Event management is the crux of any event you organize. But, the process is incomplete without devising a solid event logistics plan for your event. Events are an excellent opportunity to connect with individuals. As an eCommerce business, you need to regularly organize events to promote your products, communicate with customers, or deal with investors.
Event logistics is an integral aspect of your event management planning, and you need to ensure you focus on all aspects of it to execute any event smoothly. There are 5 Cs of event logistics that you must know about. These are – venue, transportation, catering, merchandise, and technology. Together, all of these can help you present a solid event to the audience. We have seen that events can be virtual or physical in recent years. Virtual events are the future. But even for virtual events, you must have an end-to-end event logistics plan. Here is an infographic giving you an overview of event logistics and how you can execute it properly. Let’s dive in to find out more.
Today, all customers want their products delivered to the doorstep in the lowest possible time. Hence, they want to track their orders continuously to satisfy their wait time. With increasing demand, even retailers and distributors want to track their inventory thoroughly to ensure ample inventory. They also want to remove the excess debt stock and ensure they are on a budget when purchasing more merchandise. To ensure that the reserves are filled as per the decided time and date, visibility is equally important to ensure that the supply chain runs smoothly and any hiccups can be accommodated. This is where essential documents like advanced shipping notices come into the picture.
With this article, let’s look at an advanced shipping notice, the information, how to create one, and its benefits.
What is an Advanced Shipping Notice?
An advanced shipping notice is one document that gives a detailed insight into the pending delivery. It contains shipping details, order details, and other characteristics so the recipient can be prepared for delivery. The ASN is usually shared in electronic data information(EDI) or XML format.
Information Included in the Advanced Shipping Notice
The following data is included in the ASN –
Order information (order number)
Delivery date and time
Delivery location information
Physical characteristics of the delivery (like the type of packaging)
The use of an electronic data interchange or EDI is more relevant for an ASN as it notifies the recipient beforehand. If you fax or manually send the item, it might not reach the right people at the right time.
The Process of Creating an Advanced Shipping Notice
The first step in creating an ASN is to get a shipment authorization from the supplier. This can be done by creating a purchase order, planning, or shipping schedule.
The next step is to send the advanced shipping notice to the recipient organization.
After this, the ASN is verified through the Receiving Open Interface. The in-transit and purchasing supplies are updated for each validated ASN line.
Next, application advice is sent to the supplier in case of any discrepancy.
The ASN is used to create receipts after the goods arrive at the destination.
What Purpose Does an Advanced Shipping Notice Help?
The advanced shipping notice document is helpful for the recipient or buyer to check information like
What orders have shipped,
Items that are being shipped,
If the shipment contains the entire order
If any barcode is available
This information is crucial for retailers, distributors, and sometimes customers. Usually, the vendor sends an ASN to the retailer to make them aware of incoming shipments.
This information can help the retailer make essential decisions for the inventory, decide where they want to store this inventory, improve inventory visibility across locations, etc.
It helps keep the supply chain transparent, improves the efficiency among stakeholders, and helps in more effective decision-making.
Benefits of an Advanced Shipping Notice
The first advantage of an advanced shipping notice is the visibility provided throughout the supply chain. It helps the retailer’s receiving team know what they accept into the warehouse management system. It can help customers order products through dropshipping websites such as tracking numbers, order details, delivery dates, etc.
Next, the ASN helps communicate the details of online orders accurately and efficiently. It contains all the necessary information the retailers and customers need to form decisions. The advanced shipping notice provides visibility among the fleets of orders during the holiday season.
The ASN is final confirmation for eCommerce retailers who need to replenish their inventory. This means they can decide if they need more merchandise, update their inventory systems, list items on the website concerning the availability of stock, etc.
The ASN is an essential document for vendors and retailers as you must maintain a constant flow throughout the supply chain. The advanced shipping notice gives you a heads up when you need to ensure that you are receiving inventory. You must take this document with utmost seriousness to ensure that you can plan your supply chain well ahead of time.
According to an IBM Research Insights report, 57% of consumers are willing to change their eCommerce purchasing habits to help reduce their environmental impact. Green logistics has been a catchphrase for sellers, business people, politicians, etc. It is often forced to talk about the commitment towards saving the environment with policies that favor reducing the carbon impact, reducing pollution, using energy-efficient tools, etc.
However, at the grassroots level, it is the responsibility of every individual to ensure that the environment is taken care of and utilize resources to help preserve it. Similarly, for eCommerce sellers, green logistics is of great importance as it includes operations like warehousing, transportation, packaging, distribution, material handling, etc.
Let’s look at what green logistics says and how you can make your warehouse more sustainable and ensure you do your bit in contributing toward a greener future.
What is Green Logistics?
Green logistics refers to decreasing the environmental impact of delivery and logistics processes.
The generation of today is much more environmentally conscious. It does give importance to shopping with companies that emphasize reducing CO2 emissions, effectively dealing with Best disposal, and using recyclable material.
Green logistics includes the first, middle, and last-mile supply chain logistics. It consists of going greener for all and at any stage of the logistics operation. This can usually be achieved by digitizing processes to reduce energy consumption and eliminate paper trails.
The Difference Between Green Logistics and Reverse Logistics
It is a common misconception that reverse logistics and green logistics are the same. Reverse logistics refers to when the product goes back in the logistics flow, i.e., back to its pick-up location. Green logistics consider forward and reverse logistics of any eCommerce supply chain.
Some reverse logistics take into account environmental issues like picking up old electronic items or pieces of furniture when they make a new sale and recycling or upselling them. But if you want to make the entire process green, you need to consider the carbon emissions and reduce them.
Importance of Green Logistics
The freight and transportation industry is the most significant contributor to greenhouse gas emissions globally. With online shopping increasing throughout the country, there is a subsequent increase in last-mile delivery, and the number is only expected to go up.
While this is alarming, all logistics sector players, including online and retail sellers, must adopt green logistic strategies and practices in their supply chain.
Also, as customers are becoming more aware of climate change and greenhouse emissions, they are becoming environmentally conscious and choosing brands that support the cause. If you do not adopt the green strategy sooner, there are chances that you might lose out on sales to a brand that does.
How Can Warehouses Become More Sustainable?
Energy Efficient Lighting
The first step towards making warehouses more sustainable is using energy-efficient lighting. Utilizing LED lighting helps you reduce usage and consumption rates. Also, in a country like India, you can use solar-powered lighting to reduce energy consumption.
Proper Inventory Positioning
Eventually, it all boils down to how quickly you process orders. If your inventory is placed correctly inside the warehouse, it can help you reduce energy consumption, reduce workload, increase efficiency and bolster productivity.
Next, utilizing energy management systems with the integration of timers, thermostats, and gauges for all energy like electricity, gas, heat, water, etc., can help you set up best practices for using what is required without wasting.
Optimizing the Warehouse Design
By optimizing the warehouse design to make it more efficient in energy consumption, you can do your bit to make your warehouse sustainable. The warehouse layout can help you maximize workflow efficiency and also help you stay aware of the new functions that can be integrated in the future. With evolving requirements, your warehouse must be able to make changes quickly.
Digitizing your processes can help you reduce the use of fossil fuels, eliminate the paper trail, and help you organize your business. With warehouse automation, you can have many benefits like inventory visibility, product accuracy, etc. This will help you reduce dependency on paper and reduction in paper consumption.
Shiprocket Fulfillment – Your Approach To Green Logistics
Even though you would want to set up your warehouse and make it sustainable to ensure that you positively impact the environment, it can be a costly and labor-intensive project. The easiest way to run your business smoothly, carry out fulfillment operations sufficiently, and positively move the green logistics supply chain is by outsourcing functions to a 3PL fulfillment provider.
3PL fulfillment providers like Shiprocket Fulfillment can help you process orders faster and more accurately, deliver 3X more quickly, and reduce shipping costs. We have over 35 fulfillment centers located across India where you can send your inventory, and we will handle all order fulfillment processes. By utilizing already existing fulfillment centers, you reduce the carbon footprint of your supply chain by eliminating the construction of new warehouses.
Sustainability is the need of the hour, and you must adopt green logistics and sustainable practices for your business. If you do not evolve now, you can face several challenges in the future that can lead to negative impacts on your business and the environment.
Logistics plays an integral role in global trade and domestic commerce. If a country’s logistics are not strong, there are chances that the supply chain and trade performance will not be up to the mark. You need checks and balances to ensure that the systems are working as planned and delivering the desired outcome from the strategies executed.
The logistics performance index is one such performance indicator that compares the customs procedures, logistics costs, quality of infrastructure, transportation facilities, etc., of different countries.
What is the Logistics Performance Index?
The logistics performance index is a benchmarking tool created by the World Bank to give countries a platform to identify the challenges and opportunities they might face in their trade logistics performance.
They carry out a worldwide survey of global freight forwarders and express carriers. The logistics performance index offers an insight into the logistics friendliness of these 150+ countries.
The World Bank calculates an international LPI and a domestic LPI. The domestic LPG looks in detail at the logistics environments of over a hundred countries. Whereas, in the international LPI, a worldwide survey is conducted, and the ranking is given based on six trade dimensions.
Criteria For Calculating Logistics Performance Index
The logistics performance index is calculated based on the six dimensions of trade. These components analyzed are chosen based on the theoretical and empirical research and the practical experience of logistics professionals involved in the international freight forwarding operations.
The six dimensions include-
The efficiency of customs and border management clearance (“Customs”).
The quality of trade and transport infrastructure (Infrastructure”).
The ease of arranging competitively priced shipments (Ease of arranging shipments”).
The competence and quality of logistics services—trucking, forwarding, and customs brokerage (“Quality of logistics services”).
The ability to track and trace consignments (“Tracking and tracing”).
The frequency with which shipments reach consignees within scheduled or expected delivery times (“Timeliness”).
(Source: The World bank)
Where Does India Stand With The Logistics Performance Index?
According to the LPI data survey, India was ranked 44th in the logistics performance index in 2018.
India has moved up from the 54th position in 2014 to the 35th in 2016. However, due to the limited scope of growth without several full-proof reforms in the sector, this position could not be maintained.
The government of India has introduced several schemes to reduce the cost of logistics in India, promote growth, and ensure that the logistics sector of India becomes an essential component for transforming India into a five trillion dollar economy.
A few of the notable changes are the investments made in different transport sectors, policy reforms like GST, and positive measures supporting EODB.
With the Make in India program launched in 2014, India aims to transform into a manufacturing hub, and the need for reforms in the logistics sector was amplified.
Top 10 LPI Countries
According to World Bank’s 2018 survey, the top 10 countries with the highest LPI were –
What are the Logistics Challenges Faced in India?
Currently, India faces several challenges in logistics performance. The foremost challenge is an infrastructure gap developed over the years based on a sectoral basis with a primitive legal and regulatory framework. Other challenges include old-fashioned IT systems that are not integrated, the overdependence on road transport, a lack of skilled workforce, and low transparency and visibility and supply chains. The logistics costs in India are also very high, and integrated development of the sector is necessary.
A strengthened supply chain and logistics sector can be a game-changer for India’s economic development. With several reforms coming into the picture, an integrated development approach will help our country compete with the top countries in the logistics performance index.
According to a report by IBEF, India’s eCommerce sector is expected to reach US$ 111.40 billion by 2025 from US$ 46.20 billion in 2020, growing at a 19.24% CAGR. Since the demand for eCommerce is increasing in India, it is expected that the methods deployed to fulfill orders are also modified. With an increase in demand, it is impossible to fulfill orders the same way with a particular form of order fulfillment.
Like many eCommerce concepts have changed, and businesses now look for utilizing software as a service(SaaS), it is time your fulfillment sees a revamp too. Many providers are currently providing you with fulfillment as a service. This means that your entire order processing supply chain can now be outsourced, and if you ask us, this can mean a massive boost for your business.
Let’s look at what Fulfillment as a Service means and how it can benefit your eCommerce business.
What is Meant by Fulfillment as a Service?
Fulfillment as a Service(FaaS) refers to a fulfillment model where a third-party service provider takes care of all your order fulfillment needs. This includes carrying out all order fulfillment operations like inventory management, warehousing, picking, packaging, shipping, and returns control.
Fulfillment as a service provides you with the right technology, ample warehouse space, and other operational advancements that can help you fulfill all your eCommerce fulfillment needs. The most significant advantage of using fulfillment as a service is that you can scale or reduce operations as per your requirements without compromising shipping speeds, delivery experience, etc.
Difference Between Fulfillment as a Service and Third Party Logistics
The primary difference between fulfillment as a service and third-party logistics is the service they offer. FaaS provides you with end-to-end order fulfillment capabilities, while third-party logistics only handles the logistics operations for your business.
The 3PL model has a complicated pricing structure that includes several hidden fees. A Fulfillment-as-a-service model comes with straightforward pricing that could also be a subscription-based model.
Components of Fulfillment as a Service
The first component of fulfillment as a service is warehouse management. This includes providing you with thorough infrastructure and stocking space for your inventory.
The next component is inventory management, which includes strategically storing goods in the warehouse. This includes inventory positioning and all other aspects related to inventory management.
The third aspect of the fulfillment as a service model is order processing, including picking and packaging operations.
This involves picking goods from the designated racks and bins whenever an incoming order is processed.
The next step after picking is packaging, where the order is packaged. As an ecommerce business, you can either provide your packaging material or utilize the packaging material provided by our service provider.
The next component of fulfillment as a service is shipping. This includes delivering your orders to the customer’s doorstep with single or multiple courier partners.
The last aspect of the fulfillment as a service model returns management. This includes handling all the return order requests that come from the customer.
Benefits of Fulfillment as a Service
Fulfillment as a service model provides faster shipping as they have multiple fulfillment centers located across different regions.
For example, Shiprocket Fulfillment has fulfillment centers in Delhi, Gurgaon, Mumbai, Bangalore, Kolkata, Surat, Jaipur, etc. This helps you provide one-day and two-day delivery to customers by storing inventory closer to them.
Fulfillment as a service model helps you save more as they have a transparent pricing model. Moreover, it can help you keep more for your overall fulfillment operations than a third-party logistics provider or in-house fulfillment.
Fulfillment as a service model can help you scale your business as and when required. When you run an ecommerce business, you can see spikes in order volumes consistently throughout the year as a service model helps you accommodate these searches without charging you anything extra.
Shiprocket Fulfillment provides you with a flexible model that lets you pay only for the inventory that you store in our warehouse.
Fulfillment as a service provider usually has more than one client that they cater to. Their infrastructure is top-notch, with the latest warehouse and inventory management systems at their disposal.
What Should Your FaaS Provider Offer?
The first and foremost service that your FaaS provider must provide is multiple warehouses. This enables you to decentralize inventory and store it in locations closest to your buyer. This reduces your last mile distance and saves you on shipping costs.
Large Shipping Network
A FaaS provider should have an extensive shipping network that you can utilize to deliver products across large distances. If you are provided only has a short range of pin codes, the reach is not great.
Tech-Integrated Fulfillment Centers
Tech-integrated fulfillment centers are the most critical components of a FaaS provider. They must have the latest warehouse management and inventory management systems that synchronize with incoming orders to ensure that the order-to-ship time is reduced and orders are processed faster.
They must offer a transparent pricing model with great incentives to ensure that you do not pay anything extra or unnecessary. There must be no hidden fees, and the billing must be transparent.
Fulfillment as a service is the next step in the eCommerce fulfillment evolution in India. It can go a great way in enhancing your entire segment operations and growing your business without carrying out redundant operations daily.
After the pandemic, the dynamic of eCommerce has changed drastically in India. The dependency on eCommerce has increased, and people are now slowly inching towards monthly subscription models where they get the product they need without manually ordering it at regular intervals. It saves them time, resources, and energy. It works for cosmetics, skincare, food, etc., where people tend to forget to order their products in time. Maintaining a routine is the trend with the new buying generation of millennials and GenZ. Also, with the irregular lifestyle and work pressure, shopping on time is not always achievable. This is where the concept of subscription eCommerce comes into play, and there are several ways to use it to grow your business!
Let’s look at what subscription eCommerce is and what you must keep in mind when starting a subscription-based eCommerce business.
What is Subscription eCommerce?
Subscription eCommerce is a type of eCommerce business model where you sell products at regular time intervals to maintain loyalty and cash flow.
The subscription eCommerce model is ultimately a time game where you need to make sure that the products are delivered on time. This might not be a suitable model for every product. However, it is ideal for everyday needs items like food, beverages, cosmetics, household needs, etc.
Types of eCommerce Subscription Models
An eCommerce subscription model can be of many kinds. It depends on the type of product you are selling and the customer’s requirements. A few of the eCommerce business subscription models are –
In the membership model, the member pays a fee for specific discounts, products, or services.
We have seen these membership models in Amazon, Flipkart, etc. You pay a specific subscription fee every month or annually to receive discounted delivery, priority service, etc.
Subscribe and Save
The subscribe and save model includes shipping a particular product set to customers. It is meant to offer savings for the customer and convenience, and it brings you consistency and a predictable sales forecast.
This model works well with food items or personal care items.
Curation-based eCommerce subscription models include subscriptions in which customers can select the items they want, or brands create special subscription boxes that aim to surprise customers.
Challenges of Subscription eCommerce
The first challenge of subscription eCommerce is complicated logistics. You need to be on top of your inventory management, fulfillment, accounting, returns control, and more since the order must be delivered at the right time every month. You need to think through your supply chain thoroughly before starting and implementing a subscription model.
High Churn Rate
Even though subscription eCommerce brings in customers for a more extended period with loyalty, it can also lead to a higher churn rate if you do not involve the customer’s choices.
Tips For Starting a Subscription eCommerce Business
Figure a Niche
The first step towards starting a subscription eCommerce business is finding a niche for yourself. If you already sell your product through a website or marketplace, it is evident that few products are more popular than others. You can utilize these popular products to form a niche and begin a subscription service with them.
Source High-Quality Products
The next step towards starting a subscription-based eCommerce business is high-quality sourcing products. The first subscription box you sent to your customer will delight them, however, if the quality is not matched in the second subscription box, there is a high chance that they will cancel the subscription. Therefore, ensure that the quality remains consistent each time a new subscription is sent.
Define Your USP
Your unique selling proposition is why the customer will sign up for your subscription box. Figure out how you are solving the customer’s problem and how they will benefit from your subscription eCommerce model. This is why they will sign up and stay with your brand when the market is offering the same thing.
Scale With Demand
When the orders start increasing for your subscription eCommerce model, you must scale with it if you see that you are receiving orders from various parts of the country. In that case, it is time to decentralize the inventory and store it in different warehouses so you can reach customers faster. If your order processing takes longer because of a higher volume of orders, it can impact the customer experience negatively, and your subscriptions can be canceled.
Outsource Your Logistics and Fulfillment Operations
A great way to successfully run your subscription eCommerce business is to outsource your logistics and fulfillment operations to 3PL fulfillment providers. 3PL fulfillment providers like Shiprocket Fulfillment can help you store inventory in multiple warehouses across the country and process the subscriptions month on month with the same amount of skill. This can help you reduce your RTO orders, build long-lasting relationships with customers, and also save shipping costs for your business.
A subscription-based eCommerce model is an up-and-coming trend in India. Many brands have tried it before, but there could be no better time with more and more people inching towards online shopping in India. The proper logistics with comprehensive supply chain management can help you crack this concept and bring in loyal and long-lasting customers for your business.
For successful warehouse management and order processing, it is essential to know where every SKU is kept and how soon it can be picked from its respective spot.
Inventory management does not only include tracking and processing inventory. Positioning it in the right spot to be accessed quickly is also a considerable aspect of inventory management.
Inventory positioning needs to be strategized thoroughly to process orders on time and arrows free and maximize your warehouse efficiency and fulfillment speed.
Even though it is an important concept, it is often ignored when preparing your order fulfillment strategy.
Let’s look at inventory positioning and its importance for your order fulfillment strategy.
What is Inventory Position?
Inventory position refers to the place at which the inventory is held. This means its physical position in the warehouse and its position in the supply chain.
It describes where and how your stock is stored in the warehouse racks and bins. It needs to be optimized to ensure that order fulfillment SLAs are met, and the inventory costs are kept low.
Why is Inventory Position Important?
Inventory position can usually impact our supply chain and order processing time. Here are a few reasons why knowing your inventory position in the warehouse and the overall supply chain is essential.
Ease of Access
The first benefit of inventory positioning is the ease of access. If you know where your products are kept, you can efficiently process them well in time. Also, awareness about the position of your inventory in the supply chain can help you process orders in specific locations accordingly.
Minimize Order-To-Ship Time
Knowing the position of your inventory can help you speed up your order fulfillment process by reducing the picking and packaging time, and you can ship them out faster. Also, knowing where the inventory is stored in the supply chain can help you target customers accordingly and deliver to them sooner.
Knowing the inventory position can help you track your inventory effectively, and you can avoid stock-out situations that can drive customers away. Also, it can help you get rid of dead stock sooner so you can save on your inventory handling costs.
Tips for Optimizing Inventory Positioning
High-Value Items Must Be Accessible
The first step for optimizing your inventory positioning in the warehouse is that the high-value items that bring you maximum orders should be kept in easy-to-reach locations. This will help save time for pickers and increase the speed of the order fulfillment process.
You must assess which area is getting the maximum demand in the overall supply chain. The products must be stored in these warehouses strategically to ensure the minimum shipping time.
Heavy Items Must Be Placed Low
Another important consideration is that all bulky SKUs must be stored at a lower location in the warehouse racks. This will ensure faster picking for bulky goods because pickers will not have to spend time bringing the products down at the rack. Also, you must store them at the popular locations from where they are ordered to reduce processing time.
Always make it a practice to forecast demand in advance to develop strategies for your inventory positioning in advance. Analyze the most popular products and order them well in time so that your situation is like stockouts and place them in easily accessible positions. With dedicated slots allocated to these products, you can quickly analyze which products need replenishment.
Have Designated Aisles For SKUs
Once your SKUs are decided, have designated aisles for specific SKUs. This will help your speakers reduce time in the warehouse, and your order to ship time will be minimized.
Have a Real-Time Inventory View
Having real-time visibility on the inventory levels can help you position your goods strategically and process them much faster. It will reduce the risk of missed orders and maximize order fulfillment efficiency.
Outsource to 3PL Fulfillment Providers
It is advised to tie up with 3PL fulfillment providers who have experience managing the fulfillment supply chain. Shiprocket Fulfillment is one such 3 PL fulfillment provider that can help simplify the fulfillment operations of your business.
All you have to do is send your inventory to multiple warehouses located in India. Our team will handle all the incoming inventory, store and position it strategically, and process all incoming orders in minimum lead time to ensure that they are shipped and delivered as soon as possible. If you store your inventory closest to the customer, you can even offer one-day and two-day delivery to your buyers.
Inventory positioning is an essential aspect of your eCommerce fulfillment supply chain. Make sure you consider it into your strategy so that you do not have to deal with losses later.
According to a report by the Competition Commission of India (CCI), India’s ecommerce is growing at the fastest pace in the world at an annual rate of 51%. This means that eCommerce is spreading to every corner of India, and to survive this exponential growth, almost every brand today has an online presence. This surge has also given rise to a new type of eCommerce – Direct-to-consumer eCommerce.
According to a report by INC42 and Shiprocket, currently, there are 800+ D2C brands in India. Also, $200 Bn+ is the estimated Value Of The Indian eCommerce Market By 2026.
Direct-to-consumer eCommerce is different from traditional retail eCommerce, where sellers sell via marketplaces or third parties. Therefore, the fulfillment requirements of this business model are also slightly different. Let’s look at what D2C eCommerce is and how to fulfill D2C eCommerce orders effectively.
What is Direct-to-Consumer eCommerce?
Direct-to-consumer eCommerce refers to eCommerce where the manufacturing company or brand directly sells their products to the customers without any middleman, retail, or distribution channel. They could be selling directly through their website, social media, or any similar channel.
In the direct-to-consumer ecommerce format, the seller is responsible for their order management, processing, and shipping operations. When companies sell their products to the marketplace or a third-party vendor, this onus becomes theirs. Hence, eCommerce fulfillment becomes a significant aspect of the seller’s process.
Now let’s look at the aspects of D2C eCommerce fulfillment and how you can ensure seamless fulfillment for your customers.
Aspects of D2C eCommerce Fulfillment
The first aspect of D2C eCommerce fulfillment is inbound logistics. Inbound logistics refers to procuring the goods or manufacturing, logging the inventory, and receiving.
The next aspect of D2C eCommerce fulfillment is warehousing. This involves storing goods in a designated space from where they are processed and shipped.
Once the goods are received in the warehouse, the next aspect is inventory management. This involves racking the products according to their categories and placing them in a tactical position to be picked for order processing whenever required.
After inventory management comes the part of order processing where an incoming order is recorded and processed for delivery to the customer.
Picking & Packaging
The orders are picked from their location and then packed for delivery. The warehouse must also contain the packaging material in bulk to ensure that all incoming orders are packed thoroughly.
The next step is outbound logistics or shipping. This includes picking up packages from the warehouse, which are then delivered to the customer.
This process is also called reverse logistics, and it forms a vital aspect of the D2C fulfillment supply chain. Your fulfillment strategy must include returns to provide your customers with a seamless shopping experience.
Different Ways To Carry Out D2C Fulfillment
Self-fulfillment refers to the process of running your warehouse where you carry out these operations and delivers your orders to customers. Under self-fulfillment, you need to bear the cost of setting up a warehouse, paying the employees, procuring the packaging material, handling returns, dealing with carrier partners, etc.
Another option for D2C fulfillment is outsourcing to a 3PL fulfillment provider. A 3PL fulfillment provider will help you store inventory in their warehouses, where their skilled team will pick, pack, and ship all incoming orders for you. Usually, 3PL fulfillment providers have warehouses located in several locations as they take care of fulfillment for multiple companies. This saves you on capital investment and helps you fulfill orders without manually carrying out the process.
How to Ensure Seamless Fulfillment for D2C eCommerce
Streamline Fulfillment Operations
The first and foremost step you must take is to streamline fulfillment operations. This means that you must organize and synchronize operations wherever possible. If you see loopholes in your process, it is time you fix them. The more organized the process is, the faster your orders will be delivered. Most sellers have higher shipping times. This not only involves the delivery performance but also order accuracy. By streamlining fulfillment operations and setting up standard operating procedures for each process, you will optimize each function properly!
Opt for 3PL Fulfillment by Shiprocket Fulfillment
A simple hack for making D2C fulfillment seamless is opting for 3PL fulfillment solutions like Shiprocket Fulfillment.
Shiprocket Fulfillment has a robust network of fulfillment centers in Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Surat, Jaipur, Kolkata, Gurugram, etc. You just need to send your inventory to our warehouses, and Shiprocket Fulfillment will process all incoming orders post that.
It is a fulfillment solution for your business that you can utilize for only order processing and fulfillment. You can sell on whichever platform you want, and we will take care of processing and shipping the orders.
Store Inventory Closer to Buyers
To deliver faster to customers, you need to store inventory closer to them. This will enable you to deliver within two days. If you keep inventory in the same zone, you can save on shipping costs. Stocking inventory closer to buyers will help you reduce processing time, increase profitability, and improve customer experience. These will return to your website for a repeat purchase.
Reduce Order-to-Ship Time
It is critical to reducing the order to ship time to process more orders in a stipulated period. Suppose you outsource operations to 3PL fulfillment providers like Shiprocket Fulfillment. In that case, you can reduce your order to ship time by almost 50% as we have the required technological infrastructure to ensure faster picking, packaging, and shipping with multiple carriers.
Ensure Proper Packaging & Order Accuracy
You must ensure proper packaging and order accuracy when you fulfill orders. You can accomplish seamless D2C eCommerce fulfillment where there are no complaints about the packaging of orders. Even though many people prefer fancy packaging, shipping the correct orders is more important than sending fancy ones.
eCommerce fulfillment forms an integral part of your overall e-commerce strategy. This is even more essential for D2C commerce businesses as everything is your responsibility for D2C commerce businesses. Tying up with a 3PL fulfillment provider can help you reduce the stress of seamless fulfillment and helps you reach more customers faster.
Maintaining a seamless supply chain is a huge task. Many sellers worry about doing it successfully and spend most of their time on this task. However, they seldom leave out a critical aspect or don’t know about it – measuring its performance.
Yes! Measuring the performance of your supply chain is as important as running it because it helps you improve your business and imbibe growth with evolving trends.
Many sellers struggle with knowing the correct key performance indicators(KPIs) for supply chain management and do not track them. There are several supply chain metrics that you can follow to see the performance of your supply chain. If you jump directly into the deep end, it can be challenging to decide which ones are important and which ones can be less insightful.
We have compiled a list of the supply chain KPIs that you must track for your eCommerce business to make this task easier for you. Let’s dive in to get started.
What are Supply Chain Management KPIs?
Supply chain management KPIs are performance indicators that businesses use to track performance goals. These are usually quantitative metrics used for evaluation.
KPIs can be helpful to analyze if you are meeting your set targets and where there is scope for improvement.
A few supply chain KPIs include –
Perfect order rate
Order fill rate
Freight bill accuracy
Supply chain costs
Average delivery time
Let’s have a look at them in detail.
Top Supply Chain KPIs to Track
Perfect Order Rate
Perfect order rate measures the number of orders delivered to the right customer at the right time without any errors.
The errors can include shipping delays, damaged goods, fulfillment mistakes, or lack of documentation.
Perfect order rate is measured by calculating two different KPIs or sub-metrics, which are as follows –
Damage-free delivery is the percentage of orders which are delivered without any damages. A low damage-free delivery is indicative of the performance of your packaging process and shipping partner. Consistently low performance can mean that the packaging operations need an overhaul.
Damage-free delivery = [(Total number of orders – Number of orders that arrive damaged) / Total number of orders] x 100
On-Time Delivery Rate
The on-time delivery rate is the number of orders delivered on or before the estimated delivery date. This KPI helps you understand how well you are meeting customer expectations regarding shipping and delivery.
To understand and improve your on-time delivery rate, it is essential to track India and auto closely and understand the reasons for late delivery. You must evaluate your last-mile delivery and partner with a fulfillment and logistics provider like Shiprocket Fulfillment to guarantee you one day and today’s shipping.
On-time delivery = (Number of on-time orders / Total number of orders) x 100
Order Fill rate
Order filled rate refers to the number of orders completed in one shipment without the need for split shipments.
This metric is essential to measure the efficiency of the supply chain, and it resonates strongly with customer satisfaction.
Optimizing your inventory management, decentralizing inventory, and maintaining an automated order fulfillment and management process can help you improve this metric.
Fill Rate = (1 – [(Total items ordered – Total items shipped) / Total items ordered]) x 100
Freight Bill Accuracy
Even though invoicing and billing may not seem like a considerable aspect of your supply chain, the correctness of the data can help you maintain a thorough cash flow and improve the customer experience.
The freight will accuracy is a metric that measures if your shipping bills have the correct information like the price, number of items, amount, weight, etc.
The best method for keeping this metric in check is automating the invoicing and billing process and outsourcing fulfillment and freight management operations.
Freight bill accuracy = (Number of correct freight bills / Total freight bills) x 100
Inventory turnover rate refers to the total number of times you sold your entire inventory and replenished it in a specific period.
A high inventory turnover rate suggests that you are selling goods quickly and your business is doing well. However, a low inventory turnover rate can mean that you have a lot of debt stock accumulated.
To maintain a high inventory turnover rate, it is essential to thoroughly do a demand forecasting exercise every cycle. Also, keeping a quick order management and fulfillment process can help you make the process more efficient.
Inventory turnover rate = Cost of goods sold / Average inventory value
Supply Chain Costs
This KPI measures the cost that goes into maintaining your supply chain operation. It is a combination of two KPIs that include –
Supply Chain Cost as a Percentage of Sales
This metric considers the overall cost of managing supply chain operations to the total earnings from sales.
Supply chain cost as a percentage of sales = (Total supply chain cost / Total monetary amount gained from sales) x 100
Supply Chain Cost Per Unit Sold
This metric considers the cost of running supply chain operations concerning the average cost of procuring and selling one unit of a product in a specific period.
Supply chain cost per unit sold = (Supply chain cost for a product / Number of units sold of the same product)
Average Delivery Time
Average delivery time refers to the delivery time to be delivered to your customer’s doorstep. This means the time taken to provide a shipment after you hand it over to your courier partner. This KPI is important for tracking the shipping speed.
Average delivery time = Total days to deliver all orders / Total number delivered.
A 3PL fulfillment provider like Shiprocket Fulfillment can help you lower your shipping speed by offering 1-day and 2-day delivery services for your orders andreducing the processing time for incoming orders.
Regularly tracking these key performance indicators can be your key to a solid supply chain performance for your business. At any point, if you think your business is falling back because of your supply chain, analyze the needs and look out for outsourcing options to 3PL fulfillment providers.
As an e-commerce seller, you make several mistakes when handling several order fulfillment-related tasks at once. Supply chain management is such that you need to have eyes everywhere, every time.
There are instances where you might deliver damaged orders to customers or incorrect ones. Sometimes the orders might even be lost in transit. Eventually, the fault is yours, and you need to take care of the blame and ensure that your customers are satisfied.
There are very few damage control tricks in the book to help you bring your customer on the same page. Re-shipping is one of them. Let’s look at what reshipping is and the best practices you must follow while reshipping orders.
What is Reshipping?
Reshipping is the process of shipping a replacement order to a customer after the original order was incorrect, damaged, lost in transit, or any other reason that may require a replacement.
Why Should You Reship an Order?
Order Lost in Transit
Sometimes orders can get lost in transit or fail to arrive at the destination. A few of the reasons for this can be damaged labels, incorrect shipping addresses, and theft. Most of the time, these reasons are out of your control, but you need to communicate with the customers and ensure that they receive a replacement as soon as possible.
Incorrect Order Delivery
It is almost impossible to maintain a 100% order accuracy rate. Even though the order accuracy rate can be improved with the proper fulfillment processes that help reduce picking errors, mistakes are bound to happen if you are shipping large volumes. Therefore, it is essential to have a strategy to help you mend these mistakes with customers.
Order Delivered is Damaged
When you ship large orders, there can be a few shipping damages. This can either be at your end because of uneven or proper packaging, or it can be on the shipping carrier’s end wherein the product can be damaged during transit or in the last mile delivery. But if the product delivered is damaged, it can negatively impact the customer experience, and you must replace the item immediately.
Best Practices for Reshipping
Communicate With the Buyer
The first best practice for reshipping orders is communication with the buyer. Not receiving an order or an incorrect order is already a nightmare for the customer. It is crucial that you go the extra mile and keep the customer in the loop for updates and issue a replacement as soon as possible.
Anybody shipping orders, always maintain relevant paperwork as you will need to provide proof of any shipping issues, etc. Especially if you have any grievance with the courier company, having the order details, screenshots, videos, etc., will help speed up the process. With the order tracking information, you can conduct an investigation later on if needed.
Get Shipping Insurance
Re-shipping can be a massive dent in the pocket if you do not have shipping insurance. When you ship high-value orders, and they get lost in transit or damaged, the shipping insurance will help reimburse you for any cost of broken, lost, stolen packages. It might not be the ideal option when shipping items of low value; however, opting for it is more useful in every situation.
How to Reduce Instances of Reshipping?
The first step towards reducing instances of free shipping is following standard operating procedures. These SOPs are designed to ensure minimum errors while conducting order fulfillment operations.
Work With a Skilled Team
The next step is to reduce instances of reshipping by reducing order accuracy and damage delivery by working with a skilled team. An experienced team can help you reduce the order processing time and maintain the synchronization between the fulfillment processes to ensure maximum optimization.
Double Check Orders While Picking
The primary area of concern and order inaccuracy is picking operations. Executives must be instructed to double-check orders while picking to ensure the minimum errors.
Work With 3PL Providers
3PL fulfillment providers can help reduce the shipping of orders by maintaining a thoroughly optimized fulfillment supply chain for your business. They have a skilled team at their disposal along with the latest warehouse management infrastructure to ensure that the correct order is shipped to the customers.
Shiprocket Fulfillment is a leading 3PL fulfillment solution provider that can help you ship orders faster with greater accuracy. We have fulfillment centers located across India to store products closer to your customers. In reshipping, you can ensure it reaches customers as soon as possible.
Even though reshipping is the last resort for your business, you must be prepared with everything to ensure faster service for your customers. Your foremost strategy should prevent inaccurate orders, damaged deliveries, and lost packages.
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Mar 15, 2022 by Srishti Arora
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