4 min read

Smart Warehouse Technology To Use In 2022

September 7, 2022 by Malika Sanon - 4 min read

Day-to-day warehouse management can cost a lot of money, effort and time. It is one such arena continuously growing in need and is still one of the most neglected areas. 

This can negatively impact the functioning of the warehouse and the supply chain, which could further result in loss of sales, shipping delays and so on.

Smart Warehouse

In this modern age of technology, you can leverage innovation and implement warehousing measures that’ll improve your operations and increase efficiency. Technology has contributed to powerful advancements in how warehousing managers orient their resources and interact with their customers.

People use technology to utilize their resources in a better way and make their operations seamless and straightforward. Technology also plays a crucial role in enabling businesses to scale by implementing their resources better.

Imagine how much potential an automated warehousing system has and how much value it can add to your business. It can fast-track operations, notify you about real-time inventory status, and ultimately help keep customers happy with your fast and efficient services. 

What Is A Smart Warehouse & Why Do You Need One?

An intelligent warehouse will be an updated version of a warehouse with multiple technological advancements. Installing smart technologies will help your business produce better profits. This would further enable you to optimize operations.

What IS A Warehouse

There can be many benefits of having a smart warehouse, and here are a few of them listed below-

  • Smart warehouses can help automate processes, thereby improving the efficiency of the workflow and reducing the risk of error.
  • With the help of technology, you can process and use data better to study consumer behaviour, market trends, and much more. 
  • You can assess and manage your business requirements better with the help of smart warehousing.
Types Of Smart Warehouses

Comprehensive Management System 

The warehouse management system, or WMS, is software designed to fit your business’s needs, and this can change how you manage your warehouse entirely. 

This software contains all necessary information and updates about your business – including real-time updates about orders, order processing, shipments, delivery, inventory and much more. This will also give you a bird’s eye view or visibility of what’s going around your business at any time. It also makes all data available to your network, helping automate most things for your business. 

IoT In Warehouse

IoT helps you to synchronize data in just one platform and helps you with inventory control. With IoT-enabled inventory management systems, managers can quickly realize when to restock their inventory in advance. 

Not only this, IoT also helps in keeping goods safe from theft, damage and much more. Similarly, using devices such as temperature sensors can help prevent your goods from perishing due to inadequate storage conditions. This can be really important for you if you deal in cold chain products. There is only so much that one can do manually. But relying on technology can make it more convenient, efficient, and flawless!

Automation In Warehousing 

With Automated Mobile Robot (AMR) technology, you can reduce the need for manual labour and replace it with reliable and fast-paced robots. These robots are usually even better than their human counterparts. And there are already robots that can perform tasks like picking up items, packaging, picking pallets and transporting them, and more. 

More simple AMRs are mentioned below-

  • Driverless Forklifts – Can be used to pick up heavy pallets, drive to the desired location, and drop off the goods carefully. 
  • Conveyor Belts – Quickens the pace of the movement of goods.
  • Drones – Can be used to pick and drop goods from one location to another without disrupting other tasks.

Blockchain Technology 

Most of us get intimidated when we think about blockchain technology. It is only because we are unaware of what it is and how it can help us! Blockchain is an innovative way of record-keeping that can be implemented in a warehouse to improve operational efficiency and security. This method can ensure data security and can also make record-keeping tamper-resistant. 

Competing businesses can often resort to methods like hacking data to understand the progress or harm your business by putting false data, and blockchain can prevent your systems from getting tampered with. This will also lead to improving accountability in the workplace and not to mention increasing transparency. 

Shiprocket Fulfillment has fulfillment centers located in different cities across India. This means you can decentralize your inventory, store it closer to buyers, and save on shipping costs while providing one-day and two-day delivery options. 

Not just this (Shiprocket Fulfillment Testimonial), the right technology stack like warehouse management systems, order management systems, and logistics operations to enable your business for expedited deliveries. We are also equipped to reduce your order-to-ship time and meet the stringent requirements of marketplaces.

Sep 7, 2022 by Malika Sanon

6 min read

Intelligent Tricks to Decrease RTO in eCommerce for Your Online Business

June 30, 2021 by Srishti Arora - 6 min read

Did you know, at least 30% of all products are ordered online or returned? Moreover, 92% of consumers believe that they will buy from the store again if the return process is easy, and over 79% of consumers want free return shipping. 

Decreasing RTO for Ecommerce business

This implies that returns play a massive role in the decision-making process of purchasing a product. However, returns are not such a good story for eCommerce sellers.  They involve huge commitments, shipping amounts, and resources that can drain out almost all funds out of the business. Most courier companies offer higher return charges as compared to forwarding charges.

Most times, the reasons for these return orders are the product not delivered on time, receiving the wrong item, COD amount not available, a fake attempt to provide the product, etc. 

In most cases, these situations can be avoided, and the product can be successfully delivered. You just need to be careful about a few things, and you will reduce your RTO. Let’s look at what RTO is and how you can reduce it for your eCommerce business. 

What is an RTO Order?

RTO in eCommerce stands for return to origin. It means that whenever an order is returned or undelivered, it will be returned to where it was picked up from. In most cases, courier companies ask the sellers if they want to return the order, and the sellers have to pay for the return charges. 

Why are RTO Orders Difficult to Handle?

RTO in eCommerce is challenging to handle because you have to incur separate charges for them. In most cases, the shipped product also becomes unusable because of the constant to and fro. If the product was the last of the lot, there are huge chances that it might not be used. Also, if the product was sold in the sale and you had to incur forward shipment charges for it, there is a big chance that you might go into loss if you pay for the return charges. For cash on delivery orders, the situation is even worse as customers refuse to pay for the order, and you also have to bear the return delivery charges. 

Most times, consumers just miss the order or are dissatisfied with the delivery because it is delivered late. In such cases, RTO can be avoided. 

Why Should You Aim to Reduce RTO in eCommerce?

You should aim to reduce RTO as it directly impacts the delivery performance. If you are constantly getting an RTO from an area, it is indicative that either fraud is being committed or the pin code is acceptable to many RTOs. Also, higher RTO tells you about the customer’s delivery experience. If the RTO is happening because the product is being delivered late, faulty, or inaccurate, it means that the overall delivery experience is also being impacted. You must reduce RTO if you want to say that on your logistics costs and provide a superior delivery experience to your customers. 

Let’s look at how you can reduce RTO with 3PL fulfillment providers like Shiprocket Fulfillment

How Can You Reduce RTO in Ecommerce?

Idea to Reduce RTO with Shiprocket Fulfillment

Fulfillment Centers Across India

Shiprocket Fulfillment’s centers are located across several zones in India. This means that with fulfillment centres located in places like Delhi, Bengaluru, Gurugram, Kolkata, Mumbai, Surat, Jaipur, and Guwahati, you can quickly deliver products at a much faster rate. Also, you can practically have warehouses across the country and ensure that your products get delivered in the best shape possible. 

Store Inventory Closer to Buyers

The next advantage of Shiprocket Fulfillment is storing inventory closer to buyers. With fulfillment centers in the various cities listed above, you can stock your products closer to the buyer’s delivery location. You can also conduct demand forecasting with the help of predictive analytics and assess which Pin code or zone has the maximum demand for a particular product. This will help you evaluate your business better, and you can logically decide in which fulfillment center you want to store the inventory. With this, you can deliver your products faster and ensure that the right product is delivered to the customer. This ensures that you reduce RTO by 60% by eliminating minor causes like skipped delivery or authentic products. 

Deliver 3x Faster

A vital benefit of utilizing Shiprocket Fulfillment is that you can deliver orders 3X faster. Since your products are stored closer to the customer and shipped with 99.9% accuracy with a skilled team, the shipping time can also be reduced with a lower first-mile and last-mile completion time. Courier companies can also pick up the products in bulk and ensure that they successfully deliver them faster within a specific zone or region. This ensures that the products are delivered within time, and RTO, because of late delivery, faulty products, or orders being missed, can be avoided. 

Reduced Order-to-Ship Time

Marketplaces usually have stringent fulfillment requirements for businesses. Also, customers expect receiving products within 1 to 2 days of ordering from significant marketplaces. To fulfill these requirements and ensure that the orders are not returned, you need to be on your toes to deliver them ASAP. With Shiprocket Fulfillment, the skilled team works on each order meticulously and ensures that ship time is reduced. This enables faster first-mile and last-mile fulfillment of the order. Hence, RTOs are avoided. 

Robust Shipping Network

When you opt for Shiprocket Fulfillment, you ship with a robust network of couriers by Shiprocket. Shiprocket is one of the best shipping solutions in India, with a comprehensive shipping network across the country. In this way, you can deliver orders faster, and more accurately and also reduce RTO by 60%. 

Final Thoughts

Shiprocket Fulfillment is a facilitator if you want to reduce RTO by a considerable margin. Outsourcing e-commerce fulfillment with a 3PL fulfillment provider can help you improve other aspects of your business. It helps you save costs, enabling you to give the best price for your products. These combined, can help you get an edge over your competitors and give your buyers the ultimate shopping experience they desire. 

Jun 30, 2021 by Srishti Arora

5 min read

What is Order Accuracy and Why is it Essential?

December 15, 2020 by Srishti Arora - 5 min read

Fulfillment is the most crucial step in your eCommerce business. It can become challenging to maintain fulfillment operations’ quality and synchronization.  There are several KPIs you have to track to support the success of your fulfillment operations. Otherwise, you might end up spending extra and not getting the desired results. Handling incoming orders is the most critical aspect of your business, and you must track them thoroughly to not miss out on any. 

To ensure the successful processing of every order, you must measure order accuracy. It is one of the most important metrics to track as it is linked directly to the customer experience. To maintain maximum order accuracy, you must ensure proper synchronization between other operations involved in fulfillment like picking, packaging, and shipping.

Let’s look at what order accuracy is and how 3PL fulfillment providers can help you achieve the KPI’s desired results. 

What is Order Accuracy?

Order accuracy refers to the number of orders that you thoroughly fulfilled and shipped to the customer’s doorstep without any error. The errors could include mispacking of an item, wrong order quantity, wear, tear, etc. It is an important metric to track as it directly correlates to the customer experience. It can be difficult as it involves a certain amount of manual intervention. However, you must work on this metric to ensure that your customers have a positive shopping experience with your website.

Order Accuracy Rate Formula

To calculate order accuracy, you must calculate the order accuracy rate using the following formula – 

Order accuracy rate = (Total orders fulfilled accurately / Total orders fulfilled) * 100

So, for example, if you fulfilled a thousand orders from your warehouse, and 100 of them had processing errors, then your order accuracy rate will be – 

Order accuracy rate = (900/1000)*100 = 90%

What is a Good Order Accuracy Rate?

The fulfillment supply chain does not consist of only one operation. There are several systems, mechanisms, and people involved in creating the ideal fulfillment supply chain. Therefore, achieving a 100% order accuracy rate is not always perfect, even though it is the aim. However, you must maintain your accuracy rate closest to a hundred percent.

Almost all day to see brands, marketplace sellers, and social sellers try to keep their order accuracy rate between 96-98%. 

A reasonable order accuracy rate eventually constitutes a positive customer experience and wholesome reviews on social media. Many businesses lose out on customers because they cannot achieve the right order accuracy and have more negative experiences than positive ones.

Why is Tracking Order Accuracy Vital?

Positive Customer Experience

The order accuracy is directly proportional to a positive customer experience. If you do not deliver products correctly to the customer or they are incorrect in quantity, you will have to bear the brunt of negative feedback and might also lose out on existing customers. Along with that, you will also have to arrange for RTO and pay an extra amount for that. Therefore, tracking order accuracy will help you analyze your fulfillment process and improve your order management. 

Identify Loopholes in Process

Measuring the order accuracy rate will help you identify loopholes in your fulfillment process. Suppose you notice a trend of reduced-order accuracy over a period. In that case, you can quickly identify the loopholes of your supply chain by analyzing each process and understanding where there is a shortage.

Innovate for Improved Order Management

Another advantage of the order accuracy rate is rich insights. The order accuracy rate will help you look for more innovative methods to improve your order management and accuracy. Even if your order accuracy rate is maintained, the data will give you enough insight into improving your customer experience.

Best Practices to Improve Order Accuracy

Audit Operations Regularly

The best way to improve your order accuracy is by auditing your warehouse operations regularly. This will help you analyze every step involved in the fulfillment supply chain, and you will be able to derive results as to why your order accuracy is not improving.

Improve Inventory Management

Inventory management has a direct impact on order management. Try to maintain a real-time inventory management tracking system so that you can analyze incoming orders and correlate them with your inventory. This will help you maintain your stock better and process incoming orders at a much faster pace.

Use the Right Technology

Using an automated system for your order management can help you improve order accuracy. As the system will be synced with your sales channel or marketplace, you will be able to process every incoming order and send it to the right stakeholder in your fulfillment supply chain. If the process is manual, there are chances that you will miss out on a certain number of orders, and that will eventually lead to a decreased order accuracy rate. 

Optimize Picking and Packing

The next most crucial aspect of your fulfillment supply chain is picking and packing. If these are not carried out accurately, there are chances that the order accuracy rate will be affected negatively. Therefore, for picking operations, utilize handheld devices (HHT) to pick products accurately and match them with the order. Have dedicated packing stations and compare your product packaging with SKUs so you can accurately bag every order without errors. 

Outsource to 3PL Providers

The best way to improve your order accuracy rate is by outsourcing your fulfillment operations to 3PL providers. 3PL providers have dedicated resources for every fulfillment operation, and they will be able to process your orders faster, and with far better accuracy. 

Shiprocket Fulfilment is one such 3PL fulfillment provider that can help you process orders with 99% accuracy and deliver them 3X faster to customers by providing one-day and two-day delivery options. 

Final Thoughts

Improving order accuracy rate is essential for comprehensive order management and fulfillment operations. Calculate the order accuracy rate to ensure seamless fulfillment, timely delivery, and a positive customer experience. 

Dec 15, 2020 by Srishti Arora

4 min read

What Is Digital Supply Chain Management?

September 28, 2022 by Malika Sanon - 4 min read

Technology has paved its way in all aspects of businesses in the modern world. It changed how we now run our companies, how we communicate with our stakeholders and the speed of accessing information. Now, as organizations look at the strengths of their supply chain, the need for digital tools to manage your supply chain is becoming increasingly apparent.

Digital Supply Chain Management

In the following blog, we will understand what digital supply chain management is and touch on the benefits of implementing these practices into your business. 

What Is Digital Supply Chain Management?

The world has turned into a global village wherein everyone is connected to everyone. And so, global relationships have become even more complex and time-consuming. To fix this, we need transparency to be successful and make the trade around the world successful and less time-consuming. 

Digital supply chain management comprises technological advancements and tools organizations use to support their supply chain from the first mile to the last mile. 

Automation and digital tools enable organizations to reduce manual work and eliminate paper-led information requests as all the required information is stored and hosted in one location. 

The objective of digital supply chain management is to holistically manage orders, invoices, and supplier and buyer relationships, all on a digital platform that is accessible to all. With accurate insights and data, digital supply chain management platforms offer deep dive into the information on performance, requirements, and overall supply chain dynamics that leaders can use to make informed decisions. 

Elements Of A Digital Supply Chain

Digital supply chain management is a process that involves multiple steps and begins in the planning stage, and continues to customer relationship management after order fulfillment. 

Organizations need to utilize tools that support the digital supply chain at every stage. Without transparency in data regarding orders and transactions, organizations open their supply chains up to potential roadblocks. 

Various Stages Of The Digital Supply Chain Management Cycle 

Stages Of Digital Supply Chain

Plan

The planning stage of digital supply chain management involves planning out your processes and inventory before reaching order management. This stage primarily focuses on controlling the business’s inventory and manufacturing processes.

This stage can be different for the type of industry and the tools they use. If a business relies heavily on technological advancements, it is paramount for them to be prepared with the tools and materials needed to fulfill future orders. 

Source 

In the sourcing stage, businesses work to find and identify suppliers of goods for necessary order fulfillment. 

Make 

In this stage, your team needs to accelerate the digital tools to achieve the goals focused on performing the required steps to get the final product. 

Delivery 

This stage involves more customer interaction and engagement. After making the product or service, the business must deliver it to potential customers. 

Digital supply chain management tools make it more accessible as, at this stage, customers need access to information on many levels, which would just minimize the manual effort. Your best bet to a happy customer is not only to fulfill your order promise but to create a buying experience that is enjoyable and free from miscommunication. 

Return 

The return stage is part of the digital supply chain management process that involves relationship management. Your relationship with your suppliers can directly benefit the efficiency and productivity of your supply chain. You want to ensure that your buyers see value in your relationship and have an enjoyable experience working with you. In this stage, supply chain managers need to plan out processes for returning or replacing defective products, what steps will be taken if a process is not fulfilled correctly, or any other potential roadblocks you may encounter. 

Shiprocket Fulfillment has fulfillment centers located in different cities across India. This means you can decentralize your inventory, store it closer to buyers, and save on shipping costs while providing one-day and two-day delivery. 

Not just this (Shiprocket Fulfillment Testimonial), the right technology stack like warehouse management systems, order management systems, and logistics operations enable your business to expedite deliveries. We are also equipped to reduce your order-to-ship time and meet the stringent requirements of marketplaces. 

Shiprocket Fulfillment
Sep 28, 2022 by Malika Sanon

3 min read

Retail Operations: A Roadmap to Excellence

September 23, 2022 by Aayushi Sharawat - 3 min read

Online shopping has become increasingly popular among consumers, making retail operations crucial & demanding. Retailers must act readily to be prepared for the upcoming wave of consumer trends, regardless of whether they are online stores or physical locations. To compete with their rivals, ambitious retail organisations constantly look for ways to increase efficiency, punctuality, and customer satisfaction

What Do You Understand By Retail Operations?

The daily operations of a retail business—a company that sells goods directly to customers—are referred to as retail operations. These tasks, often known as operations, involve selecting and purchasing goods for the store and taking customer payments for both online and offline modes.

What operational strategy is ideal for a business will vary depending on several factors. Although each company must determine its strategy, the primary goal of a business is to stay updated in a changing market. All merchants want to use technology to enhance their operations regardless of their size and product type. 

Elements Of Retail Operations

The operational strategy of a chain or retailer may vary depending on the type of merchandise sold and the target audience. The following are some typical elements of retail operations:

Physical Store Layout

Retail operations include the store’s layout for brick-and-mortar retail businesses. Businesses use shelves, display cases, and aisles to make products easier to find. It becomes easy for the consumer to choose the product without help and make quick decisions.

Logistics

Logistics in retail refers to transporting goods between production sites, storage facilities, and retail & customer locations. Retail operations specialists may consider multiple modes of transportation, such as trucks, planes and trains, to develop a transport strategy that satisfies customer expectations & saves logistics costs.

Inventory

Retail operations staff may exhibit a portion of their goods in the store’s main area while keeping excess items in a back room to avoid clutter. Retail store managers frequently keep most of the stock in a warehouse and schedule regular delivery to the store and customers accordingly.

Customer Service

Good customer service plays a vital role in attracting customers by providing them with a delightful and exceptional customer experience. Also, promotional offers and freebies help. Personalisation may also have a significant impact on future client retention. A higher customer lifetime value is the outcome of a higher retention rate.

Mode Of Payment

Customers may have a variety of payment alternatives in both offline and online stores. Exploring different payment methods, such as credit cards, mobile payment applications, and gift cards can help retail operations experts make the purchase process quick and easy for customers.

Return/Exchange Request

Customers may return to the store to exchange a product for another if they need it in a different size or colour or for multiple other reasons. Retail operation staff assists consumers in getting the correct item or making a refund request if the customer requirement is not fulfilled.

Conclusion

Focus on the above elements to sustain your company in a dynamic, highly competitive, and complex business environment and achieve the essential operational excellence for your e-commerce venture. All the mentioned elements can help you optimise your retail operations, but you must use them carefully to achieve the best results. You will encounter obstacles, but the key is to remain focused, pay attention to your consumers, resolve their problems, and take preventative measures.

Sep 23, 2022 by Aayushi Sharawat

1 min read

Warehouse Trends To Watch For In 2023 [Infographic]

September 21, 2022 by Malika Sanon - 1 min read

In the wake of the pandemic, the modern warehouse industry is going through a facelift. As having an optimized warehouse system is vital for your eCommerce business. 

With the rapid evolution of new technologies, the world will transform dramatically, allowing your warehouse and supply chain to take leverage of the same and increase profits. 

Warehouse Trends
Sep 21, 2022 by Malika Sanon

5 min read

Top 3PL Providers for Global Businesses in India

September 16, 2022 by Debarshi Chakrabarti - 5 min read

Top 3PL Providers for Global Businesses in India

Running a global business comes with its own challenges. Among the numerous problems is the challenge of choosing a 3PL provider that caters to your needs. Not only that,  businesses need to bank upon the provider for a significant part of their operations and shipping, and in the end, that makes all the difference.

About 98% of 3PLs have good relationships with their customers. Businesses must have a strong partnership with logistics providers to ensure smooth operations.

Qualities Of Top 3PL Providers

When businesses outsource their logistics, they choose a 3PL provider that offers them curated services at a cost-effective rate. Every business wants to make an intelligent choice; hence, 3PL providers are a to-go decision for almost 73% of them.

Choosing a 3rd party logistics provider is tricky. Here are a few factors and qualities to consider when selecting a 3PL provider.

Proper Experience

Businesses need to find a 3PL provider with competent experience. You do not want to start with one company and then change midway. Choosing an experienced provider with good reviews is essential. Selecting a logistics aggregator or a well-established 3PL provider with experience to back their services and reputation is the key to success for global businesses.

Extended Reach

If you are a global ecommerce business, you need a 3PL provider with multiple locations around India to help you scale your business. Many providers have warehouses in different cities for businesses to reach their customers faster & further. Companies should not have to shell out more on the shipping because their  3PL provider’s network is too small.

Data & Analytics

In an era where data rules, global businesses need to make smart decisions and rely on analytics to follow the path ahead. This applies to 3PL providers as well. Companies need to choose a provider that anticipates the needs of their customers, manages rush orders smoothly, and optimises routes using data analytics to save costs and more.

Carrier Selection

Cost cutting is essential, but not at the expense of your business’s reputation. Companies need to choose 3PL providers that have reputed carrier partners with them. Having trusted, reliable carriers to work with ensures that your customers get their orders on time, every time.

Offer Same/Next Day Delivery

Top 3PL Providers For Global Businesses

Blue Dart

Serving over 35000 locations in India, Blue Dart is one of the prominent players in the ecommerce delivery and logistics industry. It uses air transportation as the primary method of delivery. Blue Dart is one of the largest 3PL networks in the world. It has experience and expertise in regulatory and customs operations and has an operational service accuracy of 99.96%.

Delhivery

Since its inception, this 3PL provider has fulfilled over 1.4 billion orders across India. Delhivery has a presence in over 175 cities and serves 18000 pin codes across India.  It has around 21 automated sorting centres, 96 gateways, 93 fulfilment centres, and 2948 direct delivery centres to manage operations.

Ekart Logistics

Commencing operations in 2009 as Flipkart’s in-house supply chain subsidiary, Ekart elevates the customer experience and is known for punctual delivery and efficient management processes. They offer complete end-to-end fulfillment services. Businesses prefer Ekart because of its low rates and express delivery options.

Xpressbees

It is one of India’s fastest-growing express logistics service providers, catering to end-to-end supply chain solutions. It has 3000+ offices and service centres, 100+ hubs, 1 Million sq ft of warehouse capacity and handles three million daily shipments in over 2500+ network cities across India. 

Shiprocket Fulfillment

As one of the top logistics platforms, Shiprocket Fulfillment offers services to over 250K brands in India. It has over 45+ warehouses, and businesses can send their orders across 29000+ pin codes across the country.  It offers low-cost shipping, end-to-end fulfillment services and a superior customer experience.

How Global Businesses Are Addressing The Demands Of Indian Consumers

Product Availability

Over the decades, the shrinking attention span of humans, in general, has influenced customers’ purchasing decisions. Gone are the days when customers would order a product and have to wait weeks to receive them. Customers want their product to be available ‘now’ and delivered ‘today’. Businesses have adapted to this change and are looking for ways to comply with it. Answering this call, 3PL providers have adequate orders in the inventory to avoid stockouts or backorders. They also provide expedited delivery options. This ensures that customers are guaranteed their orders at the earliest.

Product Packaging

Packaging plays a vital role for eCommerce businesses. A well-packaged product not only prevents damage and secures it from breakage,  it also says a lot about the brand. Good packaging help consumers create and retain the brand’s personality & value. A lot of 3rd party logistics providers offer custom packaging solutions to businesses. They also take responsibility for product packaging for their clients so that businesses can fulfill orders without any hassles.

Live Order Tracking

Customers should never have to go to the ‘where is my order?’ section of the business’s website/ app. They should always be informed of their product journey. Having a clear timeline helps manage customers’ expectations and ensures transparency. Reputed 3PLs provide real-time order tracking notifications to buyers at every stage of the order process. This keeps the customers informed and improves conversions in the last-mile delivery.

Exchanges & Returns

Customers can exchange or return the product if it is damaged or does not serve the purpose or for various other reasons. Businesses prefer a 3PL provider that specialises in product exchanges, reverse pick-ups, auto restocking of inventory & end-to-end returns management. With 3PL providers managing reverse pickups and returns, businesses have one less thing to worry about.

Summary

There are several 3PL providers for global businesses in India. They all provide more or less similar services. It is the extra effort by the fulfillment experts that help businesses go the extra mile. With the right 3PL provider, one can scale their global business in new arenas without having to worry about cost reduction, order fulfillment, inventory management, last-mile delivery and returns management. 

Scale Your Business The Smart Way
Sep 16, 2022 by Debarshi Chakrabarti

3 min read

How to Choose a Warehouse Racking System?

September 14, 2022 by Aayushi Sharawat - 3 min read

Proper inventory management is essential to simplify warehouse operations in today’s fast-paced and fiercely competitive world. The correct warehouse racking system can help with this difficulty, one of many that warehouse professionals must overcome.

What Is A Warehouse Racking System?

A warehouse racking system is a storage solution made to stack materials in multiple-level, horizontal rows. These can assist you in sorting goods to simplify operations while managing and making better use of your warehouse.

Factors When Selecting The Right Racking System

Every warehouse has a unique set of specifications. The proper racking system should be able to maximize space usage without impairing operations, particularly considering the following:

  • Budget – Consider the approximate price per pallet when ensuring that the racking system meets all your needs. Budget is important when considering which racking system is the best for your warehouse.
  • Floor Utilization – A racking system’s capacity to make the most of available warehouse floor space.
  • Storage Utilization – The amount of room the racking system can hold. Your cargo’s quantity, size, and weight will determine how much storage you require.
  • Forklift Accessibility – The capacity for forklifts used for oversized freight. This takes into account the aisle width needed for forklift manoeuvrability.
  • Versatility – Racking systems’ capacity to hold a greater variety of items.
  • Inventory Management – Consider the sequence in which the warehouse needs its inventory retrieved.

Different Warehouse Racking Systems

Selective Racking System:

Due to its low cost and comprehensive range of sizes and attachments, the selective racking system is used the most often. This racking system works well for ordinary storage in all situations where quick product access is required.

Narrow Aisle Racking System:

Compared to selective racking, narrow aisle racking provides better access to every pallet. The warehouse storage racks create high-density storage by better using the floor space and roof height.

Drive-In Racking System:

The drive-in racking system provides your warehouse with the highest possible product density. It is excellent for storing multiple quantities of goods in a small space and eliminates aisles in a warehouse facility.

Double-Deep Racking System:

The double-deep racking system is a variation that offers a nice boost in density but necessitates specialized equipment and is slower to use. This is the best alternative to a high-density racking system.

Pallet Flow Racking System:

Pallet flow racks are high-density storage that combines elevated rails with moving parts like conveyors and gravity rollers. These storage racks for warehouses rely on gravity. This racking system is better suited for products with short shelf lives and can double or even quadruple your warehouse’s storage capacity.

Push Back Racking System:

The push-back pallet racking system provides more pallet storage while preserving superior selectivity, making it simpler to find, pick up, and store items. In this type of racking, different lanes are used for each SKU. The front loading/unloading method used by push-back warehouse storage racks avoids the need for additional aisles.

Narrow Aisle Racking System:

Compared to selective racking, narrow aisle racking provides better access to every pallet. The warehouse storage racks create high-density storage by better using the floor space and roof height.

Summary

Due to the vast range of racking systems available in the market, selecting the best warehouse racking system frequently proves to be a tiresome task. The easiest method to prevent feeling overwhelmed by this activity is to consider the reasons mentioned above and maximize your space for effective inventory management and warehouse operations by choosing a suitable warehouse racking system.

Sep 14, 2022 by Aayushi Sharawat

7 min read

Reduce RTOs With These Packing Materials This Festive Season

September 9, 2022 by Debarshi Chakrabarti - 7 min read

reduce RTOs with these packing materials

The festive season is knocking at the door, and we know what that means for your business – a surge in orders. But with more orders, there come more hassles too. Mismanagement of time and resources, hasty work, poor packing of products and delivery delays during the season rush becomes a source of stress for businesses.

While brick-and-mortar stores deal with the seasonal rush in specific ways, it is different for ecommerce businesses. The chances of orders returning to origin are high, and the returned orders end up being deadstock. 

Inadequate Packing = More RTOs. There is a direct correlation between product packing and RTO orders. If the product is packed improperly, there are higher chances of it getting damaged, thus, an increase in RTO orders. Quite simple.

Difference Between Packing & Packaging

Often used interchangeably, these terms are not quite the same. There is a difference between the two. While packing refers to the layers inside the box to protect the product from damage, the packaging is done to the parcel or orders shipped to the customer. These processes overlap at certain points and purposes but have distinct roles.

Packing

  • It is the process of making a container or box suitable for a product to ensure safe transportation and storage. 
  • Packing is a material used to cover a product and stop it from moving around and getting damaged.
  • Packing prevents the product or items from breakage, leakage, pilferage, etc.
  • Different methods used in packing are wrapping, cushioning, weatherproofing and sealing. 
  • Common materials used for packing are bubble wrap, cardboard, cellophane, foam packaging etc.

Packaging

  • It is the designing and manufacturing of an attractive box or bags using which the products are packed, stored and made ready for transportation. 
  • Packaging is an essential tool in marketing for boosting sales.
  • Besides protecting the product from damage, good packaging also engages the customers.
  • Businesses use packaging to engage and build a visual relationship with customers.  
  • There are two types of packaging – primary and secondary. 
  • Marketers use primary packaging to sell the product to end customers.
  • Secondary packaging is used to transport the product from one place to another.
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Why Is Proper Product Packing Important?

For Protection

The main and the most apparent reason for packing a product is for its protection against damage, breakage and pilferage. Packing gives the product a cushioning and a snug fit inside the box, so it does not stay loose or rattle during storage, handling and transportation. The suitable packing material also shields the product directly from heat, humidity and other factors that might damage the product.

For Safety

In logistics, mistakes happen, and unforeseen problems arise. Despite proper packing, a product may break or get damaged. Choosing the suitable material to pack can be the difference between safe return/ disposal or a disaster waiting to happen. 

For example, if you sell glass vases, it is best to wrap the vase in paper or bubble wrap and then put it inside the box with other dunnage. This way, even if the glass breaks, the shards will still be held in the paper and minimise the risk of cuts when the customer tries to take the product out of the box. 

Sustainability

Businesses are trying to reduce their carbon footprint, and proper packing is a crucial aspect of that. Using recyclable packing materials takes this one step further and positively impacts your customers’ minds. This affects the brand, the product and the business overall. Switching from heavy-duty plastic wrapping to dried leaves and using paper packing instead of styrofoam blocks are some ways companies are trying out these small but effective changes.

Common Types Of Packing Materials 

Air Bags

These are plastic bags or pillows filled with air and sealed tightly to offer protection to products. It works as a space filler for shock absorption and damage protection.

Bubble Wrap

This is the most common type of packing material used by businesses. It is lightweight and is used to wrap fragile items like glass, ceramics etc. Companies can reuse this material if the bubbles remain unpopped.

Dried Leaves

In recent years, there has been a rise in the use of dried leaves as a cheap and eco-friendly alternative to plastic. Leaves from bamboo, banana, and coconut trees are used for packing. They work similar to paper but require less processing.

Paper Honeycomb 

Paper honeycomb is another eco-friendly packing material. It has strength and rigidity because of its unique form of hexagonal-shaped cells. This material is lightweight and has seven times the strength of traditional cardboard.

PE Foam

Polyethylene foam is a durable and versatile material that is used for packing. These are dense materials that can be used as rolls, buns, sheets or custom cut to fit the product. 

Styrofoam Pellets

Also known as packing peanuts or foam popcorn, these are loose-fill packaging and cushioning materials used to prevent damage to fragile objects during shipping. They are shaped to interlock when compressed and free flow when not compressed.

Kraft Paper

This material is made of recycled paper that is typically crinkled and stuffed into packages. It is popular as it is eco-friendly, inexpensive, reusable and effective against damage and shock.

Corrugated Paper

Corrugated paper is made from layers of brown wrapping paper laminated together and used as a flat, thin sheet.  It has more strength and durability than Kraft paper and offers a better packing finish to the product.

Thermocol

Also known as stretch polystyrene, thermocol is a popular choice as a lightweight packing material.  Although not the most eco-friendly, this material is known for its strength, energy absorption capacity and cushioning effect. 

Fiber Packing

Fiber packaging can be made from different materials. These include recycled newspaper, cardboard, or natural fibers such as wood pulp, bamboo, bagasse, and wheat straw. Known as pulp packing, these materials are made with renewable resources, compostable, and completely biodegradable.

Packing Tips For eCommerce Businesses 

  • Choose suitable materials for packing your products. When packing, consider the product’s weight, shape, size, fragility and value and choose the material accordingly.
  • Pack each item individually. Do not leave any space, but do not overfill your box or container. 
  • Keep sufficient cushioning. Having insufficient fillers will have the product to bounce around in the box during delivery. Overstuffed boxes, on the other hand, can burst open during delivery.
  • After packing your product/s, seal the box properly. Use the H-Taping method to close the boxes for the best sealability. Use brown tape or duct tape.
  • If you cannot manage the packing, it’s best to take help from a 3PL provider like Shiprocket Fulfillment than struggle with in-house packing and packaging. 

Summary

Proper packing can save businesses a lot of hassles. The festive season will bring a rush of orders, and it can be challenging to manage all of them properly. With these tips, businesses can manage their packing effectively and reduce product damage, breakage or spillage, reducing the overall number of  RTO orders. These practices will help prevent damage to your product when shipping and can save you money on replacing damaged goods. Appropriate packing improves customer experience and results in a strong brand with satisfied customers.

Scale Your Business
Sep 9, 2022 by Debarshi Chakrabarti

1 min read

Managing Inventory The Smart Way – FIFO Method (Infographic)

August 30, 2022 by Debarshi Chakrabarti - 1 min read

With advancements in technology and order fulfillment over the years, it’s no doubt that inventory management has become more accessible across the ecommerce landscape. One method that has stood the test of time is the FIFO method. The First In First Out method is a systematic way in which the goods and products that enter the inventory first are sold first. 

Since this method follows the natural flow of the inventory, businesses find it easier and more effective than other methods like LIFO (Last In First Out), FILO (First In Last Out), FEFO (First Expired First Out) & FMFO (First Manufactured First Out). However, the inventory management method depends on the type of industry or goods sold. But the FIFO method is easy to understand, accepted, and trusted universally. Hence the ease of operations and feasibility make this method the preferred inventory management system. 

First In First Out (FIFO) Method
Aug 30, 2022 by Debarshi Chakrabarti

6 min read

Meaning and Formula of Average Revenue Per Unit (ARPU)

August 25, 2022 by Srishti Arora - 6 min read

You already know that tracking data is essential for running your eCommerce business. However, tracking some data points can be more important than others. You need to watch your performance metrics closely in order to stay focused on areas of improvement and keep a close eye on your overall financial health. What drives performance in any business? Revenue. Knowing the amount of revenue produced from the products you sell is crucial to the success of your business. This metric shows how much you’ve sold, how well you’ve priced your products, and whether your business is growing or shrinking. If your goal as an eCommerce business owner is to boost your revenue, then you need to understand ARPU. It’s far more than just an average; this KPI encompasses multiple vital metrics that can give you a clear overview of how your business stands. Keep in mind the benefits of accurately measuring and improving it. Let’s look at average revenue per unit, how you can calculate it, and its importance for your eCommerce business

What is Average Revenue Per Unit?

The average revenue per unit (ARPU) is a vital eCommerce and inventory management KPI measure. It tells you how much you’re earning on average from selling one unit of inventory and can also be used to measure the amount of revenue you generate from each subscriber or user.

ARPU is employed mainly by media and streaming companies, phone carriers, internet service providers, and software-as-a-service companies. It can also be used for subscription box services and membership-based eCommerce businesses. Consequently, it’s an essential metric for managing inventory management, but it’s also helpful in calculating performance from individual product sales that can’t be measured.

The Formula of Average Revenue Per Unit

The following formula is used to calculate your total revenue divided by the total number of units sold:

Average Revenue Per Unit = Total Revenue / Total Units Sold

Importance of Calculating Average Revenue Per Unit

There are many benefits to calculating your average revenue per unit. Improved profitability, increased revenue, and better decision-making is all-inclusive.

Managing SKUs Accurately

You can improve your SKU management process by using SKU tracking with your average revenue per unit. This gives insight into the profitability, how fast each SKU is selling, and which ones need step-ups in a promotion or which to cut altogether. SKU rationalization is a process where you identify, replace and discontinue SKUs that aren’t profitable. Using ARPU can help optimize the process because it will allow you to understand what items to discontinue quickly. For example, it could be discontinued if an item has a low SKU count and ARPU. This will allow you to save time on procurement and reduce the cost of holding the SKU.

Future Revenue Growth Projection

Businesses need to make projections to plan and strategize. Without this, you can’t accurately predict the future. The average revenue per unit plays a vital role in helping businesses project revenue growth for the future. This calculation involves multiplying your ARPU with your projected acquisition and retention numbers. Accurately forecasting your revenue enables you to manage your credit flow better and plan. If you predict in advance, you can determine whether you’ll have to take out more credit or just have access to capital. Accurately forecasting also allows you to forecast future demand, which is essential for production and procurement.

Identifying Opportunities to Increase Revenue

Revenue per unit is a great way to identify opportunities for revenue growth. The metric tells you which products are good at generating revenue. You might want to include popular items in smaller box subscriptions to increase revenue. You can also bundle slow-selling SKUs with higher ARPUs. Fulfillment providers like Shiprocket Fulfillment can help you bundle orders and ship them faster to customers. 

Improving Inventory Management

You can measure your ARPU by finding the average of your revenue for a unit. Your ARPU is relevant because it tells you how much profit you are getting from one item. You want to work with a higher ARPU if you’re going through less supply and more inventory-holding costs. When you have too much inventory, the rise in risk leads to dead inventory sitting on your shelves; this decreases revenue per unit because the excess inventory is more expensive. Inventory management makes it easier to see if any slow-moving SKUs need to be discontinued and identify SKUs with better profitability and inventory turnover. This will allow you to determine the minimum order quantity for each unit, which is essential for maintaining optimal inventory levels across warehouses and fulfillment centers.

Optimizing Pricing Strategy

Calculating your average revenue per unit is an excellent way to check your pricing strategy. If you notice that your prices are too low, you may need to reassess the pricing of your products in order to optimize for profitability. For eCommerce businesses that are scaling, it is vital to have a pricing system that changes over time. Knowing your average revenue per unit is essential so you can set a baseline and make decisions. Ensure that your pricing strategy is well thought out and considers how your competitors are doing. With careful planning and consideration, you can increase prices without losing customers.

Identifying Areas to Reduce Cost

Understanding your ARPU is essential because you may need to adjust the number of items you purchase to improve it. For example, if you find that your cost of inventory is reducing your revenue, you may want to reduce the number of items in your store and try re-evaluating how much money that frees up for customer service. When looking at your ARPU and the costs incurred, there are many opportunities to lower your costs. You should examine your ARPU in coordination with the expenses incurred. If the cost of holding inventory is affecting your average revenue per unit, it might be time to take action – like reducing inventory levels or better forecasting demand.

Average Revenue Per Unit vs. Customer Lifetime Value

Sometimes people get confused between ARPU and the LTV. While the two metrics have a deep connection, they have different purposes. A unifier for this difference is that ARPU focuses primarily on how much revenue you generate from an individual customer. In contrast, LTV focuses on how much revenue you will make from future profits from that customer.

Customer lifetime value calculates how much each customer is worth over a certain period.

Meanwhile, average revenue per unit is used for measuring the revenue generated from making sales from inventory on a unit basis.

The factors to calculate LTV include refund rates and transaction fees. These elements determine LTV by using this formula:

Customer Lifetime Value = (Lifetime Spend – Variable Costs) / Total Number of Customers Acquired

Final Thoughts

When it comes to a subscription business model, measuring ARPU is critical. It’s the number that will allow you to make intelligent decisions about pricing and future marketing efforts. As you run your subscription business, take the time to track your ARPU to see how your marketing efforts are impacting your bottom line.

Aug 25, 2022 by Srishti Arora

6 min read

What is Order Cycle Time and Its Relevance?

August 19, 2022 by Srishti Arora - 6 min read

As more companies enter the eCommerce market, it has become significantly more competitive in recent years. With so many companies trying to steal your customers from you, you must find ways to differentiate your brand. One of the best ways to do this is by improving your customer experience and order process. One way to improve the order experience is by reducing the time between when a customer places an order and when they receive it. Businesses of all shapes and sizes rely on rapid order fulfillment to drive customer satisfaction, repeat business, and sales. While most customers are satisfied with the time it takes an online retailer to ship their orders, there is always room for improvement. Causing frustration among your buyers could harm your brand and lead to poor product ratings on eCommerce sites. One of the crucial factors that can make or break your business is your order cycle time. If your business is not optimizing this key metric, read the post to learn its importance and how you can improve it for your business.

What is Order Cycle Time?

The order cycle time refers to the average time it takes to ship an order, excluding the shipping time. This is important because it helps you measure your operations and how efficient they are. 

Significance of Order Cycle Time

Order cycle time is a factor for measuring a company’s efficiency. The shorter the order cycle time, the more quick and sensitive a business is to customer orders. 

Help Detecting Discrepancies in the Supply Chain

The order cycle time is helpful when auditing the supply chain process to identify any inefficiencies or discrepancies that need to be optimized or removed entirely. One example of inefficiency is manual order receiving, which can be time-consuming and prone to errors. 

Understanding Customer Satisfaction

You should try to produce a fast order cycle time. You may increase customer satisfaction by delivering a seamless fulfillment experience. An extended order cycle time will result in fulfillment delays and an increase in dissatisfied customers. A long cycle can lead to fulfillment delays and delivery times, irritating customers. A shorter order cycle time will enable you to deliver a seamless, more likely to be satisfactory service.  

Gauging Readiness to Scale

A short order cycle time indicates whether or not you’re ready for the next step in your business. To expand your operations, you need a supply chain that can handle more orders without affecting overall performance. A short order cycle time may be a good indicator of your readiness.

Order Cycle Time Formula

The order cycle time can be easily calculated with the formula below – 

Order Cycle Time = (Delivery Date – Order Date) / Total Orders Shipped

If a company is making this calculation for a specific time, they need to look at the date the customer received their order and the date on which the order is placed. The number of orders shipped refers to the amount of orders shipped within that specific time frame.

Tips to Improve Order Cycle Time

Measure Cycle Time

The company’s order cycle time varies over time, especially with changes or disruptions in the supply chain. For example, an unexpected delivery exception can result in a much longer order cycle time than usual. Or you may notice a much shorter order cycle time after implementing an automated system to improve your warehouse receiving process. Poor customer service can also lead to long order fulfillment times because the staff is too busy with return transactions. Managing variable factors throughout the supply chain is a challenge that many companies face. Supply chain variables determine how long it takes to complete an order. If you’re consistently monitoring the process, you can reconsider your supply chain practices and make things go faster. For example, if you implement a new process, you need to evaluate whether or not it’s working efficiently by looking at order cycle times.

Define Protocols and Limits

Setting up guidelines on your fulfillment process is important to provide your employees with a guide. For example, limiting the size of batches will speed up the process, and items can quickly be picked or shipped. You may also set limits on when to place inventory reorders so there are no late backorders. It is vital to address orders stuck in transit as soon as they occur, especially during last-minute deliveries. To improve your customer’s experience, you should create a protocol to follow up and work on the order when it is delayed or can not be delivered. Being transparent with your customers will help you maintain a positive customer experience. Setting realistic expectations helps lower customer stress levels and leads to a better experience.

Work On Warehouse Flow

Slowing down the order processing times can result from bottlenecks in warehousing. For example, can pickers easily find items? Is the warehouse spaced adequately so that they can move around quickly? Are all these parts too far from the pickup area? All these roadblocks add up and slow down order processing time. By identifying these inefficiencies, you’re able to reduce order cycle time. Start by measuring your warehouse KPIs and looking for opportunities to make improvements. You may need to optimize your warehouse setup and use warehouse slotting to make the most available space and improve picking efficiency.

Outsource Fulfillment Operations

The easiest way to speed up your order cycle time is by outsourcing the fulfillment process to a third-party fulfillment partner. Finding a third-party company that outsources fulfillment will offer you faster turnaround times and expense control. Ideally, look for a tech-enabled 3PL that can automate significant portions of the fulfillment process. For example, a 3PL will integrate technology into your online store, which will work closely with their warehouses and fulfillment centers. This way, an order will be received in their warehouse or center as soon as possible. Automating these processes will reduce human error and also minimize the need for manual input. This will result in orders being shipped out in a matter of hours, just a few days after purchase, so you can provide the best-personalized customer service experience possible.

How Can Shiprocket Fulfillment Help?

Shiprocket Fulfillment can process your orders with 99% accuracy and deliver them to customers 3X faster along with same-day and Next-day delivery. Shiprocket Fulfillment can help your business as we do the picking, packaging, and shipping of products on your behalf. Using a 3PL provider, you can reduce shipping costs, offer faster deliveries, decrease ordering errors, and create repeat buys.

Final Thoughts

As you can see, improving your order fulfillment times can effectively retain customers and increase conversion rates, so eCommerce businesses need to pay attention to their order management processes. You can offer better service, lower shipping costs, and improve customer experience by optimizing your entire order process, from purchase orders to shipment delivery.

Aug 19, 2022 by Srishti Arora