How to Find Opportunities for Operational Improvement

Improving the efficiency of your fulfillment operations is something you should always be striving for. Because the peaks in your annual sales cycle test the maximum capacity of your operations, these times are an excellent opportunity to identify challenges or inefficiencies. Unfortunately, this can be almost impossible to do while you're in the thick of things - even outside of peak season.

A 3PL provider is an invaluable solution to this common problem. Not only can they objectively analyze your current operations, but they can also leverage their experience to find solutions that work for your unique situation. In this blog post, we'll cover a few of the main areas your 3PL provider will investigate at the beginning of your partnership. The more data that you can provide, the better that they can help you. During your peak season when you are facing the most challenges, try to be cognizant of the following areas so your 3PL provider can learn where the best opportunities for improvement are.

Staffing

  • What are your current procedures for recruiting and training?
  • When hiring for peak season, which areas do you hire for?
  • What is the average number of staff used to accomplish different types of workloads?

Workflows

  • Are there recurring tasks that are overly complex or time-consuming?
  • When productivity drops occur, are there identifiable causes?

Warehouse layout and inventory storage

  • Are there ways to reorganize or upgrade pallet racks and storage systems to get more capacity?
  • Are there bottlenecks in your current layout that affect picking productivity?  
  • Would a new warehouse facility be a cost effective solution?

The Advantages of a 3PL Partnership

There comes a time when ecommerce start-ups must decide whether to expand their internal fulfillment capabilities, or outsource to a third-party logistics and fulfillment provider. However, making that decision requires more consideration than a simple cost-analysis. While an internal fulfillment department comes with flexibility advantages, a partnership with a 3PL company also has perks that can benefit an ecommerce company as a whole. More...

Do you Need a New Distribution Center?

Industry competition, customer expectations, and annual shipping rate increases seem to be driving up the costs of operating an ecommerce business more and more. Fulfillment services and distribution are a big part of your business that contributes to the bottom line. Superior fulfillment services mean that shipping costs and delivery times are reduced – attracting new customers, more repeat purchases, and increased revenue. Of course, expanding your distribution centers can be easier said than done. More...