In their hurry to develop new products and market them successfully, many businesses completely overlook warehousing and fulfillment
. Even so, those functions are just as important as any other, which is why we would like to offer the following tips.
#1. Revamp your Storage Plan Occasionally
In any industry, product trends come and go. When product trends change, you may find your old layout no longer suits you. For this reason, you should consider analyzing your layout seasonally. If you have recently noticed a significant increase or decrease in sales, you may want to reorganize things accordingly. Likewise, if your business model has recently changed, it could also be time to switch things up a bit.
#2. Don’t be Afraid of new Technology
The latest supply chain technology can provide you with statistics in real time, help you determine what products are in demand, and allow for superior tracking capabilities. Upgrading to new technology may seem overwhelming, and often comes with its own learning curve. Even so, it will allow you to become more efficient and make timelier, more accurate decisions. It can also help you identify the source of errors and come up with a plan for eliminating them.
#3. Implement Cross Docking Whenever Possible
Cross docking involves unloading goods from an incoming trailer and placing them directly onto an outbound one. In some cases, merchandise may be sorted or prepackaged first-either directly on the dock or in what is known as a “cross dock terminal.” Accordingly, it requires virtually no storage and only minimal handling. Cross docking is one of the best ways to increase your profit margin, yet industry experts often note that it is one of the most underutilized methods in the business.
#4. Become Familiar with the Various Types of Picking
When filling orders, you may choose to go with batch, wave, cluster, or zone picking. Each type of picking has its own perks, and is suitable for certain kinds of operations. Know a little about how each one works so you can implement the one that is best for you. Doing so will also help you know when it is time to move from one type of picking to another-for example, switching from batch to wave picking as your business grows.
#5. A Bigger Warehouse Does not Necessarily Equal Larger Profits
These days, consumers are expecting next day or even same-day delivery. This means that the location of your warehouse is paramount. Rather than having one very large warehouse, you may find it more lucrative to operate several smaller ones throughout your distribution area. This is especially true for those in the food service industry, who must get items to market quickly in order to preserve their quality and freshness.
There may be times when implementing these tips seems overwhelming or impractical. In those instances, partner with Combined Technologies, Inc. for all your packaging, warehousing, fulfillment, and supply chain needs. Schedule a consultation to learn more about our services and the various ways in which they could benefit you.