E-tailers are Scrambling for more Warehouse Solutions – Are You Among them?

In addition to struggling with issues related to logistics management expertise and software, many ecommerce businesses are stymied by the physical limitations of their facilities – so much so that the demand for major warehouse improvements is on the rise.
    
A recent survey from Zebra Technologies Corp, which polled 1,400 warehouse IT and operations management professionals, indicated that the worldwide demand for warehouse space and inventory management solutions is increasing. According to the study, 48% of participants said that they are currently working to increase their number of warehouses - while 76% plan to increase warehouses by the year 2020. Other interesting takeaways from the survey include:

Another study from CRBE also found an increasing demand for warehouse space, mostly due to a desire to improve reverse logistics efficiency.

In ecommerce, the sale often goes to whoever has faster, cheaper, and easier shipping options – and improving your distribution network through size and efficiency is a solid strategy for maintaining a competitive edge. If you haven’t done like the respondents to Zebra Tech’s survey and imagined what your warehouse needs will be in 5 years, you may get left behind. If you’re not sure where to start or what factors to consider, we’re always happy to help.

Tips for Managing Excess Inventory

A continuous flow of inventory is a major goal for ecommerce businesses. But when seasonal, market, or other fluctuations negatively affect your sales, you may find yourself stuck with excess inventory. Consider the following tips to address the excess inventory you have, and keep more of it from building up.

Make a plan ASAP

The longer you wait to do something about your excess inventory, the more problems it causes by taking up space (which is even worse if you are leasing additional space just for excess), increasing taxes (if you wait until that time of year), and potentially devaluing (if the next iteration of a product is around the corner, demand for the previous iteration may drop even lower).

Liquidate in moderation

Perhaps you're willing to deeply discount excess inventory to get rid of it quickly. But, if you find yourself doing that on a consistent basis, it can spell trouble for your profitability. If you liquidate regularly, you’re losing out on profits without addressing the root cause of the excess inventory. Consider a change in marketing strategy to renew consumer interest, or move on to different product lines.

Partner with a charity

Donating your products can do more than just spread goodwill. If your business is eligible for them, the federal tax deductions you receive may even be better than what you’d get from liquidation. A gifts-in-kind organization can help you donate excess inventory to where it’s needed.

Optimize your Inventory Strategy

Because excess inventory can tie up your working capital and warehouse space, it’s best to try and avoid it in the first place. With Fulfillment Works, our state-of-the art inventory control management system is fully automated to help you manage your inventory by sending out real-time movement history reports, current usage analysis reports, and other metrics to maximize the efficiency of your inventory levels.

Tips for Smoother International Shipping

Expanding into international markets is a major milestone for any ecommerce business. But just like any business expansion, international shipping can be full of challenges, setbacks, and important lessons for any size ecommerce company. Use these tips as a guideline to reduce your growing pains and ensure that your international shipping services go smoothly. More...

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...