If you run an ecommerce business, your shipping times are an incredibly important part of the customer experience. The consumer has high expectations when they buy products online because there are plenty of companies that offer next day, or even same day shipping, with real time tracking.
If you are a small business, people will not expect you to deliver goods by drone within the hour, but they will expect you to be able to get products out within a few days.
Crucially, they will expect you to deliver items when you say they will be delivered, and if things arrive late, they are not likely to use you again. That’s why it’s so important that you find ways to improve your shipping operation and make it more efficient. These are some of the best changes that you can make.
Improve Communication with the Warehouse
Often, the reason that things are slow is that there is a lack of communication with the warehouse. Orders are processed but it takes a long time for the employees in the warehouse to get that order and set the wheels in motion. That lost time quickly adds up and it can make products late. Poor communication with the warehouse also means that any inefficiencies go unnoticed for a long time. But if you can improve communication with warehouse staff, things should speed up a lot.
Consider the Location of the Warehouse
The location of your warehouse is important to consider as well. If it is poorly located and the transport links are not good, it will take drivers longer to get out to the customers and if their routes are too long, deliveries will get pushed back. That’s why you need to find a good location for the warehouse and if you can’t find one, consider buying the land and constructing your own warehouse. You can get prefab steel warehouses that are quick and easy to construct, and they are relatively inexpensive. If your warehouse is in a better location, your deliveries will go out faster and the customers will be a lot happier.
Invest in the Right Technology
If your warehouse staff are using a paper picking list to locate items, they’re going to be slow. Like all areas of your business, technology can make big improvements when it comes to shipping. If you invest in barcode scanning systems for locating items in the warehouse, you can speed things up in a big way. The faster your employees can find items and load them up, the quicker your drivers can get them out to the customer. Having barcode scanning systems in place also helps with your inventory management. When items are scanned, they can be automatically removed from your inventory list so you have an up to date and accurate inventory at all times. If you couple this with the right inventory management software, you can even implement automatic ordering when certain items are low.
Make these simple changes and your shipping operation will be far more efficient and reliable for your customers.