Once your fulfillment business is underway, you’ll hopefully begin to see how well you’re doing financially. But many retailers forget that success means being busier and having more chances for your business to get disorganized. Not adapting and learning to manage growth can have severe consequences, especially in today’s competitive fulfillment marketplace.
For better inventory and fulfillment management once your company starts to grow, be aware of the following:
1. Stock Numbers and Sales Figures
It’s important to note what customers are buying and what they aren’t. While it’s true that you’ll always meet demand if you keep high stock numbers, you also risk not being able to sell off these items. Keeping an eye on stock numbers and sales figures helps you determine what to keep on hand, what to consider axing from you product line(s), and how much space you need to store your inventory.
2. New Technology Plus Backups
Technology is great for better organizing and categorizing your inventory using a digital management system. However, that system can have errors, so you should have a backup system in place in the event of a system crash. For all of its benefits, things can often go wrong, so it’s always good to have a Plan B.
3. Inventory Layout, Organization, and Selection
Your inventory setup is going to change as you grow. You want to make sure you continue to use a quality real-time operating system. That’s why it’s worthwhile to sit down and go over your product organization on-site, how you pick orders, and/or how your employees select items. This might be affected by the inventory system you use and how much space you can afford.
4. Packaging Savings
Once you get a sense of how big your business is becoming, you might want to streamline your packaging. Many companies have noted how once they grew, they were able to decide on a select few branded packaging containers to use for all their products. This beats having a bunch of different ones as you save a lot by just having a few regular ones on hand at all times.
5. What to Do with Returns
So many companies just have a collection of old returned products that clutter up space and cause safety issues. Moreover, they don’t take the time to see if these products can be refurbished and resold. This is an inefficient management system and calls for reorganization. Perhaps a hazardous waste area needs to be created or there needs to be specific employees dealing with returned items for potential resale. In any case, returns are part of inventory management and need to be addressed.
6. Plotting for the Future
It’s one thing to adapt, but it’s another to learn. Once your business has grown, it’s time to go over your sales figures and plot for the future. It’s wise to get your in-house workers and marketers on board for their input; they can give you an idea of what prospects await down the road and what areas need some tightening.
Some analysts that study business growth say fulfillment houses that grow and stay successful operate more or less like a warehouse. That’s because they have a process of receiving orders and fulfilling them while continually keeping tabs on stock numbers, as well as always working to streamline their process. It’s an approach for your business to consider taking for the sake of easier, continued growth.
Need solutions to your product fulfillment problems? APS Fulfillment, Inc. has the knowledge and services to make your direct mail and product fulfillment ventures more successful. Contact APS Fulfillment, Inc. by e-mail at [email protected], visit their web site at www.apsfulfillment.com, or phone at (954) 582-7450.