4 min read

Products That Strictly Require Temperature-Controlled Storage

July 29, 2021 by Rashi Sood - 4 min read

When deciding to rent a warehousing unit, many eCommerce sellers come across a question – whether to rent temperature-controlled storage or a regular one. Climate-controlled warehousing maintains a consistent temperature throughout the warehousing unit. Some units even provide enhanced humidity control. Although a climate-controlled storage unit might be expensive compared to other units, it can offer more peace of mind when storing valuable products that can be damaged due to extreme temperatures.

Temperature-controlled storage

They are highly recommended when you store products for a longer time or in extreme cold, heat, or humidity areas. A lot can happen to the products when they are stored in a warehouse. Moisture can build up, or pests are common. So, how do you ensure that they are safe all the time while sitting in a storage unit?

What is a Temperature-Controlled Storage?

Temperature-controlled storage is a warehousing unit where steady temperature and humidity levels are maintained throughout the unit. Typically, the temperature is between 55 degrees Fahrenheit to 85 degrees Fahrenheit. Temperature and humidity are important factors as they create moisture and affect the products’ shelf life.

Products that Need Temperature-Controlled Warehousing

Let us now take a look at the items that require climate-control storage units:

Household Appliances

The electronic or mechanical parts of household appliances are temperature sensitive. Very hot or cold temperatures can cause cracks or rust on the appliances. It can even permanently damage the products. Humidity can also lead to fungi like mold or mildew grow inside the appliances.

So, if the product is stored in areas where humidity or moisture is present, you must consider renting out a temperature-controlled warehouse. You can conveniently store your household appliances products, like microwaves, ovens, refrigerators, dishwashers, or dryers without worrying about them.

Clothing

For customers, buying season-specific clothing can be expensive. It is a practical idea to keep the season-specific clothing in climate-controlled storage to make them last longer. Storing products in the storage units will help keep the clothes in good shape while also clearing some usable space in the shop shelves/godown. It is suggested that before you store your clothes in a storage unit, you can put them in a plastic storage box for an added protection.

Wooden Furniture

Wooden products can warp or even rot when exposed to moisture for a long time period. So, store wooden furniture like table, chair, bed, décor, or more away from moisture. If you plan to store your wooden products for a long time, then it is a good idea to store them in a climate-controlled unit.

Not only wooden products but also storing leather products in high moisture areas can also cause the material to crack. Or the material can also get fungus or discolored. So, if you have expensive leather pieces, it is essential that you store them in a temperature-controlled unit to keep them safe.

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Photographs

Climate control storage is critical for photos. If stored in a hot environment, the photos can deteriorate, stick together, or even fade. Imagine how the buyers will feel if they receive your product in that condition. So, you can store the photos or photo albums in a climate-controlled storage unit.

This will prevent the images from possible damage and ensure they reach the buyers in the best condition.

Musical Instruments

High-quality musical investments are very costly. They are very delicate items and certainly require care in climate-controlled conditions, even for a short duration.

Besides, heat can also damage the adhesives used to hold the instruments together. For example, the piano has keys and the guitar has strings that can be damaged by humidity or moisture. Similarly, musical instruments made of brass can be damaged due to humidity or heat.

A climate-controlled storage unit aims to preserve the items’ quality and increase their shelf life. Temperature-controlled storage units help in maintaining the integrity of the products. They also help in offering a pleasant customer experience as the products reach the customers in good condition. The products that we have talked about above as just a few examples that require to be stored in a climate-controlled unit. To discuss if your products require temperature control, you can also talk about it with the warehouse operator. The ultimate goal of storing products in a cold-storage warehouse is to keep them safe and in good condition.

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Jul 29, 2021 by Rashi Sood

5 min read

Understanding Economic Order Quantity

July 27, 2021 by Srishti Arora - 5 min read

Planning is a major aspect of any eCommerce business. Be it inventory management or shipping, you need to plan everything in advance so that you can fulfill the orders seamlessly. Many times, eCommerce sellers falter on this strategic planning and order products only when they require it. This often leads to a delay in supply and eventually causes late delivery to customers. This not only impacts the overall customer experience but also reduces the chance of repeat purchases. 

With several tools available at your disposal, you must forecast demand beforehand to ensure that you do not fall short of inventory at any point. The economic order quantity is one such metric that can help you define the optimum amount of inventory that you need for your business.

With this article, let’s have a deeper look at the economic order quantity, its formula, and its significance.

What is Economic Order Quantity?

Economic order quantity refers to the most optimum size of a lot. It is a calculation that helps you find the most suitable order quantity for your business so you can reduce warehousing, fulfillment, and logistics costs. 

It gives you a fair idea of the inventory you need and you can place your orders with suppliers in accordance with that. 

Significance of Economic Order Quantity?

Calculating the EOQ has several benefits for your business. In order to maintain a seamless supply chain without any glitches, there needs to be a balance between supply and demand. Quantity will give you an idea of the amount you need to purchase based on the amount you sell. Let’s have a look at the benefits EOQ offers. 

Improved Efficiency

Calculating the economic order quantity can help you make better decisions for storing and managing inventory. EOQ Will give you a fair knowledge about the amount you need to order so that you can plan your warehousing and inventory management beforehand. If you randomly order inventory, you can have trouble storing it and it can eventually lead to a delay in order processing because of the inaccurate storage. 

Reduce Stock-Outs

The next main advantage of calculating the economic order quantity is its role in reducing stockouts. It can be extremely embarrassing when a customer is shopping on your website and suddenly the product they order goes out of stock. This often leaves you in a difficult situation and you either have to delay the delivery or source the product at the last minute. With EOQ, you will have a rough estimate of the product you need to stop so that you can fulfill orders seamlessly. 

Decrease Inventory Handling Cost

The inventory handling cost can be a difficult nut to crack and it can blow a hole in your budget if you do not take care of it regularly. You need to be very strategic about the type of products you order and the quantity in which you order them. The supply of products also takes up money and resources so continuously ordering inventory can be expensive. If you calculate the EOQ in advance, you can reduce the inventory handling and sourcing cost by a huge margin as you will know the amount you need to order. 

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Calculating Economic Order Quantity

Variables

Holding Cost

Holding cost refers to the carrying cost of holding the inventory in your warehouse. If you want to properly calculate the economic order quantity you will first need to determine the holding cost.

The formula for holding cost is as follows- 

Inventory Carrying/Holding Cost = Storage Costs + Employee Salaries + Opportunity Costs + Depreciation Costs) / Total Value of Annual Inventory

Annual Demand

The annual demand refers to the number of orders you get for a particular product. You can determine this by seeing your previous sales and historical order data. 

Order Cost

The order cost is the average cost per purchase. This also includes the shipping and handling costs so you need to calculate the overall costs on a per order basis. 

Economic Order Quantity Formula

EOQ = square root of: [2SD] / H

S = Order costs 

D = Demand rate 

H = Holding costs 

Outsource With Shiprocket Fulfillment – Relieve the Stress of Matching Metrics

Calculating economic order quantity can be a difficult task because you need to do it regularly. In case you have a seasonal spike of orders, economic order quantity can vary throughout the year. However, if you outsource eCommerce fulfillment operations, high-tech solutions can do the job for you and you only need to do tea procuring of the inventory. 

Shiprocket fulfillment is one such 3PL fulfillment provider that can help you relieve the stress associated with matching metrics like economic order quantity. All you have to do is ship your inventory to our tech-enabled fulfillment centers located in different shipping zones across India. We have the latest warehouse management, order management, and inventory management software integrated into our warehouses that can help you predict demand and calculate your supply accordingly.

Not just this, with Shiprocket Fulfillment Testimonial so store inventory closer to buyers and deliver 3X faster, improve repeat purchase rate, reduce RTO, and provide customers a delightful delivery experience without unfortunate scenarios like stock out or accumulation of dead stock. 

Final Thoughts

Economic order quantity is definitely an important metric for managing and processing inventory. Make sure you keep track of this number if you want to maintain a balance between the supply and demand of products. Although, if you are looking for a solution that can help you do this job faster, 3PL fulfillment providers are the right pick for you.

Shiprocket Fulfillment features
Jul 27, 2021 by Srishti Arora

4 min read

Dimensional Weight Explained: How To Calculate It?

July 23, 2021 by Rashi Sood - 4 min read

Dimensional weight is one of the significant factors that is taken into account while determining the shipping rate. Whether you ship yourself or a 3PL partner handles it for you, dimensional weight is imperative for determining the shipping price. In this blog, we shall discuss dimensional weight and how to calculate dimensional weight in kg.

dimensional weight

What is Dimensional Weight?

Not all product weights are calculated equally in shipping. What is soft and light in weight might take up a lot of space in the shipment. This can potentially hinder the carrier from shipping it along with other products. It will cost more to move a truck full of tables than one filled with mobile phones. Tables take up more space, and it will take more shipments for the carriers to ship them.

Dimensional weight is a pricing technique that shipping companies use to calculate the space area that a shipment will take. The dimensional weight and the shipment’s actual weight are compared, and the shipping price is determined by whichever is higher.

Dimensional weight, or DIM weight, has been used by air freight companies for a long time as aircraft space is premium. The postal and courier services have started considering dimension weight in recent times only.

eCommerce has seen remarkable growth in recent years. This growth was further increased during the pandemic, and strict restrictions were also in place, with more consumers turning towards online shopping. As the parcel volume surged and the demand for faster shipping also increased, courier companies are under pressure to maximize every inch of space they have in the delivery vehicle.

To ensure this, many courier companies have shifted to using dimensional weight. Using dimensional weight as a criterion to use shipping cost also encourages the online sellers to compact their parcels.

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Understanding Dim Pricing

DIM pricing refers to the shipping cost that is calculated on the basis of the dimensional weight of the package. If the dimensional weight exceeds the actual package weight, the shipping cost is calculated based on dimensional weight.

Earlier, most courier companies calculated the shipment cost by the weight of the package and the distance for which it will travel—the greater the weight and the distance, the more expensive the shipping cost. Major carriers have now started adding a third factor – dimensional weight.

As said above, if the product is lightweight but in a gigantic box, the box will take up the valuable space in the delivery vehicle. So, the shipping rate is calculated as per the dimensional weight, only if it is higher than the package weight.

How to Calculate Dimensional Weight?

dimensional weight

Dimensional weight is calculated by converting a package’s length, height, and width into account. So, the formula for calculating dimensional weight is:

Dimensional Weight = (Length X Width X Height) ÷ Shipping Factor

The following are the steps to calculate dimensional weight:

  1. Measure the length, height, and width of your shipment. Remember that the bulges on the sides can lead to additional fees if not incorporated in the initial calculations.
  2. Once calculated, round off the weight to the nearest whole number.
  3. Now, multiply the dimensions to get the package’s cubic size. For example, if the package is 10 (length) X 10 (height) X 10 (width), the cubic size would be 1000 cubic inches.
  4. The last step is to divide the cubic size dimensional factor or DIM divisor. It is the number set by the freight carriers.

Weight Freeze on Shiprocket Panel

Dimensional Weight

Weight discrepancy is a common issue that many eCommerce sellers come across while shipping their package. Weight discrepancy is when the weight provided by the online seller mismatches with that provided by the courier. The shipping charges are also changed as per the change in the weight. They can be increased or decreased.

To help our online sellers overcome this situation, Shiprocket offers a feature where you can freeze your product’s weight in advance for all future shipping. You can upload the product picture and the shipping box pictures on the Shiprocket dashboard. Then, you can request to freeze weight for all your future shippings.

This will help you reduce the weight discrepancies as the shipping rates will be calculated as per the pre-decided weight of the package.

Shiprocket Fulfillment - Top fulfillment provider in India
Jul 23, 2021 by Rashi Sood

5 min read

What is Inventory Turnover Ratio and Why is it Calculated?

July 20, 2021 by Srishti Arora - 5 min read

Inventory management is an essential part of your fulfillment supply chain as the inventory is your biggest asset. You need to be updated with every aspect of your stock so you can manage it effectively. Understanding the statistics and analysis of inventory can help you make more informed decisions, increase efficiency, and improve cash flow. 

Inventory turnover ratio is one such niche that you must check to ensure that your inventory is in sync with the supply chain. Let’s look at the inventory turnover ratio and how you can calculate and optimize it for your requirements. 

Understanding Inventory Turnover Ratio

Inventory turnover ratio refers to the number of times inventory is sold and then replaced in a specific period.

For example, suppose you have 10 quantities of product X and want to check the inventory turnover for six months. In that case, the inventory turnover ratio will refer to the number of times X was sold and then replaced within six months. 

Inventory turnover ratio is an essential metric as it can help determine business performance, sales, and the cost management of the supply chain. 

Why is Inventory Turnover Ratio an Important Metric?

Inventory turnover ratio is an important metric because it talks about the products restocked. This has a direct impact on the sales and gives you a more clear picture of the products that were successfully sold. You can also analyze the business performance and allocate the correct costs to supply chain management operations.

How Can You Calculate it?

The inventory turnover ratio is calculated by finding the cost of goods sold for the defined period, finding the average inventory value, and dividing the goods sold by the average inventory.

So the variables involved are –

  1. Cost of goods sold for the period (COGS) 
  2. Average inventory value –  It is calculated by adding beginning inventory and ending inventory and dividing by 2. 

Inventory turnover = COGS / Average Inventory Value

Let’s understand this with an example.

If COGS = 500000

Average inventory value = 250000

Then, Inventory turnover ratio = 2

Significance of Inventory Turnover Ratio

Now that you have calculated the inventory turnover let us understand the significance of low inventory turnover, high inventory turnover, and their impact on your business. 

Ideal Inventory Turnover Rate

An important question is – what is a good inventory turnover ratio? The ideal inventory turnover between 2 to 4 is suitable for most businesses. Although this varies from industry to industry, the ratio between 2 to 4 indicates that the inventory restocking is close to your sales cycle. You are maintaining a balance between demand and supply. It also means that your sales match up to the amount of inventory you are restocking, and there is synchronization within your supply chain. 

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Low Inventory Turnover Rate

A low inventory turnover ratio of one or less indicates that you might have excess inventory. For instance, if you sell 40 units over 1 year and always have 40 units remaining in hand, it means that your inventory is piling up & you need to forecast demand accurately. You must avoid accumulating debt stock as it will be more expensive to get rid of it later on. 

High Inventory Turnover Rate

Inventory turnover can indicate that the sales are good in a given period and your inventory is moving fast. However, if a balance is not struck, it can lead to situations of stockouts. Sellers must aim to achieve a high inventory turnover rate as it means that they will sell the inventory they have and re-purchase fresh stock more often. 

Even with a high inventory turnover rate, you must keep a close eye on the average inventory value of products that require a longer time to be replenished. 

Tips to Optimize Inventory Turnover Ratio

Solutions for High Inventory Turnover Ratio

If you have a high inventory turnover ratio, you need to order more inventory beforehand. In such cases, thorough demand forecasting can help ensure that you don’t run out of your products very soon. If the product is selling out very fast and replenishing will take time, it is intelligent to make fewer sales for a while. The negative customer experience is more dangerous than a few days of no sales. 

Solutions for Low Inventory Turnover Ratio

A low inventory turnover ratio can be a difficult situation. There are several ways to go about increasing this number. First, you can offer promotions to get rid of the existing inventory by growing sales at a lower cost. You can also use this opportunity to drive customer loyalty, improve word-of-mouth marketing, and reach a large customer base.

Next, you can buy less stock and audit more often than purchasing a stock for an extended period and storing it. If the inventory is fast-moving, you can re-stock products, and if it is not, you can just get rid of the existing stock. 

Signup With a 3PL Fulfillment Provider

A great way to maintain the ideal inventory turnover ratio is to get started with 3PL fulfillment providers like Shiprocket Fulfillment. 

Shiprocket Fulfillment has thoroughly equipped fulfillment centers located across the country in eight major cities. These fulfillment centers share regular reports from their warehouse management systems and give you a detailed analysis of your inventory. Soon, we will also be providing you an accurate demand forecast with the help of predictive analysis. With the help of comprehensive data at your fingertips, you will keep track of your inventory and work better. 

Conclusion

Inventory turnover ratio is an important metric to define your sales success, fulfillment supply chain operations, inventory management efforts, etc. We hope this blog helped make you understand how to calculate the inventory turnover ratio and apply it in your daily business operations. 

Shiprocket Fulfillment - Top fulfillment provider in India
Jul 20, 2021 by Srishti Arora

6 min read

Why Should You Invest in Informative Shipping Labels?

July 15, 2021 by Rashi Sood - 6 min read

Managing a business involves a lot of bigger and significant tasks and aspects where a business owner often overlooks the smaller ones. However, these smaller tasks or aspects are equally crucial to drive a business towards success. One such aspect that is often overlooked is shipping labels.

shipping label

A shipping label is a crucial component in an eCommerce business. It plays a significant role in shipping the product and delivering it to the customer’s doorstep. For every product packed and shipped, a shipping label is essentially attached to it. It contains information related to transfer.

If you are still confused about it, worry not! This blog will help you understand what a shipping label is and its prominence for an eCommerce business.

What is a Shipping Label?

Shipping labels hold information that helps identify the parcel contents and shipping details. Essentially, it describes what is inside the package, though most sellers don’t write the product name but the product SKU. The key display information involves the seller’s details and the address where the package is destined to be delivered. It also includes the contact numbers of the seller and buyer.

A shipping label is a piece of paper attached to the parcel for the delivery process. It is vital to attach the shipping labels to ensure a seamless delivery process. A label has important information related to the supply chain. It helps the delivery agent to have a proper idea about the package’s origin and destination. Given the importance of shipping labels, all eCommerce sellers must invest time and efforts in them.

How Does a Shipping Label Work?

A shipping label must have the following information:

  • Shipping origin and destination address
  • Package weight
  • Shipping information (internal)
  • Tracking barcode
  • Order priority

All the information mentioned above is critical for delivering orders conveniently and timely. There can be some additional information as well in the shipping label to make the shipping and delivering process even more convenient:

  • Name, address, and phone number of the buyers
  • Shipping carrier details like name, AWB number, and routing code.
  • Product details like dimensions, weight, payment method (prepaid or COD), and item details.
  • Seller information like seller’s name, address, phone number, and order ID.

All these details must be added to a shipping label. Without these details, it can be difficult for a courier agent to deliver the package to the right customer within the set time. In an order fulfillment process, shipping labels serve as guidance for the carrier to ensure proper and timely order delivery.

Why Informative Shipping Label is Beneficial for eCommerce Brands?

shipping labels

Informative shipping labels are one of the critical aspects of shipping. The following are the benefits of informative shipping labels:

Decrease Manual Effort

Printing out the delivery address, cutting it, and then sticking it to the parcel is quite a task. Instead, you can create a template for a shipping label and print it on sticky paper for every order. This method saves manual effort as well as is an efficient and time-saving option.

Secured Package

Sticky tapes can get messy and make your parcel sticky as well. Shipping labels are a great alternative to this, they are hassle-free as well. There are chances that a label might be torn or ripped off during the shipment process. Shipping labels minimize this opportunity and ensure that the parcel reaches the buyer without any issues.

Professional Edge

A shipping label is not just a small piece of paper with a barcode and some words written on it. It plays a critical role and increases the professionalism involved in product packaging. A packaged product with shipping labels looks more professional. Besides, it saves time and effort required to hand-writing the address and information of each parcel.

Printing a shipping label becomes even more crucial when you ship out 20+ parcels every day. It saves manual effort and time.

Simplified Process

Using printed shipping labels means that your packaging process is streamlined. You can print a large amount of neat and professional shipping labels within a few minutes or hours. You can stick them to your parcel conveniently and save your hours. Not to forget you save yourself from unnecessary stress a well. So, setting up a process for shipping labels is an ideal way to save time.

Do’s and Don’ts of Shipping Labels

When it comes to printing and using shipping labels, there are a number of factors that you must consider.

Do’s

  • Be Creative: product packaging and shipping labels are an opportunity to stand out from others. The best way is to include something unique and compelling in the shipping labels that helps you stand apart from the others.
  • Meet Regulations & Policies: failing to comply with government regulations and policies can have consequences. Just because you are custom designing your label yourself, doesn’t mean you don’t follow the safety standards and policies.
  • Right Label Material: in addition to information, colors, and graphics, the material on which you print your label must also be appealing. The adhesive used to stick it on the parcel must be strong. The shipping label must not prematurely deteriorate.
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Don’ts

  • Don’t Copy: don’t assume what worked for others will work for you as well. Just because a certain thing worked for your competitor doesn’t mean it will work for you as well. When it comes to creating shipping labels, ensure that you target your audiences’ tastes and preferences. For instance, if you are targeting a younger group, using barcodes will be a good option.
  • Don’t Overdo: when you work on designing your label, don’t overdo it. Make the most of the space but effectively. Focus on what’s important and don’t add anything that is unnecessary.
  • Look for Options for Printing Labels: once you have finalized what you want in your labels, don’t go excited about it and get them printed with the first option you come across. Look for different options and ensure that you only choose the best one.

There are many shipping software that you can use to create and print your shipping labels for your eCommerce store. The software also allows printing pre-prepared shipping labels that can be used directly. Or you can partner with 3PL shipping solutions that offer auto-generated shipping labels with all necessary details pre-filled.

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Jul 15, 2021 by Rashi Sood

5 min read

Understanding Temperature-Controlled Fulfillment and Warehousing and Its Functioning

July 13, 2021 by Srishti Arora - 5 min read

A warehouse is a dynamic zone where a lot of activity occurs. Even though there are designated shelves and racks where products are stored, there is a chance that temperature fluctuation may occur due to the constant movement inside and outside of the warehouse. This could lead to deterioration in the product quality, and you may not realize the impact it has on the customer’s overall shopping experience. Hence, the need for temperature-controlled fulfillment arises and you need to be prepared for it!

Along with storing your products, it is essential to maintain the correct temperature required by other products. You can only achieve that with temperature-controlled fulfillment and warehousing. Specific industries require a rigorous regime for temperature control and have specific warehouses for the same. But in a country like India, where the temperature is usually tropical, it can be scorching at times. You must provide a temperate storage condition to the inventory you stock. 

Let’s have a look at temperature-controlled warehousing and its benefits. 

What is Temperature Controlled Warehousing?

Temperature-controlled warehousing refers to the storage of products at a particular temperature range irrespective of the temperature outside the facility. For example, if you need to store products at a temperature of 0 to 8°C, a temperature-controlled warehousing solution will help you achieve that even if the temperature outside is 40°C.

What is Temperature Controlled Fulfillment?

Temperature-controlled fulfillment is the process of conducting all fulfillment operations like storage, packaging, and shipping under a strict temperature-controlled environment to preserve product quality.

Components of Temperature Controlled Warehouses

Temperature-controlled warehouses have several elements that essentially help maintain the correct range of temperature for long periods. They need to be fixed systems for controlling airflow, high-strength humidifiers and dehumidifiers, and moisture control systems so that the products do not get too dry.

Here is a list of the components of a temperature-controlled warehouse –

  • Microprocessors and digital temperature control monitors
  • Refrigeration systems, target air cooling systems
  • Weatherproofing
  • Insulation of the building
  • Specialized storage spaces like walk-in freezers, cold storage, etc.

Humidity Levels for Several Products

According to research and application, here are a few relative humidity levels suggested by experts that you must maintain in temperature controlled warehouses – 

  • Paintings & fine arts – 50%
  • Fabrics – 55%
  • Papers – 35%
  • Electronics – 60%
  • Metals – 55%
  • Wine – 50 to 80%
  • Wooden items – 30 to 50%

Benefits of Temperature Controlled Warehousing

Increased Shelf-Life 

Temperature-controlled warehousing can help you store your inventory for longer as it helps improve the shelf life of the products. If you keep products without a temperature-controlled setting, there are chances that the inventory will perish sooner, and you will have to invest more in purchasing the same amount of stock. If you want to run your stock for longer and maintain its quality, you must invest in temperature-controlled warehousing, especially in a tropical country like India. 

Maintenance of Supply Chain

Most perishable products like meat, milk, dairy, cosmetics, etc., require a maintained supply chain at a specific temperature. If the supply chain is broken, it will impact the quality of the product, and your customers will receive a substandard outcome. Therefore, to maintain the supply chain and ensure that the quality of the product is maintained at every step of the journey, it is essential to utilize temperature control in your warehousing systems. 

Trained Resources

Another great advantage of temperature warehousing is trained resources. You need to have people with the skill and knowledge about the system to manage the warehouse carefully. Therefore, it is recommended that you sign up with 3PL fulfillment providers with temperature-controlled warehousing so that your entire order fulfillment and processing can be maintained with an accurate and qualitative supply chain. Shiprocket Fulfillment is working closely to bring you temperature-controlled warehouses that can help you maintain a cold chain for your required products. Stay tuned to the space to get more updates about the same. 

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Safe and Accurate Delivery

What temperature-controlled warehouses can you ensure safe, and I get a delivery of your products with thorough maintenance of the product quality, shelflife, and other essential parameters. 

Maximum Customer Satisfaction

If the product quality is good, you can ensure that the customer will be satisfied. With thorough checks in place and product specifications met, you can make sure that the customer invests in your product again. 

Industries That Utilize Temperature Controlled Warehousing

Cosmetics

Cosmetics like lipsticks, foundations, concealers, and other products for the creamy consistency require temperature-controlled warehousing as they melt in high temperatures and come to dry in very cool temperatures. Therefore they need an optimal temperature for being stored. 

Pharmaceuticals

Most pharmaceutical products need to be stored in a cool and dry place. The compounds are sensitive and might react when exposed to high temperatures or sunlight. This makes them more susceptible to damage and can also be dangerous to health if not stored correctly. 

Packaged & Fresh Foods

Most fresh foods like meat and dairy require temperature-controlled storage as they perish very quickly. Even some packaged foods require temperature-controlled warehousing to maintain their quality for a more extended period. Overall, all food items do require temperature-controlled warehousing

Electronics

Electronics are probably the most widely shipped item today. Even they require optimal temperature for being stored because, in high temperatures, the components can expand and be hazardous if not taken care of. Primarily spare parts and batteries that contain elements like Lithium should be stored in cool temperatures so that they do not leak or burst. 

Final Thoughts

Temperature-controlled warehousing is more than a choice in India. With a vast spectrum of temperatures, it can be difficult to store products without temperature-controlled warehousing. Therefore, invest wisely and choose a 3PL fulfillment provider that can also provide you with temperature control for your products. It is an intelligent choice as it helps you bring out the best foot forward in front of your customers without compromising on your budget. 

Shiprocket Fulfillment features
Jul 13, 2021 by Srishti Arora

5 min read

What is Work In Progress Inventory: Everything You Need to Know

July 8, 2021 by Rashi Sood - 5 min read

All the products manufactured in this world are made of several other components. These other components can also be manufactured from other components. For example, think of a car. It looks like a whole product but if you actually look at it, it has machines, seats, mirrors, and a lot of other components. These components themselves are made of other components.

Work in progress inventory

The cost of the products depends on what was required to make it, including raw material, labor, and overhead costs, and this is what Work-in-Progress is. Thus, WIP or Work-in-progress inventory is crucial for a business.

In this blog, we shall discuss, what is Work-in-progress inventory, the different types of inventory, and the difference between work-in-progress and work-in-process.

What is the Work-In-Progress Inventory – Definition

WIP inventory is used to refer to the partly finished material. Essentially, it is the cost of the unfinished products currently in production. It is an asset for a company and is mentioned in the balance sheet as well. For a business, that sells customized or hand-made products, WIP inventory becomes all the way more important than a business that purchases a finished product from a manufacturer.

WIP inventory, raw materials, and finished goods are different from each other. To help you understand the difference, we have discussed the types of inventory.

Types of Inventory

Work in progress inventory

Understanding different types of inventory are crucial to make sound financial and production choices. There are four main types of inventory, namely:

Raw Material

Raw materials are the materials that are required to turn the inventory into the final product. For example, nuts and bolts might be required to make the final product, i.e., a machine. Or if you sell food, vegetables or spices can be a raw material for you.

WIP – Work-In-Progress

Work-in-progress inventory is the stock that is being worked on. If we talk cost-wise, WIP inventory includes not just the raw material but the labor and overhead cost as well. The inventory under this category is the part of something bigger – the end-product. If you sell medicines, their packaging can be work-in-progress. You cannot sell medicines without proper packaging.

Finished Goods

Finished goods are the final product. It is the most straightforward of all the types of inventories. It is the inventory that you put on the shelf in your shop to sell, that you put on sale on your website. They are the finished goods that are ready to sell. Simply put, any product or inventory that is ready to be sold comes under this category.

Notably, in the above-discussed example, nuts and bolts can be a raw material for a business that is selling machines. But they can also be the final products for a business that sells nuts and bolts only. It just depends on the business that is selling the products.

MRO / Overhaul

MRO means maintenance, repair, and operating supplies. Many people don’t consider MRO inventory as a type of inventory. MRO is the inventory that is required to assemble, finish, and sell the finished products. So, gloves required to paint the product can be considered MRO. Or MRO can be also pens, papers, and highlighters required in an office.

Important Terms Related to WIP Inventory

Work in progress inventory

It is a bit complex procedure to determine the cost of WIP inventory. Before trying to evaluate their value, it is important that you understand a few terms related to WIP inventory:

Beginning WIP Cost

The beginning WIP inventory cost is the cost of the assets (WIP inventory) in the previous accounting section of the balance sheet. To calculate it, you need to determine the value of the WIP inventory in the previous period and carry it forward as assets in the financial year.

Manufacturing Process Costs

The manufacturing process cost is associated with the cost incurred while manufacturing a finished product. This includes overhead costs, raw material, and labor. The higher the WIP inventory is used in the manufacturing process, the higher the value is of raw material and labor. This simply affects the total cost of manufactured goods. Its formula is:

Raw Material + Labor Cost + Overhead Cost = Manufacturing Cost

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Cost of Manufactured Goods

As discussed above, the cost of manufacturing includes the cost of raw material, labor, and overhead cost. It is the cost incurred to manufacture the final product. COMG is required to calculate the value of WIP inventory. So, the COMG is the addition of manufacturing cost and beginning WIP inventory cost less ending WIP inventory cost. The formula for it is:

Manufacturing Cost + Beginning WIP Inventory – Ending WIP Inventory = COMG

Work In Progress VS Work In Process

Many people refer to both the terms interchangeably, but knowing the differentiation is necessary. Work in progress inventory, as discussed above, is the cost of unfinished inventory. It includes the cost of raw material, labor, and overhead. The WIP cost is listed under the assets in the balance sheet at the end of the financial year.

On the other hand, work in the process represents partially completed goods. It is the inventory that is incomplete and still in progress. Work in process is essentially referred to as the products that move from raw material to finished product, they are the unmanufactured products in progress.

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Jul 8, 2021 by Rashi Sood

5 min read

Modern Warehouse Trends to Watch Out For in 2021

July 2, 2021 by Rashi Sood - 5 min read

Warehousing is an integral part of the logistics industry. It bridges the gap between the production and consumption of products. With the outbreak of the worldwide pandemic COVID-19, things have changed. The modern warehouse has come into existence. New warehousing technologies and practices are being invented to meet the greater eCommerce sales these days.

modern warehouse

Flexibility in terms of fluctuating demand has been the biggest asset for modern-day warehouses. Meanwhile, automation in the industry continues to offer better efficiencies and cost-effective measures. The design and functioning of the modern warehouse are other benefits on offer. To help eCommerce have a flexible but strong supply chain, modern warehouses are implementing the following changes:

  • Warehousing services on demand
  • Increased automation
  • Warehouse to go green
  • IoT technology

Read below know the modern warehouse trends for 2021:

Modern Warehouse Trends 2021

The outbreak of COVID19 has changed the logistics and warehousing sector a lot. During the lockdown, many organizations were left with excess inventory that could not be sold, whereas many organizations could not get access to inventory. The supply chain status was a nightmare with unpredictable consumer behavior, unprecedented demands for raw materials and products.

Currently, the warehouses have made some required changes to stabilize the supply chain. But, now is the time to adopt some strategies to re-organize the warehouse. Here are a few modern warehouse trends to help you up your warehousing game:

modern warehouse

The rise in Automation

Warehouses around the world have automated most of the crucial functions in warehouses across the world. Apart from automation in the functions, it is estimated that by the end of 2025, warehouses will have robots installed as well. Robots can help with tasks like picking, sorting, packing, batching, shipping, and shipping. Many big warehousing companies have already invested large amounts in automation to make their fulfillment centers more efficient. Robots can handle thousands of tasks efficiently and cost-effectively.

Mobile Robots

Mobile robots are machines that are not bound to be placed in one place. They are not fixed and can be moved. They can move around the warehouse; they can be guided to follow a specific route or path. They can be navigated manually from other devices to ensure they move around a specific route only.

Mobile robots can be used to transport and take over duties that are handled by manual forklifts, conveyors, and towing machines. They can also be used for packing, sorting, and moving goods.

Drones

Drones have been in operations since around 2013 in warehousing functions. The improved technology and innovations in hardware and software have led to the increased use of drones. They can be navigated safely without GPS. Besides, they can correctly locate or identify inventory as well. On top of that, drones are extremely cost-efficient and scalable as well.

Modern drones come with HD quality video capacity as well as cloud connectivity. The best part is that they are now being used for shipping and delivery as well. The other uses of drones include barcode scanning, cycle counting, inspecting stock, retrieving goods, and conducting aerial inventory scans. The drones these days come with improved battery life and stability.

IoT – Internet of Things

IoT or the Internet of Things helps in connecting millions of devices (worldwide) and sharing data through the internet connection. Through a wireless or internet connection, anything can be accessed or shared. With the help of IoT, important information or data can be communicated in real-time without any human intervention.

The IoT is playing a pivotal role in warehousing automation as it makes the warehouse a well-connected and coordinated unit. With the help of IoT, modern warehouses can be connected well with robots, drones, equipment, and inventory. The IoT helps the systems to collect, share, and store data. It also enables tracking of all the connected devices, like robots and drones, and managing temperature in cold storage warehousing.

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Cloud-based Software

Cloud-based software has become an essential part of modern-day warehousing units. They help in managing warehouses. They don’t require an IT infrastructure but can be handled conveniently by the team. Many organizations are widely using cloud-based software, and it is undoubtedly going to become one of the most used warehousing strategies in the coming time.

Wireless Fleet Managing & Tracking

Wireless fleet management is also gaining a lot of traction lately. It can help monitor and control warehousing vehicles. It helps in completing the tasks efficiently without any delay due to finding and locating vehicles. With the help of wireless fleet tracking and managing, the vehicles and their performance can be monitored conveniently. It can also assist in vehicle maintenance, in terms of data collection related to vehicle service warnings, damage alerts, driving risks, and other such problems.

Radio Frequency (RFID) Tagging

RFID or radio frequency tagging is a technology used to identify the tags attached to products or goods digitally. It uses electromagnetic fields to fulfill its tasks. RFID tags store a lot of data, and they can be integrated with IoT to enhance inventory management. Many warehousing managers have increased the usage of RFID for inventory counting lately.

Voice-activated Technology

More warehousing units are turning away the conventional methods and are using voice-activated technology for workflow processes. It takes a lot of time for warehouse workers to scan the barcodes if the serial numbers are too long. A voice-activated technology will increase productivity as the workers will be able to complete their tasks in lesser time. In addition, the technology also improves accuracy, which can help improve customer satisfaction and higher products.

Renewable Energies

Many warehousing units are exploring solar and renewable energy sources as warehouses have high electricity consumption rates. Warehouses have huge roofs where they can install solar panels. Renewable energy helps lower down operation costs as electricity bills are reduced.

The Final Words

Modern technologies like automation and IoT are slowly but steadily transforming the way warehouses operate. Automation and other modern trends are the best ways to improve warehousing efficiency. Moreover, increased efficiency and productivity can help make the warehousing future-proof.

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Jul 2, 2021 by Rashi Sood

6 min read

Intelligent Tricks to Decrease RTO in eCommerce for Your Online Business

June 30, 2021 by Srishti Arora - 6 min read

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

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

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

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

What is an RTO Order?

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

Why are RTO Orders Difficult to Handle?

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

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

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Why Should You Aim to Reduce RTO in eCommerce?

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

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

How Can You Reduce RTO with Shiprocket Fulfillment?

Fulfillment Centers Across India

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

Store Inventory Closer to Buyers

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

Deliver 3x Faster

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

Reduced Order-to-Ship Time

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

Robust Shipping Network

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

Final Thoughts

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

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Jun 30, 2021 by Srishti Arora

6 min read

Importance of SKU in Order Fulfillment

June 25, 2021 by Rashi Sood - 6 min read

Running an eCommerce business is not an easy task. It requires a thorough understanding of all the terms and aspects related to inventory management. A flawless order fulfillment process very much depends on the fulfillment strategy and its execution. One of the crucial elements here is SKU – Stock Keeping Unit.

SKU Fulfillment

In this blog, we shall discuss SKU fulfillment in-depth and all its aspects to help you execute your order fulfillment process efficiently.

What is Stock Keeping Unit?

Stock Keeping Unit or SKU is an identifier for each item sold by a retailer. A retailer can create his codes for each item/product depending on the different characteristics of the products or merchandise. Typically, SKUs can be broken down into different categories. For example, a store with lifestyle products can have its products classified under different sections.

How does SKU Work?

SKUs help in differentiating the products from each other. It would be a daunting task to track inventory and sales without a classifying number or SKU based on the model, color, size, type, and other such traits. For example, a seller sells t-shirt in two different colors (red and blue) and three sizes (Small, Medium, and large). Thus, the seller will have 6 SKUs for each item. So, he can align the following SKUs to the products:

  • Red, Small: R1
  • Red, Medium: R2
  • Red, Large: R3
  • Blue, Small: B1
  • Blue, Medium: B2
  • Blue, Large: B3

The more products the seller will add, the more color and size indicators he can use. SKUs are entered into the inventory management system to help the seller/retailer track the inventory with convenience. With SKU numbers, the retailers can also create data related to the inventory, sales, and customers.

Uses of SKU

SKU Fulfillment

The SKU numbers are not just used to identify products or track inventory. With SKUs and data collected, the information can be used to measure business’ efficiency and profitability. The following are the uses of SKU numbers:

Inventory Management

SKU system is primarily used for inventory management. With SKU, the retailers can track inventory level, flow, and turnover, and accordingly manage inventory. The retailers can set an inventory level for a timeframe and check again to initiate or stop inventory orders.

Data Analysis

With the help of SKUs, the retailers can collect data and use it to determine product popularity or sale during a season. They can analyze data to determine the sales trends in different customer segments. With the collected data, the retailers can accordingly stock inventory to meet seasonal demands as per consumer behavior.

Customer Assistance

The SKUs can be used by the store assistants to find out the products quickly in the system first and then storehouse. They can also quickly check out the alternative products available to assist customers. This creates the sales process efficient and brings in more customer satisfaction.

Marketing

SKUs in advertising and marketing are a modern practice. Since online businesses face an all-time increased competition, every business wants to appear unique. As a part of its marketing efforts, it advertises its SKU instead of the manufacturer’s model number. This prevents the customers from looking for the same product with the same model number on another website. This decreases the chances of competition with similar pricing strategies and information.

It can help reduce the consumers’ practice to visit different stores to compare prices for the product they intend to buy online.

Product Recommendation

Companies use the SKUs to enhance consumer encounters to recommend products on their platform. For example, when you check out a product on Amazon, it also displays other relevant products as suggestions. This is because the company has attached a unique SKU to each product with identifying traits. So, when you look for a V-neck t-shirt, the platform shows other similar t-shirts as well.

Importance of SKU

SKU Fulfillment

Let us now take a look at the importance of SKU for a business:

Inventory Tracking

A business needs to effectively track its products to ensure their availability throughout the time. All the product variations, like a blue t-shirt in a medium size and a red t-shirt in a small size, can be tracked easily with the help of an online inventory management system. If the system shows SKUs, then the said stock of the products is available.

Product Unavailability

One crucial aspect for a business is to track and recognize product unavailability. A business can sell a variety of products, but the customer might want a particular product. Tracking its availability/unavailability is crucial. Not just unavailability, but a product may miss out anywhere along the supply chain, and the reason behind this can be burglary as well. With the help of SKU, the inventory can be managed the right way ensuring transparency.

Refill Inventory

Managing large inventory all by himself with no technical support can be difficult for a business owner. And when we include product variation, this becomes more difficult. Adding an SKU to all the product variations helps determine the products at hand quickly. A threshold limitation indicates when the inventory refill is required. Handling inventory with SKUs makes it easy to handle inventory and ensure that inventory never gets out of hand.

Stock Calculation

Stock-takes are done to ensure that the stock levels in the storehouse match that of the inventory management system. As discussed, every product variation needs to have its own different SKU. This makes fixing up the stock level straightforward.

Revenue

By tracking product variations with SKU, not just the primary product line but the product variations as well, i.e., size, design, color, and material. The reports can be used to identify the variations that are sold up early and thus, the retailer can invest more in the variation that is bringing up more revenue.

All the points mentioned above clearly indicate the importance of SKU in the order fulfillment process. With SKU, you can track the inventory and stock it up before it well before in time. It may seem confusing, but it is pretty straightforward. It is an integral part of inventory management and the successful order fulfillment process.

Jun 25, 2021 by Rashi Sood