9 Ways Warehouse Management Systems Makes Your Operation More Efficient

An efficient warehouse maximizes its space use, streamlines operational functions, and increases employee productivity. A Warehouse Management System (WMS) standardizes and manages the four-wall activities and inventory management. When a warehouse is efficient, customers receive their orders on time, and the company's costs are in-line with management’s financial plan.

Below are nine major ways a WMS improves operations efficiency.

Read More >

How Automation Is Reducing Labor Cost and Improving Order Turnaround Time

To say 2020 was a curveball most businesses would be a gross understatement. While Americans suffered and many small businesses closed permanently, multichannel businesses as a whole saw significantly higher volumes, largely from direct-to-customer orders. The difficulty was in trying to keep workers safe and have enough labor to ship customer orders without falling more than a few days behind. For some clients, the goal was to merely not fall more than 10-14 days behind.

Read More >

4 Strategies For Dealing With 2021 Carrier Rate Increases

Like many consumers, you may indeed still be anxiously awaiting gifts for family and friends due to the record-breaking parcel volumes shipped during this past holiday season. Whether you are a retailer, manufacturer, or eCommerce shipper, 2020 has no doubt been a challenging year for most from a Supply Chain perspective. With the record parcel volumes for UPS, FedEx, USPS and the Regional Carriers since the beginning of Covid-19 through the holidays, carriers were challenged like never before to meet this surge of parcel volumes and maintain service standards.

Read More >

Metrics Every E-Commerce Company Should Monitor to Improve Fulfillment

“If you cannot measure it, you cannot improve it.”

That’s an observation that famed British physicist, Lord Kelvin, made about scientific experimentation and operational improvements over 100 years ago. It’s still pertinent today as we seek to improve e-commerce operations, be competitive and look to improve our profitability and customer service.

In order to improve operations, we first need to measure key metrics, which are units of work such as the total warehouse cost per order, shipped cost per carton, the cost per line on an order and cost per unit. Once we understand what these metrics show, we can then develop options for processes that reduce steps and therefore cost; or improve service levels in the warehouse such as order turnaround time measured in hours.

Read “70+ Ways To Reduce Cost, Increase Productivity and Improve Customer Service"

What key operational performance metrics do you monitor and use to improve processes? Here are the metrics which we recommend as the starting point in measurement and improvement process:

Read More >

10 Considerations for Transitioning from a 3PL to Internal Fulfillment

Companies that utilize third party fulfillment (3PL) services sometimes reach a point where they consider transitioning from the 3PL services to internal warehousing and order fulfillment. Some of what drives these decisions is to control costs, whereas others have had a bad experience with 3PLs and now only trust themselves with their product. Using a 3PL isn’t for every company.

Read More >

How to Control Rate Increases in 3PL Contracts

Reviewing contracts for third party logistic (3PL) providers can be a daunting task – especially for those not familiar with the process.  One of the most critical aspects in any 3PL contract is the language surrounding pricing and rate increases.  It is vital to ensure that the language is fair for both the customer, as well as the 3PL.   

Read More >

7 Indicators You May Need to Invest in a Warehouse Management System

Most companies want to improve their operations and become more efficient. The desire and need to improve is there. However, their systems are holding them back. FCBCO sees time and time again during operational assessments, the majority of the recommendations for becoming more efficient and moving to the next level operationally, cannot be implemented without implementing a new system. The right Warehouse Management System (WMS) for your company makes improvement possible through stronger functionality and improved warehousing processes.

Read More >

How Does My Warehouse Cost Per Order Compare?

In our consulting practice, we often hear the question "how does my cost per order compare to others". Management wants to be sure that the warehouse and distribution expenses are in line, and as efficient as possible. Companies typically benchmark against other warehouse and distribution center operations, to measure the performance of their company’s services, processes and metrics against those of another business.  Companies also benchmark against the best in a specific industry (i.e. “best in class.”). The point of benchmarking is to identify internal opportunities for improvement as companies strive for continuous process improvement.

Read More >

8 Considerations for Managing Your Workforce

Many ecommerce fulfillment centers are largely dependent on manual labor. Direct and indirect labor costs generally make up 50% or more of the total cost per order (excluding outbound shipping). In many businesses as hourly wages have increased, overall DC productivity has remained flat resulting in an increased cost per unit produced (orders shipped, units picked, returns processed).

In many markets, even before the COVID crisis, the quality and availability of warehouse workers had decreased. High employee turnover in many distribution centers adds costs and instability to operations. The operations mantra is do more with the resources they have and to reduce cost per order.

Read More >

6 Ways to Reduce Picking Errors

Picking errors have a very high cost to your business in both actual costs, and in lower customer satisfaction, Life-Time Value (LTV) and customer retention. These aspects will erode your business’ profitability and customer and Net Promoter Scores (NPS).

A mis-pick or a picking error can occur for a variety of reasons:

  • Picking a wrong item, in addition to, or instead of the correct item.
  • Wrong quantity.
  • Failure to pick an item.
  • Picking an item that is unacceptable because of damage, incorrect labeling, or packaging.

This article discusses identifying the cost to your business and customer service as well as six ways to minimize picking errors.

Read More >
COMMENTS