Globally, e-commerce is witnessing exponential growth. According to Jeffery B. Graves of Inbound Logistics, the number of e-commerce sales registered an annual increase of 16.3%, accounting for $ 1 trillion by 2010. There is not any big proliferation in the number of warehouses to house humungous increase in order fulfillment and processing. Given the current crunch situation, shippers need to be pretty more organized and pragmatic to stay on top of the highly competitive arena and provide their patrons with viable solutions. If today’s shippers and warehouse managers who follow best practices given below, they are bound to improve production to meet the burgeoning demand.IntegrationThe need for integrating your e-commerce system with compliance requirements have become more pronounced, due to security threats. The bulk of nations in general and the US, in particular, are hyper vigilant in the wake of terrorist attacks. It has become mandatory that a shipper should have compliance requirements including EDI 856 Advanced Shipping Notice. For instance, the requisite information should be automated within your warehouse management system. That would save the shippers lot of time required in processing ever increasing orders.Return OptionReturn of goods is not only the headache of shippers but also for the online shoppers. If the online shopper gets rid of the unwanted item, he or she feels relieved. How quickly the eCommerce firm takes the item back, depends on its reputation.According to Carl Marin of Advantage Business Media, large-scale e-commerce firms such as Amazon and Wal-Mart, are serving consumers with unparalleled return options, making any possible returns easier and virtually free to consumers. No wonder then, these online retailers are top of the chart. The bottom line is that shippers need to be prepared to take on the costs of free return shipping, assistance when printing shipping labels and processing returns as they come in.
Pulling orders as they come inIt is imperative that shippers need to be proactive when it comes to pulling orders as they come in, nevertheless, to make this practice a success, all you need to do is to prioritize order picking in order to cater to ever increasing demands of the customers. Usually, order channels are split among different distribution centers. For instance, orders for retail spaces come from one center, while orders processed online will be routed through another center.Yet, the separation was even more evident as small package shippers operated independently of large-scale shippers using less-than-truckload (LTL) and full truckload (FT). The push toward cheaper products, low shipping costs, and faster delivery is making it harder for shippers to operate independently of one another. In this space, the role of using a dedicated transportation management system (TMS), which includes a WMS, is paramount to success.A TMS combines the perks of working independently with the benefits of working together, and shippers can combine orders from different channels and of different modes into one environment, negating unnecessary delays and costs along the way, reports Roberto Michel of Logistics Management.Transportation optimisationBesides the labor costs involved in picking products, the cost of transporting a shipment to the consumer becomes expensive in the supply chain. Many types of orders, some small and some big may come. The warehouse staff should work innovatively in reducing the transportation costs by picking and packaging products for intermodal transportation. As a result, shippers can reduce transit times and fuel costs, which promote faster, on-time delivery. If shippers and warehouses can leverage the power of insurmountable demand to improve the processes during order fulfillment and shipping, they can become the industry profiteers, going forward.