5 min read

How Can The Store Fulfillment Model Be Useful For Your Business?

May 25, 2022 by Srishti Arora - 5 min read

After the Covid-19 pandemic and multiple lockdowns, many businesses came to a standstill because of a lack of supply chain continuity. Since the production was halted for several months, most products went into a backorder or were discontinued completely. Even retail stores opened after a while; products could not be sold to the total capacity because the supply chain was not functional. As a result, most businesses faced the rate of dead stock or situations of stockouts. 

what is the store fulfillment model

If online brands had utilized the store as a distribution center to sell their products, the store fulfillment model comes into the picture. Using your retail store as a micro fulfillment center can help you reach your customers faster and deal with increased shipping costs and slower delivery speeds. Let’s look at what store fulfillment means, the advantages of utilizing this model, and the requirements.  

What Is Meant By Store Fulfillment?

Store fulfillment refers to utilizing your retail store as a micro fulfillment or distribution center. This means you can fulfill your eCommerce orders right from the retail store. This model is s utilized as an omnichannel retail strategy to ensure customers get a consistent experience. 

Advantages Of Using Your Store As a Micro Fulfillment Center

Decentralized Inventory

The first advantage of utilizing the store fulfillment model is the centralized inventory. If you have a primary fulfillment center where you ship all your goods, you can decentralize your inventory by storing it in these micro fulfillment centers or retail stores. This will help you keep inventory closer to customers, and you can ship faster. By decentralizing inventory, you will also be able to reduce shipping costs and provide a much better shopping experience to the customer. Also, you can give them the option to collect the product from the store itself. 

Omnichannel Fulfillment

By making your store a microfilament center, you can store inventory right in your store and give your customers an omnichannel fulfillment experience. This means that they do not need to be waiting for their product as you can give them the options of buy-online-pick-up-in-store, ship-from-store, etc. 

Lower Shipping Costs

By storing products closer to your customers, you can lower the shipping costs and increase the delivery speed. It is better than shipping from the primary fulfillment center located farther away. 

Prevent Dead Inventory

Suppose you store inventory in micro fulfillment like in the store fulfillment model. In that case, you can optimize operations, keep the inventory moving faster, and prevent dead stock accumulation in your warehouse. 

Continuous Workflow

Lastly, you will not have to face any setbacks if there is any halt in the supply chain because of the primary fulfillment center. The store fulfillment model will facilitate you to store a part of your inventory in the micro fulfillment centers, i.e., your retail stores. 

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Requirements For Starting The Store Fulfillment Model

Inventory Visibility

All retail stores must be equipped with advanced inventory management systems and synchronized with the primary fulfillment center. If there is a need to re-stock items, it must be done from one common center. Inventory Visibility will reduce the chances of duplication and overstocking. 

Capital Investment in Stores

Next, you will need to invest a little more in your existing retail stores to help them accommodate more inventory than usual. This will mean extending the space, creating a small warehouse at the bank, and hiring more staff to manage this. 

Maintain Store Inventory

The next aspect of starting the store fulfillment model is maintaining store inventory. You will need to label and preserve records of the store inventory properly. This means RFID and barcode tagging for all the incoming items. 

Stock Accuracy

Last but not least, you will need to accurately maintain all stock levels and keep them updated in the inventory management system. This means that you will need to consider an order management system that will help you update the inventory levels in real-time. 

How Can Shiprocket Fulfillment Help?

Shiprocket Fulfillment can help you decentralize your inventory without the capital investment in your retail store. Shiprocket Fulfillment has more than 35 fulfillment centers located across the country. This means that you can store your inventory in our fulfillment centers and we will pick, pack, and ship it for you as and when an order comes to your online store. This way, you can provide your customers with the same-day and next-day delivery without expanding your retail stores and creating micro fulfillment centers. You can reduce your shipping costs by 20%, increase your shipping speed by 3X and give your customers the best delivery experience. 

Final Thoughts

The store for payment model can be a game-changer for your business if you have retail stores in your supply chain. If not, you can always outsource fulfillment operations to a 3PL fulfillment provider and leverage the advantage of a store fulfillment model. In both ways, decentralizing your inventory and storing it closer to your customers can be advantageous and profitable. 

Shiprocket Fulfillment - Top fulfillment provider in India
May 25, 2022 by Srishti Arora

5 min read

All You Need To Know About B2B Order Fulfillment

May 18, 2022 by Srishti Arora - 5 min read

When it comes to eCommerce, businesses can be business to customer(B2C) or business to business (B2B). You need to be aware of the order fulfillment process and requirements to ensure that products reach their destination on time and accurately. Both B2B and B2C orders have a set of inbound and outbound logistics operations, but the demands are slightly different. When you think of wholesalers or manufacturers, they require shipping and receiving a higher order quantity than B2C businesses. This article will talk about B2B order fulfillment, the difference between B2B and B2C order fulfillment, and what to look for in your B2B fulfillment provider. 

What is B2B Order Fulfillment?

B2B order fulfillment refers to fulfilling orders between businesses and not the company to the end consumer. It means delivering orders to retailers in the supply chain to sell them to customers further. 

For example, a business X produces dresses for girls. They send their products to retailers Y and Z, further selling them to customers. In this case, B2B fulfillment would refer to the order fulfillment between X and Y and X and Z. 

Difference Between B2B and B2C Order Fulfillment

The steps involved in fulfilling B2B and B2C orders are the same. However, B2B and B2C order fulfillment have a few differences in quantity, price, shipping, and delivery time. 

The first significant difference is the order quantity. B2B order volumes are higher than B2C order volumes. When customers order stuff from a seller, they order 2-3 pieces of one SKU. Amounts can go up to hundreds for one SKU. 

The next significant difference between B2C and B2B order fulfillment is the price. B2B orders are much more expensive as the order quantity is much higher than B2C orders. 

Furthermore, the shipping for B2B orders is usually done via ground or sea transportation as the quantities are higher, and they can’t be accommodated in air transportation. Also, air transportation for B2B orders will be costly. 

B2C orders usually don’t have a definitive time limit for delivery. Customers are shared with a tentative EDD and provided a window for delivery. B2B shipments must be delivered at the decided time. 

B2B order fulfillment frequency is less than B2C orders, but the quantity and volume are higher. 

Things To Look For In a B2B Fulfillment Service Provider

All you need to know about B2B order fulfillment

Inventory and Warehouse Management Systems

Your B2B fulfillment provider must have advanced warehouse and inventory management systems. Inventory management systems help with demand forecasting, real-time inventory sync, and maintaining reorder levels. If your B2B fulfillment service provider does not have an inventory management system, it would mean a lof manual correlation of inventory and higher chances of errors. A warehouse management system helps decide the most efficient route for operations like picking and packaging along with synchronization of data about inventory and order management. Your B2B fulfillment must have an efficient warehouse management system to ensure that operations are carried out smoothly and derive maximum results and on-time service.  

Multiple Shipping Partners

The most crucial aspect of B2B fulfillment is on-time delivery. This means that logistics have to be sorted to the last second. A slight delay can lead to a considerable loss. So, your service provider must have backup plans ready if one shipping partner fails to deliver the products. The supply chain must be functioning at all times. 

One-on-One Customer Support

Personalized account management is the key to success in B2B fulfillment. Your service provider must be available to sort out your grievances and concerns because the order volume is large, and a lot is at stake with every shipment. Also, sending updates and keeping you informed about the progress is a must. 

All-in-One Dashboard

Having an advanced technology stack is a must to compete with the leading players in today’s eCommerce market. An all-in-one dashboard where you can track your inventory, update operations, and follow shipping is a must to deliver the best results for your business. 

Skilled Staff

There is tiny room for error in B2B fulfillment. Hence, your service provider must have a skilled staff trained in standard operating procedures to ensure minimal downtime and errors during order processing. 

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How Can Shiprocket Fulfillment Help?

Shiprocket Fulfillment is a 3PL fulfillment provider with multiple fulfillment centers located across the country. You can store your inventory with us, and we will process and ship the incoming orders for you. The best part is that you can decentralize your inventory and store it closer to your clients. So, when you have to ship your orders, you can reduce shipping costs, improve delivery speed, and reduce the risk of delayed delivery. Furthermore, Shiprocket Fulfillment service centers are equipped with the latest warehouse and inventory management systems to ensure your products are stored and processed correctly. 

Final Thoughts

B2B Fulfillment can be difficult if you try to manage it independently. You need to have a considerable capital investment to store the inventory and manage it. Outsourcing to a 3PL fulfillment provider like Shiprocket Fulfillment can help you lessen the load. Follow the tips mentioned above to ensure you partner with the right one. 

Shiprocket Fulfillment - Top fulfillment provider in India
May 18, 2022 by Srishti Arora

5 min read

How To Deal With Delivery Exceptions In eCommerce Fulfillment?

May 13, 2022 by Srishti Arora - 5 min read

Delivering orders on time is one of the most critical aspects of your eCommerce fulfillment supply chain. You need to ensure that all orders are delivered on time and you receive proper tracking updates. However, due to several unforeseen circumstances, orders can be delayed. So what do you do in these situations?

There can be several situations where your order might be delayed or canceled by the courier partner. You can deal with them properly by maintaining thorough communication with the buyer. To understand the concept of a delivery exception and how you can deal with it. 

What is a Delivery Exception?

A delivery exception refers to an unplanned event that can cause a delay in the delivery of your order or halt it completely. It could be an unforeseen incident like an accident, act of god, etc. 

A delivery exception doesn’t necessarily mean the order will be delivered late. It implies a roadblock in the journey that could lead to a delay. Sometimes, these delays are covered up, and the order is delivered on time. 

Reasons for Delivery Exceptions

National and Festive Holidays

In India, there are several festivals celebrated across different states. This means that several holidays impact the logistics of the country. Therefore, festive holidays and national holidays where the courier partner cannot function at 100% capacity might lead to a delivery exception which can eventually cause a delay in the order delivery. 

Weather Conditions

Another reason for delivery exceptions could be unfavorable weather conditions. When there is a flood warning, heavy rains, or extreme winter, delays in order delivery are possible as routes are closed, and transportation is not convenient. This causes a one-day or two-day delivery delay in most cases as courier companies need to work continuously to correct the backlog. 

Incorrect Labels

Sometimes during transportation, shipping labels are damaged. This causes a delay in processing orders as the destination becomes challenging to track. Also, if the shipping labels are damaged or have incorrect information, it can be a task for courier companies to locate the packages. 

Nobody to Collect Orders

Also, if no individuals are available to collect the order, re-attempts are made, leading to a delivery exception. Therefore, it is essential to share tracking information proactively so the customer can ensure they are available to collect the order. 

Delay in Customs

With international shipping, a significant reason for a delivery exception is a delay in customs. Since several packages go through customs every day and are accompanied by much documentation that needs to be verified, a delay in customs clearance is a regular occurrence. 

Tips to Respond to Delivery Exceptions

How can you respond to delivery exceptions

Contact Carrier

The first step when responding to delivery exceptions is contacting the carrier. Upon reaching the carrier, you can get a clear picture of the reason for the delay and the period set to overcome this. You can update your customers accordingly or decide which information you want to communicate to them. You can understand the roadblock in the supply chain, try to help them if possible, or resolve any issues like the labels, incorrect address, etc. 

Contact Customer

The next tip is to contact the customer. Communicating with the customer about this delay and keeping them informed will help you convince them to wait for the package. They will empathize with your situation. If the shipping address is incorrect, you can reach out to them and rectify it. 

Resend the Package

Once you have contacted the customer and they need their package immediately, you can arrange to resend the box with a different carrier. Maybe this helps you speed up operations and reach the destination on time. 

Issue a Refund

The last resort to deal with the delivery exception is to issue a refund to your customer if the package can’t be delivered on time. This saves the customer time and money, and you can also establish excellent relations with them by catering to their needs proactively. 

Shiprocket Fulfillment Strip

Outsource to 3PL Fulfillment Providers

3PL Fulfillment providers like Shiprocket Fulfillment help you optimize the delivery routes for your orders. You can store inventory closer to customers and ensure that the shipping routes are the shortest for orders. This way, you can reduce the chances of encountering delivery exceptions, reduce shipping costs, and deliver 3x faster. Shiprocket Fulfillment has fulfillment centers located at multiple locations across the country. This means that you have the chance to enhance customer satisfaction by many folds. 

Final Thoughts

Delivery exceptions are a common aspect of your eCommerce logistics supply chain. By communicating properly with your customers and keeping them updated with regular tracking updates, you can ensure that they don’t face the brunt of these exceptions directly. Also, by maintaining proper contact with your courier partner, you can have regular updates and keep your customers in the loop accordingly. 

Shiprocket Fulfillment features
May 13, 2022 by Srishti Arora

5 min read

What is Fulfillment Automation And Why You Must Opt For It?

May 11, 2022 by Srishti Arora - 5 min read

Order fulfillment is one of the most integral aspects of your eCommerce supply chain. However, it can be one of the most redundant processes that need to be repeated over and over again with utmost accuracy. If your order fulfillment operations are not in order, you can face several consequences like delayed order delivery, low order accuracy, unhappy customers, unpleasant experiences, etc. With time, order fulfillment technologies have also evolved and you can automate most operations to ensure maximum output. Fulfillment automation can be a great advantage for your business if you want to reduce time and deliver orders faster. 

Let’s have a look at what fulfillment automation is, and if your business really needs in-house fulfillment automation to succeed. 

What is Fulfillment Automation?

Fulfillment automation refers to the process of automating fulfillment operations to increase yield and reduce the order to shape time along with increasing order accuracy and reducing shipping time. 

Types of eCommerce Fulfillment

In-House Fulfillment

The first type of eCommerce fulfillment is in-house fulfillment. This includes carrying out all fulfillment operations like inventory management, warehouse management, picking, packaging, shipping, and return management all by yourself. this means that you coordinate with all stakeholders yourself, arrange for logistics, and invest in capital to carry out all operations. 

3PL Fulfillment

The next type of eCommerce fulfillment is 3PL fulfillment. This includes outsourcing your operations to a third-party fulfillment provider that will take care of all operations for you. All operations like inventory management, warehouse management, shipping, returns, etc. will be taken care of by the fulfillment company. All you need to do is send your inventory to their fulfillment centers. 

Components of Fulfillment Automation

components of fulfillment automation in eCommerce

Now that we know the types of eCommerce fulfillment and what fulfillment automation is, it is important to know what is included in fulfillment automation. 

Warehouse Management Systems

The first and foremost component of fulfillment automation is the utilization of warehouse management systems. These systems enable you to keep a track of the different products in your warehouse, where they are stored, and devise the most appropriate floor plan for storing them. This synchronizes with your order management and inventory management system to ensure the best results and share data and real-time with supply chain stakeholders. 

Inventory Management Systems

The next component of fulfillment automation is inventory management systems. These systems ensure that your inventory is sorted at all times and you have a complete view of the inventory stored in different warehouses. It synchronizes with your order management system to update in real-time the remaining stock and let you know when to reorder inventory. Inventory management systems help you reduce discrepancies, keep an eye on inventory position, and track inventory regularly. 

RFID Tagging and Barcoding

Fulfillment automation includes RFID tagging and barcoding of racks, bins, and SKUs to ensure that the products are recorded correctly and executives face no problem when processing orders. This helps reduce errors and helps you look at inventory much faster in the warehouse. 

Automated Picking

Automated picking machines are utilized throughout the fulfillment automation to ensure that the time taken to process orders is shorter and you can integrate it with an existing warehouse management system to see where an item needs to be picked from. 

Shipping With Multiple Carriers

Another aspect of fulfillment automation is connecting with multiple carriers to find out the best shipping rate for your order and delivering it accordingly. 

Does Your Business Need In-House Fulfillment Automation?

Even though fulfillment automation is a lucrative and technologically advanced means for fulfilling orders, it is expensive. Installing the systems in-house can cost you a lot of money and you will need to loan capital or bootstrap it to get started. Also, there is no guarantee that you will be able to recover the money very soon. So what are the questions you must ask yourself before investing in in-house fulfillment on automation? 

  1. Do my current sales show a real trend or are they seasonal?
  2. Am I having challenges in hiring and retaining skilled labor? 
  3. How much time will it take to see the returns on my investment?
  4. What are the costs involved in fulfillment automation? 
  5. Do I need to automate my complete supply chain or only a part of it?

If you believe you have answers to all these questions, you can decide whether you need in-house fulfillment automation or not.

If you don’t need in-house fulfillment automation just yet, does that mean that you need to give up the idea of automating completely? We don’t think so.  

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How to Achieve Fulfillment Automation Without Capital Investment?

If you don’t want to invest huge capital to automate your fulfillment operations, you can still do it by outsourcing operations to 3PL fulfillment providers like Shiprocket Fulfillment.

Shiprocket Fulfillment has multiple fulfillment centers located across different regions in the country. Our fulfillment centers are equipped with the latest warehouse management system, inventory management systems, handheld picking devices, falcon weighing machines, and more to help with fulfillment automation. 

All you need to do is send your inventory to our fulfillment centers and we will process all incoming orders for you. This will help you decrease the order to ship time, reduce shipping costs, offer same-day and next-day delivery to your customers, reduce weight discrepancies, and decrease RTO by 60%. 

Final Thoughts

fulfillment automation can be a welcome next step in your business provided you don’t have to spend a huge amount on it. Tying up with a 3PL fulfillment provider like Shiprocket Fulfillment can be the right thing to do for fulfillment automation. Many need to see eCommerce businesses taking this route to lessen their load and improve fulfillment operations. 

Shiprocket Fulfillment - Top fulfillment provider in India
May 11, 2022 by Srishti Arora

5 min read

A Closer Look At Cold Chain Logistics Supply Chain

May 6, 2022 by Srishti Arora - 5 min read

India is a country with diverse climates. In a few country regions, the temperatures can go as high as 45°c in summer and as low as -15°c. Does this pose a drawback for the logistics system? Yes, it’s a drawback. So how can you expect your orders to be delivered correctly at all times? It is with cold chain logistics. 

We all have seen milk transported in cold chains across the country in huge containers. But it is not just limited to milk. Several electronics, cosmetics, and other perishable items also need to be transported in cold chains to maintain the quality to reach the customer.

Even though shipping and transportation might be a new concept, temperature-sensitive products have always been transported seamlessly. For example, dairy products were always transported from the rural areas to the urban areas to be sold, and frozen meat was sent to France, etc. Cold chain logistics has always been an essential aspect of eCommerce and trade. 

Let’s look at what cold chain logistics is, its importance in eCommerce, the challenges faced, and how you can overcome these challenges. 

What is Cold Chain Logistics?

Cold chain logistics refers to the shipping and transportation of temperature-sensitive goods and products in the supply chain. It is the use of technology and science to maintain the temperature and perishability of the products. 

Importance of Cold Chain Logistics

Cold chain logistics is integral for the eCommerce supply chain as it helps in the safe transportation of perishable goods. Most perishable goods transported via traditional transportation methods pose a higher risk of a foodborne illness than those transported via cold chain logistics. 

Several cosmetic items tend to lose their texture and formulation if exposed to high-temperature. The same goes for pharmaceutical products. It is essential to utilize a cold chain logistic supply chain to transport them safely. 

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Components of Cold Chain Logistics

Cold chain logistics utilizes several technologies to successfully ship and deliver your products. The different aspects of a cold chain logistics supply chain include – 

  • Cold storage – This is where the products are stored before being transported. 
  • Cooling systems include specific temperature control systems that help keep the products at appropriate temperatures during all operations. 
  • Cold transport – This ensures that temperature-sensitive products are transported appropriately in a cool environment with the correct temperature and humidity levels. 
  • Cold processing – Facilities and operations that allow for processing goods with the correct temperature in humidity levels and sanitation. 
  • Cold distribution – Delivery of goods in boxes, crates, pallets, etc., to distribute goods.

Several technologies are used to ensure all these operations are carried out seamlessly in a cold chain logistics supply chain. A few of these technologies include- 

  • Gel packs
  • Dry ice
  • Liquid nitrogen
  • Eutectic plates
  • Reefers
  • Quilts 

Challenges Faced in Cold Chain Logistics

the roadblocks faced in cold chain logistics

Temperature Control

Temperature control is one of the biggest challenges in cold chain logistics. Maintaining the correct temperature can be difficult owing to the different weather conditions. Adequate systems need to ensure humidity and temperature control. Also, thorough insulation needs to be installed to restrict outside air. 

Improper Packaging

More often than not, improper packaging poses an issue and cold chain logistics. Goods need to be packed inadequately insulated packages to maintain the temperature they are kept in. If the packaging is damaged during transit, it can contaminate the product. Therefore, the product packaging must be sturdy and include a secondary or tertiary layer. 

Shipment Delays

If there are shipment delays, it can impact the item’s freshness. Cold chain logistics need to be carried out in strict time frames to ensure no delays to maintain the freshness and quality of the product. 

Incorrect Documentation

In cold chain logistics supply chain management, all stakeholders must be aware of the products being transported in the conditions they are being transported in. Therefore, incorrect documentation can cause many issues if even one stakeholder is left out of the picture. Thorough documentation and the proper standard operating procedures are crucial for successfully running cold chain logistics. 

How Can 3PL Fulfillment Providers Overcome These Challenges?

Even if you have solid cold chain logistics at your disposal, shipment delays are a common problem owing to the last mile challenges in the country. This is where 3PL fulfillment providers like Shiprocket Fulfillment come into the picture.

Shiprocket Fulfillment offers you temperature-controlled warehousing to ensure that you can store your products at the right temperature in humidity conditions. We will take care of all the order processing and shipping for you. The best part is that you can outsource your fulfillment operations and store products closer to customers. This helps you tackle several challenges at once. Along with saving you shipping and fulfillment costs, it can also help you eliminate the quality issues arising from shipment delays. 

Final Thoughts

Cold chain logistics is integral in a country like India, where you need to maintain the product quality before it reaches the customer. With varying weather conditions, you cannot avoid the subject. Invest in proper cold chain logistics and 3PL fulfillment providers to help you achieve this. 

Shiprocket Fulfillment - Top fulfillment provider in India
May 6, 2022 by Srishti Arora

1 min read

Beginner’s Guide To Procurement Logistics [Infographic]

April 27, 2022 by Srishti Arora - 1 min read

When we talk about eCommerce fulfillment, reducing the lead time is a significant pain point for most sellers. However, the steps that lead to a successful fulfillment supply chain are often overlooked. Procuring goods for manufacturing or assembling products can help you speed up the supply chain considerably if you manage it properly. Also, if your procurement is handled with the help of an end-to-end logistics process, you can save on costs and make sure your operations run on time, and the end product is delivered to the customer sooner. If you focus on the initial steps and optimize from the start, you can easily make a huge difference. 

To understand how you can optimize the procurement process for your business, it is essential to understand what procurement is and what goes behind procurement logistics to derive the best results. 

Here is an infographic that can help you gauge the subject in simple terms and give you an overview of what procurement logistics is and how you can take steps to optimize it for your eCommerce business.

Shiprocket Fulfillment - Top fulfillment provider in India
Apr 27, 2022 by Srishti Arora

5 min read

What Is Distribution Logistics In eCommerce Fulfillment?

April 22, 2022 by Srishti Arora - 5 min read

Setting up a defined physical distribution process can be difficult if you don’t consider the extensive operations of supply chain management and align them for smooth functioning. It is vital to have seamless distribution logistics throughout your fulfillment supply chain to ensure that your products reach from the manufacturer to the fulfillment center and the customer’s delivery address. One mistake and the delivery could be delayed by hours or even days! This can eventually lead to a negative experience, and you might have to let go of your precious clients with whom you spent a great deal of time signing up. 

What is distribution logistics and its significance

So how can you ensure seamless operations and delivery for your business? 

With a streamlined distribution logistics plan that can help you deliver on time with a flawless record and help you optimize operations with changing trends and technologies. 

But first, you need to understand what distribution logistics is and how you can improve it for your business.

What is Distribution Logistics?

Distribution logistics refers to procuring goods from the manufacturer and delivering them to the retailer. It could also refer to getting finished goods delivered from the retailer to the fulfillment center. The orders were prepared and shipped to the final customer from the fulfillment center. 

Distribution logistics helps you work with suitable carrier partners to deliver on time and at affordable rates. 

Distribution logistics can be of various kinds, like direct and indirect distribution.

Direct Distribution

Direct distribution means that you provide directly to the customer without intermediaries like retailers, marketplaces, etc.

You carry out all inventory management, warehousing, fulfillment, processing, and shipping operations in-house. 

Under direct distribution logistics, you take care of the shipping strategy, select the courier partners that best suit your needs, and devise a strategy based on your profit margins, shipping costs, etc.

Indirect Distribution

Indirect distribution logistics outsourcing fulfillment operations to a third-party logistics provider. 

It also means placing your products in a retailer’s showroom or a marketplace for customers to identify them.

When you send your inventory to 3PL fulfillment providers, they take care of operations like warehousing, picking, and packing, shipping, returns management, etc., for your business. 

You can sell on multiple sales channels in this indirect fulfillment model and outsource fulfillment partially or entirely for your business. 

Difference Between Direct and Indirect Distribution

The critical difference between direct and indirect distribution logistics is the ownership of operations. When you opt for direct logistics, you need to ensure that all the products are appropriately stopped, maintained, processed, and shipped independently. Whereas, under indirect distribution logistics, you have the flexibility to outsource a part of your inventory so that a third party can take care of your operations. 

Direct DistributionIndirect Distribution
In-house fulfillmentOutsourced fulfillment
Greater fulfillment costs.Standardized fulfillment costs

Advantages of Direct Distribution

  • No intermediary costs
  • Greater control over business
  • Direct consumer contact

Advantages of Indirect Distribution

  • Shared storage and shipping costs
  • More resources for promoting products
  • Faster order processing and shipping
  • Third-party technology stack
  • Expertise and skilled labor

How to Improve Distribution Logistics for Your Business?

How to improve distribution logistics for your business

Advanced Technology Stack

If you want to improve the distribution logistics for your business, you must leverage technology. An automated warehouse management and inventory management software can help you reduce the time and errors by a considerable margin and save your money. With the right technology stack, you can ensure a reduced order to ship time and ensure the product reaches the customer much faster. The right supply chain technology can improve how you run and manage different parts of the distribution logistics chain like the 1st-mile delivery, inventory tracking, shipping, etc.

3PL Fulfillment Providers

can help you delegate distribution and improve operations. A tech-enabled 3PL fulfillment provider will help you manage inventory efficiently, store it properly, and process it much faster when you receive an order. Usually, 3PL fulfillment providers work with more than one eCommerce company and bring considerable expertise and skilled resources. They have streamlined operations and standardized operating procedures to make sure that every order is packed and shipped accurately and meets the requirements of your business, marketplace, etc.

Demand Forecasting

With proper inventory tracking, you can also forecast demand in advance to ensure that you don’t run out of inventory and don’t face unfortunate situations like stockouts. Also, demand forecasting can help you optimize your list, minimize shrinkage, lower cost, and ensure successful delivery, which will eventually keep your customers happy.

SR Fullfilment

How Can Shiprocket Fulfillment Improve Distribution?

Shiprocket Fulfillment is a 3PL fulfillment provider that helps you outsource your order fulfillment operations right from inventory management to returns management. 

You can send your inventory to our fulfillment centers located across seven locations in India, and we will optimize operations for your business. With this type of indirect distribution logistics, you can deliver 3X faster to your customers and offer same-day and next-day delivery. You can also reduce fulfillment costs by up to 40% and decline RTO orders for your business.  

With Shiprocket Fulfillment, you can reduce the resource and time wasted with in-house fulfillment and focus on more critical aspects of your business. With this strategy, you can improve your eCommerce business and multiply profits. 

Final Thoughts

Distribution logistics is an essential aspect of your eCommerce supply chain. You need to align it with every operation so that there are no delays and you can deliver to your customer as soon as possible. Look for the best alternatives for your business and derive a strategy that efficiently helps you optimize your business. 

Shiprocket Fulfillment features
Apr 22, 2022 by Srishti Arora

5 min read

Understanding Order Consolidation And Its Advantages

April 14, 2022 by Srishti Arora - 5 min read

With the changing eCommerce dynamic in India, customers today not only expect orders to be delivered sooner, they expect them to be provided with utmost accuracy. Earlier, the split shipment was an excellent way for sellers to get the shipments to the customers faster or at least a part of it. However, the customer is not satisfied with just a part of the order now. They want the whole order to be delivered as quickly as possible.

Order consolidation and its benefits

Split shipments also tend to increase the shipping cost for your business and pile up packaging waste, which can harm the environment. Therefore, the following solution to this problem is order consolidation.

Let’s look at what order consolidation is and how you can utilize it to increase your customer satisfaction. 

What is Order Consolidation?

Auto consolidation refers to clubbing several items from a single order into one shipment. If your customer has ordered multiple items from your store and created various orders, they will be clubbed into one shipment and delivered at one go to the customer.

This helps you reduce shipping costs, improve the delivery experience, and helps reduce packaging waste. 

How Does Order Consolidation Work?

Collaboration

Order consolidation does not work correctly if you do not collaborate entirely with all the involved parties. This means that each stakeholder should be on board, such as the business partners, the fulfillment center, the distribution company, and the shipping partner.

Your shipping partner ensures that the order is complete and accurate. They must package the different orders into a single package and deliver them to the end customer.

This is where experienced end-to-end fulfillment providers like Shiprocket Fulfilment come into the picture. They help you with warehousing, picking, and packing services that reduce the stress of consolidating orders. 

Agreements

Next, if you plan on consolidating orders for your business, the consolidation process must be clear from the start. It must be sure who is in charge of what and how the partnership between different parties works. It must be clear who will care for the packaging, reviewing, consolidating, etc. Like your fulfillment supply chain, each process must be integrated into the system thoroughly so that you do not send faulty products to the customer. 

Implementation

Lastly, order consolidation does not work without thorough implementation. If you plan on consolidating orders, after you have collaborated with parties and agreed with them to follow the process, it is time to implement it. Everybody involved in the supply chain must know about this process to implement it right from the start, where you are picking, packing, and shipping orders. 

Advantages of Order Consolidation

What are the advantages of order consolidation

Reduce Shipping Costs

Order consolidation can help you reduce the shipping costs as you club multiple orders into one shipment. You do not need to pay separately for numerous orders. It enables you to optimize shipping costs by choosing the most suitable carrier for lesser shipments. 

Easy Tracking

Tracking consolidated orders can be simpler for customers as they will not need to reload multiple tracking pages, receive multiple tracking notifications, etc. Moreover, if customers are busy and cannot be available to receive the products, they will only need to be available once as compared to several times. This will also help you reduce the RTO orders as most shipments will be delivered on time and in the right place. 

Sustainable Shipping

As we have spoken about it earlier, you can reduce packaging waste by consolidating orders. The waste because of eCommerce packaging is exceptionally high, and you need to include several dunnages to protect the shipment from damage. By consolidating orders, you can reduce this wastage. 

Improved Accuracy

Another advantage of order consolidation is improved order accuracy. If your order consolidation process works successfully, you can ensure that each shipment contains the correct order and double-check it before shipping out. By improving accuracy, you can ensure that the customer is satisfied and happy with the products they order. 

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How Can 3PL Fulfillment Providers Help?

3PL fulfillment providers can help your business as they carry out the complete task of picking, packaging, inventory management, and shipping for your business. This means that you will not need to collaborate and mutually agree with different partners to make sure your orders are consolidated. You can send your inventory to 3PL fulfillment providers like (Shiprocket Fulfillment and ask them to consolidate orders when they come to your business. 

Also, if you decentralize inventory, you can reduce the shipping distance, consolidate orders, and improve order accuracy for your business. With 3 PL fulfillment providers, you can reap multiple benefits like reducing shipping costs, offering one-day and two-day delivery, reducing RTO orders, and increasing repeat purchases. 

Final Thoughts

Order consolidation can be a great trick to save shipping costs, contribute toward a sustainable shipping approach, and improve customer satisfaction. It is targeting several issues at once. Moreover, if you ship with 3PL fulfillment providers, you can ensure a more seamless experience for your customers.

Shiprocket Fulfillment features
Apr 14, 2022 by Srishti Arora

5 min read

The Benefits of Hybrid Order Fulfillment In 2022

April 5, 2022 by Srishti Arora - 5 min read

eCommerce fulfillment is probably one of the most vital aspects of your eCommerce supply chain. If the operations don’t work in tandem with each other, there are chances that you might face a delay in delivery, unhappy customers, and much more. 

Why is hybrid order fulfillment useful

But, it can take a lot of experimentation to establish which is the suitable fulfillment method for you. There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to eCommerce fulfillment. When you sell across multiple channels and have different offerings, it can be tedious to decide how you want to fulfill your orders. More often than once, the solution is not singular. You need to adopt multiple fulfillment models to ensure that your products are delivered to customers on time and that your business does not suffer any losses. 

This is where the hybrid fulfillment model comes into the picture. Running a hybrid order fulfillment model can be difficult if you do not understand the nitty-gritty. Let’s see what hybrid order fulfillment is and the benefits associated with it. 

What is Hybrid Order Fulfillment?

A hybrid order fulfillment model is a diverse approach to fulfilling orders wherein you use a combination of various fulfillment models like in-house fulfillment, dropshipping, and 3PL fulfillment. 

Hybrid order fulfillment offers a cost-effective approach to optimizing operations, providing a competitive edge, and meeting customer expectations. 

What are the Different Types of Fulfillment Models?

To understand how a hybrid fulfillment model works, you need to understand the different types of fulfillment models that can be a part of a hybrid model. 

In-House Fulfillment

In-house fulfillment refers to handling the entire fulfillment process on your own. This includes warehousing, inventory management, picking, packaging, and shipping operations.

To fulfill orders in-house, you need to have a skilled staff, equipment, and space dedicated to fulfilling orders efficiently. This could be done in a warehouse or your own office space. 

It is suitable for businesses with a huge inventory and a large order volume. If you want to process all incoming orders yourself and have complete control over logistics, in-house fulfillment is an excellent option. 

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3PL Fulfillment 

3PL fulfillment refers to outsourcing order fulfillment operations to a third-party provider. This third-party fulfillment provider manages all operations like warehouse management, inventory management, order processing, packing, packaging, etc. 

Shiprocket Fulfillment is a 3PL fulfillment provider with fulfillment centers located across the country. You can send your products to our fulfillment centers, and we will make sure that they are delivered to customers on time. 

3PL fulfillment providers help you delegate the entire fulfillment process to exports and take the majority load off your hands. 

Dropshipping

Your business’s manufacturer or supplier ships orders directly to the customer with drop shipping.

Dropshipping helps you take your mind off operations like inventory management, shipping, etc. Though it takes away the chance of overseeing the quality of the shipping and related operations, it is a stress-free approach that works for businesses that are starting or do not have enough space or capital to manage inventory and shipping. 

Hybrid Order Fulfillment

With hybrid order fulfillment, you consider more than one fulfillment approach and process incoming orders with it. 

For example, you can utilize the benefits of drop shipping and 3PL fulfillment to ensure that your orders are delivered on time. If you provide in-house fulfillment, you can outsource a part of your inventory to 3PL fulfillment providers to ensure that that particular region receives the orders on time. 

A hybrid approach has many benefits for your business. Let’s have a look at what they are. 

How is hybrid order fulfillment useful for businesses

Benefits of Hybrid Order Fulfillment

Flexibility

Hybrid order fulfillment offers you a great scope for flexibility. You can decide which order fulfillment method is suitable for each SKU, and you can choose to process it accordingly. It can help you improve your order fulfillment process and deliver faster to customers. 

Faster Growth

A hybrid order fulfillment model can help you achieve growth faster as you will be able to fulfill many orders in a short period with different fulfillment methods. Sometimes a drop shipping model can be helpful for a few SKUs, and a 3PL fulfillment model can be more suitable if your customers are located in different geographical locations. 

Scope for Experimentation

if you were starting a new line of products and want to experiment with them, a hybrid fulfillment model can help you see the efficiency of different types of fulfillment to make your decision. The product is often good, but the fulfillment does not match up to it. With hybrid fulfillment, you can consider these factors and then choose the most suitable fit for your eCommerce fulfillment supply chain. 

Cost-Effective

Most times and help you optimize costs as you can use multiple fulfillment methods that can help you reduce the shipping and delivery costs. For example, delivering products with in-house fulfillment and shipping from only one location in India can increase your shipping costs. However, if you club this in-house fulfillment with 3PL fulfillment, you can store inventory in multiple locations across India and reduce the shipping cost by reducing the shipping distance. 

Final Thoughts

A hybrid fulfillment model can help you optimize costs, utilize your space efficiently, and deliver orders on time. Make sure you consider the benefits of hybrid order fulfillment to match your business requirements and then decide. 

Shiprocket Fulfillment features
Apr 5, 2022 by Srishti Arora

5 min read

Decoding Micro Fulfillment And Its Need In Today’s Era

March 29, 2022 by Srishti Arora - 5 min read

As the demand for eCommerce increases rapidly in India, the fulfillment supply chain has also evolved. The fulfillment capacities of brands are changing, and they are now looking out for alternatives to the traditional selling methods. There are more D2C brands than ever & they are delivering orders faster than ever before. Even marketplaces like Amazon India have been transformed, and customer expectations have also changed drastically. How are brands fulfilling orders so quickly?

What is micro fulfillment?

One of the reasons could be micro fulfillment. With evolving trends, micro fulfillment is also becoming an integral part of the fulfillment supply chain for several brands. They are working towards setting up smaller fulfillment centers to deliver orders as soon as one day after the customer places the order. 

With the next-gen of eCommerce fulfillment picking up, let’s understand what micro fulfillment is and the benefits of micro fulfillment centers. 

What is Micro Fulfillment?

Micro fulfillment refers to placing small warehouse-like facilities in populated urban areas to process orders closer to the consumer. This helps improve delivery times by accelerating last-mile delivery. Since the last mile costs are exceptionally high in the entire delivery supply chain, micro fulfillment can help tackle this issue by reducing the last-mile distance for the business. 

What is a Micro Fulfillment Center?

A micro fulfillment center is a small fulfillment center that can help process incoming eCommerce orders and act as a local store for pick-ups. Micro fulfillment centers are usually 10,000 ft.² or less and are highly automated. They can be built in an existing distribution or warehouse space or even a retail store that provides a front for the micro fulfillment center. 

Difference Between Micro Fulfillment Centers and Traditional Fulfillment Centers

Traditional fulfillment centers are usually massive, with their area falling in the 300,000 ft.² range. Micro fulfillment centers are comparatively small and are situated in our 10,000 ft.² space or less. 

Micro fulfillment centers usually house inventory for 24 to 48 hours worth of operations and need to be re-stocked regularly, whereas additional fulfillment centers have inventory for a more extended period. 

Advantages of micro fulfillment centers

Benefits of Micro Fulfillment Centers

Faster Delivery

Micro fulfillment centers can benefit small to medium business enterprises as they can help deliver faster. As they are situated in densely populated areas where the order volume is generally high, micro fulfillment centers can help reduce the last mile distance and help you reach the customer faster. 

Increased Sales

With faster delivery, you can help establish long-lasting relationships with the customer and increase repeat purchases for your business. The promise of more immediate delivery is a significant incentive for the people of India. Therefore quick delivery can help you increase sales. As the delivery times are less, chances for RTO orders also reduce drastically. 

Quick Order Fulfillment

Reducing order-to-ship time is a significant concern for most eCommerce businesses. Since an order comes in, it takes a long time to complete the entire fulfillment process and ship it out to the customer. With micro fulfillment centers, you can reduce the order of assignment time as the operations are majorly automated.

Lower Shipping Costs

Since the last mile distance reduces with micro fulfillment centers, shipping costs are significantly lower. This helps you save on shipping costs, and you can invest this capital in other aspects of your business. 

Non Expensive Expansion

Even the micro fulfillment centers do cost money. The capital investment is not as high as a traditional fulfillment center. So setting up a micro fulfillment center means a cheaper expansion for your business. 

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3PL Fulfillment Centers – Efficient Alternatives for Micro Fulfillment

Even though micro fulfillment centers seem like a helpful solution for tackling the problem of extended delivery times and delayed order processing, it can be a pain to run them if you have to do it yourself. A micro fulfillment center in one city would not solve your problems. You will need to set up multiple micro fulfillment centers to tackle the need of different geographical areas. This could mean considerable investment and additional costs to run these micro fulfillment centers. 

But, if you tie up with 3PL fulfillment providers, you can leverage the benefits of micro fulfillment and traditional fulfillment at the same time. 

3PL fulfillment providers like Shiprocket Fulfillment have multiple fulfillment centers located in different parts of the country. You can store your inventory in these fulfillment centers and Shiprocket Fulfillment all the order management, processing, packaging & shipping operations for your business. 

You can leverage the benefits of micro fulfillment centers while keeping your products in a traditional fulfillment center. This way, you store your inventory closer to your customer and process orders with one-day and two-day delivery. The order to ship time for the incoming orders is relatively minor as the team is skilled and most automated operations. With all these advantages, you can deliver 3X faster, reduce RTO by 60%, and increase repeat purchases for your business. 

Final Thoughts

Micro fulfillment centers are the next step for many businesses regarding eCommerce fulfillment. They can be a game-changer if you want to reach customers as soon as one day after they place the order. It is essential to analyze the investment behind micro fulfillment centers and then decide. 

Shiprocket Fulfillment features
Mar 29, 2022 by Srishti Arora