eCommerce Weekly Checklist: Warehouse Logistics

The Problem/Opportunity:

Gearing up for your busy selling season, you will need to pay attention to the following to ensure efficiency in your warehouse processes. As orders increase, so does the potential for errors that can affect customer service and satisfaction. You’ll want to implement some measures to help reduce customer service calls and complaints.

Your primary goal is accuracy. Products need to be shipped correctly and inventory levels must remain accurate to meet customer demands and for cash flow management.

Some metrics to focus on: Cost per order, tracking aging inventory, managing SKU counts, returns due to packing error, inventory damage value, and reducing touch points.

The Solution:

  • Popular Items

Keep your best sellers near your packers

  • Organize

Make sure that bins/shelves are marked clearly with the item code, provide the same photos you use on the web whenever possible. Name the item exactly what is printed on your picking list or invoice.

  • Designated Areas

Separate receiving area, damage area, return to vendor area and returns from customers. This will help keep your warehouse more organized and enable you to see which areas need immediate attention.

  • Sort pick tickets by aisle to save your pickers time.
  • Safety and organization

Keep aisles clear and organize not only for safety compliance, but to help speed things up when your pickers are looking for products.

  • Double check what is being packed

Your picker generally should not be your packer, so there is a way to double check what goes in the box to ensure accuracy, avoid customer complaints and returns.

  • Training and incentives for warehouse safety

Warehouse accidents are costly not only due to worker injuries but can cause order fulfillment delays and customer dissatisfaction. Set up a pizza parties or other incentives to keep safety a top priority. For example, “No reported injuries for 30 days” earns the team a pizza lunch. Incentives like these will be appreciated and go a long way toward compliance.

  • Reduce touch points

The less a product is handled, the lower the cost per order. Review your systems and processes and streamline as much as possible.

  • Manage staffing

Have both full-time and part-time employees that you can call on in the event that you get short bursts of increased sales. Labor cost is your largest expense in warehouse management.

In the Long Run: 

Developing warehouse cost-saving strategies will not only save you money but will add to your bottom line. Tracking and measuring metrics will aid in goal setting, which can help increase productivity, reduce staff attrition rate, and help boost employee morale.

Getting to “ecommerce heaven” is a marathon, not a  sprint – but you can get better every week.

By: Shirley Tan

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eCommerce Weekly Checklist: Warehouse Logistics

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