Thanks to highly influential e-commerce giants, customer expectations are rapidly changing your fulfillment services. Customers are demanding quick and/or free delivery. Their demands translate to shrinking delivery timeframes, splitting inventory in multiple facilities, or relying on a third-party logistics company like BR Williams to provide fulfillment services. Most of these changes are easier said than done. MHI published a study in 2020 citing consumer demand for speed as one of three toughest challenges for the supply chain today. 54% of respondents reported it was extremely or very challenging. That’s why we put together some of our tried-and-true tips to help you meet consumers’ growing fulfillment demands.
Invest in Excellent Forecasting Software
Splitting inventory across multiple facilities can create an inventory management nightmare. Either you need to over-produce products or use forecasting data to determine where to place your inventory. Forecasting data takes the guesswork out of your inventory management and ensures you have the exact stock you need when you need it.
Adopt the 80/20 and Then Some Rule
Remember the 80/20 rule? 80% of your orders typically come from 20% of your SKUs. But what happens when someone orders something outside of that 20%? Be sure to maintain proper inventory for the 80% of SKUs that aren’t in high demand. That way, you avoid the cost of shipping multiple packages from multiple locations to the same address, which can put a big ding in your profits.
Utilize Great Technology
In the world of 21st-century business, you’re only as good as your technology. And there’s a good reason. It helps make your business work smarter, not harder. Barcode scanners and inventory management systems ensure inventory and order integrity and analyze trends and build heat maps for visualizing orders across the country. Continue to invest in these systems to help your business accurately forecast customer demands, or partner with a 3PL that does…which bring us to our next tip.
Partner With a Third-party Logistics (3PL) Provider
Of course, we have to give you this tip! We’re a 3PL provider, after all. Suppose your business is at the point where you can’t perform specific tasks in-house, or you’re running out of storage space. In that case, it may be time to outsource your warehousing or fulfillment responsibilities. Just think, instead of juggling storage space and distribution, you could spend your time focusing on your core business and its primary activities. Besides, a 3PL provider typically has established fulfillment centers in various regions, which help you to deliver with the speed your customer’s demand. If you need help turning over your storage and fulfillment tasks to a trusted 3PL provider, check out our beginners guide to outsourcing.
Not only is meeting customer demands for fulfillment necessary for operational efficiency, but it’s also a requirement to differentiate you from your competition. If you’re struggling to meet your customers’ growing fulfillment demands, contact BR Williams today to discuss your warehousing and fulfillment needs. With over 60 years of supply chain experience, BR Williams can analyze your supply chain, provide the best solution to meet demands, and maximize your bottom line.
About BR Williams Trucking & Logistics
BR Williams is a 62-year-old, family-owned Trucking, Warehousing & Logistics Company. We specialize in removing the supply chain frustrations our customers have by developing custom-made solutions. We offer nationwide transportation services through our fleet and logistics division. Our six fulfillment and distribution centers are located in the Southeast and span over 1.7 million square feet. Our core values are Honesty | Integrity | Service and we still serve our first customer that was established in 1958.