The importance of home health and wellness equipment is undeniable during the recent worldwide pandemic, COVID 19. The coronavirus has entirely changed the way the home healthcare industry works. The home healthcare equipments have helped treat mild symptoms at the home.
COVID-19 has broadened the market for home healthcare and wellness brands, enabling them to help people battling with the virus at home. Many COVID-19 patients with mild symptoms recovered at their homes with the help of home healthcare equipment.
Not just during the pandemic, home healthcare has a critical role to play in our otherwise daily life as well. Patients with chronic disease can be treated at home effectively with home healthcare equipment, along with specialized nursing.
About Dr Trust
Dr Trust is leading home healthcare and wellness brand. It is a flagship brand of Nureca Ltd and its brand ambassador is Indian cricketer Rohit Sharma.
A few of its products include nebulizers, massagers, blood pressure monitors, glucometers, temperature scanners, and pulse oximeters. All the products offered by the brand adhere to CE and FDA guidelines. These are also recommended by doctors and health practitioners.
The products offered by Dr Trust are designed in a way that their features and accuracy are unrivaled. The products are easy to use and can be conveniently used by beginners as well as advanced users. The brand offers its products all across the world.
The brand played a significant role during the pandemic by ensuring the availability of all the required home healthcare equipment for the COVID patients.
Dr Trust sells its products through various online channels like its website and eCommerce giants, like Amazon and Flipkart. The medical equipment must reach the customers on time as this can be a matter of life or death for some patients. Thus, getting the products shipped and delivered to the customers on time was one of the biggest challenges for the brand.
Besides, sometimes the courier partner doesn’t cover all the pin codes where the customer lives. Thus, delivering products to them also became a challenge for the brand.
Starting with Shiprocket & Shiprocket Fulfillment
The brand came to know about Shiprocket through social media. It then started fulfilling all its orders through Shiprocket. With more than 27,000 pin codes coverage, Shiprocket became their go-to-go courier option for delivering products to customers all across the country.
In addition, the brand and its customers are also informed about the whereabouts of the products – their pickup, in-transit location, and delivery status through SMSs and emails.
When Shiprocket launched its Fulfillment services, Dr Trust also started using the services. By keeping their products in our tech-enabled and state-of-the-art warehouses, the brand is able to offer same-day and next-day delivery to its customers. Thus, Shiprocket Fulfillment has also been very beneficial for the brand.
In their endnote, Brand Dr Trust says that in the healthcare market, it is very important that the healthcare equipment reach the end consumers on time. After partnering with Shiprocket, their product delivery time is reduced. This has benefitted them and their customers the most.
Running a warehouse end-to-end is a time-consuming process. You need all hands on deck to ensure that you reduce errors by a considerable amount. Over time, your warehouse efficiency can reduce, and you need to re-evaluate the requirements to ensure that you’re meeting the requirements of your eCommerce business and the warehouse. This is where a warehouse assessment comes into the picture. You need to ensure that warehouse assessment is conducted regularly to upgrade your operations to match the current industry trends and make changes wherever necessary to improve your business’s delivery performance.
eCommerce fulfillment is a critical aspect of your business, and without it, your business will not be successful. Since the warehouse is where most of the action happens, conducting warehouse assessments becomes essential to assess your fulfillment quality.
Let’s look at the importance of warehouse assessment and how you can do it effectively to determine the best results for your business.
Why is it Important to Assess Warehouse Requirements?
A thorough warehouse assessment will give you vital information about the operations and the improvements you can make to enhance productivity and adopt ongoing industry trends.
Here are a few advantages of assessing your warehouse requirements –
It gives you an idea of how well the system is facilitating your business needs.
A deeper understanding of the current flow of goods and workers within the system.
Utilization of space and how well you can optimize the floor space.
How you can improve productivity to achieve the desired goals.
What changes need to be considered with respect to the material handling.
It helps improve productivity in various departments and helps with better centralization between operations.
Improved inventory accuracy.
Optimized floor plans and intelligent routing.
Increased efficiency for order fulfillment in return processing.
How to Conduct a Warehouse Assessment?
Observe Existing Operations
The first step to conduct a successful warehouse assessment is by analyzing the existing operations. You need to walk through the entire facility and observe every operating condition and its effect on the whole fulfillment process. This will give you a clear idea about the detailed steps and the current productivity and service level. Along with the operations, you also need to check the general conditions like the cleanliness, the employee attitude, morale, ease of movement, etc.
Gather Data and Necessary Information
After analyzing and observing existing operations, the next step is to gather the data and necessary information regarding each step of the functions. You need to do a research analysis, report view, and on-site assessment. You need to set standards and understand if the current operations are meeting the standards. This will help you identify discrepancies and where you need to enhance your processes so that the expectations are met.
Talk to Your On-Ground Team
Your warehouse is not complete without the on-ground team that carries out the synchronization tasks with each other. Therefore the next step would be to talk to your on-ground team and executives that take care of the daily operations to understand the problems and opportunities they face on a day-to-day basis. Understand their plans for growth and gauge their perspective on the product changes and planned process changes. This will give you a better understanding of the facility and how you can make changes to the process.
Analyze Current Operations & Reports
After the first and second step, you have collected enough data and formed reports of the existing operations in the metrics around it. It is now time to analyze these operations and reports by closely examining them to understand the service levels.
Take a look at each operation separately, like the order shipping accuracy, turnaround time, receiving, quality assurance, stock put away, returns, inventory control, picking, packing, etc., to understand the critical areas of improvement. Analysis of these reports will give you an idea about which department is currently reaching its goals and which ones need attention.
Determine Areas of Improvement
The next most crucial step is to determine the areas of improvement and where you can set benchmarks for your goals. Analyze the external and internal performance to gauge the best measures of success and set targets to achieve them over some time. Make improvements in the process keeping in mind the existing operations so that you can facilitate maximum efficiency.
Common Metrics to Review for Warehouse Assessment
When you begin your warehouse assessment process, here are a few metrics that you should review while preparing your reports and examining each operation –
Units per hour for receiving, putaway, and replenishment
Orders per FTE (Full Time Equivalent)
Picking units and lines per man hour
Cost factors as a % of Net Sales
Percent utilization of available space
Outbound shipping costs
Outsource eCommerce Fulfillment for Simplified Operations
Suppose you feel assessing your warehouse repeatedly can be a time-consuming task that requires most of your attention while running an eCommerce business. In that case, it is time to switch to a 3PL fulfillment provider.
A 3PL fulfillment provider can help you reduce fulfillment costs, delegate operations, and improve efficiency by a considerable margin.
Shiprocket Fulfillment is one such 3PL fulfillment provider that can help you optimize your operations to achieve the maximum results. All you have to do is ship your inventory to our fulfillment centers located in cities across India. This will enable you to look store your inventory closer to your buyers so when you receive orders, our team can pick, pack and ship them to the customer’s doorstep.
This way, you can reduce your fulfillment costs, deliver 3X faster, decrease the shipping costs by 20 to 30%, and lower weight discrepancy issues and RTO.
Not just this, you can reduce your order to ship time and fulfill more orders in a shorter period. This empowers your business and helps you expand to the next level.
Warehouse assessment is an essential factor for the success of your eCommerce business. Make sure you do not skip the steps as it will ensure maximum efficiency of operations. If you have any other tips regarding your warehouse’s assessment, drop them in the comments below.
Optimized warehousing operations are crucial for efficient eCommerce fulfillment and increased customer satisfaction. They also help in keeping the costs low. When the operations are not optimized, inventory is not received or shipped on time, workers are not productive, and the business losses its customers and credibility in the market.
Optimizing the warehousing process means examining every aspect of the process, identifying inefficiencies, and working on them. The optimized warehousing process helps in accurate and on-time order processing and an efficient order fulfillment process.
This blog will help you understand the steps involved in the warehousing process and the best practices to optimize the operations.
Steps in Warehousing Process
Fundamentally, there are six steps involved in the warehousing process – receiving inventory, putting it away, picking it, packing it, shipping it, and managing its return. Optimizing these steps will help you streamline your warehouse operations, reduce costs, and achieve better fulfillment operations.
Let’s take a look at the steps in the warehouse process and how to optimize them:
Receiving inventory is the act of handling products and adding them to the warehouse system. The products can be as large as an air conditioner or as small as an awl pin. You may receive a single product and object or a pallet and crate.
Significantly, receiving is a crucial step in the entire warehousing process. To perform it properly, you should ensure that you have received the right product, in the right condition, and in the right quantity. If you fail to do it, it may have consequent impacts on your options.
Receiving inventory also means its responsibility is transferred to the warehouse. Therefore, you become accountable for maintaining its condition and quantity until it is shipped to the buyer. So, make sure you receive the products properly – this will reduce the chances of receiving damaged products. And its liability will also not fall on your shoulders.
The main objective of optimizing the inventory receiving step is receiving the load efficiently and avoiding the accumulation of different products at the receiving dock. You can have solutions like conveyer and power pallet trucks for efficient unloading of the cargo. This will also aid in clearing the receiving dock faster.
Alternatively, you can also use pallet and parcel dimensioners to automate the weight and dimension capturing. This will accelerate the receiving process.
Putting Away and Storing
Putting away the inventory is the second step in the warehousing process. Essentially, it is the movement of the goods from the receiving dock to their storage location. The put-away staff delivers the goods to the storage location. Once the goods reach the location, the operator either manually confirms or scans the bard code of the stock to confirm that it has reached the correct location. Once securely stored, the put-away staff confirms that the process is completed.
In the putaway process, the load is stored at its assigned location. So, the main aim of optimizing this step is to store the load effectively and efficiently. You can take the help of warehousing software that can help you in allotting and managing warehouse space for each cargo that you receive for maximum space utilization. The software must also calculate the space in the warehouse for efficiently storing the product.
Picking is the process of collecting products from their allotted space to fulfill orders. It is the costliest step in the entire warehousing process and comprises almost 55% of the operating expense. Thus, optimizing this step can reduce the cost significantly. You can streamline this process to achieve higher efficiency and accuracy and reduce errors.
Picking is of two types:
Primary: the primary picking is when the goods are directly sent to the staging or packing area for the finalization of the order and dispatching it. Thus, primary picking is also the last picking.
Secondary: some orders are grouped before being sent to the staging and packing area. Thus, they are subject to a second picking process where other products are picked.
Once the orders are received, they are released in real-time or in a wave. Real-time is when the orders are released as soon as they are received. On the other hand, when orders are accumulated for a specific transport route or shipping time, it is called waves. Waves are released as per the discretion of the in-charge manager as per the criteria decided.
In a nutshell, the picking process can be discrete (picking one order at a time), clustered (picking multiple orders together), or batched (picking all the goods and then sorting them for a specific location). While some companies may use one of the types, some may employ all the types.
Introducing the right technologies is the best strategy to optimize the picking process. You can streamline the picking process by allowing warehousing workers to access the picking list wirelessly and accessing the system in real-time. You can also look forward to improving your warehousing layout, trying and choosing the right picking methodology, and utilizing different software that helps the workers execute the picking process efficiently.
There are different ways you can pack the orders before shipping them. Packaging plays a crucial role in keeping the products safe and secure throughout the shipment and increases customer satisfaction. You can follow the following tips while packing products:
Clearly mention all the ‘use-by’ and ‘best before’ dates in the packaging.
Products picked up from different storage locations in the warehouse must be combined to ensure order completeness.
You must pack all the goods as per their size, temperature, quantity, value, and hygiene.
Make the products are future traceable by adding invoice numbers or document numbers to them.
Optimizing the packing process can be done by guiding the team who executes the task. A packing system that has all the necessary data related to the product dimensions and weight can help the team perform the task efficiently. Besides, you should also source the best packaging material that can keep the products safe and sound while shipping.
The successful dispatch of the orders depends on the operation’s ability to keep the products packed and ready for departure before time. The manager, thus, requires forecasting and planning packing and dispatching well in advance. While packages that are ready in advance will fill up and jam the staging area, the late packages will delay deliveries.
Streamlining the tasks is crucial to optimize the shipping process. Allotting the right number of resources is also vital. A mobile application or software that shares the right information well in time can be really helpful.
Managing returns are an important part of the entire warehousing process. Though it is a complex process, handling it well is important:
Have a pre-determined return process describing what to do with the returned product – send them to the stock, destroy them, or return to the manufacturer.
When customers initiate a return, they must be given a place where they can outline why they are returning the product.
The returns must be trackable – their location through their invoice number or document number.
Inventory must be timely updated when the goods are returned.
While many warehousing managements may not give the returning process its due importance, it can significantly affect the overall warehousing process. Having a system in place that describes what to do with the returned products and adding them automatically to the stock is vital.
The Final Words
The modern-day supply chain process is a bit complex. It includes a lot of activities, processes, and transactions. Using a pen and paper or managing on an excel sheet is not more of an option to efficiently manage warehousing operations. Investing in IT infrastructure is required to remain competitive in the market. Equally important is to optimize the warehousing process to ensure a smooth process and maximum customer satisfaction.
A warehouse is a place where significant action happens. All your orders are received, packed, and shipped from the warehouse. If your warehouse or storage center is not organized, there can be a delay in processing orders that can eventually lead to a poor customer experience. This can act out poorly for your business. Hence, it is essential to organize your warehouse correctly to ensure that you can streamline your fulfillment operations and fulfill incoming orders in the most efficient manner possible.
What Does Warehouse Organization Mean?
Warehouse organization refers to the process of arranging your warehouse and aligned operations systematically to ensure the smooth functioning of daily operations.
It includes organizing inventory, aligning the process, and ensuring that all the parts of the fulfillment process are working in synchronization with each other.
Organizing the warehouse is not an easy task. It involves a lot of dynamic elements that keep changing as the trends change. Since you need to take care of a large number of stocks, you must ensure that you organize the warehouse properly so that no items are left out or do not accumulate dead stock. Many sellers spend a lot of time doing trials to see what organization techniques work for them. This can be a time-consuming task.
Here are a few expert tips that can help you understand warehouse organization and do it efficiently.
Expert Tips for Warehouse Organization
Keep the Warehouse Clean
Keeping the warehouse clean is the most crucial step for an organization. All parts of your warehouse must be cleaned thoroughly before you start with any organizational activity. Cleaning can boost your efficiency by a considerable amount, and you might also be able to find a thing or two that you might have been missing. Also, a clean warehouse facilitates more effortless movement, and employees would be able to move around conveniently to get things done faster.
Organization of Floor Plan
The floor plan is the next most important aspect of your organization. An optimized floor plan helps you streamline the process flow, and you can make sure every operation is in sync and flows around easily within the warehouse. You must constantly keep overlooking the floor plan to organize the warehouse with changing trends and requirements. A pro-tip would be to set up the floor plan concerning the order of operations. There should be a set area for docking and collecting inventory that gradually leads onto the next step of quality check, followed by stocking and so on.
Classify your inventory either by the ABC inventory sorting method, alphabetical order, or any combination you feel is appropriate. But do not randomly stock your inventory as your resources and workforce will spend a reasonable amount of time just picking orders. Therefore, you need to optimize the process and reduce the order-to-ship time. In that case, you need to make sure that your inventory is classified and your warehouse is organized to host this invention systematically.
Segregate Inventory In Aisles, Racks, and Bins
The next step would be to segregate the inventory in aisles racks and bins. You can label the aisle in alphabetical order, and in these aisles, you can use shelves to organize the inventory. It is best to use stackable beans to move around if you want to change the organizational layout. Segregation into aisles racks and bins gives you more visibility of the inventory and helps you track the SKUs better.
Next, label everything. Used Harman printers to constantly print any barcodes or labels for the bins or racks. This will give you improved inventory visibility, and you will be able to locate the product much faster within the warehouse. Not just this, we will also be able to track inventory better. When you undertake the inventory reconciliation activities, you will complete them much faster since you have labeled all products. You will be able to locate discrepancies quicker.
Warehouse Management Systems
Using a warehouse management system can help improve the quality of operations. Since the WMS technology is advanced and automates the process for you, you can store all data in it and track your products in the warehouse with utmost efficiency. Moreover, advanced warehouse management systems also provide you with the most optimal floor plan to organize your warehouse and achieve maximum efficiency.
Use Barcoding Technology
One cannot stress enough barcoding technology as it helps you maintain sync with The records and physical inventory. You can just scan a barcode to learn more about the product or find its location. Using handheld devices to scan barcodes and pick orders is a much faster process than writing down or locating inventory manually.
Overcoming the Hassles of Self-Fulfillment
Self-fulfillment can be challenging if you do not have the most advanced technology and a team of skilled resources to help you out. It can be time-consuming and mentally draining to run an eCommerce business and also fulfill your autos yourself. Even if you are a small business and the orders are less, self-fulfillment can be a task. Therefore, we recommend that you outsource your eCommerce fulfillment operations to a 3PL fulfillment provider so that you can easily focus on other aspects of your business.
Shiprocket Fulfillment is one such 3PL fulfillment provider that can help you with an organized fulfillment center to keep track of all orders and delivering them seamlessly. You get access to fulfillment centers across the country so you can easily store inventory closest to buyers and get started with 3x faster delivery immediately. Each fulfillment center is equipped with a warehouse management system for optimized operations, and the warehouse is thoroughly organized.
eCommerce fulfillment can be complex if your warehouse is not organized according to your requirements and the inventory. Make sure you spare a keen eye towards the fulfillment operations so that you do not face any setbacks because of poor organization.
It is imperative to maintain efficiency in your fulfillment center if you want to scale and achieve maximum growth for your eCommerce business. To do so, you need to have efficient systems to ensure timely delivery and optimized operation. Earlier, warehouses functioned on manual labor, and operations took devastatingly long to complete.
With the advent of eCommerce and online selling, you do not have the time to delay any part of your fulfillment supply chain as you need to ensure your customer receives their order as soon as possible. Therefore, you need streamlined operations within your warehouse to provide minimum fallbacks. Here is why a warehouse management software system will be helpful for your business. Let’s look at what a warehouse management software system is and what role it plays in managing your warehouse.
What is a Warehouse Management Software System?
A warehouse management software system is a combination of software and processes that control the warehouse operations starting from inventory management and leading up to picking and packaging. It incorporates all procedures into a single-line supply chain and helps you track all operations seamlessly from a single-view platform.
It helps you track inventory to process incoming and outgoing orders uniformly and keep track of inventory simultaneously.
Several warehouse management software like standalone software, supply chain module, integrated with ERP, etc. All of these are designed to either enhance a single function of your entire supply chain or combine the whole supply chain for seamless functioning.
Let’s try and understand this with an example. If you have a warehouse and receive an order from a client on your eCommerce website, you would first forward this to your warehouse, whether the concerned party will then start looking for the product in the inventory and then pack and ship it. In this manual process, you will need to update the inventory accordingly and manually locate the warehouse’s product. This can take hours, and you might face a delay in shipping the product out. Whereas, if you have warehouse management software in place, it will automatically sync your inventory and incoming orders and tell you where the product is located so you can find the optimized route to reach and pick it. This process will considerably reduce your overall processing time.
Benefits of a Warehouse Management Software (WMS)
Reduced Operational Expenses
You can considerably reduce your expensive operational expenses by deploying warehouse management software. They help reduce operating expenses in a wide variety of ways. You can use both labors in space which eventually reduces any additional costs or time while processing orders. Most warehouse management software also provides you with floor plans that can help you decide where to locate particular items based on their sale so you can look at them faster whenever you receive an order. They allow you to accommodate your products better to optimize supply chain and warehouse operations by a significant margin.
Improved Inventory Visibility
Warehouse management software gives you an improved look at your inventory so you can track it at any point in time. Along with providing inventory visibility, they also update your inventory in real-time so you can ensure that your stock is always up-to-date. This will help you forecast your demand better, and you will be able to avoid stockouts and debt stock situations. Warehouse management software provides real-time data about your inventory via barcoding, serial numbers, or RFID tagging. This enables you to efficiently document every item as it enters the warehouse and keep track of where it is stored for a more accessible location.
A warehouse management software lets you seamlessly synchronize your order management and inventory. This means you will be able to update your inventory in real-time whenever you receive or ship an order. Wrong with that. It helps you create optimized routes for picking products not to waste time locating every SKU. Once all the processes are synchronized, your communication improves by a significant margin. You can reduce any manual errors that might come in due to improper communication between fulfillment process departments.
Optimized Storage Space
By assigning specific storage space based on the seals and trends, warehouse management software helps you optimally place items in bins, racks, and shelves. This enables you to optimize your warehouse storage space so you can accommodate maximum inventory. If you do not make use of warehouse management software, you might place products according to improper understanding and face difficulty tracking them. Eventually, you will need to invest in additional warehouse space when your inventory increases because you cannot accommodate all inventory in one warehouse. With warehouse management software, you can optimize your storage space and know which stock to get rid of in a much more streamlined fashion.
Inbound and Outbound Process Optimization
Last but not least, a warehouse management system helps you optimize your inbound and outbound process optimization. They allow you to optimize how a product moves around the warehouse and helps you plan your inbound processes such as gate receiving, barcode scanning, and putting away inventory. Along with that, warehouse management software also allows your supplier to determine the most appropriate date and time to receive a shipment based on the labor and equipment available. For the outbound processes, a WMS helps you optimize the most suitable routes for picking and packaging.
Get Efficient Fulfillment Operations Without Investment – Outsource to 3PLs.
If you are a D2C brand that has just started, it can be challenging to invest in a WMS. Therefore, it is recommended that you outsource your warehouse and fulfillment operations to a 3PL fulfillment provider like Shiprocket Fulfillment.
With Shiprocket Fulfillment, you get access to thoroughly equipped fulfillment centers located across the country. You can store your inventory in these warehouses, and we will process orders with utmost accuracy and provide lightning-fast delivery to your buyer’s doorstep. Our fulfillment centers consist of advanced warehouse management systems and other automation that enhance the fulfillment process and process orders 3x faster and with 99.9% accuracy.
A warehouse management system can be a game-changer for brands who want to amp up their warehouses and deploy seamless technology for efficient functioning. However, in our opinion, outsourcing to 3PLs might be the best bet for you if you aren’t looking for heavy investment.
According to a report by Mckinsey, 27% of retailers plan to have higher inventory along the supply chain. The post-COVID times have boosted the eCommerce and D2C industry, and sellers like you are now amping up their stock to match the increasing demand and high competition. But, is increasing the inventory enough if you can’t manage it accurately? You need measuring parameters like inventory accuracy to ensure that you don’t miscalculate any inventory.
Let’s look at inventory accuracy to understand the concept and detail to see how you can maintain and improve it for your eCommerce business.
What is Inventory Accuracy?
Inventory accuracy refers to any discrepancies between the actual stock quantity or type of inventory you have and what is recorded. In the context of a physical store, this could refer to the difference between the recorded list and the amount displayed on shelves. In contrast, for eCommerce businesses, it could refer to the recorded inventory and the inventory stored in warehouses of my film and centers or fulfillment centers.
For example, if you have recorded 10 units of a particular SKU, and there are only five present in stock, you will not deliver the right product to the customer in time. Not just this, it will have many other implications that you might not realize immediately. It could also disturb the whole supply chain if this inventory is not accurate and the discrepancy is enormous.
Why is Inventory Accuracy Important?
Inventory accuracy is crucial because it could lead to incorrect customer orders, accumulation of debt stock, or even business loss. You might have to face the unfortunate inventory stock situations out where your customers order something, and you do not have it in stock while it is displayed on your website. It could also cause substantial accounting issues as it could lead to inventory shrinkage and throw off your inventory valuation at the end of a financial year.
Incorrect Inventory Accuracy – Why do eCommerce Businesses Struggle?
Inventory accuracy becomes a concern for eCommerce businesses as not all inventory is visible transparently at all times. So there are higher chances of the inventory not being accurate at all times. Many businesses face unfortunate inventory stock situations out, and customers do not agree to bank orders causing a lot of negative experiences and feedback. A few reasons for incorrect inventory accuracy could be –
Suppose you manage your inventory yourself and store it in your own house or warehouse. In that case, the chances of incorrect inventory accuracy are high as you do not deploy the most optimum sources of carrying out the processes manually. As the eCommerce group business grows, the inventory also keeps increasing. Therefore, self-storage is not the wisest option to go with.
No Inventory Management Software
One of the biggest reasons for improper inventory accuracy is the absence of inventory management software. An inventory management software helps you maintain sync between your inventory and orders. This way, you can easily maintain a record of your SKUs and constantly track your inventory to ensure that no product is out of stock. If you do this process manually, it can take you a lot of time and cause many unnecessary errors.
How to Measure Inventory Accuracy?
Inventory Reconciliation – Physical Counting
Inventory reconciliation refers to comparing physical inventory count with the record of the inventory in hand. This basic process helps reduce the stock discrepancies and also lets you understand why these discrepancies are rising. It is a very deep Jale down into the inventor you have and is usually not suitable if you have a large stock count. You can carry out this process regularly if you have a low SKU count and a lower order volume.
Inventory valuation refers to the method of inventory accounting. It is done by counting the value you have at hand and then dividing it by the value of inventory that you are supposed to have. This method is not the most approximate as it does not compare every item with your physical inventory but gives you a decent idea, and if it is low, you must contact your team to talk about the sales receipts and records.
How to Improve Inventory Accuracy?
Outsource to 3PL Fulfillment Providers
The easiest and fastest way to improve your inventory accuracy is to outsource it to 3PL fulfillment providers. 3PL fulfillment providers will take care of the inventory you sent to them and ensure that they are on track with the incoming orders. This will let off some steam from your shoulders. You will focus on other aspects of your business rather than just managing your inventory and removing any discrepancies.
One such fulfillment provider is Shiprocket Fulfillment. Shiprocket Fulfillment helps you manage inventory and incoming orders and stores stock in its thoroughly equipped fulfillment centers. You can store products closest to your buyer’s location in warehouses across India and deliver products 3X faster with 99% order fulfillment accuracy.
Upgrade Inventory Management System
You can also improve your inventory accuracy by deploying an inventory management software or system so that you can track your inventory regularly, and it is visible at all stages of the supply chain. This will give you a deep insight into the orders and the stock you have, and you will be able to decide which SKU is most in-demand, and you will be able to remove any discrepancies as you will be checking data in real-time.
Conduct Random Inventory Checks
The next step to improve inventory accuracy is by conducting random inventory checks using inventory reconciliation. If you do these checks at regular intervals or randomly, they will give you an accurate picture of the inventory you have in hand and what the records suggest. Try to match these two entities so you can maintain high inventory accuracy.
Inventory accuracy is a very important KPI to track since it tells you about the physical stock that you possess. Situations like inventory stockout can lead to a heavy loss and customer experience, and you might even lose out on customers as they would not receive orders on time. Therefore, constantly keep a check on your inventory accuracy and ensure that your inventory is taken care of at all times.
With changing environment, rise in pollution, and weather change, our skin is affected each day. The pollutants present in the atmosphere harm skin and clog skin pores leading to acne and breakouts. Besides, harmful sun rays are dangerous to skin cells.
There is a need for healthcare products as a cure for skin issues. These cures can heal and protect the skin. In recent times, many beauty brands have come up with various skincare products that can help consumers feel comfortable in their skin.
For generations, beauty is only associated with people who are good-looking and beautiful. But beauty is not about having perfect skin or skin colour or body shape. Being yourself and loving yourself and your imperfections is what makes an individual beautiful. It is not important to have clean and clear skin to look beautiful, but your skin deserves the utmost care. Real beauty is being true to yourself.
Shattering all these beauty standards, Qurez believes in natural beauty and natural products. Incepted in 2018, Qurez is a beauty brand that offers natural beauty products without any animal extracts. The brand believes that beauty is not defined by skin colour but by how individuals feel about themselves.
Qurez is an online brand that sells its products through its website and on all major platforms, like Amazon, Nykaa, Vanity Wagon, Purplle, and LBB. Its product line includes skin essentials, bathing bars, lip oil, hair oil, moisturizer, sunscreen, comb, and even toothbrush. All the products offered by the brand are natural and free from animal extracts.
Starting With Shiprocket Fulfillment
Like any business, they encountered challenges in the beginning but their main challenge was shipping. The brand faced challenges finding the right courier company. Besides, since the brand sells its products primarily through online mode, getting the products shipped and delivered fast and on time was crucial for them.
The brand also faced several challenges during the worldwide pandemic COVID-19. The business slowed down a little bit but later it managed to grow.
Brand Qurez says that Shiprocket is a very simple and straightforward platform. Initially, we were only using Shiprocket but now we have upgraded the plan and are using the warehousing and fulfillment services as well.
Brand Qurez fulfills all its orders through Shiprocket. They say that the collective services of Shiprocket and Shiprocket Fulfillment have been really beneficial for their business. They upgraded to Shiprocket Fulfillment because of the value it gave to their business.
Brand Qurez finds Shiprocket a consolidated platform where they can easily access all the services from one dashboard only. They can easily track orders and get a prompt resolution to their queries.
In their endnote, they say that they don’t have to make an extra effort to find out something on the Shiprocket platform. They don’t have to move out of the platform to gather information. Instead, they get everything in one place, which is very convenient for them.
According to research by invespro, at least 30% of all products ordered online are returned. This means that online shopping is very quickly imitating brick-and-mortar stores. Even though the purchasing tendency is moving towards online shopping, the buyer’s subconscious direction of trying before buying remains.
Therefore, it has become imperative for online sellers to offer returns on all their products. Since all the market players provide it, most sellers can provide this offering as customers do not prefer shopping from websites that do not offer a return or exchange policy. In many cases, customers also receive damaged products or wrong items that require you to arrange for a return shipment.
Even though a return policy may seem very lucrative on papers, reverse logistics can be a nightmare for eCommerce sellers like you. Since you also need to bear the cost of shipping the return to your warehouse, it causes a massive hole in the pocket. It also tends to disrupt your entire inventory as the product is no longer viable for further use.
This is where 3PL fulfillment providers come into the picture. They can be an absolute blessing for your business if you let them handle the fulfillment operations for you.
Let’s see how you can simply reverse logistics management with a 3PL fulfillment provider.
What is Reverse Logistics?
Before we move into the benefits of hiring a 3PL fulfillment provider, let’s look at what reverse logistics is.
Reverse logistics refers to the transportation, repurposing, and disposal of goods after the customer receives the product. This means it includes shipping the products back to the seller’s warehouse or pick-up address.
Why is Reverse Logistics an Essential Component of Your Fulfillment Supply Chain?
If you think that the fulfillment cycle ends after the product is delivered to the customer, you are mistaken. The eCommerce world is developing rapidly, and the customer experience cycle also includes return management. Reverse logistics plays a critical role in determining the positive customer experience by arranging a smooth return journey.
Here are few reasons why it is so important –
Since reverse logistics helps handle return orders, it plays a critical role in retaining existing customers. If a customer has a bad experience with your product, reverse logistics helps me get right by arranging a seamless return. This enhances the customer experience by many phones as the customer can trust you with their shopping. Reverse logistics also plays a crucial role in establishing strong customer relations.
Most times, in a return order, products or salvageable. This means that the consequences can be used or sold again. Therefore, an established reverse logistics system helps you reduce losses by optimizing the process and getting the products to the warehouse much quicker.
If your return order management service is not quick, it can lead to a negative customer experience. Therefore, reversed logistics helps you establish a fast service with your brand and customers. Fast service indicates proactiveness, and quick reverse logistics can help you determine just that.
How Can 3PL Providers Help?
Most D2C and small business sellers cannot provide fast and efficient reverse logistics management for their business. This is because different courier partners have different return order processing rates and usually are very high. Since return order management and reverse logistics form the last leg of your entire fulfillment supply chain, there is a high chance of facing losses regarding returning shipments.
With 3PL fulfillment providers, you can be assured about end-to-end fulfillment management. They take care of all operations, starting from inventory management and storage up to return order management. Their reverse logistics management is much more sorted. Here is how they can be a boon for your business –
3PL providers are designed in a way to make tasks convenient for you. You outsource your entire eCommerce fulfillment operations to your 3PL providers, and they assign resources to manage it for you. All the functions after receiving an order and even handling returns are the 3PL fulfillment provider’s responsibility. Since the return orders are taken directly to the fulfillment provider’s warehouse, you do not need to worry about accepting and arranging returns. The 3PL fulfillment provider does it for you.
Inclusive of all Operations
All fulfillment operations are included in the 3PL fulfillment provider’s offering. This ensures that the 3PL provider handles all reverse logistics operations, and they take care of every incoming return order. They arrange for the courier network to collect returns by themselves.
The fulfillment centers are equipped with the latest technology to help you process and deal with return orders very efficiently. Since this technology is the latest, automated, and scalable, you do not need to worry about picking every reverse logistics operation yourself.
The products are processed faster as there is a very efficient system instituted for the same. Along with that, fulfillment centers have skilled resources for the reverse logistics tasks that process the request with couriers and accept parcels at a much faster rate.
Closer to Buyers
Last but not least, fulfillment centers are placed in different locations. Your fulfillment provider gives you the chance to store products closer to buyers. This means that processing returns also becomes a much cheaper and faster process for you.
Choose the Most Reliable 3PL Fulfillment Provider – Shiprocket Fulfillment.
Shiprocket fulfillment is a 3PL fulfillment provider that helps your store and ship orders from fully-equipped warehouses situated in multiple critical locations across the country.
All you need to do is send your product inventory to our fulfillment center, and we will handle the entire order fulfillment and return process for you after that.
You get several benefits like one-day and two-day delivery, a 20% reduction in shipping costs, and seamless return order management.
The fulfillment centers also process all inward return orders.
Suppose you want to reduce the cost for reverse logistics and also handle return orders like approval. In that case, it is intelligent to tie-up with a 3PL fulfillment provider that can help you achieve all of these at discounted costs. Do reach out to us if you want to process return orders faster with a simplified reverse logistics system.
Did you know that 38% of online shoppers will abandon their order if the delivery takes longer than a week?
How does that play out for your D2C business if you need to deliver products to people living in remote locations in India?
Will you leave out that target group or work to improve your fulfillment operations to deliver faster will improved order accuracy? We are sure you will choose the latter. However, if not appropriately handled, fulfillment operations will become a daunting task where you will be spending more money than anticipated to achieve maximum efficiency.
You must be wondering that being a small business, you do not have the capital to spare for outsourcing anything. When you analyze the option objectively, you will find that outsourcing can help you save on expenses and provide much superior service to your customers.
Let’s dwell deeper and see how Shiprocket Fulfillment can lower your fulfillment costs and provide you with better performance. But first, let’s see what Shiprocket Fulfillment is and what it offers.
What is Shiprocket Fulfillment?
Shiprocket Fulfillment is an end-to-end fulfillment solution design for businesses of all sizes. It is an all one solution that gives you a chance to outsource your inventory management, warehouse management, order management, and shipping operations to a team of skilled professionals.
With Shiprocket Fulfillment, you can store your inventory in thoroughly equipped fulfillment centers located across India in Delhi, Mumbai, Gurugram, Bengaluru, and Kolkata. With this, you can deliver faster to your customers and also save on shipping costs.
Since you can do without investing in additional warehouse infrastructure, Shiprocket Fulfillment enables you to focus on other key metrics and aspects of your business.
Cost Savings With Shiprocket Fulfillment
We speak about cost savings with Shiprocket Fulfillment, but you might wonder if it is practically possible. Well, let us understand with a practical example. This will give you a better idea about how you can save on fulfillment costs with Shiprocket Fulfillment and utilize that capital on other aspects to grow your business.
Let us assume that you receive 1000 orders every month. The average weight of each order lies between 0-500g.
Now let us look at this situation in two scenarios: Without Shiprocket Fulfillment and with Shiprocket Fulfillment.
Without Shiprocket Fulfillment
If you own your warehouse and opt for self-fulfillment, your expenditures would look like this –
Workforce (2 personnel)
Storage Area (Rent)
Maintenance & Overheads
Stationary Cost (Label, manifest, invoice, etc.)
Note: All values mentioned are hypothetical and are only used for demonstration purpose
Now, if you process 1000 orders every month,
Hence the fulfillment and processing cost = Total Monthly Expenditure/ Inventory Stocked.
46000/1000 = ₹46
Fulfillment and processing cost without Shiprocket Fulfillment = ₹46/order
Now let’s look at the same scenario but with Shiprocket Fulfillment.
With Shiprocket Fulfillment
The fulfillment fee per order is ₹18*
Assuming you process 1000 orders from our fulfillment center,
Total fulfillment cost = Orders processed * fulfillment fee per order
= 1000 * 18
Average fulfillment fee per order
Total Orders Processed
1000 * 18
Total Fulfillment Cost
Note: All values mentioned are hypothetical and are only used for demonstration purpose *rates as per the gold tier (0-3000 orders/month) of Shiprocket Fulfillment
Storage is free for 30 days when you send your inventory to our fulfillment centers.
Total Monthly Costs
Order Fulfillment Costs
Total Monthly Cost
Note: All values mentioned are hypothetical and are only used for demonstration purpose
Hence, the fulfillment and processing cost = Total Monthly Expenditure/ Orders Processed.
18,000/1000 = ₹18
Fulfillment and processing cost with Shiprocket Fulfillment = ₹18
For 1000 orders
Therefore, it can be concluded that if you outsource eCommerce fulfillment to Shiprocket Fulfillment, you can save more than 50% on your fulfillment costs.
Similarly, for shipping, you save around ₹15 – 20 for every 500g shipment.
If you want to understand how cost-saving works with Shiprocket Fulfillment, reach out to our experts today!
How Can Small Businesses Benefit from Shiprocket Fulfillment?
Multiple Fulfillment Centers
Shiprocket Fulfillment has multiple fulfillment centers located in several locations across India. These fulfillment centers are spread out across zones so which helps reduce delivery time by a considerable margin. For example, if you have your warehouse in Delhi and want to ship a product to Bangalore, the usual delivery time would take 3 to 5 days. However, if you stock your products with Shiprocket Fulfillment and let us fulfill your orders, the delivery time would reduce by three days as the product is stored in Bangalore. Also, the shipping cost would be lower. This will help you save up on shipping costs and also improve the customer experience.
Shiprocket Fulfillment deploys the best technology in its fulfillment centers. All the warehouses are equipped with the latest warehouse management software to manage your incoming orders and process them in the fastest possible manner. We also have a falcon weighing machine in all our warehouses that enables us to click pictures of the final package product and record the dimensions to help reduce the weight discrepancies by a large margin. If you try to install all the latest technologies in the warehouse, the initial capital investment can be too high for small to medium enterprises.
We are tired Shiprocket Fulfillment Testimonial is trained to fulfill orders in a fast yet accurate manner. This improves the quality of fulfillment and also gives you greater control over the order accuracy. We ensure that our team follows the best standards for inventory management, order processing, and shipping.
As your store products closest to customers, you can provide 3X faster delivery and also give an option for one day and two-day shipping on your website. Arranging for one day and today deliveries can be a hassle as courier companies charge very high prices for expedited delivery or do not have the pin code network. With Shiprocket Fulfillment, you can save on these additional costs and focus on other aspects of your business.
When you sell on your website and also on different marketplaces, it can be challenging to manage incoming orders on one platform. However, Shiprocket Fulfillment lets you sync all your channels with an advanced dashboard so that you can take charge of all incoming orders in one place and process them seamlessly at Shiprocket Fulfillment centers.
To simplify fulfillment operations, it is an intelligent choice to outsource your fulfillment operations to a 3PL fulfillment provider like Shiprocket Fulfillment as you can save on costs by a considerable margin. It may seem like a huge and continuous investment on the outside, but once you dig deeper, it is actually a cost-saving model.
Inventory management is undoubtedly one of the most crucial aspects of any eCommerce order fulfillment process. The entire eCommerce business depends on your inventory management and can often lead to a negative customer experience if not done correctly. Therefore, managing and tracking inventory efficiently is a skill & you need to know all about it to do it effectively.
Did you know that 70% of shoppers would shop for an item at a competitor’s online store if it were unavailable? Most shoppers are not ready to wait for even a day for bank-ordered inventory. With increasing competition, you need to ensure that you do not get left behind. You need to optimize your inventory management to further optimize all fulfillment operations like order management, storage, and logistics.
Inventory reconciliation is one such inventory management component that you need to learn to handle inventory and avoid a stock’s unfortunate conditions efficiently.
With this article, we have briefly explained the concept of inventory reconciliation so you can apply it in your eCommerce business. Let’s get started.
What is Inventory Reconciliation?
How much ever track you keep of your inventory, it is possible that the number of SKUs on the shelf does not match the records. Even though this may seem like a negligible number, it can lead to a massive discrepancy in your overall inventory count.
Inventory reconciliation is the process of comparing physical inventory with the records of the inventory on hand. Even though this process is not very significant every day, it is essential to reduce stock discrepancies and analyze where your inventory control is lacking.
Imagine you are handling thousands of books in a library; you stop them properly on shelves, take a record of the total number, and then compare it with that on your system. If there is a discrepancy in the number, you have to do the whole process again. And if this discrepancy persists, you might be leading your customers to a wrong expectation.
Let’s quickly look at the inventory reconciliation process you must follow when matching physical inventory with inventory records.
Inventory Reconciliation Process
Even though inventory reconciliation may look like a small check to maintain balance, it is not as easy as tweaking the numbers on your system to match the records; it is as complicated as matching a balance sheet with a left and right equivalent to each other. Therefore, it is recommended to follow this process to reconcile inventory and maintain a thorough check.
Step 1 – Count Physical Inventory
The first step of the process is to count the physical inventory. This should be done before looking into your actual records. If you look at your physical inventory after looking at your existing records, you will subconsciously try to match them, leading to errors.
You must run this through two or three times to ensure no errors, and nobody is missing out or miscounting the inventory. This is even more essential if you have split inventory across different locations.
Step 2 – Tally With Inventory Records
The next step is tallying the numbers with your inventory records. This does not mean telling the overall numbers but matching each physical inventory with the existing inventory records. This is where you will identify where the discrepancies exist. The difference in both values could be due to missing paperwork, human errors, unlisted items, supplier fraud, or scrap items.
Even though this process is slightly time-consuming, you need to examine all possibilities to identify the cause’s root.
Step 3 – Check Incoming Deliveries Since Last Reconciliation
The third step is to look back and see if there were any discrepancies found in the previous inventory reconciliation conducted. Furthermore, look into the delivery and sales records to see if there is any number or an SKU missed out. This will help you explain the discrepancy and also confirm how you can be more careful further on. In most cases, if there are no records like a shipment receipt, signed document, etc., to explain the error, it could be a case of theft or fraud.
Step 4 – Create a Record
Creating a record of the discrepancies identified is one of the most crucial steps. This will help you stay informed the next time you conduct an inventory reconciliation. You can do this with an inventory management system or on a simple spreadsheet using Excel.
Step 5 – Repeat Often
If you believe you need to do inventory reconciliation only once, you are mistaken. You will have to reconcile your inventory whenever you see a new stock to thoroughly check and maintain what is on your shelves along with the records that you store. Hence, conduct inventory reconciliation regularly and maintain thorough records of what you find.
When Must You Conduct Inventory Reconciliation?
Objectively, you can conduct an infantry reconciliation exercise on any occasion. But we would recommend the following –
Seasonal Inventory Reconciliation
This means that you conduct the practice of inventory reconciliation every season based on your demand. This means if you sell winter coats, you will run an inventory reconciliation exercise after the end of summer to check if you have ample winter coats for the upcoming winter season. This is most suitable for seasonal products that are not usually sold all around the year.
The ABC technique involves segregating the inventory based on the value of the SKUs and the sales volume. You can prioritize the inventory reconciliation practice basis of the revenue and reconcile the inventory based on the category.
With a random technique, you can reconcile inventory whenever you deem fit. It could be twice a year, once a year, or when you discover a discrepancy.
Advantages of Inventory Reconciliation
Be aware of theft or fraud.
Stay up to date with your inventory.
Accurate demand forecasting
Outsource Inventory Management to 3PL Fulfillment Providers
Efficiently managing inventory can be tedious if you do not do it regularly. Since many DTC businesses are coming up in the country, it can get challenging to manage stocks and also cater to other facets of your business with equal attention. Therefore, it is recommended that you also share inventory management with 3PL fulfillment providers like Shiprocket Fulfillment.
With Shiprocket Fulfillment, you can story or inventory in thoroughly equipped 3PL fulfillment centers located across all major zones in the country. After you send your inventory to us, we will take care of all the processes like inventory management, order management, logistics, and return management. We will handle even tiny components like inventory reconciliation. You can thoroughly outsource a significant chunk of your business and sell peacefully online.
By outsourcing your inventory management and fulfillment operations, you will be able to deliver 3X faster to customers as your store products closer to them. You can reduce fulfillment costs by up to 20% by reducing the warehouse’s distance and the customer’s doorstep. Not just this, you can also reduce your weight discrepancy issues and ship hassle-free with multiple courier partners.
Even though inventory reconciliation might seem like a small aspect of a vast inventory management chain, it is equally essential as it tells you about the minor discrepancies in your system. Do not take it lightly and regularly perform to ensure that you do not miss out on the little details.