial period.Sellers need to complete 200 orders in 90 days.Sellers need to use the free Prime shipping template and must offer Premium one-day to two-day delivery options.Sellers must use shipping services that offer Saturday or Sunday Pickup and Delivery.Sellers should ensure that at least 99% of all Prime orders must be delivered on time.Sellers should provide a valid tracking ID for at least 97% of premium shipping orders.Sellers should achieve a cancellation rate of less than 0.5% of pre-fulfilled Prime orders (by the seller).Sellers should use Amazon Buy Shipping Services for at least 95% of orders (this is when you purchase shipping labels in Sellercentral, and tracking information is automatically added).Sellers should process orders the same day that they are received.Sellers should ensure that orders are shipped out the same day if they are made by 2 PM in the seller’s timezone.Sellers should achieve a feedback rating of 4.5+ to be sustained over a 30-day rolling period.Sellers must offer one-day shipping to 30% of page views of potential buyers for standard-size products.Sellers must offer one-day shipping to 17% of page views of potential buyers for oversize products.Sellers must offer two-day shipping to 74% of page views of potential buyers for standard-size products.Sellers must offer two-day shipping to 63% of page views of potential buyers for oversized Products.Sellers should answer all product queries.Sellers must follow Amazon's return policy. The seller is auto-enrolled in Seller Fulfilled Prime on completing the trial successfully, and the product listing will then display the Prime badge. To continue to be eligible for prime services, the seller must consistently meet all the requirements on a rolling 7-day basis.  Sellers unable to adhere to the Seller Fulfilled Prime requirements will no longer be a part of the Seller Fulfilled Prime program. They may, however, continue to sell their products on Amazon. Top 6 Advantages of Amazon Seller Fulfilled Prime The advantages of Seller Fulfilled Prime are as follows: Increased sales Increased product exposure in the marketplace leads to higher sales. Amazon claims that Seller Fulfilled Prime sellers increased their sales by 50% when they displayed their Prime badge over their listings. Access to the Prime badge gives sellers the opportunity to reach Amazon’s Prime members, whose annual spending is twice that of average shoppers; Forbes says that 46% of Prime subscribers make weekly purchases, versus only 13% of non-Prime members. Displaying the Prime badge ensures the same Buy Box privileges as FBA Sellers. Inventory control By joining Seller Fulfilled Prime, sellers need not send stock to Amazon. For FBA services, sellers need to send the products to Amazon's order fulfillment centers, thereby losing control and visibility of the product. It allows the seller to ship their product from a non-Amazon warehouse, giving them more control of their inventory. This control is especially advantageous if the company is a mature business with multiple sales channels or has a seasonal product that spikes during the holidays. Cost control By using Seller Fulfilled Prime, sellers can do away with order fulfillment and shipping costs to ship their inventory to the Amazon warehouse, thus reducing costs. Such cost control is not possible with FBA, where sellers need to pay both the order fulfillment and shipping charges. Storage rates control Seller Fulfilled Prime gives sellers control over their own warehouse costs. Unlike FBA, where sellers have no option but to pay Amazon’s ever-increasing storage fees, It gives sellers who manage their supply chain efficiently and forecast their sales accurately the opportunity to save big on storage costs. Product flexibility  Product changes or upgrades could lead to last-minute customization of the packaging, which is impossible at Amazon fulfillment centers. Sometimes, the seller may wish to include a booklet summarising the features of the upgraded product or maybe change the labels on the box. Seller Fulfilled Prime sellers manage inventory at either their own warehouse or their 3PL partner's warehouse, giving them more control over their products and customization. Free trial of Seller-fulfilled Prime  One signs up for the Seller Fulfilled Prime trial period free of cost. Amazon FBA fees charge the cost of storing the products in Amazon's fulfillment centers, picking, packing, shipping, and customer service for the products sold. In addition, Amazon takes a commission on every item sold. Sale of products ineligible for FBA Certain items that are not eligible for FBA can be sold through the Seller Fulfilled Prime program. However, one must ship and sell products per the country’s rules and regulations. A few items that one cannot sell on FBA are perishable products, large or bulky products, such as furniture, fragile items, and fashion products, such as clothing. Control over returns and refunds CNBC reported that the retail industry loses $50 billion per year by mismanaging the reverse logistics process and results in increasing logistics costs. Customer returns and refunds have been a serious drawback of the FBA program. The seller must put in a claim with Amazon for a refund. To make matters worse, correctly linking specific items to specific returns despite tracking IDs is a challenge. With Seller Fulfilled Prime, the seller handling his returns can design his own system to stay on top of it.  Seller Fulfilled Prime or Fulfillment by Amazon: What is Right for Your Business? Both programs allow one to sell on Amazon Prime; however, the similarities end there. FBA and SFP are different, each having its pros and cons.  The key differentiation between the programs is as follows: [table id=13 /] Conclusion: Should You Choose Seller Fulfilled Prime for Your Business? Seller Fulfilled Prime generally works for the following businesses: Businesses with established order fulfillment capabilities meeting the stringent requirements for participating in the Seller Fulfilled Prime program. The seller might own a warehouse and have the necessary staff to manage it or have an outsourced 3PL and is looking to outsource order fulfillment processes.Businesses selling heavy or oversized items.Businesses selling products requiring temperature/climate-control storage.Businesses having slow-moving products that could incur hefty FBA storage fees.Businesses able to keep tight control over the returns and refunds process. It is challenging for small or new businesses to meet the Seller Fulfilled Prime program requirements and the costs incurred for managing one’s order fulfillment. Small businesses would be better off associating with the FBA program initially since they wouldn’t have the economy of scale that larger sellers enjoy for managing order fulfillment internally.  If the seller saves money on a transaction level by joining the Seller Fulfilled Prime program, the seller must then review the cost savings and see if it is worthwhile to continue. The seller must consider all the pros and cons and the associated value, benefits, and risks of participating in this program. The sellers that leverage their inventory across multiple marketplaces instead of depending only on Amazon benefit the most. Selling higher volumes across multiple marketplaces does make up for any costs incurred through Seller Fulfilled Prime.  Here are a few tips and tricks for Seller Fulfilled Prime sellers: One can shorten the trial period by using one’s fastest-moving stock-keeping units (SKUs).Keep track of one’s customer reviews to ensure customers aren’t confused by anything on your listings. Also, ensure to collect feedback from every customer in the form of a review.Set up Ship by Region to reduce the shipping cost, thus allowing one to offer Seller Fulfilled Prime to particular parts of states.Review one’s performance. Monitor all three Seller Fulfilled Prime-eligibility metrics to enhance the Prime experience for customers—request the defect report from Seller central to see which of the metrics is underperforming. If you are looking for the services provided by Amazon Seller Fulfilled Prime to outsource your order fulfillment requirements, in addition to many more technologically advanced facilities, WareIQ can be the solution for you. Seller Enablement Services_WareIQ Established in 2019, WareIQ, a Y-combinator backed startup, has rapidly grown to be the leading provider of full-stack eCommerce fulfillment services for some of the most reputed brands in India. WareIQ offers a full-stack platform for eCommerce companies to enable same-day delivery and next day delivery to customers – an Amazon Prime-like experience but accessible to everyone. WareIQ’s next day delivery and same-day delivery services are helping eCommerce businesses set new standards with respect to setting customer expectations and fulfilling them with high efficacy. At the same time, WareIQ customers realise significant cost savings and wider reach due to better negotiations with shipping partners, strategically placed warehouses, economies of scale and scope in ecommerce warehousing and data-driven decision making. WareIQ also undertakes strict safety precautions at its warehouses and complete ownership of the operations, thereby minimising the risk exposure of WareIQ customers. Thus WareIQ will definitely prove to be a more reliable and trusted long-term fulfillment partner compared to dropshipping and conventional 3PL companies. [signup] Seller Fulfilled Prime FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) What is the trial period in “Seller Fulfilled Prime”?You must complete a trial period before enrolling in Seller Fulfilled Prime to ensure that you can achieve the requirements for Prime fulfillment excellence and good customer experience. For what products should you opt for SFP (Seller Fulfilled Prime)?• Slow moving goods/products• Items with seasonal and unpredictable demands • Expensive products • Inventories that require special preparation or handling  What are the cons of using SFP?• The SFP has strict eligibility and maintenance criteria• Shipping costs are high• Managing a larger volume of orders can get challenging at some point How to enroll for SFP?Currently they are not accepting new registrations. Till then you can get yourself added to the enrollment waitlist here.

April 30, 2022

What is Warehouse Management System (WMS)? A Detailed Guide for eCommerce Sellers

What is Warehouse Management System (WMS)? A Detailed Guide for eCommerce Sellers

The world is now moving towards digital platforms at a supersonic speed. You can find almost everything on the Internet today. This is remarkably changing customer behaviour. Right from ordering foods to getting their favourite camera, individuals prefer online platforms like never before. Moreover, the payment process, shipment tracking, and even returning the product, everything is possible from anywhere, anytime. The overall paradigm shift in the supply chain has put the wholesalers, third-party logistics - 3PL companies, and logistics companies under tremendous challenge. As per the Statista report, in 2021, the number of online buyers crossed the 2.14 billion mark globally. In terms of value, in 2021, the retail eCommerce sales were 4.9 trillion U.S. dollars worldwide, and it is forecasted to touch 7.4 trillion dollars by 2025. There is no doubt that the situation will become more challenging in the future. Therefore, there is a need for an efficient, user-friendly, and fast Warehouse Management System.  Managing a giant warehouse 24 x 7 is not an easy task. Additionally, it is like a nightmare without an efficient tool when you need to order many Stock Keeping Units (SKUs). WMS is a great tool to manage the entire activities of a warehouse. The WMS handles everything effortlessly from inventory management, stock replenishment, receiving, put-away, pick, packing, shipping, and tracking of the logistics system. It helps you improve productivity and profit through advanced software and technologies. Barcode systems, RFID labeling, hi-tech automated robots for pallet movement, ERP systems, transport management systems, logistics software, augmented and virtual reality wearables, etc. are some of the hi-tech features of WMS. This article will walk you through the basic understanding of the warehouse management system (WMS), its features, how and where it fits with the supply chain, and different WMS systems. We will also discuss the benefits of Warehouse Management Software and the future of WMS. What is a Warehouse Management System (WMS)? A warehouse management system is a software solution that provides transparency and visibility to the entire warehouse operations. WMS is efficient enough to manage inventories, order fulfillment, inbound-outbound deliveries of any single warehouse or multi-location warehouse cluster. It is highly efficient in manufacturing setup and retail industries as it can track every movement of materials. An effective WMS can optimise your warehouse resources and allow you to maximize space utilisation. Moreover, with a suitable investment in the equipment, warehouse management software benefits the organisation by remarkably saving the material movement time. This, in turn, increases the efficiency of the warehouse. WMS reduces human efforts tremendously by tracking the entire material movement on a real-time basis. These software solutions are so efficient that they can trace the exact time of order placement, the pick-pack time, the person involved, and where the product has been transported by which vehicle. [contactus_gynoveda] What are the Features of a Warehouse Management System? An efficient WMS offers many features to its clients, and the final goal is to simplify the business process while improving overall efficiency. While planning for a software solution for your warehouse, you must consider what feature tools are required. Here are some essential features of a sound WM system. · Warehouse designing: The efficacy of a warehouse operation is maximum when it is appropriately designed, depending on the material flow, loading-unloading dock locations, number of materials to be handled, and many more parameters. WMS provides excellent design solutions to optimise the operations. It takes care of every minute detail of inventory management like storage location, pallet allocation, minimum travel path calculation, and many more. · Tracking of inventory: Modern WMS can track every movement and reflect the fulfillment status on a real-time basis. Advanced technologies like AR wearable gadgets, RFID systems, and barcoding ensure that every material has its area and vice versa. Moreover, we can get a clear picture of the invoicing data, packing size, space availability, etc. · Receiving and storing: This includes receiving materials from suppliers, checking with the purchase order, and leaving materials at the correct location without any error. Additionally, the inventory is updated on a real-time basis. · Pick, pack, ship: The intelligent WMS analyses several parameters and provides solutions for the best way of picking the material from the shelf, packing procedure, and shipping information. This smart software can generate packing lists, invoices, and bills of lading with a single click and can send advance shipping notifications to the clients. · Workforce management: Hi-tech WMS helps the warehouse manager to run the show efficiently. It provides visibility on the resources and indicates human resources availability. Additionally, you can monitor their performances and set KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) for performance evaluation. · Reporting: Reporting is a critical part of a warehouse. It comprises abundant information starting from the receipt, invoices, inbound and outbound deliveries, inventory status, and more. An innovative WMS can generate customised reports in real time. · Yard and dock management: It assists the dock supervisor in getting a fair idea about available docks and reduces waiting time for the trucks. Moreover, it helps in managing cross-docking and other inbound-outbound deliveries. Where Does a Warehouse Management System Fit into the Supply Chain? A warehouse is the central part of any supply chain. It plays a significant role in running a smooth supply chain by receiving goods, storing them without any damage, timely issuing raw materials and components to the production shop floor, and delivering the correct finished products to the right person at the right time and quantity. For example, suppose the warehouse cannot provide the suitable material or component to the production line on time. In that case, it will hamper the overall production and SCM process, cause a delay in deliveries, and ultimately hinder customer satisfaction. This is a simple example of how warehouse management can impact the supply chain. The modern supply chain operates on visibility and transparency. The warehouse is responsible for providing the correct information on the inventory front, order fulfillment, invoicing, etc. The more efficiently the warehouse works, the more the organisation can fulfill the customer’s requirements. The warehouse profoundly impacts supply chain management's revenue and business strategies. It plays a significant role in improving the SCM performance by Efficient storageStrategic locationSecurityInventory accountabilityFulfillment of orders and distributionEconomic benefitsValue-adding operations What are the Types of Warehouse Management Systems in 2022? Basically, we can categorise the WMS into three major types: Standalone WMS  This is the most traditional form that most organizations use. It is deployed on the company’s premises and uses its hardware system. According to their business complexities, every organisation can do a high level of customisation on this standalone WMS. Though it is a costly option, you can have tighter control over the system. After the system development and implementation, it is the asset of the company, and they need to bear the cost of maintenance, expansion, and updates. Another drawback of this traditional system is the complexity of integration with other latest next-gen technologies. Cloud-based WMS With the introduction of cloud technology, the latest WMS has adopted this platform to provide seamless solutions. You can enjoy the benefit of horizontal implementation at a faster pace. This, in turn, reduces the implementation cost. This system has the next level of advantages. There is no need to use your own hardware and IT resources for implementation and maintenance. The auto-update facility keeps you away from the headache of regular hassle. This system can be scaled up with your business expansion without investing much. Moreover, as it operates through the Cloud, your data is safe from any internal disaster. SCM and ERP-based WMS There are many software solutions that provide an entire system to the organisations for every function. For example, Enterprise Resource Planning software like SAP and Oracle offers a package solution that includes all the functions as modules. They have a finance module, production planning, material management module, inventory management module, and warehouse management module. The beauty of these solutions is, that they are integrated, and all data is linked to each module. Therefore, such systems are capable of providing a holistic picture to the management and offer end-to-end transparency of the supply chain. What are the Benefits of Warehouse Management Systems? There are several benefits of having a robust WMS in place. This helps the organisations improve their efficiency in every facet in the long run. We have listed some of its crucial advantages: Improved operational efficiency: The WMS is connected to many new advanced technologies, which helps streamline the processes and reduce errors significantly. Warehouse management software checks every step to avoid mistakes from the inbound receipt to the outbound deliveries. Moreover, with the help of automated tools, the warehouse team can handle larger volumes with less effort and paperwork. By eliminating the non-value adding activities (NVAs) and duplication of work, WMS enhances the overall efficiency of the warehouse operations. Better inventory management: Inventory blocks a tremendous amount of money in terms of materials but is essential to manage unplanned situations. An efficient warehouse management system indicates the correct inventory level and defines the min-max levels of items. Based on their usage and number of picks from the warehouse, WMS indicates the frequent, medium, and rarely used items, which helps in correct material ordering. Moreover, the advanced warehouse management software can identify the excess and obsolete inventories and trigger you to take necessary actions. Holistically, to manage a healthy inventory, you need a robust WMS. Improve labour management: You need not worry about labour management if you have intelligent WM software in place. To enhance the productivity of the resources, it can define workloads for the staff and optimise the in-warehouse movement path. It can even indicate the labour requirement and create a schedule for them. Safety is today’s topmost priority, and advanced WMS reveals the possible hazards within the space, ensuring the safety of man and machine. Reduce cost: Modern store management software is smart enough to calculate and advise optimum space utilisation ideas for ecommerce warehousing. It also determines the minimum travel path of the materials to reach the assembly line or loading point. Suppose you adopt the high-tech WMS during the initial warehouse design stage; its advanced simulation will help you to create optimised floor plans. Moreover, it highlights the perfect pallet locations, shelves, and equipment areas to run the warehouse with the highest efficiency, which, in turn, saves you a lot of money. Waste reduction: Modern software is backed up by solid data. WMS automatically identifies and applies the First-in-First-out (FIFO), Last-in-First-out (LIFO), or Highest-in-First-out (HIFO) policy on the goods based on the strategy. In the case of perishable or shelf-life items, this smart system informs you well in advance about the items approaching their end. It triggers you to pick those items first or prompts you for a sales push to avoid wastage. Boost customer satisfaction: Today’s businesses are driven by customers, and boosting their experience and engagement is crucial for success. A top-notch warehouse management software can help to boost your customer delight by improved order fulfillment, quicker deliveries, and fewer inaccuracies. If your WMS is integrated with any CRM software that provides a status update to the customer, it will improve your customer loyalty and brand reputation. Enhance supplier relationship: Suppliers are the pillars of any business. You need a close, transparent and real-time information sharing system with your suppliers to have a robust supply chain process. Your WMS can be integrated into the supplier’s system, bridging the gap and establishing a two-way information flow. It makes the process more flexible, and your suppliers enjoy a healthy business relationship. The WMS also benefits as the technology takes the entire industry towards the cloud infrastructure. Advanced cloud-based warehouse management software solutions provide some fantastic benefits as listed below. Fast implementation: Considering the traditional systems, cloud-based WMS is faster to implement. Where the conventional system takes months to implement, the advanced cloud-based platforms can be implemented within weeks, depending on the complexities. Quicker implementation provides minimum interruption to the running business and improves ROI and profit for fast-paced organisations. Fewer upgrade hassles: The beauty of cloud management includes the updates and modifications that occur on the cloud system itself. The vendor takes responsibility for making necessary modifications and changes in the cloud server. There is no need to update the system at regular intervals. It saves time and hassle for the customers. Moreover, it avoids costly customisations like the in-house software. It ensures that you always work on the latest version. Lower upfront cost: Cloud-based WMS is significant in terms of initial and running cost savings. This architecture neither requires any hardware or software installation nor any IT administrator to manage it. Additionally, the auto-updates, installation of the latest version, and modifications help you save tremendous time and money. There is no need to allocate additional resources to manage. Scalability and flexibility: As your business grows, you need to expand the IT systems and WMS. Cloud-based structures are remarkable in terms of scalability. The WMS can be scaled up quickly and can handle more complex supply chain situations. Furthermore, the flexibility of such a system provides a huge advantage to organisations in managing difficult situations. Seamless integration: You may be using different software solutions like ERP systems, software for your accounting process, and likewise for your business. The advanced WMS cloud versions are easy to integrate with your other business software, and you can get an integrated IT solution for your needs. What is the Future of Warehouse Management Systems? With the increasing demand in eCommerce and other industries, there is no doubt that businesses need to deliver the products in the shortest time period. The best possible way to handle such a situation is to manage your warehouse efficiently. WMS is going to solve the major issues of organisations by providing advanced solutions, and the future of this technology looks bright. According to a study, in 2021, the worldwide valuation of the WMS market was USD 3.7 billion, and it is forecasted to touch the mark of USD 8.9 billion by 2030. This shows a significant CAGR growth of 11.1% from 2022 to 2030. But how will the warehousing system reshape itself in these next couple of years? Let us see in detail. Introduction of Robots To manage the mammoth materials inbound and outbound flow, it is evident that warehouse management systems need automation. The introduction of robots in managing warehouse operations is a must. This revolution has already started, and many companies are offering best-in-class robotic solutions in this area. These robots can move materials to designated places, load and unload materials from vehicles, accurately pick-pack and ship, etc. Cobots, which are collaborative robots, work with humans to enhance productivity. Articulated robot arms and automated guided vehicles reduce human errors significantly and provide a safer environment for the warehouse staff. Drones for WMS Organisations are now keener to implement drones in their warehouse management. Drones are primarily used in different events, corporate activities, and defence purposes. However, their high efficiency, speed, and uninterrupted flow can significantly improve the movement of the materials in the warehouses. Many organisations are experimenting with deliveries with drones. It will not be a surprise to see drones lifting materials from storage racks and issuing them to the shop floor or unloading raw materials from the vehicles. Using Smart Gadgets in WMS Renaissance in technology from industry 1.0 to industry 4.0 showed us drastic changes in every facet. We saw the shift of store management from pen and paper to computerised systems and laptops. It is the era of intelligent and handy devices. In the Internet-everywhere environment, WMS can be accessed from anywhere, and you only need a smart device and Internet connectivity. The advanced WMS can operate on any device and operating system. You can scan barcodes and RFID, access the warehouse management system, track inventory, invoice shipping notifications, etc. This makes the system handy, increases productivity, and optimises the man force. Augmented Reality Wearables The popularity of using AR gadgets in warehouse management increases daily. These are innovative gadgets packed with ultra-modern features like scanning, WMS access, auto-counting, etc. These devices can help you identify the exact item code of the component and backtrack the order number, WBS element, and even the customer order number. They remove the dependency on human memory, and thus, will reach the maximum accuracy level in the future. Smart Automated Vehicles and Forklifts Auto-guided vehicles are the best gift of technology to the warehouse management system. Due to its high buying and maintenance costs, you cannot find these in most organisations. However, the future smart warehouses will be managed by these machines. Software programming enables these machines to operate automatically without any assistance. This will help organisations to reduce operational costs and increase efficiency drastically. On-Demand Warehousing Solution This is another prospect that will be a popular option in the future. It will offer flexibility to the organisations to manage pick situations demands. The additional capacity of the rented warehouse on an as-on-when-required basis will help small businesses spend less on costs. Big Data and Machine Learning Big data and ML are not new terms but the latest introduction to the warehouse management system. For large organisations, it is vital to analyse all the data points related to warehousing and populate them with decision-making templates. Warehouses store a massive amount of data; therefore, in the future, using Machine Learning and Big data analytics will be essential.    You can also read about the top warehousing companies here. Conclusion: Does your eCommerce business need a Warehouse Management System (WMS)? Currently, the business processes are getting highly complex. There are several factors like same-day or next-day delivery, changes in customer demand and expectations, challenges in the lead time, higher competition in the market, etc. To mitigate the ever-changing requirements and stay ahead of your competitors, you need to operate your warehouse efficiently. A warehouse management system can do it for you. If you are planning to set up your warehouse system or thinking of expanding your eCommerce business, it is the correct time to introduce an intelligent and next-gen WMS. It is an investment to increase productivity and take your warehouse operations to the next level. Knowing about WMS and its necessity in today's business environment. You must have thoughts, to access such warehouses to boost your business. You have an option of outsourcing such warehouse plus fulfillment centers run by experts without owning and spending millions on the system. WareIQ provides the fulfillment services to amplify your business which not only gives you benefits of the Warehouse Management System but a lot more. Established in 2019, WareIQ, a Y-combinator backed startup, has rapidly grown to be the leading provider of full-stack eCommerce fulfillment services for some of the most reputed brands in India. WareIQ offers a full-stack platform for eCommerce companies to enable same-day delivery and next day delivery to customers – an Amazon Prime-like experience but accessible to everyone. WareIQ has empowered brands to sell more, sell faster & sell everywhere due to: Access to WareIQ’s strong nationwide network of fulfilment centres, micro-fulfillment centers & urban dark stores near their customersAccess to all major national & hyperlocal last-mile couriers at discounted rates for making same/next day deliveries possibleEasy integration across multiple online platforms & marketplaces enhancing multi-channel sellingHorizontal marketplaces: Flipkart, Amazon etc.Vertical marketplaces: Nykaa, Myntra etc.D2C platforms: Shopify, Magento, WooCommerce etc.Social commerce platforms: BikayiAccess to a superior centralised tech platform for eCommerce operationsML-based prediction engine for efficient warehouse network design & smart inventory placementCentralised platform for core fulfilment & shipping operationsPost-shipping apps for delightful experience & zero to minimum supply chain leakages (Branded tracking page with smart marketing placements; Trigger-based updates & smart communication platform) WareIQ has customised offerings for merchants experiencing different order volumes as well as having different delivery speed expectations. WareIQ is probably one of the very few fulfilment tech companies in the world that have same-day delivery service for their customers under their product “WareIQ RUSH”. With world-class WMS functionalities, WareIQ handles the entire range of intricate operations in the eCommerce fulfilment process, ranging from Inbound Operations such as scanning and quality check, through 100% accurate Pick and Pack, to Inventory Management across all channels. WareIQ’s next day delivery and same-day delivery services are helping eCommerce businesses set new standards with respect to setting customer expectations and fulfilling them with high efficacy. At the same time, WareIQ customers realise significant cost savings and wider reach due to better negotiations with shipping partners, strategically placed warehouses, economies of scale and scope in warehousing and data-driven decision making. WareIQ’s WMS, a centralised tech platform helps to better manage undelivered orders by reducing NDR processing time by 12 hours – a multifunctional NDR dashboard helps to track and take immediate action for undelivered orders in real-time, thereby reducing RTO by up to 10%. Automatic replenishment recommendations and easy purchase order creation capabilities on the WareIQ platform further empower eCommerce companies to leverage all possible ways of increasing their ROI. [signup] Warehouse Management System FAQs What software is used in a warehouse?Warehouse management system is the software used in warehouses. This software is made to help users improve the efficiency of tracking inventory and supplies as they move through a warehouse. What is a Warehouse Management System (WMS)?A warehouse management system (WMS) is a software solution that provides inventory visibility and handles supply chain fulfillment operations from the distribution warehouse to the retail store. Is WMS an ERP system?The main distinction between WMS (Warehouse Management System) and ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) is that a WMS is a stand-alone system that requires other software to function, whereas ERP is an all-in-one solution. What is SAP's role in warehousing?The SAP Warehouse Management System (WMS) helps you process all goods movements and manage stocks in your warehouse complex with ease. Compare SAP and WMS.SAP Inventory Management assists in the management of stock quantities and values across multiple storage sites. The WMS, on the other hand, allows you to map your entire warehouse complex down to the storage bin level and determine where a specific material is now located. What are the different warehouse service offerings?There are 7 warehouse offerings namely:• Pick and Pack services• Sub-assembly services• Site location services• Distribution Center Management services• Vendor Managed inventory• Cross docking services• Fulfillment services Who are the top vendors in the warehouse management system market?The big 4 are;• IBM• Microsoft• Oracle• SAP Does WareIQ have a WMS?Yes, WareIQ provides a full stack fulfillment platform with unified OMS (Order Management System) and WMS(warehouse management system) that enables real time inventory & order sync across both softwares for better analytics.

April 30, 2022

Top 10 Ways to Reduce Logistics Costs in eCommerce in 2022

Top 10 Ways to Reduce Logistics Costs in eCommerce in 2022

Running an eCommerce business efficiently is an arduous task. Managing eCommerce logistics along with constantly thinking of various ways to reduce logistics costs further adds to the woes of owners of operations of online businesses. Expenses line up for the owner even before they set up the website. Although a responsive website and preferred domain cost around a hundred dollars, the eCommerce business demands anywhere between $1000 - $10,000 for a small company and the north of $50,000 for a medium-sized start-up. Once up and running, the enterprise starts to demand cash inflow for various other activities like: Inventory: Things that an eCommerce business sells are the priority. Having good quality stuff to sell helps the business owners make a brand name. Tying up with worthy sellers to procure the raw material or the finished good is critical for the business's success. Operational Costs: These include costs like incorporation and registration of the company, any legal fees, trademarking the logo, or buying software for internal or customer use. Website Costs: From buying the preferred domain, building and running a website to maintaining a secure payment gateway comes under website costs. In fact, purchasing server costs around $200 to begin with. Although purchasing an SSL certificate adds to the cost, custom designing and developing a website that runs on all digital platforms alike can cost anywhere above $10,000. Offline and Miscellaneous Costs: From buying an office space to running it, involves rent, infrastructure costs, internet costs, and other maintenance costs.  Hiring and Retaining Staff: Having the right staff is critical for any business; a wrong hire costs around 30% of the employee’s first-year earnings to a company. Marketing Costs: Every business needs a good marketing strategy, more so if running an online store. Creating a logo, branding and ads, physical advertising copies, visiting cards for the employees, building and maintaining social media profiles, and sending customer updates via email marketing, all cost around 10% of the total expenditure as per Shopify. Logistics Costs: A majority of the customers consider safe and timely shipping of their purchases as an essential criterion for rating a service. Everything boils down to nothing if the product they ordered arrives in pieces or is ruined. But logistics doesn’t only mean shipping the product from the warehouses to the customer. It embraces many layers that add to the logistics costs. Let’s take a look on how to reduce logistics costs and proven ways to reduce logistics costs by experts. What is eCommerce logistics? Customers shopping in an online store add their liked items to the cart and head to the payment gateway. However, when they see the details like the expected delivery date or any additional costs associated with the logistics, they tend to abandon the cart midway. Similarly, if the returns take time to process, the customers tend to change their brand preferences. Getting the purchase to the customer safely, timely, and in the most affordable way is what eCommerce Logistics embraces. This includes all logistical and supply chain management activities undertaken to run an online store. eCommerce Logistics is the supply chain movement from the seller to the customer or back from the customer, in case of returns. Businesses running an online store sometimes tie-up with logistics service providers to undertake all supply chain-related activities. Here’s what an e-commerce logistics supply chain looks like - Customers demand superfast deliveries and even agree to pay more to get them. India has moved on from one-day arrivals to receive their orders within 10 minutes of purchase for some items. With environmental enthusiasts calling for sustainable packaging solutions every day, the requirement for efficient and eco-friendly logistics has multiplied. eCommerce logistics has scaled manifold in the past five years. It is expected to grow to ₹492.8 billion by 2025 at a CAGR of 23.6% since the escalating demand from tier 2, 3 and 4 cities is driving this progress. [contactus_gynoveda] What are the Costs Associated with eCommerce logistics? An eCommerce business incurs many costs under the head of logistics alone. Inventory Cost Managing inventory well requires a lot of planning, workforce and money. Upstocking more than the demand can hog on the company’s cash flow. Keeping less inventory can cause disruption in supply and meeting consumer expectations, thus causing considerable losses to the business. Likewise, many mistakes increase the overall logistics cost for a company: Incorrect forecastingSky-high production costsReduced inventory turnoverUnexpected overheadsFailed or delayed deliveriesMistakes in data keepingLoss of customers Inventory Costs are a function of the following: Inventory Cover or Inventory Days or Days on Hand It typically means, according to the rate of sale of a particular Stock Keeping Unit (SKU), how many days of inventory are we holding. (example - I have 100 units of an electronics category SKU and my rate of sale is 20 units per day, my DOH or Days on hand inventory would be 5 days) The higher my inventory cover, the higher is storage required. The higher the storage space required, the higher would be my warehousing rental space.                   High Inventory DOH ↑  Higher Warehousing rental space & Cost↑                  High SKU Spead ↑  Higher Warehousing rental space & Cost↑ Every inventory manager must continuously review inventory health and keep an eye on high ageing inventory. There are multiple data cuts that one can look at inventory. 1. Pareto of Inventory - 80-20 rule can be applied to look at inventory. Inventory Value (in Merchandise Value terms, used as GMV or Gross Merchandise Value in the E-commerce industry) contributing to 20% of sales. Inventory SKUs (count of stock keeping units) contributing to 20 % of sales Inventory basis ageing (Ageing of inventory means the amount of time the item has been in a warehouse since its first inbound) Risk of damage, unsold, redundant inventory, expiry Products with high shelf life do not have an issue with expiry, but a company dealing with perishable items (for example - grocery items, fresh category items, FMCG consumable or edible products) have a shelf life of 1 day to 1 year. A high inventory cover poses a risk of inventory getting stuck and potentially liquidated or written off.  Products like general merchandise, electronics, footwear, and apparel with high inventory pose a risk of being unsold and falling under slow-moving inventory. They further pose a risk of being liquidated at <30% of the original value of the item.  So how do we ensure low damages or losses, expiry or unsold inventory?  Review of slow moving inventory and continuous focus by selling it off before item loses value in the market. Ensure its visibility to customers. Sales teams need to keep this a priority. If it is an e-commerce website, ensure visibility of slow-moving items on the app. Pitch and do curated selling by checking past history of buyer purchasingStack and store inventory by following storage norms to reduce damages. Packaging materials can be used to give protection to items. Stock verification teams need to check for damages and highlight to correct the inventory. If the company is capable of repackaging an item (with a packaging license available), the company must do so to avoid inventory damages In short, inventory costs impact 2 aspects - warehousing space cost and losses/damages.  The company must work towards inventory points to ensure warehousing space cost is optimized and losses/damages are minimal. Losses/Damages/Liquidation in logistics typically range from 0.1% to 5% depending upon the type of product.  Storage Costs eCommerce companies need to store the inventory, the finished goods in high demand, and returned products. With crunched delivery timelines in the current times, they need multiple storage spaces or dark stores across the country to fulfil customer orders rapidly. All these efforts add to the overall logistical costs. Storage costs can be broadly classified into: Warehousing & Hub rentals  Having the right network design keeps warehousing and hub rentals very low. In the Indian context, rent per sq. ft is a metric most e-commerce companies track. It can vary from as low as 10 Rs/sq.ft to 100 Rs/sq.ft. Companies operating in hyperlocal space have to spend higher as they need to be closer to the demand with quick delivery turnaround timings. Storage Designs Storage costs reduce non-linearly with the usage of shelving or racking. Depending on the type of products being sold, and the velocity or rate of sales, businesses can opt for multi-tier shelving type storage to reduce warehouse rental costs. There are multiple types of shelving and racking options right from long-span shelving to pallet racking which enables vertical storage possibilities with easy retrieval of inventory. The potential to store inventory in a sq. ft increases multifold with racking and shelving. But at the same time, some amount of material handling equipment would be needed for moving inventory which increases the CAPEX costs of the e-commerce company.  Other costs Operational costs such as electricity, repair & maintenance-related, stationery costs, and safety-related costs are part of storage costs. Such costs typically range from 5-10% of the facility or warehouse the company is operating Packaging and Handling Charges Different products need different packaging solutions. If the customers demand sustainable packaging, businesses need to procure specialised eco-friendly material to wrap the products with care. Moreover, fragile products demand extra care and time or temperature-sensitive commodities require expert infrastructure for transportation. Therefore, the company incurs many expenses to pack and handle their products effectively. Transportation Costs The expenses incurred in carrying the finished good to the customer or the returned product to the warehouse form 58% of the total logistical expenditure. If the inventory is not planned well, the transportation bears the burden of additional costs. Transportation costs can be broadly classified into - First Mile transportationMiddle Mile transportationLast Mile transportationReturns and reverse pick ups Transportation costs are a function of - Load per trip or UtilizationDistance of tripType of vehicle used to transportDefined commercials of tripDelivery window to customerType of product being transportedNumber of drop points [table id=35 /] COD Charges Due to convenience, around 80% of Indian customers opt for cash on delivery. The delivery partners eCommerce companies hire for the job charge extra for COD for the payment collection from the customer and submitting the proof of delivery to the company. Moreover, the logistics provider incurs additional charges if the product needs to be returned to the warehouse, thus passing on the cost to the eCommerce enterprise. Non-Delivery Reports Failed deliveries cost a lot to the logistics service provider. If not managed well, they can disrupt the supply chain. Every undelivered product needs to be traced back to the eCommerce company. If the reason behind the unsuccessful delivery is not uncovered, the other attempts might fail too. Cost of Labour The supply chain survives through the presence of good employees. They are needed at every step, whether it is packaging, warehousing, transporting or finding the way to the customer’s house for drop-off. Therefore, finding the right hire is critical for eCommerce companies to continue to exist, and they add to the overall logistics cost borne by them. Reverse Logistics Costs The charges are incurred when a customer opts to return the product to the seller. In such a scenario, the eCommerce company incurs costs for picking up the product from the customer’s place, transporting it to the warehouse, and inspecting and repackaging it for resale or recycling. Insurance Although insurance matters less to most eCommerce companies, the product's security being transported to or from the customer’s place holds utmost significance. The company doesn’t insure a product if it is of less value, but that doesn’t take away the need for top security measures to be in place and for readiness in case of unforeseen contingencies. Having insurance is a great way to lure more customers as it ensures the safety of their order. Many logistics service providers offer to insure their deliveries, and eCommerce companies negotiate the rates with them. Taxes The unavoidable devils of expenses, taxes form a crucial component of the logistics costs. The introduction of GST in 2017 condensed multiple taxes into one, but it still consumes a significant share of revenue earned by the eCommerce Logistics companies. A variety of factors influences all expenses. Let's understand what those factors are for the logistics costs.  What Factors can have an Impact on Logistics Costs? Consumer Expectations Like the others, eCommerce businesses take customer expectations and feedback very seriously. To address the growing consumer demand for shorter delivery timelines, even eCommerce startups invest heavily in dark stores and multiple warehouses across the nation, thus increasing the logistics costs. They bring down product rates to lure more hits to the website as the quality goes up irrespective of the price tag. Technological Advancements AI and Machine Learning have entered the supply chain and are revolutionising how eCommerce warehousing and distribution work. eCommerce companies are using superior software to drive the supply chain. Information is key in the logistics business, and improved online supply chain platforms assist the logistics managers in carrying out tasks related to inventory, warehousing, transportation and order management quickly. Having a solid tech backbone enables better information processing and, thus, better decision making. Decision Support Systems (DSS) also give businesses the desired competitive edge. Economic Scenario A country's financial performance and regulatory framework influence eCommerce and the supply chain industry. When GST was introduced in 2017, it changed how taxes worked in India, especially in the supply chain industry. When the distribution had halted except for essential goods during the pandemic, the eCommerce industry was among the worst affected. The businesses couldn’t deliver despite the demand, and the industry faced losses more than ever before. Logistics is a critical industry that influences global trade. It generates employment, income, and infrastructure and invites foreign investment. However, a vicious cycle of influence runs between the industry and the economy. One cannot function while the other suffers.  The Emergence of Global Brands The entry of Amazon changed the face of eCommerce in India. Such global brands with deep pockets pushed the Indian eCommerce players to think creatively to secure their share in the vast market of Indian consumers. Soon, the war was not limited to mere price tags. It also spread to product quality, delivery timelines, and returns policies. Everything combined, the Indian eCommerce logistics has borne the brunt of escalating costs and consumer demands due to intense competition in the sector. Weather It is not just pizza that gets delayed in a hailstorm. eCommerce suffers as an industry due to poor weather, which directly affects the physical movement of goods. The weather seems to be a prominent factor that impacts the speed of this industry. However, climate change isn’t far behind. Climate change has been causing severe disruptions globally, and eCommerce is well aware of the indirect costs it is bound to bring. The above simple example of a failed delivery snowballs into reverse logistics costs, unmet customer expectations, wastage of perishable produce, expenditure on fuel and person-hours, and the resulting monetary loss. Fuel Prices Fluctuations in fuel prices trigger a chain reaction in logistical costs. All modes of transportation run on fuel, and steady fuel prices mean cheaper transportation costs. In case of an upsurge, even if the eCommerce company tries to save costs in other areas, it boils down to nothing as the fuel price hike burns down the additional savings. Package Dimensions Weight and dimensions play a significant role in eCommerce logistics costs. The heavier or bigger the package, the higher the transportation cost. Moreover, some odd-sized packages require specialised transport, which demands more money. eCommerce companies employ various hacks to save costs here. Using fitted packaging or intelligent ways of wrapping help save costs associated with weight and dimensions. Delivery Timelines As mentioned earlier, the international giants introduced tighter delivery timelines in the country, which fueled the competition in the eCommerce industry and pampered the customer’s imagination. While most players now have similar deadlines, they endure steep expenditures due to strict targets. Surcharges From public holiday extras to the cost of reaching a difficult-to-access destination, surcharges vary in range but add to the overall cost of eCommerce Logistics. With so many ingredients escalating the final number and multitude of factors affecting the eCommerce logistics cost, it becomes imperative for corporates to adopt ways to reduce it. But how can eCommerce companies reduce logistics costs? Here are ten sure shot hacks to achieve it. 10 Efficient Ways to Reduce Logistic Costs in 2022 Source Partner with a 3PL Provider Sometimes, a business needs another pair of hands to delegate tasks and ease their workload and get an expert or a different opinion on managing work. That is why many eCommerce businesses outsource logistics to a third party who is an expert in customised supply chain solutions and can help them reduce logistics costs. These 3PL fulfillment service providers are professionals who can analyse and suggest ways to cut costs and still meet customer expectations. For instance, they can recommend the best means to widen the customer reach and shorten delivery timelines. Their services range from warehouse management, inventory management, transportation and distribution, technology solutions and reverse logistics. However, the most critical service they provide is delivery, as it deals with the end consumer. Keeping storage spaces closer to customer hubs where a business receives most orders is a foolproof trick to improve delivery timelines and save costs. But not every business can afford to open a dark store or a storage centre in various parts of the country. Buying or renting such spaces burns a hole in the logistical pockets of eCommerce companies. Logistics partners like WareIQ assist eCommerce companies in reducing costs and warding off logistical nightmares by providing storage spaces closer to customers across the country.  But before signing up with a 3PL partner, eCommerce companies should ensure their end goals and vision sync with the logistics provider. They should be able to customise services per the company’s requirement and provide specialised handling services for fragile, delicate, perishable and time-sensitive orders. But most importantly, they should give a bouquet of delivery options to ensure order fulfillment in case of contingencies. Read the blog on best 3pl for small businesses to understand factors online businesses should consider before choosing a 3PL Collect Data Extensively All good decisions have one thing in common. Availability of data in abundance. eCommerce players survive and grow on data collected from their customers, sellers, logistical partners, delivery personnel, suppliers, government and other players in the industry. eCommerce companies need to know every pinhole that might be leaking revenue out of their systems.  But that’s not it. The data collected needs to be analysed well to churn out information that decision-makers can use. Good technology helps a lot in analysing and processing data. This is a proven way to work on ways to reduce logistics costs. Employ Extensive Tech To reduce logistics costs, a company needs to automate warehousing, transportation and distribution. Many eCommerce companies looking for hi-tech solutions employ Warehouse Management Systems (WMS), shipping aggregators or delivery tracking apps to manage operations. Some even use automatic container loading systems in their storage spaces to save staffing and time and prevent damage to the goods.  But the world has moved past these tools. Instead, AI and ML have changed how technology operates and adapts to businesses. For example, WareIQ offers a comprehensive, streamlined platform to keep a tab on warehousing, delivery and drive customer engagement. These tools also help eCommerce players collect, store and analyse data. Locate Suppliers Closer to Customers A business’ preferred supplier in Cochin could make it difficult to transport products to its distribution centre in the East or most customers in the tier-3 town next to Patna. To reduce logistics costs and save time, the company must find sellers close by. A good seller next door is better than the best associate a thousand miles away. Consolidate Shipments Businesses must look out for consolidation opportunities for their shipments to a single location or team up with other shippers to increase and fully utilise their truckload. Both these techniques help reduce logistics costs for them and save time.  While consolidating their shipments, companies must use industrial-grade floor weighing very accurate scales. Reduced weight discrepancies lead to lower logistics costs. Moreover, rethinking and optimising their delivery routes is essential while combining shipments to a location to reduce transportation costs. Optimise Storage/ Reduce Warehousing Rental Cost Warehousing consumes a significant chunk of a company’s revenue and contributes around 10% to the total logistics costs incurred by corporates. ECommerce companies must optimise storage capacity by collecting in-depth data and adapting superior technology and out-of-the-box techniques. eCommerce companies need to analyse their storage, inventory and order management systems to ensure no resource goes waste. They should minimise spaces and increase density for good optimisation to reduce overall costs of the supply chain.  Another trick is to reduce the inventory for items that don’t sell much or categorise items based on their rate of returns. This way, companies can save time and space. The Supply Chain Planning team needs to build projections of sales basis on which warehousing rental space needs to be triggered keeping in mind at least 90% utilization of rental space. Any underutilization will lead to high fixed costs. The team scouting for warehousing space needs to ensure low Rs/Sq Ft Buy Packaging in Bulk A simple yet effective technique. Businesses should buy packaging material in bulk to save money and time. They could strike a deal with their preferred supplier for a regular supply of the wrapping ingredients in bulk. If the company is into eco-biodegradable packaging, purchasing in bulk can help reduce logistics costs. Define the KPIs A business cannot improve what it cannot measure, in order to reduce logistics costs one should define their KPIs. The extensive data collection techniques don’t serve any purpose if the companies don’t have performance indexes to measure them against. Therefore, all eCommerce companies must define their key performance indicators to measure their performance regularly. Beginning from delivery success rates to return rates and the level of inventory wastage, everything needs to be appraised. Ascertain All Costs Every business incurs some fixed and variable costs. Companies need to keep a tab on and strive to reduce individual expenses. For instance, preventive maintenance is a fixed cost but an indispensable expense, but varying shipping costs can be trimmed through various tricks discussed above. Reduce Cart Abandonment Cart abandonment proves that the customers like what you are selling but not the overall proposition. In most cases, the biggest reason occurs to be the figure flashing on the checkout page. Other reasons are the delivery timelines or simply the additional shipping charges. Either way, it costs the company a customer as that buyer is unlikely to return to shop at this portal.  ECommerce businesses need to reduce their cart abandonment rates. A trick to do this is placing a minimum order quantity for purchase to get free or faster delivery.  MOQs increase revenue, which helps in managing logistics costs. Companies can keep a minimum order quantity while ordering pushes the users to add maybe one more item to get a free or a quicker delivery. As a result, they receive what they like, and the business gets closer to its profit margin besides being able to reduce the abandonment rates for shopping carts. Conclusion eCommerce companies face a cash crunch due to intense competition for price and services and the flaws in the country's logistics infrastructure. Since logistics plays the most significant role in their success story, they must scout for solutions to reduce logistics costs. The right tools and significant associations make the uphill task easier. Managing logistics in-house while focusing on the reduction of logistics costs is a difficult task for online businesses. Hence, it's advisable to outsource logistics to a fulfillment services partner like WareIQ. Established in 2019, WareIQ, a Y-combinator backed startup, has rapidly grown to be the leading provider of full-stack eCommerce fulfillment services for some of the most reputed brands in India. WareIQ offers a full-stack platform for eCommerce companies to enable same-day delivery and next day delivery to customers – an Amazon Prime-like experience but accessible to everyone. WareIQ's fulfillment platform optimises delivery speed, logistics costs & customer experience through the 4 steps mentioned below: Sellers send their stocks to WareIQ's Regional Distribution or fulfillment centersWareIQ Intelligently places inventory across its network of 20+ FCsWareIQ picks, packs & ships orders across the online/offline channelsWareIQ's Recommendation engine to choose from a wide network of courier & shipping partners and prioritize shipping speed and logistics cost, with access to WareIQ Rush for same-day delivery  [signup] Reduce Logistics Cost FAQs What are the ways to reduce logistics costs?• Reduce Cart Abandonment Rate• Increase Average Order Value• Minimize Travel Times• Centralize Procurement• Consolidate Shipments• Focus On Informed Decision Making• Automate Warehouse and Logistics Processes• Outsource Logistics to a 3PL How does WareIQ help in reducing ecommerce logistics cost?• Affordable warehousing costs• Bulk carrier discounts • Latest technology and forecasting• Scalability of business without any upfront investment• Access to WareIQ’s fulfillment centers & dark stores across India without any investment in warehouse infrastructure• WareIQ’s analytics and recommendation platform for smart inventory placement• Recommendation engine for choosing the best courier partner Why should you hire a 3PL logistics provider like WareIQ?There are too many hidden logistics costs. The best way to avoid them is to outsource logistics to an experienced 3PL logistics company so that you can focus on your core business metrics. What is logistics in simpler words?The process of managing and executing the efficient transportation and storage of goods from the point of origin to the end customer is logistics.

April 30, 2022