Order Fulfillment Growing Pains

April 29, 2015 by Amware Fulfillment

Is order fulfillment a core competency that you want to build within your growing e-Commerce organization? Often times as companies grow and mature they realize there is a lot more to having an efficient and effective supply chain than they originally anticipated. Many successful e-commerce and Direct Selling start-ups began with order processing in their basements and garages. As daily order volumes increase and SKU base grows, internal fulfillment operations can become a headache for most e-tailers. Common growing pains include:Order Fulfillment

  • Space constraints – The old shed out back may seem like a good fit for your first storage location, but as product adoption occurs and more consumers become interested in your products it becomes a constraint. Plus, where are you going to fit that old station wagon when hail season comes around?
  • Labor – Packing a few orders a day or week can seem like an easy task, but as volume rises do you have the processes to train and support additional labor? Can you support fluctuations associated with peak seasons? Are returns being processed in a timely fashion?
  • Systems- Have you added distribution channels that require unique labeling? Retail compliance is vital to a successful multi-channel strategy and this begins with having the right systems.
  • Leveraging Parcel Spend – Offering free shipping is a requirement in today’s marketplace, but do your available parcel rates make this an option without eroding your margin?
  • Managing Peak Seasons – The two pick/packers you had working the garage may have been able to process predictable order volumes, but when kitting and presentation become important it might be time to take a look at other options.
  • Network Optimization – Perhaps when you started out your customers were all within a somewhat close proximity to your business. As your reach becomes more national and time-in-transit increases, a multi-location network may be an important piece to the puzzle.

Although the initial fulfillment or pick/pack operations may be easy for you to handle internally, there eventually comes a time to ask the questions “does this still make sense?” or “is there a better way?” If you are at that point and want an expert opinion on the next phase of your fulfillment program, we’d love to hear from you.

To learn more about how Amware has eased the fulfillment headaches of several top Direct Selling and e-commerce companies visit www.AmwareLogistics.com or reach out to us at sales@amwarelogistics.com.

Filed Under: Parcel Shipping for eCommerce, Direct Sales Fulfillment, Fulfillment Services