11 Ways to Improve Dock to Stock Processes in Your E-Commerce Warehouse

Every fulfillment business, regardless of size, faces the same daily pressure to meet service levels making ‘Dock to Stock’ the battle cry of every receiving department. Dock to Stock involves efficient internal processes as well as setting vendor compliance policies between a vendor and the merchant operation. These combined practices allow warehouse receiving to move incoming receipts and new product into inventory quickly.

The most important element of Dock to Stock is validation that the vendor has shipped the correct items and the correct quantities from the purchase order. If the vendor’s shipment deviates from the purchase order, inventory counts can be inaccurate and customer service could get delayed. If you can avoid those costly issues, Dock to Stock can help streamline receiving and get items where they need to be faster.

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Warehouse Inventory Management During an E-Commerce Warehouse Relocation

The biggest challenge you’ll face in relocating a warehouse is disruption to your business. If you are fully invested in inventory at an existing 3PL or your internal facility, how will you transfer inventory to start up the new facility without having to shut down for days or even weeks?

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9 Questions About Fulfillment Center Automation

Installing automation and conveyance systems in your fulfillment and distribution center is a major capital expense and long lead time. It requires considerable expertise, time to plan, and implement these systems properly.

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Does Your Order Taking, Customer Service and Fulfillment Build Customer Confidence?

As we shop this Christmas season, we have had three examples that stand out from all the rest:

  •  We had our first same day order and same day delivery from Amazon.com. It wasn’t something we requested but we pleasantly surprised to get. Amazon has two distribution centers in Richmond, VA where we live. The order was placed on a Saturday in the late morning and delivered within four hours to our home. Frankly, I know that this isn’t an economical option for most businesses (maybe including Amazon). But I’ll tell you it is a formidable marketing weapon. It was extremely fulfilling to receive the item so quickly without leaving home. 
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Are You Holding Onto Your Order Management System Too Long?

In many cases, businesses are holding on to their installed order management system or ERP for more order management systemthan 10 years – sometimes 15+ years – if they believe they’re the right fit. On the face of it, this is sound thinking; considering the time and expense involved in implementing a new system.

Your order management system or ERP may be right for your call center, the merchandisers’ management of inventory, accounting systems and integration with your web platform. But are your fulfillment system requirements the same as they were 10-15 years ago? For many businesses, the answer is a resounding no.

Maybe you’re being too conservative by expecting incrementally greater productivity from your distribution center’s warehouse management system each year without additional functionality. In most companies, direct and indirect labor accounts for more than 50% of the total cost of fulfillment, excluding cost of shipping. People productivity in a DC is largely based on the feature/function set designed into the systems.

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Get Ready For Holiday Season - Conduct an Operational Audit Now!

Summer time is here, the kids are out of school, time to hit the pool, right? I know that you don't want to operational audithear this, but it is prime time to conduct an operational audit to identify those areas needing improvements. Believe it or not there are only 5 months left before the Holiday season is here again! Make certain that you have ample time to implement your fixes, develop strategies and plans for the distribution center. What are the objectives you and your management team have set for improving operations this year?

Here are a few areas to look at for your operational audit in order to determine what changes will be most beneficial to your distribution center and operations: 

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Assessing and Applying the Proper Level of Material Handling Solutions

Once viewed as a cost center and a necessary evil, warehousing and fulfillment are now being seen as aMaterial Handling Solutions potential competitive advantage. The enhanced overall view of the supply chain is placing increased emphasis on the importance on the warehouse and operations.

A well thought out material handling solutions plan can improve the bottom line of many businesses, but a poorly thought out or implemented project can put the entire business at risk. We see many cases where warehouses are misapplying the available technology to their specific problems or issues.

READ: 38 Fulfillment Cost Reduction and Productivity Improvement Ideas

Consideration has to be given to the reason for considering the technology or material handling solutions to determine what desired results or objectives are needed. This information will help determine if the proposed solution is appropriate and will deliver the results needed.

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Warehouse Planning: How Much Space Is Needed in a Distribution Center?

Deciding to move into a new distribution center is no easy task and certainly requires planning that manyDistribution Center Space companies are not accustomed too. If not done properly, the warehouse planning process can be doomed from the beginning. The first major challenge is conducting an operational assessment determining how much space you need to accomplish the existing tasks and to support sales growth. And then how will the space be best used?

Here are 10 important factors to take into account regarding whether a potential warehouse will work for your company.

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With Warehouse Layout Think Inside the Box

Author: Thomas Openo Jr., Director, Preferred Realty & Development

Think inside the box. Does your warehouse and warehouse layout meet the strategic objectives for your multichannel business? 

Warehouse LayoutMany older warehouses, distributions centers and locations are obsolete in today’s “point and click” world. Higher volume ecommerce sales and increased competition are quick to expose warehouse inefficiencies. Today, consumers expect fast delivery, which requires automation and technology but with an outdated warehouse layout; operations such as high-rise racking are not an option.

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Applying Automation and Material Handling Solutions to Fulfillment


Everyone wants to see how other multichannel and omnichannel companies apply automation and Cross_Belt_Conveyortechnology to their fulfillment operations. What are the benefits, challenges and the ROI? My panel at Operations Summit 2015 showcases how Cabela's, Crutchfield and Colony Brands (formerly Swiss Colony) have implemented automation and material handling solutions. These fellows are four of the most talented multichannel and omnichannel leaders I know.

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