Having a concrete plan for order fulfillment is one of the most crucial parts of your e-commerce business. Appropriate inventory management and shipment will ensure that the product reaches the customer in a satisfactory condition. If the customers are not satisfied with what they receive or receive it late, then they will certainly not return to make any further purchases from your store.
To ensure that you never face such a situation, you must constantly think of scaling your inventory and shipping. A system which is highly scalable has the ability to maintain or increase its performance levels despite facing larger operational demands. Only through a set of thoroughly shaped & executed inventory management and shipping plans will you be able to make your business more scalable and ultimately more effective. Here are some of the methods which you can use.
1) Creating Targets And Setting Priorities
The most crucial step in making your inventory and shipping highly scalable is to create achievable targets and set your priorities according to these figures. These goals help to create a path which you can follow to ensure that your operations achieve their aims in a short span of time, ie effectively and efficiently. Having a constant clarity will help you understand when you should perform a certain task and the time at which you can upgrade your operations. Do not be demotivated whenever you are unable to meet these targets. Keep in mind that you must not be rigid, but modify them according to market conditions.
2) Using Data
The first step in scaling your inventory comes from data management. Data is necessary to streamline processes and can be used as a tool to improve your inventory and order management. Here are some of the ways in which you can utilize data to help in scaling your order fulfillment.
- Stock management and movement: Once you know the time and quantity of your sales, you can always calculate when and how much you need the stock. You will also know when you can and cannot afford excess stock and therefore manage your resources according to this data. Better stock management will ensure that your time and resources are not wasted.
- Forecast Sales: Forecasting your sales will help you understand how much inventory you require for both the short term and the long term. It will also help you to identify which elements in the order fulfillment process are failing. This will help you arrange for and upgrade your inventory & shipping.
- Identify Selling Trends: Once you identify which are the years, months or seasons in which your products tend to do well, you can plan your inventory orders and shipping carrier negotiations to ensure that the products are ready and able to handle the demands during a peak sales time period.
3) Automating Fulfillment and Shipping
Using software to automatically update all your information into a panel eases a lot of your headache. Here are the benefits of investing in an automated software:
- Combining all your orders into one location will help you to carry out the entire order fulfillment process from one location.
- You can monitor inventory levels which helps you identify the elements which you need to manage your inventory.
- Once you are aware of your inventory levels you can negotiate your shipping rates accordingly.
- Monitor your shipments and choose the shipping carriers according to your budget.
Dropshipping is one of the most popular models of e-commerce order fulfillment because of the fact that it is highly convenient and highly scalable. Instead of holding inventory, you simply partner with a dropshipping wholesaler who holds all the inventory and ships the products. Although the margins per product is low, you can expand your business to include more products as you do not hold inventory and only the only factor limiting your expansion is the budget. It is extremely risky, but by being aware of the warning signs and with constant communication you can navigate through these risks.
5) Maintaining A Good Relationship With All Parties
It takes some time build a good relationship with your inventory suppliers and shipping carriers, as there are many benefits to be gained. With constant communication and updation of information, you have a stronger ground to negotiate for benefits like discounts and bargains. A healthy relationship is also important because it builds trust, a rare commodity in today’s world. This will help increase your productivity levels and make your business more scalable.
Making your operations scalable is an indication of your hunger to go up to the next level. Its effective implementation will ensure that your business will witness a tremendous upgradation and achieve its true potential.