5 min read

What is Minimum Order Quantity (MOQ) & How to Calculate it for Your eCommerce Business?

June 11, 2021 by Srishti Arora - 5 min read

In any eCommerce business, inventory is your biggest asset. You cannot run a business without it and how well you manage your inventory determines your success rate. Therefore, you need to focus on the minor aspects of inventory management to ensure that you do not exhaust your resources by buying, storing, and managing them alone. 

Hence, activities like forecasting demand and auditing your stock become an integral part of your inventory management plan, and you must do them diligently if you want to succeed. One such necessary process is the sourcing or buying of products from suppliers. Most D2C businesses in India rely on sourcing products from third-party suppliers and then sell them under their brand name. Therefore, you must determine the minimum order quantity for every SKU. If not, you will either be buying too little or too much. In both scenarios, you are at a loss. Hence, let’s go through this brief blog to understand the minimum order quantity and calculate it for your business. 

What is Minimum Order Quantity?

Minimum order quantity refers to the lowest number of units required to be purchased at a given time.

For e-commerce businesses, minimum order quantity can refer to the supplier’s number of products or purchases. It can be used in the context of the minimum order a buyer can purchase from your store. Usually, the former is more focused on. 

Let’s look at an example to understand it better. If you sell 10 varieties of socks on your website, you might be sourcing them from somewhere. Minimum order quantity refers to the fewest number of socks you purchase from your supplier for every variety. The MOQ can be different for every type. 

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Why is Minimum Order Quantity Important?

Minimum order quantity is vital for your business as you need to own only a limited amount of inventory at all times. If you own excess inventory, it can lead to an unnecessary accumulation of dead stock for which you might need to pay extra to maintain or sell-off. If you have less inventory, you will face the situation of a stockout where you might not have enough to sell to your customers. 

Both the scenarios are disappointing as they leave you with a lot of stress. They also impacted the overall supply chain negatively as you have to either source products rapidly or make space for already existing ones.

In such cases, a pre-decided or forecasted minimum order quantity helps procure the items so that you do not have to guess or predict the number you buy from your supplier. 

Let’s have a look at how you can calculate the minimum order quantity for your inventory. 

How is Minimum Order Quantity Calculated?

Forecast Demand

The first step in calculating the minimum order quantity is by calculating the demand. Demand forecasting plays a significant role in inventory management. It helps you consider factors like the product type, seasonality, competition, etc., when estimating how many SKUs or units you might sell.

Such rich insights can help you predict the number of SKUs you might need in a month or six months. 

The minimum order quantity that you procure from your buyer should match the number that you sell. 3PL fulfillment providers like Shiprocket Fulfillment provide you with a robust platform that can help you forecast demand efficiently. 

Calculate Break-Even Point

The next step is by calculating the breakeven point for your business. This will help you understand where your industry is heading and how many SKUs you might need to procure from your manufacturer if you want to continue with the product you are selling. 

This number can only be calculated after a few transactions have been done and recover the customer acquisition cost. 

Analyze Holding Costs

Moving forward, you need to understand the holding costs involved. Holding cost refers to the total amount you spent in storing all of your inventory, and it must not be costly. 

Since some products are more expensive than others, it is beneficial to ensure they are not stored in your inventory for long. 

An ABC inventory management technique can help manage varied search types of products. 

Determine MOQ

Lastly, you can decide your MOQ by keeping in mind the factors like holding cost, breakeven point, and the demand forecast. 

Conclusion

Minimum order quantities are a problematic term when it comes to purchasing. However, it is relatively short-term to deal with when you’re selling, as you call the shots. Decide on a suitable MOQ for selling your products based on the previous sales data, and do not go overboard with keeping your MOQ high. An analysis is critical, and you must derive your conclusions from data to prepare well for the incoming demand.

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June 11, 2021 by Srishti Arora

6 min read

Importance of Warehousing and Fulfillment for SMEs in India

June 9, 2021 by Srishti Arora - 6 min read

The COVID-19 crisis in India has fuelled the growth of eCommerce by many folds. The need for a flexible and resilient supply chain that enables timely delivery and access to the customer has led to colossal warehousing and fulfillment demand that is only bound to grow in the coming years. 

With the lockdown in place in several states and cities across India, eCommerce has gained new popularity even in tier-2 and tier-3 cities that were once only dependent on local markets. 

This has pushed eCommerce sellers that sell on their websites or social media marketplaces to invest in their warehouse infrastructure to stay in proximity to their target audience.

With the SME pool growing in India, the demand for warehousing and fulfillment operations is also increasing proportionately. Let’s see the importance of warehousing and fulfillment for SMEs in India today and the role of these operations in eCommerce. 

Scope of eCommerce in India

Before we talk about the role of warehousing and fulfillment, it is essential to discuss the scope of eCommerce in India and how much it is bound to grow in the coming years. 

Availability of the internet in the country is the primary source of driving eCommerce in India. With easily accessible 3G and 4G plans, the internet penetration in India has increased to 34.8% of the population. This has enabled people to gain access to the websites, and many are also hopping onto the D2C eCommerce bandwagon and selling products online. 

According to a report by IBEF, India’s eCommerce order volume has increased by 36% in the last quarter of 2020. This indicates a massive increase in demand which the lockdown and COVID crisis could also fuel. 

With such lucrative opportunities in the sector, it is safe to say that the role of eCommerce in the entire retail market is only going to increase in the coming years, with more and more sellers joining the online platforms for sales. Without warehousing and fulfillment, the eCommerce cycle is incomplete. Let’s look at what warehousing in fulfillment is and why it is essential for eCommerce SMEs in India. 

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What are Warehousing and Fulfillment? 

Fulfillment refers to the process of storing inventory, picking and packaging incoming orders, and shipping them. It includes a streamlined process of these components, and all eCommerce operations are carried out under this central dogma. 

Though warehousing generally includes only storage, it is often used synchronously with fulfillment, which is a compilation of all processes post receiving an order until it gets delivered. 

Fulfillment is an integral part of the eCommerce process and hence, inevitable. The question is – how important do you consider it for your business? Ideally, it must be the foremost of your concerns as the customer’s final and everlasting experience of your brand depends on it. 

Your customer might remember the witty ad they saw on your Instagram page, but this ad won’t be good if the product is not delivered to them on time. So you must focus well on the fulfillment of your products, so your customer’s shopping experience is delightful from start to end. 

Let’s delve further into why D2C fulfillment is essential for Indian SMEs in today’s time. 

Why is Warehousing & Fulfillment Important for SMEs in India?

Faster Deliveries

With seamless warehousing and fulfillment in place, you can stock your inventory in equipped warehouses close to your customer’s location. This enables faster delivery, and you can also reduce your shipping costs by a considerable margin. If you provide faster deliveries to your customers, you can match the prime-like experience offered by Amazon had been the good books for your customer for a longer time. The sooner your customer receives the product, the happier their experience is going to be. In 2021, this is the ongoing mantra. To provide faster and error-free deliveries, warehousing and fulfillment are of utmost importance as they streamline the process and organizes the operations to help you deliver quicker. 

eCommerce fulfillment solutions like Shiprocket Fulfillment Testimonial you with this requirement as we have fulfillment centers across the country. With its active fulfillment centers in cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Jaipur, Gurugram, and Kolkata, you can easily store products in almost every zone and deliver to every doorstep period of 2 to 4 days without errors. 

For example, in a lockdown period when deliveries were affected due to the restrictions imposed, having the product stored in a location closer to the customer would have been helpful. This would have helped to reduce interstate shipping, and you could have delivered the product even though the lockdown was there. 

Increasing Competition

Next, with the increasing competition in the DTC space, you need to be one step ahead. With warehousing and fulfillment sorted for your business, you can look after other aspects and be innovative on fronts like marketing, branding, and sales. This will help you grow your business quickly as you will not have to focus on the nitty-gritty that can be taken care of by 3PL fulfillment providers like Shiprocket five payment. In today’s era, time is money, and you have to strategize to optimize time to make more money. With 3PL fulfillment providers and streamline fulfillment, you can do just that. 

Higher RTOs

With a higher number of incoming orders from remote areas, there is also a chance of higher RTOs. It is intelligent to invest in technology that helps you deliver orders faster so that the cases of non-delivery and return orders can be reduced. The leading cause of return orders is the unavailability of the customer and the rejection of orders because they are late or incorrect. Streamline fulfillment can help you work on these and give you a platform to reduce returns. 

Delivery to Remote Areas

With the increasing demand to deliver quickly to remote areas in tier 2 and tier 3 cities, you must store products in proximity to your customer’s location. It enables you to act on orders faster, process them efficiently, and deliver them quickly. As delivery to the remote area usually takes about 5 to 7 days, storing them within the same zone as the small area can help you reduce this time to 2 to 3 days. As there is enough scope for growth in these areas, you can act fast to get results in the long run. 

D2C Business Explosion

With the D2C business space evolving each day, the growth is unprecedented. Soon, there will be smaller warehouses that will be shipping to almost every household in India. You must understand the trajectory of your business so that you can stay ahead of the competition and be ahead of the race that comes with growth in any sector. 

Conclusion

Warehousing and fulfillment are essential components of any eCommerce business strategy. You must focus on them thoroughly to make informed decisions for your business and be innovative in the way you tackle them. With the space evolving each day, look out for changes and evolve with the trends to not have to catch up later.

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June 9, 2021 by Srishti Arora

4 min read

Top Tips for Effective Logistics Management

June 3, 2021 by Rashi Sood - 4 min read

A combination of automation of several workflows, efficient workforce, and combination between all functions is requisite for the smooth functioning of the supply chain for any business. A business’s success depends on the effective management of logistics operations and their implementation. But there is always room for improvement – it is a constant process.

Logistics Management Tips

As the business grows and expands, the logistics processes must also be updated and streamlined to improve the output and make the process effective. To help you in this, we have compiled a list of actionable tips for effective logistics management.

Logistics Management Tips

The following are a few tips to help you run your supply chain process smoothly:

Logistics Management Tips

Determine your Logistics Goals

The success of a logistics company majorly depends on the company’s ability to collect and deliver products from one location to another, as per the customer’s expectations. In addition, it also requires building a strong relationship with the clients, increasing efficiency, and generating more revenue.

For all these efforts, you need to first define goals for your logistics business and transportation. As you define goals, it is crucial that you also set targets to keep a tap on your growth. With the set goals and targets, you can examine your progress and plan new strategies to accomplish the tasks.

Contingency Plan

No plan is foolproof. The situations around keep changing and so there is a need for change in the execution plan as well. No one can ever predict what may go wrong and when. Therefore, you may face many unforeseen circumstances in your business operations from time to time. To deal with these circumstances, you must have a contingency plan in hand.

You can play offensively instead of handling the situations as they arise by developing a contingency plan. With the plan in hand, you can address all the problems in real-time if any unforeseen situation arises.

Leveraging Automation

Like all industries, the logistics industry is also making a shift from a manual process to automation. Data collection and its analysis play a critical role in the supply chain and logistics management process. Automation in the process can assist in inventory management and make it an effortless process. You can also know where breakdowns occurred and why. This information is important to offer the best service to the customers. A customer blaming your company for a failed delivery can be harmful to your business’s reputation.

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Regular Employees Communication

Effective communication can break or make your company. It has the potential to strengthen your company’s image among the customers.

Your employees’ behavior affects the quality of your process directly. By improving and strengthening their ability to communicate well and efficiently perform their jobs together, you can improve the logistics management process and customer experience with your company.

Having the conversation in the first place is the key to open and effective communication. Make sure that all the key account managers are talking to their staff members regularly. Meetings can also be held for effective communication. When employees communicate, they share critical information about the process with each other. In turn, this can lead to improvement in the processes and customer service.

Keep your Customers in Loop

Excellent customer service is the most important for effective logistics management as customers are the most valuable asset for a business. They are the source of revenue generation, influencing peers, and also promoting your business through word-of-mouth among family and friends. That is why it is important to offer total transparency during the purchasing process.

When customers know about every step involved in the delivery process, their pre-purchase, purchase, and the post-purchase journey is eased out. Your company has a great opportunity to shine through this process. All you need to have is an effective communication system that comprises confirmation SMS, emails, package tracking numbers, and the company’s contact number to resolve all the customer’s queries.

Data Collection & Analytics

Logistics network management and optimization are incomplete without integrating data and analytics to monitor the ups and downs in your industry. With data analytics, you can get insight into the industry and accordingly make plans.

Service Ideas for the Competitors

One of the best places to gather ideas is from those who offer the same services. Take cues from your competitors about the activities they are performing to approach the customers. Take notes of how the competitors manage their logistics. This information can help you improve your overall process.

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June 3, 2021 by Rashi Sood

5 min read

Why Does Decentralizing Inventory Work for Your eCommerce Store?

June 2, 2021 by Srishti Arora - 5 min read

34 percent of businesses have shipped an order late because they inadvertently sold a product that was not in stock. This indicates that accurate inventory management is a genuine concern for any eCommerce business. A fault in inventory management can lead to a considerable loss or accumulation of unsold inventory. Moreover, if your inventory is not managed correctly, it can lead to slower order processing and, eventually, poor shipping. This means that you must sort out the first step of order fulfillment to run the rest successfully. Decentralizing inventory is an excellent way to organize your inventory systematically and accurately deliver to every household in the country.  Let’s have a look at what inventory decentralization means and how it can improve your business performance.

What Does Decentralizing Inventory Mean?

Decentralizing inventory means distributing your inventory across several locations. You store inventory in multiple warehouses or fulfillment centers and allocate different SKUs in different locations. 

Different marketplaces like Flipkart, Amazon, etc., have different warehouses across the country and they rely on these multichannel centers to process all incoming and outgoing orders. Decentralizing inventory has several advantages like reduced shipping cost and time, faster order processing. These ultimately lead to a delightful customer experience, an increase in repeat purchases, etc. 

Difference Between Centralized and Decentralized Inventory

Centralized Inventory

Centralized inventory refers to the process of storing inventory in one place. If you have a single warehouse from where you process and ship all eCommerce orders, you have a centralized inventory system. It helps with centralization of the process by bringing all SKUs at one place and also simplifies inventory tracking. Also, you can conduct regular inventory audits to assess and streamline inventory flow. 

Decentralized Inventory

Decentralized inventory refers to the inventory that is stored in multiple locations. For example, if your inventory is stored in different addresses across the country, it is decentralized. It is better with regard to centralized inventory as it helps store the products closer to the customer’s delivery location and you can deliver much faster. Also, as the products are stored closer, you will be able to reduce shipping costs by a huge margin. 

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Benefits of Decentralized Inventory

Faster Delivery 

Decentralised inventory gives you the advantage of faster delivery. Since limited SKUs are stored around different locations, you can segregate your target audience and store products closer to their addresses. So if your inventory is stored in Bengaluru and you want to deliver in Tamil Nadu, you can easily deliver in 2 to 3 days whereas if you shipped from your warehouse in Gujarat, it will take you longer. 

Reduced Shipping Costs

The next vital benefit of decentralised inventory is the reduced shipping costs. Storing products nearer to customers can help you ship at lower intracity and intra zone rates. Since all courier companies function on shipping zones, you can strategically place your excuse to reduce your shipping costs and enhance your delivery performance. 

Easier Risk Management

Decentralized inventory also helps you mitigate additional risks associated with inventory and warehouse management. Situations like stock out and accumulation of debt stock can be avoided if your inventory is stored in different locations and processed regularly. The audit is carried out and can also be more comprehensive and you will be able to forecast demand much faster and accurately. 

How to Decentralize Your eCommerce Inventory?

3PL Fulfillment Providers

3PL fulfillment providers like Shiprocket Fulfillment have fulfillment centers located in different parts of the country like Bengaluru, Mumbai, Kolkata, Delhi, and Gurugram. You can easily ship your inventory to these fulfillment centers and leave the fulfillment process to them. This can help you expand your business without additional capital investment and you can also decentralize or eCommerce inventory in order to cover a wide range of pincodes and deliver to your customers. 3PL fulfillment providers are your best bet if you want a seamless fulfillment experience along with improved order accuracy and delivery performance. 

Rent Multiple Warehouses

Another option is to rent multiple warehouses across the nation in different locations and conduct your fulfillment operations from there. You can decentralize your inventory by manually operating these in different ways and fulfill orders as they come in. This is a more cumbersome process as you will have to pay the rent for different locations and also set up the infrastructure for management and fulfillment. 

Sell on Marketplaces

Since marketplaces like Amazon and Flipkart already have their fulfillment centres in place, you can start selling with them in order to avail their services. However, with Amazon and Flipkart your brand name gets restricted to the market places and you cannot run your D2C business as lucratively. 

Conclusion

Decentralising your inventory is an intelligent move if you want to curtail your inventory costs and ensure that the orders are processed ans delivered in the most accurate manner. You can also try this if you are looking to reduce your shipping costs and enhance your delivery performance which will eventually lead to our delightful customer experience. 

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June 2, 2021 by Srishti Arora

6 min read

Best Practices To Manage Cold Storage Warehouse

May 24, 2021 by Rashi Sood - 6 min read

Online businesses face the problem of storing and transporting temperature-sensitive and perishable products. Thus, there is a need for cold storage warehouse. However, managing a cold storage warehouse is a task to maintain.

cold storage warehouse

If we store things at our home, they can be stored easily. However, when it comes to a professional and big cold storage warehouse, it is challenging to store products especially due to maintaining the right temperature. For the equipment in the warehouse to work in the best possible way, the right temperature in the warehouse must be set.

The majority of the items stored in a cold storage warehouse are frozen food items. But the cold warehouse plays a critical role for other industries as well, such as pharmaceuticals, petrochemicals, and high-tech electronics.

As the demand for cold storage warehouses is at an all-time high, there is a need for the warehouse operators to come up with the best solutions and strategies that can keep the products cold without increasing the operating costs significantly.

Problems Faced by Cold Storage Warehouse

cold storage warehouse

Equipment & Human Resources

Equipment may take a toll inside cold temperatures. Taking the equipment out from the warehouse to a low temperature might lead to moisture creation. This can also damage the equipment.

Electric Lift Trucks

In a low-temperature environment, like that of a cold storage warehouse, the average life cycle of a lift truck battery can be hampered. A battery that lasts for as long as 8 hours at room temperature may now last only for 4 to 6 hours in a cold storage warehouse.

Batteries

The low temperature in the warehouse might also affect the battery of the scanning devices. Constant exposure to such cold temperatures might degrade the life of the battery by up to 40-50%.

Best Practices to Manage Cold Storage

cold storage warehouse

In a cold storage warehouse, the biggest challenge is obviously maintaining the cold. It affects the employees, scanners, computers, and increases wear and tear on equipment. It may also lead to the need for frequent maintenance of the machinery. However, it is imperative to maintain the cold temperature all the time to ensure all the products in the warehouse remain safe to consume and use.

If the temperature varies, the product may become unsafe for consumption. Or it may also lose its effectiveness. Let’s take a look at the best cold storage warehouse practices to keep the right temperature, equipment functioning, employees healthy, and products safe for consumption and use.

Heat Exchange

The most important warehouse practice is to control the temperature in each part of the warehouse. For example, frozen products must be kept frozen while refrigerated products must be kept refrigerated. The flow of energy must be controlled to prevent its movement from high-temperature areas to lower-temperature. This is imperative to ensure all products are kept in the right temperature zone.

In the home, the temperature is maintained through doors and walls. But this method is not useful in a cold storage warehouse where new customers are constantly coming on board, new products are entering, and the warehouse needs to routinely configure. For instance, the right temperature for ice cream is -10 degrees F, dairy products are 34 degrees F, and vegetables can be stored at 55 degrees F.

So, the best solution for cold storage warehouses is insulated curtain walls. These are plastic modular curtains that can be deployed to separate warehouse areas into separate temperature areas. They are effective and can create a temperature separation ranging between 15 degrees F to 40 degrees F.

Maintain Accurate & Up-to-date Records

It goes without saying that products kept in a cold warehouse are sensitive to temperature changes. So, the best warehouse practice is to not just keeping the products cold but as per the accurate cold temperature required for them. Here, technology comes in very handy. You can make use of temperature sensors that can automatically track the current temperature and trigger alarms.

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Personal Equipment for Employees

Employee comfort is often an afterthought or even neglected in most cold storage warehouses. However, providing your employees with gloves, insulated pants, comfortable coats, and other such equipment to help them stay warm inside the cold warehouse is imperative. It ensures that the warehouse temperature stays consistent, and the employees too can stay inside the warehouse for long.

If employees are keeping the doors open for long to keep themselves warmer, this may affect the temperature in the warehouse. Or the temperature protocols may be violated. If an employee feels cold inside the warehouse, his efficiency to pick products and perform other operations is also affected. In a nutshell, providing equipment to the employees improves their efficiency as well as warehouse operations.

Use of Automation

Cold warehouse storage is expensive than other warehouse spaces, as most of the cost is associated with keeping the products at a low temperature constantly. Here, automation can help the cost down significantly by improving efficiency. Such as using Automated Storage and Retrieval System and equipping high-density pallet can make the operations efficient.

Notably, automation also reduces human efforts and help reduces labor cost that can help save on cost. Autonomous Guided Vehicles along with automated pallets and depalletizers for shuttling products throughout the warehouse make it possible for a few employees to manage all the operations. The advantages of automation go beyond cost-saving.

Human resources are prone to errors. They may leave the doors opened or forget to record the incoming or outgoing of the products. Automation helps in reducing the possibility of human errors. With the help of an automated system, you can reduce the cooling costs and also ensure all logs are updated.

Best Equipment for Cold

The equipment used in a cold warehouse should be designed for the cold. For example, using or operating a touchscreen when you are wearing a heavy glove is difficult. For this very reason, cold storage warehouse equipment needs to be designed with buttons that can be operated through gloves. When you move a device from one temperature zone to another, it can easily short out. This should also be kept in mind while procuring the equipment for a cold storage warehouse.

The best practices help in improving the equipment and procedure that can add up to savings and bring greater profits down the line.

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May 24, 2021 by Rashi Sood

5 min read

What is Inventory Visibility and How Can it Improve Supply Chain Performance?

May 11, 2021 by Srishti Arora - 5 min read

Managing inventory across the supply chain can be a difficult task. If you sell on multiple channels like websites, marketplaces, and social media, you need a clear understanding of your inventory management operations. As your business grows, the inventory requirements change, and the levels will also be altered accordingly.

To meet consumer demand and organize your warehouse, you need to track inventory at all times, and this requires transparency and complete visibility of inventory levels.

This is where inventory visibility comes into play. Let’s look at what inventory visibility is and how does it help with improving the supply chain performance. 

What is Inventory Visibility?

Inventory visibility refers to the process of viewing and tracking inventory in real-time. This helps you get an idea of the number of SKUs that are in stock in each location where they are stored.

For example, if you store inventory in multiple warehouses of fulfillment centers, inventory visibility lets you track the available inventory in real-time.

Inventory visibility is essential if you want to avoid unfortunate situations like inventory stock out. It helps you maintain sync between incoming orders in the system with the existing inventory. 

As an eCommerce business, it is crucial to have visibility to inventory level at all times. This will help you gain insights into how you can manage your inventory better and which product you should market to maintain a complete tally of your inventory.

This data will also enable you to study your customer better and learn their interest so disinterest in a more organized fashion. Eventually, this information will help you make more insightful business decisions. You will also be able to work on other aspects like shipping, reducing inventory handling & fulfillment costs, etc. 

How Can Inventory Visibility Help Improve Supply Chain Performance?

Increase Efficiency

Inventory visibility lets you get an oversight of the inventory available across channels. You can leverage this data to match his stories and current data and firm trends that will help you improve internal processes and eventually boost supply chain efficiency.

You can use existing warehouse management systems or segregate inventory apps to manage inventory visibility and enhance productivity.

Maintain Inventory Levels

An essential advantage of inventory visibility is to maintain inventory levels. If you do not maintain inventory levels and purchase without keeping track of orders, you can either accumulate excess dead stock or be left with no store when the customer orders the product.

If you store products in more than one location, you can face this problem frequently and pay a lot extra if you need the products urgently. 

Enhance Customer Experience

Inventory visibility will help you maintain transparency throughout your supply chain. This will enable you to take business decisions quicker, process orders faster, and deliver to the customers sooner. 

With inventory and visibility in place, you can meet customer demands, manage stock across the network in advance, save on logistics costs, and reduce last-mile delivery costs by storing inventory closest to your customer. 

Improve Communication

Within enhanced transparency owing to complete visibility, you can improve communication within the organization and take collaborative decisions faster. As the data is available at your fingertips, you can solve any concerns arising efficiently. 

Uplift Demand Forecasting

Another advantage of inventory visibility is the improvement of demand forecasting. Demand forecasting is essential if you want to assess your customer’s demands in advance. It helps you plan your shipments and gives you an idea of the inventory you should purchase. With data available around existing inventory and past purchase trends, you can make insightful decisions and forecast customer demand in advance. Since this data will be rich and close to the actual value, you will face very few situations like stockouts. 

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Shiprocket Fulfillment – Enhancing Inventory Visibility with 3PL Fulfillment.

If you opt for 3PL fulfillment by Shiprocket Fulfillment, you can enhance your supply chain operations with several techniques. First, you can store inventory closest to your buyers in a network of eCommerce fulfillment centers located in zones across the country. This will help you reduce shipping costs by up to 50%, Seaview fulfillment costs, lower weight discrepancies, and reduce RTO. 

Not just this, with a thoroughly equipped dashboard, you will be able to track your inventory at all times and map it with incoming orders. With marketplace and website integration with multiple channels, you will keep track of your inventory and maintain transparency within the supply chain. 

It is an intelligent choice to choose 3PL fulfillment providers like Shiprocket Fulfillment to handle your eCommerce fulfillment operations efficiently with several benefits.

Final Thoughts

eCommerce fulfillment is a full-time job that requires you to be skilled and attentive at all times. Opting for 3PL fulfillment providers will help you maintain inventory efficiency and visibility to enhance your supply chain operations by many folds. 

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May 11, 2021 by Srishti Arora

4 min read

How to Increase Average Order Value With Improved Delivery Performance?

May 6, 2021 by Srishti Arora - 4 min read

Average order value is a crucial metric to track for the success of your business. If you want to track growth and plan for the increase in your incoming orders, you need to keep track of your average order value. Many eCommerce entrepreneurs do not understand the relationship between a positive delivery rate and average order value. You can put in all efforts to make your store stand out from the competition online, but if your customer’s delivery experience lacks, there is a meager chance that they will shop from your store again.

Therefore, it is essential to enhance your buyer’s delivery experience and keep them happy to ensure that your impression is long-lasting. To understand how delivery performance helps in improving your average order value, you need to understand what average order value is. Let’s get started.

What is Average Order Value (AOV)?

Average order value refers to the average amount of money a buyer spends on one order. It is calculated by dividing the revenue by the total number of orders. Average order value gives you an insight into the shop and runs of your buyers and which products are doing well in your store. If the average order value is high, you can infer that customers are shopping for multiple items or shopping for more items from a single category.

If you know the average order value, you can assess your product pricing, store layout, shipping strategies, etc. 

Role of Delivery Performance in Improving AOV

Your delivery performance plays a significant role in improving the average order value.

For example, your customer orders from your store on 15 April 2021. It is expected that we receive the product from you on 17 April 2021. However, due to technical difficulties, the product delivery gets delayed, and the customer received the product on 20 April 2021. This directly impacts the customer experience, and they cannot trust your brand with fast deliveries. The buyers’ expectations are hurt, and there is very little chance that they shop from you again. Hence, this impacts your average order volume as the delivery performance is not adequate. 

A seamless delivery experience can help you establish a positive relationship with the buyer and positively influence their future shopping decisions. The delivery of an order completes the chain and is the final litmus test of whether the customer will like your brand or not.

Not just this, with an upbeat delivery performance you automatically enable your brand to be promoted by word of mouth of happy customers. Getting a good quality product is just one end of the bargain. Getting a seamless delivery is equally important for customers today, and they do also mention it in whatever reviews they write. 

Therefore, improving your delivery performance must be a primary goal of your business. You can only improve your delivery performance by opting for a streamlined and simplified fulfillment process. Many sellers choose to self-fulfill orders. This causes some discrepancies as customers do not always receive the products on time or most pin codes are not serviceable because they only ship with one courier partner. 

Let’s look at the most brilliant way to simplify our fulfillment operations and improve delivery performance to ensure a high average order volume. 

Best Way to Improve Delivery Performance – Outsource Fulfillment With SRF

Shiprocket Fulfillment is an eCommerce fulfillment company that helps you simplify your fulfillment operations by managing incoming orders, inventory, and the processing of shipments. All you have to do is send across your eCommerce inventory to our fulfillment centers located across the country. Our team will look after everything else, including picking, packaging, shipping, returns, etc. you can sync your marketplaces and websites to ensure that no incoming order is missed. We will process them with 99.9% accuracy. 

By storing your products in a PAN-India network of fulfillment centers, you can deliver 3X faster, reduced shipping costs by 20%, decrease fulfillment costs by up to 50%, declined RTO orders, and lower way discrepancies as the product stored are closer to the buyers delivery location. 

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All these measures will help you improve your delivery performance by a large margin, and you can reach much more customers in a shorter period. This will help you enhance your average order value as you can fulfill the needs of more customers situated in different locations across India. Not just average order value, you can also increase your brand connect by establishing yourself as a D2C brand providing services like Amazon or Flipkart. 

Final Thoughts

Increasing your average order value (AOV) depends on several factors. Enhancing your delivery performance is a major one. Hence, you must focus on this and try to improve it by implementing measures to strengthen your eCommerce fulfillment process

Shiprocket Fulfillment features
May 6, 2021 by Srishti Arora

4 min read

How Can You Provide Flat Rate Shipping With 3PL Fulfillment Providers?

May 4, 2021 by Srishti Arora - 4 min read

Shipping margins are an essential component of your eCommerce business. If you want to run your eCommerce business successfully, you need to calculate these margins and spend on each element accordingly. If you are not shipping affordably, you are paying more than you should and bleeding losses. 

As an eCommerce entrepreneur, you must always be on the lookout for ways to reduce shipping costs. Flat rate shipping is one such method of reducing your overall shipping costs. Sometimes, it can get challenging to provide free trade shipping entirely on your own. Here is where 3PL fulfillment providers come into the picture. 3PL fulfillment providers can help you provide flat rate shipping and give you other means to save on fulfillment and shipping costs. Let’s have a look at how that is possible. 

What is Flat Rate Shipping?

Before understanding the importance of lateral shipping and how 3PL fulfillment providers can help you, we need to understand what flat rate shipping is and how it works. 

Flat rate shipping is a form of shipping the product in which the weight of a package does not affect the cost of shipping.

In ideal cases, you pay for the shipping depending upon the – volumetric weight of the package that includes the length, breadth, and height divided by 5000. 

However, in flat rate shipping for packages lying in a specific weight range, you pay a fixed cost. For example, FedEx has several flat rate slabs between 0 to 5 kg or 5 to 10 kg. If you opt for these, your shipment weight maybe 1 kg or 3 kg, but you will pay the exact shipping cost. 

Importance of Flat Rate Shipping

Flat rate shipping plays a significant role in your eCommerce fulfillment process if you ship products of nearly the same weight range. It helps you eliminate the need to constantly way your products and calculate shipping costs accordingly.

For example, if you ship cosmetic products that lie in the range of 100-500 g, it is redundant to be the shipment every time. Instead, you can opt for flat rate shipping and ship products at the same shipping rate every time. 

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How Can 3PL Fulfillment Providers Help With Flat Rate Shipping?

Shipping costs are also affected by other zones to which you ship. If you have the pin code you ship to locations far off; the shipping charges will only increase. Courier companies provide flat rate shipping only for a particular weight slab in a specific zone.

3PL fulfillment providers help you provide flat rate shipping as they store inventory in a network of fulfillment centers located across a critical region. This way, you can save the cost of inter-zone shipping and provide a flat rate shipping for your orders. 

You can get exceptional order processing, reduced shipping costs with flat rate shipping, and accurate delivery. 3PL fulfillment centers can help you ship better at the most considerable prices.  

Save on Shipping Costs With Shiprocket Fulfillment

Shiprocket Fulfillment is one such fulfillment provider in India that can help you provide flat rate shipping to your customers and considerably save on shipping costs.

We have a network of fulfillment centers located across India in cities like Delhi, Gurugram, Bengaluru, Mumbai, and Kolkata. If you store your inventory in every fulfillment center of Shiprocket Fulfillment, you can process orders efficiently in every zone in the country and deliver 3X faster. This way, you can provide flat rate shipping on every order across your website.

Not just this, with Shiprocket Fulfillment, you can reduce weight discrepancies as every fulfillment center has an automated falcon machine that records the weight of shipment as it would be recorded in a courier hub. With such sophisticated infrastructure, you can efficiently deliver orders with utmost accuracy and streamline your shipping and fulfillment process.

At Shiprocket Fulfillment centers, we also take care of the order picking, processing, and inventory management operations that give you complete relief from the entire fulfillment process. If you self-fulfill orders and are looking to take off the load from your shoulders to expand your business, outsourcing to eCommerce fulfillment centers like Shiprocket Fulfillment is a great option. 

Conclusion

eCommerce fulfillment can be a tough nut to crack if you do not plan your shipments and deliveries properly. However, if you outsourced or eCommerce fulfillment operations, you can manage all of this without doing the hard work. As far as flattery tripping is concerned, it can be a boon for your business if you plan and progress accordingly. 3PL fulfillment providers can help you reduce shipping costs and give you a great chance to provide flat rate shipping across your website orders.

Shiprocket Fulfillment features
May 4, 2021 by Srishti Arora

6 min read

What are the Warehousing Requirements for D2C eCommerce Businesses?

April 29, 2021 by Srishti Arora - 6 min read

In 2021, if you are still processing large eCommerce orders from a makeshift warehouse or your studio, your business is in for a challenge. With the increasing internet penetration and access to eCommerce, users from across the country are now turning towards D2C eCommerce stores for shopping, even the essential products. Since everything is available online, buyers prefer getting it delivered to their doorstep. 

However, with increasing order volumes, you need to prepare additional space to process them accurately. Warehouses are not just a single unit of operation. They are areas where the real action happens. All eCommerce fulfillment operations like order management, inventory storage, picking, packaging, etc., are carried out in the warehouse. Therefore, you need to research all aspects properly before committing to any long-term plan or outsource operations.

If you are just starting, here are some of the warehousing requirements for eCommerce businesses in 2021. Let’s dig deeper to understand them better. 

Warehousing Requirements for Smoothly Running eCommerce Fulfillment

Slotting Optimization for Inventory Management

Organization in the warehouse is critical for eCommerce businesses. Since the entire process is extremely fast-paced and you need to process orders quickly, an organized warehouse will facilitate the same. That is why slotting optimization is essential for eCommerce warehouses

Optimization refers to the warehouse loading process in which you identify the most critical storage location for each product and store it accordingly. Sorting optimization lets, you pick orders faster and further enables quick and accurate order processing. 

You must analyze your existing stock and seasonal sales forecasts for inventory growth and then decide your business’s best slotting optimization technique. 

Warehouse Management System

The following requirement of commerce businesses is installing a warehouse management system. The warehouse management system helps you establish the best floor plans, picking rules and also helps maintain synchronization between the incoming orders and the inventory.

If you do these functions manually, they can lead to a considerable delay in order processing, eventually causing late deliveries and a poor customer experience. A warehouse management system lets you optimize orders based on priority and does significant heavy lifting.

Warehouse management systems also help you forecast inventory and demand to be on top of your game and not accumulate dead stock or face unfortunate situations. 

Hand-Held Terminals for Order Picking

To ensure proper storage and packing, it is essential to put barcodes on every incoming product inside the warehouse. Also, while picking orders, you must use handheld terminals (HHT devices). These devices are directly synchronized with the warehouse management system and can detect the product from the inventory. This way, you can conveniently pick orders without errors and process orders with utmost accuracy. Also, automation will help you speed up the process by many folds. 

Picking Strategies

Picking might seem like a tiny task in the whole fulfillment process, but it is indeed an essential one. A vital requirement for warehousing is devising picking strategies.

You must try and incorporate batch picking, zone picking, cluster picking, or wave picking strategies. For eCommerce businesses, cluster picking is the most effective speaking strategy as a group of orders are pieced together into a cluster and then picked up together. This makes the process faster and enables you to fulfill multiple orders at once.

Packaging Material and Inventory

Without packaging material, you cannot successfully fulfill any order or deliver it. Therefore, a critical warehousing requirement is to stock packaging inventory and utilize it for every order. An intelligent approach would be to map SKUs to packaging material, so you know which packaging has to be used for every order. This will enable you to correctly pack in order, reduce weight disturbances, and ship better. 

Shipping Solution

Shipping solution helps you automate shipping operations along with warehousing ones. It enables you to ship with multiple courier partners, and you can deliver sooner with a wide pin code reach and express delivery. Shipping solutions give you the advantage of handling non-delivery seamlessly by automating functions and also give you a superior post order tracking experience with the help of tracking pages, SMS, and email notifications. 

Reverse Logistics Management

Last but not least, an essential warehousing requirement is reverse logistics like management. Without reverse logistics, you will not be able to handle return orders and will lose out on customers because of the same. Your warehouse must be equipped to accept incoming orders and merge them with the inventory or ship or exchange as soon as possible. 

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3PL Fulfillment – Your Hack to Achieve These Requirements Without Capital Investment

If you are ready to see an eCommerce business that has just started, investing in warehouse capital can be a daunting task. You will need to lease or rent a warehouse space where you set up operations all by yourself. If you do not do so, you will be running your business from your house, basement, studio, etc. With self-fulfillment comes the challenge of storage, aura management, and seamless shipping. Since you require a team to handle these operations efficiently, it can get challenging to run the business smoothly.

However, you can meet all these warehousing requirements for your eCommerce business by outsourcing operations to a 3PL fulfillment center like Shiprocket Fulfillment. 

Shiprocket fulfillment enables you to store products and inventory in thoroughly equipped fulfillment centers located across the country. With this, you can keep products closer to customers and deliver 3X faster. It also helps you reduce RTO orders with efficient delivery and reduce weight discrepancy with an automated falcon machine. With a skilled team at your disposal, you can achieve all warehousing requirements without actually investing in any of them. Moreover, you can save on fulfillment and shipping costs by a margin of up to 50%. If you want to work smart and not complicated, outsourcing eCommerce fulfillment operations is your best bet. 

You can save on money, time, resources and do your business much faster than your contemporaries. 

Final Thoughts

It is vital to fulfilling all warehousing requirements before you set up a warehouse and start shipping. However, you cannot achieve everything if you are just beginning. It is intelligent and lets a third-party fishermen company take care of your business and help you gain profits. 

Shiprocket Fulfillment features

April 29, 2021 by Srishti Arora

5 min read

Tips for Warehouse and Distribution Center Management Success

April 29, 2021 by Srishti Arora - 5 min read

Without efficient fulfillment, your eCommerce business cannot achieve maximum growth. According to a report, the logistics sector in India is expected to touch US$200 billion by 2020 & India’s warehousing requirement is expected to grow at an annual average rate of 9% to 1,439 million Sq. Ft in 2019 from 919 Sq. Ft in 2014. This indicates the warehousing and fulfillment sector is on the rise in India. With the increasing requirements of e-commerce businesses and the vast spread of logistics in India, fulfillment centers are the next big thing. 

If you own a warehouse, you would understand the kind of Input it requires a successful functioning. Your warehouse acts as your distribution center and also as your storage in most cases. If you do not own a warehouse, you can understand the requirements and prepare your business.

With the increasing trends, it is unnecessary to have a warehouse to run your eCommerce business successfully. Let’s find out more about warehousing & distribution center management success. 

The Modern-Day Fulfillment Center = Warehouse and Distribution Centers

The modern-day fulfillment center is a culmination of storage, order processing, and shipping. Earlier businesses used to have separate storage known as the warehouse and different facilities used to distribute goods. The goods were often brought from the warehouse to a distribution center and then sent further for order delivery. Today’s fulfillment centers are equipped with all the necessary infrastructure and processes to ensure that storage, order processing, and distribution can happen from the same place.

Fulfillment centers take up warehousing by storing the inventory for multiple eCommerce businesses and processing the orders as and when they receive them from the company. Next, they take care of the picking and packaging operations involved with autoprocessing and move the orders to the shipping stage. These fulfillment centers have different areas designated for handling incoming and outgoing inventory to act as warehouses and distribution centers at once. 

Let’s move further to see how you can ensure operational success within the warehouse and distribution center. 

How to Ensure Operations Success?

Prepare Warehouse Floor Plans

To ensure proper order processing within the fulfillment centre, it is necessary to prepare a warehouse plan to store inventory systematically and create intelligent routes for optimized picking and order processing. This gives you a map of the entire functioning within the fulfillment centre, and you can allocate space and resources accordingly. This blueprint will help you with effective management when you set up operations. 

Segregate Inventory

The next step is to segregate inventory within aisles, racks, bins, etc. You must know by which category your products are located so that the packing process can be simplified and the time spent in this operation is reduced to the bare minimum. If your inventory is not appropriately segregated, the picking operator will keep roaming around in the distribution facility and be confused about where you want to pick up the product. Also, all the products must be barcoded to be easily tracked within the warehousing and distribution center. 

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Devise a Uni-Flow of Operations

The next step is to devise a unique flow of operations. This means that all the processes must flow in a single direction. If there are many too and fro between the operations, there might be confusion, and the resources might get entangled within the system. If you want to ensure seamless processing, devise a floor plan and routine that gives you a Uniflow of operations. 

Hire Skilled Resources 

The next crucial step of running a warehousing and distribution center effectively is by hiring skilled resources. Your resources are going to be the heroes of your Centre. They will be running the show, so you must ensure that they know their business and are trained to carry out daily operations. Along with that, they must also be trained to tackle difficult situations. 

Conduct Fulfillment Training

The next step is to conduct fulfillment training for all the people you hire. You might have a staff that does not necessarily work actively on the floor. However, they must know about every operation they can handle any emergency easily. Also, understanding every fulfillment process will help them do their work effectively as they will not have to fend for the information again and again. 

Track Relevant KPIs

Next, you must track all the relevant KPIs related to warehousing and fulfillment so that you can assess the performance of your warehouse and regular intervals. This will give you insight into whether you need to make any changes in the process or update your infrastructure.

Conduct Regular Audits

Finally, you must conduct regular audits with a trained team to ensure that all the processes are working in synchronization and if you have to make any changes to the machinery, infrastructure, etc. Even though in my file check-in relevant KPIs and conducting regular audits are a similar operation, an audit will give you a deeper insight into the people and their concerns and the KPIs. Therefore, conducting regular audits is essential for your business. 

Conclusion

To make your warehousing and distribution center management successful, it is essential to establish stringent processes followed diligently. If these processes are not followed, it can eventually lead to a delay in order processing and poor customer service. 

Shiprocket Fulfillment features
April 29, 2021 by Srishti Arora