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Increasing Warehouse Efficiency

Your fulfillment center is the heart of your business. You rely on it to get your product moving and so do your customers. In today’s increasingly mobile world, customers expect their orders to be shipped as quickly as possible. This is why companies like Amazon have started offering both Sunday and 1-hour deliveries in major metropolitan areas. People have come to expect near instant gratification. If your order processing times are longer than 48 hours, you have a problem. Ideally you should be shipping orders within 24 hours outside of holidays and weekends. How can you shorten your processing times?

Obviously the first thing to do is make sure you’ve got enough manpower. Hire temps if you have to, especially around the busiest times of the year, like Christmas. Also, look at your equipment and machinery, including your computers. Upgrade if necessary-it’s an investment that will quickly pay for itself. If the problem is that you’re outgrowing your warehouse and inventory is hard to find, it’s time to start planning an expansion. If budget concerns are holding you back, consider Advanced Modular commercial buildings.

It’s also a good idea to look at your procedures. Bringing in a logistics management consultant can help you pinpoint problem areas that need improvement and overall changes that can help speed things up. It’s a worthwhile investment. There’s one other thing to think about; your shipping. Are you shipping orders promptly but customers are complaining it takes forever to get to them? Look at the methods you’re using. If they include parcel post or the universally hated FedEx or UPS Smart post, think about eliminating them. Flat rate Priority is the most cost effective. If you must offer parcel post and Smart post, give customers the chance to choose faster options and be sure to make the transit times of the slower once crystal clear. Communication can make a real difference!

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