Have you been looking up tips on how to improve your growing business? Maybe you are wondering how you can increase revenue, reduce costs, or streamline a process. Whichever it may be, you may have come across the term 3PL. The term can seem pretty elusive when you first encounter it – what does it mean?
When you have a retail business that is soaring to new heights, it’s crucial to have a grasp of your industry’s terms, concepts, and roles. Two of those include distribution and logistics. Both play crucial roles in a successful retail business but can often get confused. In today’s article, we’re going to break down the difference between distribution and logistics and the roles they play in a successful retail business.
There’s one thing that is abundantly clear in every e-commerce business model – achieving 100% customer satisfaction. Some would say that alone is the driving force behind any thriving business. Without happy customers, it’s safe to say there wouldn’t be any business at all. But the question will always be, “what is the best way to achieve 100% customer satisfaction?”
Small e-commerce business owners everywhere dream of the day they run all company operations at maximum efficiency. For many businesses, the ability to run efficiently can increase staff productivity and boost revenue. To some, this dream seems far out of reach, but with a little bit of critical thinking and assistance, it doesn’t have to be.
If you are a small business, you may have never heard the term distribution logistics until now. What does it mean? How does it benefit your company? Do you have to do it all on your own? In this article, you will find out the answers to some of the most common questions about distribution logistics.
When COVID-19 first came sweeping through our nation, many retail consumers turned to strictly online ordering. As the virus and its variants continue to rage on, online purchasing will continue to grow. Buying daily necessities and frivolous purchases online reduces the consumer’s risk of exposure. Although online shopping is safer, it is not a foolproof plan.
Drop shipping can be a lifesaver for store owners looking to expand their product line without taking on more debt to fund inventory. The Drop shipping model is becoming more popular as work-from-home sellers and large global chains, like Walmart, take advantage of this highly-efficient, low-risk e-commerce framework. However, like any thriving industry, there will be unscrupulous scam artists who try and take advantage of unsuspecting online sellers.
Deciding whether to move forward with a 3PL or a 4PL logistics provider can be a tough choice to make. But when you’re trying to optimize your supply chain, the wrong decision can end up costing you millions — that’s one mistake you can’t afford to make! So before you rush to a decision that you may end up regretting, it’s important to make sure that you have all of the information you need.
In-person retailers are experiencing a decrease in sales while their e-commerce counterparts continue to grow swiftly. According to Forbes, last year saw a staggering uptick in e-commerce sales due to the Covid-19 pandemic. With this growing number of online purchases, fulfilling orders is getting increasingly difficult. The logical answer to this problem is to use a fulfillment center.
What is cross-docking? In a traditional product shipment, newly manufactured goods are loaded onto outgoing trucks and sent to a fulfillment center or distribution warehouse, where they remain until customers order them. The warehouse must have enough storage space to hold all these goods, potentially for an extended time. Often the manufacturer must pay for that storage space.
Stress is a daily part of a small business owner’s life. E-commerce entrepreneurs face a retail landscape that’s difficult enough without the added strain of shipping out every customer’s order. That’s why many small businesses outsource their product storage and shipments to order fulfillment centers or third-party logistics companies. They help business owners relieve major amounts of stress in several ways: They take care of the entire shipment cycle Many small business owners find themselves spending more than half their time on every-day business operations, including product delivery.
The difference between a warehouse and a distribution center isn’t always apparent to people working outside of the logistics industry. But the fact is, the two couldn’t be more different. The internal operations and responsibilities of each entity vary greatly. If you’re confused about whether your business needs support from a warehouse vs.
If you’re looking for a cost-effective way to increase the efficiency of your business, kitting and assembly services may be something you’d like to take advantage of. Enlisting outside help to provide a more organized product for your customers will not only reduce your workload but it can save you time, money, and space in your facility.
Every warehouse has a unique product focus, space usage, and level of business, but all warehouses rely on inventory control. Keeping an accurate count of materials and products is a foundation for providing excellent customer service and spurring business growth. Digital inventory tracking has become more than a convenience that’s nice for warehouses to have — it’s a necessity.
Running a business involves many moving parts, and shipping and logistics operations are just one piece of a larger puzzle. The role of shipping and logistics operations can remain relatively simple when a business is small in scope, but as it grows, these operations can become more and more complicated. Causing the in-house logistics personnel to feel overwhelmed with demand, and looking at third-party logistics.
What Is the Logistics Industry? Logistics is an expansive industry that serves several different areas of business management. The simplest way to describe the function of logistics would be the act of transporting products from their original location to the waiting consumer or retailer successfully. However, this process can be more complex than it seems.
In the world of shipping and warehousing, pick and pack errors come up fairly frequently. Pick and pack errors refer to any mistakes made in the fulfillment process between warehouse storage and shipment to the consumer. Errors in picking and packing can slow down the workflow of a warehouse and cost your company small amounts of money that add up over time, but luckily, they aren’t too difficult to prevent if certain precautions are taken.
In order to best meet the needs of their customers, warehouses will use a variety of different strategies to streamline the delivery of product. One of the primary strategies that warehouses use for this purpose is kitting. What is kitting? Kitting refers to the process of combining multiple product units into one package, creating a new unit that is sold as a single entity.
E-commerce is a business sector that quite literally spans thousands of international companies internationally. That heightens the importance of great business partnerships. For most e-tailers, working relationships with the fulfillment centers who pick, pack, and ship their products are the most central alliances they have. Cooperation between e-commerce companies and fulfillment centers needs to grow and develop in ways that benefit both businesses’ bottom line.
Owning and managing a business can be a great financial burden, especially if you have to outsource to a warehouse company for any storage, distribution, and fulfillment needs. Online businesses can be especially dependent on outside storage, as many are based out of the owner’s home and can quickly outgrow that space as the business expands.
The rise of the online marketplace has made improved models for customer fulfillment necessary. Orders come to warehouses at a much higher volume than ever before. Warehouse managers have needed to find ways to make the already complex step of product distributimove at a pace that keeps up with demands. That’s where pick-and-pack comes in.
A lot of variables determine the success of an e-commerce enterprise, and none are more important than customer fulfillment. Each order is the result of hours of marketing, planning, and development. But when an e-commerce company commits a lot of resources to oversee an in-house customer fulfillment process, they may inadvertently limit their chances for growth and profit.
E-commerce has broadened and matured dramatically over the last two decades. With more online options to choose from and the most successful sites establishing a high bar for service, e-commerce customers have come to expect more from the sites they purchase from. Online customers are also well-informed, much more than they had to be in the past.
The complete process of order fulfillment covers every step a retail company takes between receiving and inventory item and shipping it to customers. The most efficient online retailers follow all these steps in a similar order, even if they use different methods or equipment to carry out the specific duties. Even though the process is called “order fulfillment,” it begins when the retailer receives the inventory item from the product manufacturer or wholesaler—long before a paying customer places an order for it.
The world of logistics, supply chains, fulfillment and distributiare critical cogs in a complex maze of modern-day commerce. Some companies focus their expertise one of these components while others dive in to all four. Still others take ancillary tasks by the inherent design of the processes. A fulfillment provider, for example, might want or need to tackle distributiof product in their facility as a service to clients or in exploring possible avenues for business growth.
For nearly every business out there today, warehousing and distribution plays a role in its success, from a one-person show working from their garage to a colossal corporation with thousands of employees and products. In some instances, the traditional warehouse system works fine (for a while) and others require a more complex and targeted approach.
Businesses today, from the smallest startups to industry fixtures, all work to establish a leg up the competition. That might mean the latest and greatest new product, a unique niche in the market, an engaging marketing campaign, or it could be your dedicated fulfillment practices. While the world of warehousing and moving product might not seem like a competitive advantage the surface, it is in fact tremendously beneficial to the continued success of your business.
In today’s light-speed world of ecommerce, customers are used to and in fact expect nearly instantaneous communication when shopping. When they make a final decision a product and hit the buy button, they also expect that item to show up the doorstep in a big hurry. To that end, it is extremely important for businesses to include a reliable and thorough logistics component.
You channeled your inner entrepreneur and started your own company, scribbling initial ideas a piece of scratch paper, planning every detail, and now you’ve plunged headlong into one of the biggest chapters of your life. You’ve worked hard to build your business and it is incredibly rewarding to see it grow.
Partnering with a reputable 3PL provider to enhance logistics capabilities can bring tremendous advantages over doing it all in-house. At the same time, outsourcing critical logistics components comes with an element of risk, especially if you choose a provider that isn’t the best fit. While today’s 3PL providers offer a much higher level of supply chain efficiency for companies lacking those resources or expertise, challenges and risks are still possible.
There’s no denying that ecommerce is a big deal in today’s world and in fact, online shopping makes up a large majority of consumer purchasing habits and will only continue to rise. Big box retailers have the wherewithal to develop and implement creative solutions in the online space and while ecommerce companies sometimes struggle to keep up, all merchants must address the impact of online shopping and how strategic order fulfillment can play a key role in business success.
If you took the plunge and started an e-commerce business, you know it’s a tough road and a lot of work. Constantly finding ways to save money is nearly as much work as managing all of the day to day challenges. If you’re DIY-savvy, tackling everything yourself might seem like the way to go to save cash but beware; there are lots of hidden costs involved with that strategy.
Most every business today has at least one “busy season” throughout the year. Maybe your big moment is the Thanksgiving to Christmas rush, back-to-school madness, or pre-summer sales. Whatever the case, balancing rapid sales volume increase along with the rest of your business chores is often an overwhelming charge. To assuage the demands and help keep things running like a Swiss watch, many companies count the expertise of third-party logistics (3PL) providers.
In the challenging and rewarding journey of running a business heavily involved in product movement, choosing a reliable logistics strategy is often one of the most critical decisions you will make. The relationship with your customers depends significantly reliable and efficient transportation of products from your facilities to a customer’s doorstep.
Outsourcing fulfillment needs is common practice in today’s business world, especially for smaller companies. Partnering with a reputable fulfillment facility is an effective strategy to save time and money, and allows you to focus fully building your business. To that end, it is important to understand how fulfillment centers operate as well as their potential role in your company’s day-to-day operations.
Running a business demands a great deal of strategic thinking, tireless dedication, consistent learning, and commitment to your customers. This a tall order, especially in light of today’s increasing complexity and evolving consumer expectations. As a small company just getting started, it is entirely possible to meet those expectations your own, perhaps managing orders from your basement or garage.
Today’s consumers want and expect near-instantaneous delivery of their merchandise and to that end, retailers and affiliated fulfillment centers must be top of their warehousing and logistics games. Businesses are well aware of this trend in commerce and meeting the demand requires a highly organized, streamlined warehouse operatithat inspires team energy driven toward a commgoal.
Fulfillment centers are a critical cog in today’s commerce world, especially given the tremendous impact of online shopping all components including marketing, purchasing, warehousing, and delivery. If your company is already a powerful presence or you are a one-person show, at some point you need a place to store product. Piles of boxes coming in, more waiting to be shipped, and the rest needing attention for returns ties up a lot of time and takes you away from focusing running the business.
To get the most from your warehouse or distribution center, it is critical to establish and then implement applicable best practices to reduce costs and streamline workflow. Managing warehouse operations is a complex and evolving task to ensure efficient flow of products, fulfilling orders, keeping product sufficiently stocked but not overstocked, optimizing the facility’s physical layout, keeping labor and overhead costs in check, and of course ensuring profitability.
On-demand shipping and instant customer gratification is the name of the game these days. “Lightning fast” delivery speeds might have been all the rage just a few years ago but today’s customers want their goods even faster and in order to meet that demand, companies must step up their warehousing and fulfillment games.
As a business owner, one of your primary concerns is how to get products to customers and distributors, and without help, it could end up being a frustrating and expensive process. Between figuring out inventory storage, location pickups, and shipping partnerships, you’re juggling a lot of balls and paying the price.
With mega corporations now offering options like same-day delivery, it can be difficult for smaller companies to compete. While you may not be able to offer the same level of convenience as certain organizations, you can definitely find ways to make your order fulfillment process more efficient in order to best serve your customers.
It’s no surprise that working with a third-party fulfillment center will offer greater convenience and efficiency that managing warehousing, inventory, and order fulfillment your own. What you might not expect is that using a suitable fulfillment service can actually help you to increase sales and overall profitability. Here are just a few great reasons to partner with a fulfillment center so you can sell more products.
Each season brings about a new set of warehouse safety concerns. In the winter and spring, the focus is mostly keeping cold air and moisture out of the warehouse. In the summer, the focus turns to the heat. In this guide, we will go over five warehouse safety concerns for summer that owners and management must keep in mind.
The growth of a small business often comes about through the close attention and management of the the founder. You have your fingers in all the pies, you know everything that’s happening, and you do almost all of it yourself. But there comes a point when micromanagement becomes counterproductive. If you’re doing everything yourself, your business can never grow larger than your capacity to do it all.
As companies look for ways to work leaner, greener, and more agile, one of the first areas of focus is inventory control. The dominance of e-commerce and a focus customer experience are driving a push to serve customers more quickly while eliminating excess inventory languishing warehouse shelves. It’s more important than ever to know in real time exactly what goods are stored in your inventory, where they are, and how quickly you’re likely to need more.
The real estate mantra, “location, location, location” has become a truism, but the importance of location when choosing a warehouse is perhaps less well known. While the location of a home is crucial to our security, enjoyment, and peace of mind, the location of a warehouse can directly affect the well-being of your business.
In keeping with the times, most of the trends to watch in warehousing for 2019 are tech-based. Peering ahead into the next several years, most trend-watchers are seeing futuristic automation, plus the internet connections to make it all run. Automation of the future Giants such as Amazon make extensive use of robots and other automated processes in their warehouse, but it’s not just the big boys who might soon be benefiting from automation.
In the day to day operation of a warehouse, forklifts are incredibly important. They serve a variety of purposes within the warehouse, and they improve the overall efficiency of the team. Eventually, every warehouse has to replace its forklifts – either the old ones have stopped working, or the current models do not suit the current needs of the building.
Before a product hits the sales floor, it spends time in a warehouse. This is where items are stored before they officially come to market, and it’s also where items are kept before being shipped to a customer. Retail warehousing is an expansive industry that has grown tremendously over the years.
Opening a new store is about more than painting the walls and getting the registers ready. Logistics providers play a vital role in the process. Without proper inventory management solutions, a new store can turn into a total disaster right from the start. Thankfully, there are some simple preparatory steps you can take to ensure your store opening goes smoothly.
You’ve survived another holiday rush! What now? The slower, grayer days of mid-winter can be a great time to pick up the pieces from this year’s peak warehousing season, and look ahead at yearly maintenance or changes that you might want to make. Pick up the pieces The warehouse Hopefully you’ve kept your warehouse relatively clean and clutter free through the rush season, but it’s easy to let things slide a little bit in all of that busyness.
Let’s state the obvious: it’s a little late to be thinking about optimizing your warehouse for the seasonal rush. That said, whether you did an A+ job prepping for this rush, or find yourself a bit behind the curve going into December, here are a few best practices that you can focus to smooth things out a bit for this year.
No matter how automated some parts of your warehouse are, much of your success depends your warehouse workers. This is especially true during the Christmas rush. In this post, we’ll look at eight practices for treating employees well during the holiday rush. If you put these practices into play, employee morale can remain sky high even during the most crushing shipping frenzies.
Having an efficient, well-organized warehouse layout is crucial for smooth warehouse operations. The warehouse must be set up to accommodate the current inventory, as well as future inventory that may arrive. Flexibility and versatility are key, but even the most flexible warehouse layouts need to be adjusted from time to time.
Spring is finally here, and you know what that means. It’s time for some spring cleaning. This is a dreaded process, but it is the perfect way to refresh a home or business. Get rid of what’s not working and implement new strategies to keep the space clean in the future.
Want to get the most out of your warehousing space? We don’t blame you. This is an investment for your business, and like any investment, you want to get your money’s worth. At Overflo, we take time to make sure each of our clients is getting the right inventory space for their needs – not too much, and not too little.
You’ve decided to outsource your order fulfillment to save money, increase efficiency, reduce overhead, etc. That’s great! However, it doesn’t mean you should turn over all control for your customer service. You still need to make sure your customers are receiving what they ordered, when they ordered it, and in a condition you’re happy with.
Needing more space is not a bad sign. In fact, it’s an indicator that you are growing as a business and you have new demands to meet. With that in mind, you don’t want to grow so quickly that you end up paying for empty space. How can you find a balance between your current and future needs?
Warehouse Safety There are many factors that determine how safe and productive a warehouse is. They all have some level of importance, but one of the most significant factors is warehouse lighting. A well-lit warehouse is a well-functioning warehouse, and it’s amazing how much subtle changes can dramatically transform a space.
Every piece of warehouse equipment has its own maintenance requirements. From large conveyors to push carts for order packing, each device needs to move and function properly. Forklifts are some of the most popular machines used in warehouses because they are efficient and easy to operate. In this guide, we’ll explain how forklift maintenance improves warehouse operations and the type of maintenance required for forklifts.
Surprising Modern Innovations Warehouses can both reduce their carbon footprint, and their cost, through a number of innovations widely available today. Strategic development from multiple angles, including paradigms which surround construction as well as manufacturing, can be put to task as a means of reducing carbon footprints. Several will be explored here.
It’s no secret that Amazon dominates the ecommerce industry. In fact, recent studies show that Amazon accounts for 43% of online sales. Whether it’s their product variety or their free shipping programs, one thing is certain: they’re doing something right. A company cannot thrive that strongly without great customer service, and that’s the area we will focus today.
Crowdfunding sites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo can turn a new idea into an international success. Selling a high volume of orders may seem great at first – until you have to actually fulfill them. This determines the continued success of the product and solidifies your first impression. Before you set yourself up for a logistical nightmare, check out these order fulfillment tips for crowdfunding orders.
Are you looking to expand your small business or streamline your ecommerce sales? If so, you may consider third-party order fulfillment. In this setup, your products are housed, packed and shipped through a different company that specializes in warehousing and distribution. You can keep track of orders with real-time inventory updates, but you do not have to handle the actual labor involved with order processing.
If you work in ecommerce sales, you understand the importance of free shipping. This is a service that customers have come to expect from online retailers. A staggering 80% of consumers say free shipping is a primary incentive for shopping online, and 48% of shoppers will add extra items to their cart to qualify for free shipping.
Did you know that some order fulfillment companies will not work with businesses that have a high SKU count? There are several reasons for this, but most of them come down to simplicity. Businesses with low SKU counts have fewer products to pick, making it easier to get orders out. As you start to compare fulfillment centers for your business, this is something you will need to keep in mind.
Many retailers are moving away from traditional storefronts in favor of online sales. With online retail, there is fewer overheads and a wider pool of potential customers. Buyers are moving their shopping habits to the Internet because they want fast, convenient ways to buy the things they need. In this guide, we will go over some warehousing tips for transitioning to online retail so your business can adjust successfully.
The winter presents several obstacles for warehouse workers: cold temperatures, limited natural daylight, increased order fulfillment demands, and fast-paced workdays. Most of these circumstances are beyond the warehouse’s control, but there are steps the owners can take to improve conditions and create a positive work environment during the winter. Here are some strategies we use to improve warehouse work conditions.
Order fulfillment delays are stressful at any time of year, but they can be particularly worrisome during the peak-shipping season. There are many more orders to complete at this time, which means a small delay can create major consequences. Even with every precaution in place, issues can happen. How you recover from them will determine the overall performance success.
Online sales started even earlier this year, with many stores releasing their Black Friday specials at the beginning of December. That hasn’t stopped consumers from continuing to shop all month long though. In fact, every day since November 1 has had over $1 billion in online sales. To maintain customer satisfaction and keep up with shipping demands, retailers have pushed back their order cutoff dates.
The holidays are busy for everyone, especially stores and warehouses. Customers expect to get their items quickly and correctly so they can wrap them in time for Christmas. A small delay can cause a slew of problems, so it’s best to avoid them at all costs. Here are some tips to stay track with holiday order fulfillment.
Winter is a costly time for warehouses because of the heat required to keep the building warm. Some warehouse operators will delay turning the heat as long as possible to avoid this hefty cost. This isn’t always the best idea though because workers cannot be productive in cold temperatures. Sometimes it is better to get the temp up so the building can operate efficiently.
Safety is crucial in warehouse operations. There is a lot of heavy merchandise and machinery in the building that can cause serious injury in the wrong hands. Here we will explore some warehouse safety practices that prevent common accidents in distribution centers. Be Careful When Stacking Objects Stacking is a great way to maximize space in a warehouse.
Black Friday is quickly approaching, and many stores have already released their ads. Like last year, these stores are extending their sale prices online to prevent chaos in stores. This is great for consumers, but it can create panic for warehouses that aren’t prepared for the hype. Here are some Black Friday Warehousing Tips.
Winter is an interesting time for the warehouse industry. Temperatures are plummeting, but the demand for warehouse operations is at its peak. Warehouse managers have to be smart about staffing, scheduling, and organizing to meet the chaotic needs for this time of year. Listed below are some warehouse management tips for winter to ensure your distribution center operates efficiently.
Stores are transforming the way that they process returns for online orders, and it’s having a major impact the warehousing and shipping industries. Th new services make returns convenient for shoppers, but they require a great deal of extra work for everyone else. Retailers, logistics providers and warehouses alike are now switching gears to accommodate new expectations.
A warehouse should operate like a well-oiled machine.. Even in times of high product demands, such as the upcoming holiday season, a warehouse should still function with maximum efficiency. Source of inefficiency in a warehouse aren’t always easy to detect, but their side effects are. Let’s take a look at some indicators to look for in warehouse operations.
There are several factors that influence warehouse productivity levels, from employee morale to picking methods to product organization and beyond. Something as simple as clutter can create a major obstacle in a warehouse that delays every area in the facility. If your warehouse productivity has been low, you may see if clutter is to blame.
Each step in order fulfillment relies the one before it. Shippers cannot transport items until forklift operators bring pallets to the dock. Pallets can’t be filled with items until packers put them in boxes. At the start of this whole process is the pickers – the people who pull items from the warehouse to complete orders.
Minimizing expenses is a crucial part of running a business. The less you spend, the more you make. It’s as simple as that. One of the biggest ways retailers can lower their overhead is to cut back their warehousing costs. These tips will provide some smart ways for you to save money and get the most out of your warehousing budget.
In many businesses, success is hard to quantify. The only way a counseling center knows how effective its efforts are is through referrals and the overall happiness of the patients. In warehousing though, there are a number of indicators that show how well the business is functioning. Here are some ways to measure the success of warehousing operations.
The speed and fluidity of the order fulfillment process directly dictates the overall productivity of a warehouse. Without a proper transition between steps and transactions, there may be a massive delay down the line. Modern technology allows for truly seamless order fulfillment services, like the ones we offer here at Overflo.
Warehouses focus a great deal of effort in improving inventory management systems, order fulfillment procedures, communication methods, and more. While all of those factors are important, they are meaningless if there is not a good staff to do the work. Unfortunately, many warehouses undervalue their workers because they forget just how crucial they are to the overall success of the facility.
A warehouse must run like a well-oiled machine from the moment a shipment arrives to the moment a product is sent to the customer. Each order goes through a series of steps before it leaves the warehouse, and those steps must occur in an efficient manner. If one of those steps takes longer than it’s supposed to, the entire operation can get thrown off.
The holiday season may be a few months away, but the prep work for it starts right now. Warehouses, third party logistics providers, ecommerce merchants and retail stores alike must use the next few months to make sure they’re ready for the holiday rush. Here is a look at some of the ways we prepare for the holidays here at Overflo.
Order picking is a key step in a warehouse’s fulfillment system. The efficiency of the pick determines how quickly packages get the truck to be sent to the consumer. If the pickers are slow, the entire shipment could be delayed. This causes a ripple effect that is nothing short of a nightmare.
Lean third party logistics has become increasingly popular over the last few years, but most people don’t actually know what that entails. There are several elements involved with lean operations, and they do not happen overnight. In this guide, we will explain what lean 3PL warehousing is and how it affects all parties involved.
The loading dock is where it all begins. This is the hub of the distribution center, and it sets the pace for the rest of the warehouse. If your loading dock isn’t running efficiently, nothing else will. Thankfully, there are some simple steps you can take to enhance warehouse loading dock efficiency and keep your operations running smooth.
Forklift drivers make up a large portion of a warehouse’s labor force. Their safety and efficiency determine how productive the distribution center is as a whole. At Overflo, we take extra precautions to ensure that our forklift drivers are safe and that they have the safety of others in mind. Here is a look at some driver safety tips for warehouse forklift operators that we use in our distribution center.
Have more inventory than your store can handle? Need somewhere for all that excess inventory to go? This is the moment when most business owners start exploring third-party logistics. With 3PL, you can store your inventory and complete orders without having to physically house the merchandise at your location. Let’s take a look at how this process works and how you can benefit from outsourcing your surplus inventory.
Your business is growing and you need somewhere to store all your inventory. You could purchase a warehouse to run your own, or you could contract your warehousing needs to a third party logistics provider. Having your own warehouse may sound like a great plan at first, but it may ultimately be a waste of money.
Many businesses deal with seasonal demand fluctuations. Inventory levels will shift drastically from season to season. If you are not prepared for this big shift, you may feel overwhelmed during the transition. The tips below will help you prepare for inventory adjustments so you can get through every obstacle with confidence.
Product displays are just as important as the products themselves. They create a platform to show off your items, and they set the tone for your store as a whole. Whether you are opening a new store or updating your existing one, you need to make sure your new product displays arrive intact.
Every industry has its hiccups, from retail to dining to entertainment and beyond. You may not be able to bypass all of these potential problems, but you can try to prepare for them ahead of time. If something goes wrong, the results will be minimal. Here are the top retail warehousing issues and some tips to help you avoid them.
Transitioning to a new warehouse is no easy task, but sometimes, it’s the only option. Maybe your old warehouse is no longer in operation, or your business needs outgrew your current location. Whatever the case may be, proper planning will ensure your move goes smoothly. Here are some warehouse transition tips.
Are you worried that warehousing and distribution is just too much for your business to handle right now? It’s not! Here at Overflo, we offer storage and shipping solutions for businesses of all sizes, so you can get the exact services you need to fit your needs, your budget, and your goals.
Having a centralized inventory management system is crucial for warehouses, retailers, and customers alike. This program ensures that every package, every shipment, and every pallet is tracked and monitored in real time. Here at Overflo, we work with the latest inventory management solutions the market to streamline our services and ensure constant communication with our clients.
The e-commerce industry has grown tremendously over the last few years. Many stores are shutting down physical locations to invest more resources in their online sales department. Transitioning from brick-and-mortar retail to e-commerce is not something that happens overnight. In order to have the highest success rate and little to no losses, the change should be gradual.
Humans have no control over Mother Nature. If she wants it to rain, it’s going to rain. If she wants it to snow, it’s going to snow. The environment has a huge impact the warehousing industry, more so than most people realize. In this discussion, we will explore some of the ways nature influences distribution centers across America.
For most warehouses, the peak season isn’t until the last quarter of the year. That’s when retailers start filling their inventory levels for the holidays and when people start actively shopping online. That doesn’t mean that distribution centers can wait until that time to start their’ prep work. Here at Overflo, we are already getting ready for the demand to come.
Order fulfillment plays a direct role in customer satisfaction. If the picking, packing, and shipping are not done to a certain standard, the customer could lose faith in your company. In order to keep your success going strong, check out these four ways to improve customer satisfactiwith order fulfillment. Work with a Trustworthy 3PL Company The quality of your 3PL services will determine how satisfied your customers are.
Millennials are the latest generation of adults. They’re young, they’re tech savvy, and they’re ready to take the world. What do these smartphone-based shoppers have to do with the retail industry? Absolutely everything. Millennials have a major impact every element of retail, from the way items are displayed in stores to the way warehouses adapt to their shopping habits.
Kickstarter campaigns are becoming increasingly popular as Americans seek out new innovations to enhance and enrich their lives. Everything from a smartphone compatible wallet to a funny board game has been sold Kickstarter and similar startup ecommerce sites. If you are planning to launch a product there in the near future, you need to plan for the aftermath of the campaign.
One of the biggest reasons people hesitate about getting order fulfillment services is because they do not want to lose control of their business. They fear that allowing someone else to take over their’ picking, packing and shipping will keep them out of the loop. In all reality, you still maintain control of your business even if you outsource order fulfillment to a third party provider.
In the world of warehousing and distribution, efficiency and productivity are crucial to the overall success of a business. Not only does this impact the success of the actual warehouse, but it also influences the success of the clients relying the warehouse for storage and order fulfillment. One of the keys to maximizing productivity levels is to have the proper training strategies in place.
“How much money does order fulfillment cost?” This is one of the most common questions we get when people contact our warehouse about storage and shipping services. As much as we would love to provide a generic answer about order fulfillment pricing, the fact is that every client has completely different needs.
For the second year in a row, there were more online shoppers over Thanksgiving weekend than there were retail store shoppers in America. Translation: Americans are relying more and more the internet to get the best deals for their holiday purchases. Not only does this affect the way that stores manage their inventory, but it also impacts how third party logistics providers like Overflo manage their shipping, order fulfillment, and other warehousing services.
The holidays are a stressful time for warehouses and order fulfillment companies. This is the busiest shopping season of the year, causing distribution centers to hire extra laborers to pick, pack, and ship orders out to customers. What makes a good seasonal order picker? What should a warehouse look for when hiring this type of person to join their team?
The logistics industry requires the work of countless transporters, pickers, order fulfillers, managers, drivers, and more. Freight brokers are among the employees who help items get from a seller to a customer. What is a freight broker, and how can you choose the right broker for your business? This guide will provide an overview of what a freight broker does so you can have a better understanding of this position.
The term “order fulfillment” covers a wide range of services your business could benefit from. Every step involved with receiving, processing, or delivering an order can be called order fulfillment. Some steps must be adjusted to fit the specific needs of the client or customer receiving the order, but most of them remain the same across the board.
If you are searching for a third party logistics provider, you may be looking at warehouses across multiple states. Some of these may be better suited for you than others based their proximity to your customers and their overall efficiency. Overflo is located in Baltimore, Maryland, a premium place for shipping, receiving, transporting, and more.
Reducing your overhead is an essential step in running a successful business. The more money you can save in expenses, the more you have to invest in other areas of corporate development. Whether you run a small ecommerce business or a large retail store, you can save money with third party logistics.
When you start exploring the world of warehousing, you will hear the term “inventory management” a lot. While the basic definition of this term is fairly explanatory (it involves the management of the inventory for your business), there are a variety of services that may fall under the umbrella of inventory management.
The logistics industry is vast. It covers a wide range of services that all have an impact how a product gets from the maker to the recipient. No matter where your business fits in the production and shipment line, it’s always a good idea to get a feel for how a product gets from Point A to Point B.
The holidays are quickly approaching, which means that retailers need to start stocking up for the big shopping days. If you have not already talked to your warehouse about your storage options, now is the time to see what extra space will be available for you and how you can make the transition before the end of the year.
Logistics has its own special jargon, just like any other industry. Whether you want to work in transportation or you just want to know a little more about the shipping process, it would be wise to learn about common freight hauling terms and definitions. The short dictionary below will give you the introduction you need to be better versed in freight hauling.
It’s never too early to prepare for Black Friday. With more Americans shopping online for Thanksgiving weekend every year, it’s important to be ready for the mad rush of orders that may be coming in the near future. Don’t wait until the last minute to get your facility ready. Check out these early warehouse preparations for Black Friday.
There are a number of containers used in the shipping industry for the transportation of goods and products. As part of the logistics process, it’s important to figure out which container is best suited for each shipment’s specific needs. Let’s take a look at the most common types of shipping containers and their uses.
Truck drivers play a pivotal role in the shipping industry. They are the ones responsible for getting products from one place to another in a safe, secure and timely manner. The term “trucker” covers a wide span of jobs in warehousing and distribution, more so than most people realize. In the discussion below, we will go over each of these trucking jobs in greater detail so you can determine if one of them is right for you.
Online shopping has revolutionized the way people spend money in the modern world. Last year, consumers spent a whopping $4.45 billion for online purchases Black Friday and Thanksgiving Day alone. Whether you run a small store online or a large chain or retail websites, you could benefit from outsourcing your eCommerce order fulfillment.
Shopping around for the perfect warehouse and distribution center can be overwhelming. There are so many factors to keep in mind, from pricing to flexibility to location and more. Here at Overflo, we take pride in providing every one of our customers with the storage and order fulfillment services they need.
Every industry comes with its own jargon – words and abbreviations that have a special meaning when used in a specific context. These terms change and expand with new technology and other industry developments, so it’s important to freshen up your knowledge every once and a while. In this guide, we will go over some common warehouse management system terms and definitions so you can be up to date with the current lingo.
Efficiency is a crucial part of the order fulfillment process. It ensures that products get to their destinations time without sacrificing the quality of the packing, shipping, and arrival of the order. Before you select a company to complete your order fulfillment, you need to make sure they’re going to get the job done quickly and effectively.
Have you been debating whether or not to entrust your warehousing to a third party logistics company like Overflo? If so, there are some surprising benefits to take into consideration that may help you make your decision. Listed below are the top five reasons to switch to 3PL to give you a better idea of the opportunities available for you.
In the modern world, cybersecurity and warehouse management have to work hand in hand. The internet is used in nearly every area of the supply chain industry, from basic client communication to real-time inventory management and beyond. Third party logistics providers like Overflo not only have to focus the exterior security features of their facilities, but they also have to ensure that the data infrastructure is well maintained from top to bottom.
Truck drivers and shippers spend nearly half their day the road, sometimes for weeks at a time. This process is stressful and mentally taxing, even for the most experienced of drivers. In the guide below, we offer some healthy driving tips for truckers to make sure they stay safe the road.
Spring and summer are the peak shipping periods for fresh produce. This creates a high demand for shippers throughout the country, which has a ripple-effect companies throughout the shipping industry. You don’t have to be a grocer or restaurant to get impacted by the produce season. In fact, some of the most affected sectors of the market are ones that have nothing to do with food.
Delivery by drones was once considered a concept of the future, but recent developments from Amazon and Google have made these much closer to reality. Certain legal developments have put actual “drone delivery” at a standstill for the moment, but drones are still making big strides in the warehousing industry. In the discussion below, we will explore some of the many ways drones impact distribution centers, and what they could be doing in the future.
American warehouses have been storing imported products for decades now, as companies seek to reduce their labor expenses by sending their work overseas. This may seem like it helps Americans by keeping the cost of products low, but the fact is that the economy could see a drastic boost if people bought “Made in the USA” merchandise more often.
Positivity plays a large role in worker productivity. Positive work environments encourage team members and team leaders to do their jobs at optimum efficiency. When warehouses and products lines are not operating to their fullest potential, it is often the result of negative reinforcements used by management in an effort to punish workers.
Drivers are the heart of the shipping industry. They are the ones that are in charge of getting products between destinations in a timely manner. Recently, America has seen a steady increase in driver shortages, with an annual shortage of nearly 48,000 drivers. What is causing this void in driver availability, and what can be done to change it?
Order fulfillment is the driving force behind customer satisfaction. It determines how and when people receive their products. Traditionally, order fulfillment has been left up to the company sending out the products, whether it’s business-to-business or merchant-to-consumer. Recently though, many companies have begun outsourcing their fulfillment services to the warehouses storing their products, thereby streamlining the flow from warehouse to recipient.
It’s spring cleaning time, which means it’s out with the old and in with the new for your warehouse. Spring cleaning doesn’t just apply to actual “cleaning” processes though. It involves decluttering, reorganizing, and reassessing the way your warehouse rungs as a whole. Check out these warehouse spring cleaning tips to make the most of this time of year.
Uber has revolutionized the way people “hail a taxi” in today’s society, giving everyday drivers a chance to earn money by picking people up and taking them to their desired destinations. Riders no longer have to wait for a cab company to get where they need to go. They can simply summon the closest Uber driver, and away they go!
Freight consolidation has become a “norm” in today’s warehouses and distribution centers because of the increased demand for consumer-level products. Major retailers throughout the country are putting pressure warehouses to provide storage and shipping solutions at the fastest times and the lowest costs, forcing logistics experts to find creative ways to meet their demands.
The concept of “supply chain visibility” has become increasingly important in warehouses and distribution centers in America. This term refers to the ability for different sectors of a supply chain to keep track of one another’s progress in real-time. Doing this not only increases the efficiency of the production line, but it also decreases the chances of errors resulting from miscommunication.
If you only have a small warehouse space to work with, you may feel limited in your storage and money-making capabilities. The key here is to make the most of the space you have so you can turn your small warehouse seems much larger than it actually is. In the guide below, we will explain how to get the most out of your small warehouse space so you can take advantage of the opportunities available to you.
Do you have old inventory in your warehouse that you don’t know what to do with? This is a common problem, especially for warehouses storing seasonal or trendy items. Given that this is the time of year to complete spring cleaning, it may be a good idea to try some new marketing tactics to get rid of those products collecting dust.
A warehouse should run like a well-oiled machine, with every part in perfect working order. One of those “parts” involves the work of a warehouse manager – the person in charge of assigning tasks, delegating responsibilities, monitoring productivity levels, and making sure all operations are running smoothly. The warehouse manager is a huge influence the overall efficiency and productivity of a distribution center.
Wireless technology has transformed the way the world works. Land lines have been replaced with cell phones. Ethernet cords have been replaced with Wi-Fi boxes. There are endless possibilities to come from wireless features, and many of those are evident in the logistics industry. In the discussion below, we will explore the role of wireless technology in warehousing so you can see just how much of an impact this revolution has had distribution centers.
An Advanced Shipping Notice (ASN) is a popular form of communication in the warehousing industry. It is used to let customers know about an arriving shipment before it is completely delivered. A shipper will send out an ASN to a customer to alert them that a shipment is its way. Then the recipient can prepare in advance for the order that is about to arrive.
Want your warehouse to run more efficiently? That’s one of the most common goals any business owner can have – to do more by using less. By delving into your operations and analyzing your distribution center as a whole, you can explore flaws that may be preventing you from reaching your full potential.
The “go green” initiative has been around since 2002, pushing individuals and corporations alike to reduce their carbon footprints and make their operations more eco-friendly. With millions of people working in the warehousing and storage sector of the American economy, even small changes in warehousing practices can make a big difference for the environment as a whole.
If someone says “I work in a warehouse,” he or she could be referring to a wide range of jobs. From the office staff to the forklift operators, it takes a whole team to keep a warehouse running efficiently and effectively. Whether you want to work in a distribution center or you just want to understand a little more about the work involved, the list below will show you some of the most popular warehousing jobs in America, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Communication is a critical component of any business management strategy, but it is particularly important in the world of order fulfillment. Companies need to make sure their orders are getting fulfilled properly, and customers need to be able to reach the fulfillment providers if any issues arise. With a proper flow of communication from start to finish, everyone involved with the order fulfillment process can be much happier with the results.
Forklifts are some of the most common pieces of equipment in a warehouse, capable of moving large, heavy pallets of products across the workspace in a short amount of time. Despite their convenience and efficiency though, these machines can prove to be dangerous without the right safety protocol in place. In the tips below, we will go over some forklift safety tips for drivers and pedestrians so you can keep every person in your warehouse as safe as possible.
Any business that sells products to customers has the option of offering a backordering process. In this case, a customer can order a product that is not currently in stock and receive the item once it comes in. Backorders can be tricky because they rely future events that may not always work out.
Having an efficient warehouse means nothing if there is no safety protocol to go along with it. These measures are designed to protect both the employees working in the distribution center and the products stored within it. No matter how large or small your warehouse may be, you need to make sure that you have practices in place to keep everyone involved as safe as possible.
Black Friday 2015 was unlike any other. There was a major shift in the way consumers purchased products during the biggest sales season of the year, and this shift could transform shipping and order management for years to come. What does this mean for retailers, shipping companies, and distribution centers? What will you need to do to adjust your operation strategies next year?
Rearrange the Warehouse (If Necessary) From a logical standpoint, it makes sense to organize a warehouse based product type. Workers can easily locate products based the category they fall in, which improves efficiency levels across the board. Nevertheless, there are probably some products in the warehouse that get moved more often than others because they sell well or their demand is steady.
By now, you’ve probably set (and broken) numerous personal New Year’s resolutions. That doesn’t mean you should neglect the needs of your warehouse. There are plenty of steps you can take to improve your distribution center and your operations as a whole for the coming year. Check out these warehousing New Year’s resolutions to keep your business running as efficiently as possible.
Transformed Order Fulfillment at the Store Level At the store level of supply chain management, workers are now required to handle new tasks because of the way customers place orders and process returns. For instance, a consumer who orders a product online is more likely to return it at a local store than ship it back to the company.
Outsourcing your order fulfillment services can save you time, money, and stress when it comes to packing and processing orders for your business. The term “order fulfillment” covers a wide range of processes and procedures, depending what the needs are for your business. In the guide below, we will go over five of the most common order fulfillment services for you to explore so you can get a better idea of the opportunities available for you.
If you have never explored the idea of outsourcing your order fulfillment services, you may have a lot of questions about how the process works and how you can benefit from it. There are a lot of benefits to come from order fulfillment, depending what your needs are as a whole.
Technology is changing the way warehouses operate in the modern world. There are a number of inventory management systems the market nowadays, and many of them use RFID technology to operate. What are RFID warehouse systems and why are they so desirable? Those are the questions we’re here to answer. Check out the guide below to learn more about this innovative approach to inventory management.
Train Your Employees Well Your warehouse employees should go through regular training to ensure they understand how to use the tools and equipment you use in your facility. If you are testing out a new inventory management system or even a new piece of equipment, train your managers how to use it first and then have them train your employees.
If you need warehousing and logistics to run your business, you have the option of taking over these tasks your own or outsourcing it to a company like Overflo. There are pros and cons to both setups, but in most cases, the pros of outsourcing outweigh the cons. In order to demonstrate this, let’s look at some of the primary reasons why companies outsource their logistics operations so you can determine if this is the right move for your business.
Whether you’re an online retailer or a local store with an overflow of inventory, chances are you’ve already invested in warehousing to cover holiday shopping demands. This is the biggest buying season of the year, and you need to be ready for whatever may come your way. The tips below will ensure that you stay ahead of holiday shopping demands so you can maximize your profits this time of year.
If you choose to use third party logistics for your business, there are some steps you can take to maximize the benefits you get from this relationship. 3PL is an amazing opportunity that comes with countless rewards, but it does take some getting used to. Here are some tips to help you get the most from third party logistics so you can make this a great experience from the start.
Continued from Part 1 Give Yourself Room to Grow You may not have a need for a lot of warehousing space at the moment, but that could change in the next few years. Don’t pay for space you don’t need at this time, but don’t limit yourself to a small warehouse that will not be able to support your growing business.
Small business owners must handle a difficult balance of cost versus need when managing their inventory levels. More storage means more room for growth, but it also means more money out of the business’s limited income. If you are considering warehousing for your small business, you need to understand how this process works and what you can do to minimize your overhead.
In the distribution industry, drayage services are used to transport goods over a short distance, usually in a single work shift. There are a variety of situations that may call for drayage services instead of long-distance freight and shipping. At OverFlo, we offer drayage services as part of our commitment to quality logistics and distribution solutions.
Your customer satisfaction is defined by your deliveries. Buyers do not care what obstacles you may encounter along the way. All they want is the product they ordered at the time it is supposed to get to them. If you have struggled with late deliveries in the past, you know how much that can hurt your reputation.
Third Party Logistics, also known as TPL or 3PL, is a process that involves outsourcing your storage and distribution services to another company. You rent out a portion of a warehouse that matches your personal needs, and the 3PL provider takes care of inventory management, product organization, outgoing deliveries, and more.
The warehouse you choose to work with will have a major impact your customer satisfaction levels, more so than you may realize. Your business can either thrive or fall, depending the efficiency, experience, and care your distribution center provides for you. Before you settle for the first warehouse you come across, you may want to learn about the various ways this company will impact your customer satisfaction.
Fulfillment services are common in the world of warehousing, even though they different greatly from warehouse to warehouse. If you need of someone to handle your logistics and product distribution, you should explore the different fulfillment services they have to offer. They may end up transforming your inventory management for the better.
Inventory management is an important aspect of running any product-based business. From picking up the products to storing and distribution, your inventory management should be as flawless as your business itself. Making sure that you have the right amount of products hand at all times will help you reduce your overhead and improve your efficiency at the same time.
If you’re a business owner, everything you do every day is directed toward one goal…growth! But with growth in sales comes growth in inventory management. Maybe you’ve been keeping your product in your garage, your spare bedroom, or your basement. If you’ve been using any of these spaces, and are discovering that your spouse, or your children, are finding more and more excuses to avoid spending time at home, there’s a good chance that your inventory has over-stayed its welcome in your family’s space!
If you have a Baltimore area small business, you might be considering warehousing. If you are, you likely have questions about trucking and distribution in Baltimore. Here are some of the most common questions and answers about trucking and distribution for small business: Q. We’ve decided to go with a warehousing management system, do they provide trucking and distribution services too?
Small business retailers understand the unique dilemma of growth in sales and limited inventory space. Sales increase is the ultimate goal of all the work you do, and have done, since the day you opened your doors. Increased inventory can be a problem, a serious headache, with seemingly few affordable solutions.
What is a Public Warehouse? A public warehouse is a facility that stores inventory for many different businesses as opposed to a “private warehouse,” which is owned and operated by the company whose inventory is stored there. Most small businesses cannot afford to own, lease, or staff, their own warehouse. If you own a small business that holds product inventory, read on.