Shipping and Fulfillment Processes, Is It Time To Re-Evaluate Those?
Is it time to re-evaluate shipping and fulfillment processes? If you have not read our blog on Supply Chain Trends that may not change, please do. On top of the absolute craziness in the world, it’s a surprise manufacturers and distributors are still shipping products out. With Supply-Chain shortages, trouble hiring and retaining good employees coupled with rising operating costs (Fuel, Raw Materials, Warehouse Space, etc.) should you evaluate some of your processes and technology? In my humble opinion, yes, you should.
Manual and Redundant Processes ~ Those Are Not Good for Business
To this day when I visit or speak with my manufacturing and distribution prospects, I notice their team members spend a significant portion of their day manually inputting data. This should be captured electronically. There is a high amount of risk associated with recording transactions on paper and then inputting the data into your system at a later point – letting time elapse. By immediately scanning inventory during the receiving, counting, moving, production, transfer, picking, packing, production and shipping processes – you increase your accuracy and eliminate room for error. In addition, 2022, has brought to light the importance of finding and retaining great employees. From top level operations, warehouse and plant management down through warehouse and plant floor workers, there’s a shortage of people. The factors increased with the Covid Situation. People started rethinking their jobs. While we all are looking for ways to innovate and rebound, we know people are equally as important if not more than technology alone. Therefore, it makes sense to leverage your team members time by providing tools such as barcoding and data-collection. This not only provides real-time visibility into your inventory and fulfillment processes, but makes your work force happier. No one likes mundane, redundant and unneeded processes.
Manufacturers and Distributors are Still Slow to Adopt Technology and to Make Investments
Worried about the financial investment or possible disruption of their operations seem to be the two largest concerns expressed by leaders. However, the lack of understanding of time and money wasted seems to fall short. Automating more of your processes, frees up time and makes better use of the personnel you have in place. It also provides you with a real-time clear picture of exactly where you stand. This means purchasing, manufacturing, selling, customer service, staffing and additional decisions can be made using an accurate basis. These factors aligned provide a substantial return on investment.
Pick, Pack and Ship Processes
If you have not read our blog on the various paperless picking processes DCWarehouse Automation Supports, please do. In a nutshell, things are changing. Several years ago, most of our customers had to pick, stage, pack and ship larger consolidated orders to other DC’s (Distribution Centers). Many still do, but more have had to adopt a new concept, shipping directly to consumers. Oh my, this is more challenging than you may think. Although one and two line orders seem simple to pick, pack and ship, if you consider the additional throughput to your operations and systems, it must be well thought out. Depending upon the number of orders, your personnel, your product and promised ship to dates, along with new procedures to include residential type delivery, blind shipping ( in case your shipping on behalf of your client or retailor) and more. DCSC has been supported these processes for years and continues to add many shipping and carrier features in our solution. These help you speed and manage the fulfillment processes in real-time.
Through the DCPackaging Manager®, you can print your UPS®, DHL®, USPS®, Endicia®, FedEx ® shipping labels along with your shipping documents without manual or multiple entry. Our shipping solution does not require a third party shipping software because we work directly with UPS®, DHL®, USPS®, Endicia and FedEx ® . In addition, through the use of a real-time automated system we ensure you are not shipping the wrong products or shipping to a bad address.
Fuel Prices Are Insane
Let’s state the obvious, gas prices are sky-rocketing. There are a myriad of reasons behind this, but the most important thing to know is fuel price effects shipping costs. Therefore, it is of the utmost importance to ramp up your game and automated your shipping processes, ensure accurate shipments and rate shop. If you have not ready our blog on 7 Ways to Save on Shipping Costs or What Missed Shipments Cost You, please do.
In conclusion, while it may seem risky to make a capital investment into technology, you should consider it. Half of business success is staying in the game and the other half is always looking at ways to innovate. Our company is the developer of DCWarehouse a WMS, Shipping & Supply Chain Solution for Distributors & Manufacturers and DCMobile Shipping a Multi-Carrier Shipping Solution. We help manufacturers, fulfillment companies and distributors better compete in their industries and save money with efficiencies. We also provide consulting services to help manufacturers and distributors.
Questions? Call us today 314-664-2200