5 min read

A Closer Look At Warehouse Racking Systems And How To Include Them

April 20, 2022 by Srishti Arora - 5 min read

For every small business, there comes a time when your incoming orders are growing, and you need to move to a larger space to store your inventory. That’s when you decide to transfer stock to a full-fledged warehouse!

Warehouse racking systems and how they work in eCommerce fulfillment

But before you do so, you need to analyze how you will store inventory in one place. Randomly placing inventory in a warehouse will only lead to more complications like delay in order processing, accumulation of deadstock, and instances of stockouts. To organize inventory properly in your warehouse, you need to have the correct equipment. This is where warehouse racking systems come into play. They are specialized equipment designed to store inventory in your warehouse or storage space efficiently. 

But, they aren’t straightforward to decipher. You need to have a hang of the correct type to determine how they will benefit your eCommerce business. Let’s look at what warehouse racking systems are and how you can set up a warehouse racking system for your business.

What is a Warehouse Racking System?

Warehouse racking systems are storage systems used in warehouses to store inventory

They consist of warehouse racks and shelving units made of metal and designed specifically to contain boxes or pallets in multiple rows and columns horizontally and vertically. 

Uses of Racking Systems

E-commerce businesses mainly use warehouse racking systems to improve their warehouse storage.

Suppose you have a warehouse with considerably lower floor space. You can utilize racking systems to develop storage by adding shelves and pallets to make a cost-effective solution without paying for the square footage. 

Racking systems can also help you optimize inventory and make it more organized as it has dedicated storage space for each SKU. 

Suppose you are just transitioning from a garage or home storage to a warehouse with limited capacity. In that case, you can utilize shelving racks and storage bins to improve your inventory management and optimize picking operations

How to setup a warehouse racking system

Tips for Setting Up a Warehouse Racking System

Spacing

When setting up a warehouse racking system, the first thing to keep in mind is spacing. You need to ensure ample space between the racks to make all the products accessible. To improve picking efficiency, you must not start racks close to each other to improve picking efficiency.

Width

The next important thing is the aisle width. Usually, in warehouses where you have stacked products on top of each other, the aisle width must be such that forklifts or jacks can quickly move around safely and efficiently. 

Labels

To improve the efficiency of the warehouse racking system, it is essential to follow a consistent labeling system to organize your inventory. You can label the products as you deem fit, but usually, it is advisable to do it based on the picking practicality. You can store items commonly purchased in the beginning and closer to each other, and the seasonal products can be stored farther. 

Layout

Finally, it is essential to plan the warehouse layout to ensure that you maximize it on the space provided. Create a design for the warehouse racking system so that you can go through it over again to accommodate for the obstructions, etc. 

What is a Shelving Load?

The shelving load is defined as the maximum weight on an individual shelf. The total sum of the shelf load must not exceed the bay load. 

How to Calculate Shelving Load?

To calculate the shelving load, you need to factor in different parameters. They are as follows – 

Upright capacity 

Upright capacity refers to the upright racking system’s height, weight, and spacing. 

Beam capacity

Beam capacity is the rack’s depth-to-length ratio and the thickness and length of each beam. 

Height of each pallet position

It is from the top of one beam level to the top of the next. 

Number of storage levels

These are the number of storage levels in a racking system. 

Material

Material refers to the quality, thickness, and strength. 

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Carry Out Warehousing With the Experts

Most small businesses suffer because they have difficulty transitioning from a small space to a large warehouse. Even though an efficient tracking system can help you reduce the workload and improve efficiency by a considerable margin, it is still a significant investment and maintenance for your business. A common misconception in e-commerce SMEs is that outsourcing fulfillment operations will cost you a lot. 

Think about it – 

If you install elaborate racking systems, work with inventory and warehouse management software, and hire labor to carry out these day-to-day operations, would it not be more expensive than outsourcing it to a 3PL fulfillment provider?

You can save on fulfillment costs by outsourcing your fulfillment operations to 3PL fulfillment providers like Shiprocket Fulfillment.

Shiprocket Fulfillment has fulfillment centers located in different cities across India. This means that you can decentralize your inventory, store it closer to buyers, and save on shipping costs while providing one-day and two-day delivery options. 

Not just this, Shiprocket Fulfillment offer you the right technology stack like the warehouse management systems, order management systems, and logistics operations to enable your business for expedited deliveries. We are also equipped to reduce your order to ship time and meet the stringent requirements of marketplaces. 

Final Thoughts

With the right warehouse racking system for your business, you can save on costs and improve the efficiency of operations. However, you can forego this process if you outsource 3PL fulfillment providers. Understand your business requirements and decide accordingly. 

Shiprocket Fulfillment features
Apr 20, 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

4 min read

Understanding The Concept of Inventory Discrepancies in Warehouse Management

April 12, 2022 by Srishti Arora - 4 min read

Inventory management forms an integral part of your eCommerce supply chain. It seems like a simple process; however, it has a lot of aspects to it that need to be taken care of. Since inventory is constantly moving, it can get lost, misplaced, or stolen.

Tracking your inventory is essential and keeping accurate records is even more critical. In case of any problems, you will need to get to the root cause of why a discrepancy in the inventory exists. 

Let’s look at inventory discrepancies and how to avoid these discrepancies to save yourself from losses. 

What is Inventory Discrepancy?

Inventory discrepancy refers to a situation in which the inventory amount differs from the inventory records.

With automated inventory management software, inventory discrepancies are usually uncommon, but they can lead to a loss of profits if present. Therefore it is crucial to keep track of the record and maintain a thorough inventory reconciliation process. 

Causes of Inventory Discrepancies

Lost Inventory

The first and foremost cause of inventory discrepancies is lost inventory. Sometimes inventory can get lost or misplaced due to human error, which usually happens during receiving, or stocking. This can also include the inventory that might be wrongly labeled, stored in an incorrect location, or the wrong quantity of product invoiced incorrectly. A thorough receiving process is essential to avoid such instances where a gatekeeping record is maintained.  

Inventory Shrinkage

The next course for inventory discrepancies could be inventory shrinkage. Inventory shrinkage can be caused by accounting error, theft, or fraud. Implementing processes like employee training and warehouse security can help reduce inventory shrinkage. 

Outdated Technology

If you do not constantly update your inventory management software and use outdated technology, you can see a surge in inventory discrepancies as the tracking systems will not be updated. If you still employ manual processes for inventory tracking, you are more prone to error and high inventory discrepancies. Therefore it is essential to deploy automated inventory management software to ensure that the inventory is tracked in real-time. 

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Inaccurate Returns Management

Inaccurate returns management is also a reason for inventory discrepancies as return products, if not stored correctly, can lead to mismanagement of records. Return items can get damaged in transit, donated, or disposed of, and therefore keeping up-to-date records can help reduce instances of inventory discrepancies. 

Untrained Employees

Human error is prone to happen if the employees are not trained correctly in inventory management. Most inventory discrepancies occur when there is a loss of knowledge while storing goods. Maintaining standard operating procedures and training employees regularly with updated technology can help reduce this. 

Tips to Avoid Inventory Discrepancies

Tips on how you can avoid inventory discrepancies

Train Employees

The first step to avoiding inventory discrepancy is to train employees thoroughly in the warehouse processes and inventory management operations. This will help you run operations smoothly, keep track of inventory regularly, and optimize the supply chain.

Use Latest Inventory Management Systems

Using the latest inventory management systems can help you track inventory in real-time and reduce instances of inventory discrepancies. Most methods today consider the return orders and ensure that you have stopped goods correctly by using bar codes, RFID chips, etc.

Communicate With Suppliers

It is imperative to communicate correctly with suppliers to ensure the correct quantity of goods sent and the proper invoicing so that your warehouse does not suffer any drawbacks.

Partner With 3PL Fulfillment Providers

Partnering with a 3PL fulfillment provider can help you reduce inventory discrepancies as they usually have the latest warehouse management and inventory management software at their disposal. This will help you take the load off your shoulders, and you can thoroughly track inventory from the comfort of your office. 

3PL fulfillment providers like Shiprocket Fulfillment can help you store inventory properly in multiple warehouses across the country, and you can carry out other essential operations of your business seamlessly. Shiprocket Fulfillment takes care of all fulfillment operations for your business, and you do not need to be worried about the smallest of things like inventory discrepancies. With a skilled team to handle operations, you can quickly process faster and deliver sooner. 

Final Thoughts

Concepts like inventory discrepancies can seem small on the surface but usually can be troublesome if inventory is not tracked correctly. Make sure that you carry out inventory tracking operations seamlessly to ensure that no discrepancies are there. Also, these operations can take a massive bandwidth of your day. Consider outsourcing to 3PL fulfillment providers to make processes easier for your business. 

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Apr 12, 2022 by Srishti Arora

5 min read

Digging Into The Nitty-Gritty of Fulfillment As A Service

April 7, 2022 by Srishti Arora - 5 min read

According to a report by IBEF, India’s eCommerce sector is expected to reach US$ 111.40 billion by 2025 from US$ 46.20 billion in 2020, growing at a 19.24% CAGR. Since the demand for eCommerce is increasing in India, it is expected that the methods deployed to fulfill orders are also modified. With an increase in demand, it is impossible to fulfill orders the same way with a particular form of order fulfillment. 

What is the concept of fulfillment as a service?

Like many eCommerce concepts have changed, and businesses now look for utilizing software as a service(SaaS), it is time your fulfillment sees a revamp too. Many providers are currently providing you with fulfillment as a service. This means that your entire order processing supply chain can now be outsourced, and if you ask us, this can mean a massive boost for your business. 

Let’s look at what Fulfillment as a Service means and how it can benefit your eCommerce business. 

What is Meant by Fulfillment as a Service?

Fulfillment as a Service(FaaS) refers to a fulfillment model where a third-party service provider takes care of all your order fulfillment needs. This includes carrying out all order fulfillment operations like inventory management, warehousing, picking, packaging, shipping, and returns control. 

Fulfillment as a service provides you with the right technology, ample warehouse space, and other operational advancements that can help you fulfill all your eCommerce fulfillment needs. The most significant advantage of using fulfillment as a service is that you can scale or reduce operations as per your requirements without compromising shipping speeds, delivery experience, etc. 

Difference Between Fulfillment as a Service and Third Party Logistics

The primary difference between fulfillment as a service and third-party logistics is the service they offer. FaaS provides you with end-to-end order fulfillment capabilities, while third-party logistics only handles the logistics operations for your business. 

The 3PL model has a complicated pricing structure that includes several hidden fees. A Fulfillment-as-a-service model comes with straightforward pricing that could also be a subscription-based model. 

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Components of Fulfillment as a Service

Warehouse Management

The first component of fulfillment as a service is warehouse management. This includes providing you with thorough infrastructure and stocking space for your inventory.

Inventory Management

The next component is inventory management, which includes strategically storing goods in the warehouse. This includes inventory positioning and all other aspects related to inventory management.

Order Processing

The third aspect of the fulfillment as a service model is order processing, including picking and packaging operations.

Picking

This involves picking goods from the designated racks and bins whenever an incoming order is processed. 

Packaging

The next step after picking is packaging, where the order is packaged. As an ecommerce business, you can either provide your packaging material or utilize the packaging material provided by our service provider. 

Shipping

The next component of fulfillment as a service is shipping. This includes delivering your orders to the customer’s doorstep with single or multiple courier partners.

Returns Management

The last aspect of the fulfillment as a service model returns management. This includes handling all the return order requests that come from the customer.

Benefits of Fulfillment as a Service

Advantages of adopting fulfillment as a service

Faster Shipping

Fulfillment as a service model provides faster shipping as they have multiple fulfillment centers located across different regions. 

For example, Shiprocket Fulfillment has fulfillment centers in Delhi, Gurgaon, Mumbai, Bangalore, Kolkata, Surat, Jaipur, etc. This helps you provide one-day and two-day delivery to customers by storing inventory closer to them.

Greater Savings

Fulfillment as a service model helps you save more as they have a transparent pricing model. Moreover, it can help you keep more for your overall fulfillment operations than a third-party logistics provider or in-house fulfillment. 

Scalability

Fulfillment as a service model can help you scale your business as and when required. When you run an ecommerce business, you can see spikes in order volumes consistently throughout the year as a service model helps you accommodate these searches without charging you anything extra. 

Shiprocket Fulfillment provides you with a flexible model that lets you pay only for the inventory that you store in our warehouse. 

Better Infrastructure

Fulfillment as a service provider usually has more than one client that they cater to. Their infrastructure is top-notch, with the latest warehouse and inventory management systems at their disposal.

What Should Your FaaS Provider Offer?

Multiple Warehouses

The first and foremost service that your FaaS provider must provide is multiple warehouses. This enables you to decentralize inventory and store it in locations closest to your buyer. This reduces your last mile distance and saves you on shipping costs. 

Large Shipping Network

A FaaS provider should have an extensive shipping network that you can utilize to deliver products across large distances. If you are provided only has a short range of pin codes, the reach is not great. 

Tech-Integrated Fulfillment Centers

Tech-integrated fulfillment centers are the most critical components of a FaaS provider. They must have the latest warehouse management and inventory management systems that synchronize with incoming orders to ensure that the order-to-ship time is reduced and orders are processed faster.

Transparent Pricing

They must offer a transparent pricing model with great incentives to ensure that you do not pay anything extra or unnecessary. There must be no hidden fees, and the billing must be transparent. 

Final Thoughts

Fulfillment as a service is the next step in the eCommerce fulfillment evolution in India. It can go a great way in enhancing your entire segment operations and growing your business without carrying out redundant operations daily. 

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Apr 7, 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

What Is Subscription eCommerce And Everything You Need To Know About It

March 31, 2022 by Srishti Arora - 5 min read

After the pandemic, the dynamic of eCommerce has changed drastically in India. The dependency on eCommerce has increased, and people are now slowly inching towards monthly subscription models where they get the product they need without manually ordering it at regular intervals. It saves them time, resources, and energy. It works for cosmetics, skincare, food, etc., where people tend to forget to order their products in time. Maintaining a routine is the trend with the new buying generation of millennials and GenZ. Also, with the irregular lifestyle and work pressure, shopping on time is not always achievable. This is where the concept of subscription eCommerce comes into play, and there are several ways to use it to grow your business! 

Details of subscription eCommerce

Let’s look at what subscription eCommerce is and what you must keep in mind when starting a subscription-based eCommerce business. 

What is Subscription eCommerce?

Subscription eCommerce is a type of eCommerce business model where you sell products at regular time intervals to maintain loyalty and cash flow.

The subscription eCommerce model is ultimately a time game where you need to make sure that the products are delivered on time. This might not be a suitable model for every product. However, it is ideal for everyday needs items like food, beverages, cosmetics, household needs, etc.

Types of eCommerce Subscription Models

An eCommerce subscription model can be of many kinds. It depends on the type of product you are selling and the customer’s requirements. A few of the eCommerce business subscription models are –

Membership

In the membership model, the member pays a fee for specific discounts, products, or services.

We have seen these membership models in Amazon, Flipkart, etc. You pay a specific subscription fee every month or annually to receive discounted delivery, priority service, etc.

Subscribe and Save

The subscribe and save model includes shipping a particular product set to customers. It is meant to offer savings for the customer and convenience, and it brings you consistency and a predictable sales forecast. 

This model works well with food items or personal care items. 

Curation

Curation-based eCommerce subscription models include subscriptions in which customers can select the items they want, or brands create special subscription boxes that aim to surprise customers. 

Challenges of Subscription eCommerce

Complicated Logistics

The first challenge of subscription eCommerce is complicated logistics. You need to be on top of your inventory management, fulfillment, accounting, returns control, and more since the order must be delivered at the right time every month. You need to think through your supply chain thoroughly before starting and implementing a subscription model. 

High Churn Rate

Even though subscription eCommerce brings in customers for a more extended period with loyalty, it can also lead to a higher churn rate if you do not involve the customer’s choices.

Tips for starting a subscription eCommerce business

Tips For Starting a Subscription eCommerce Business

Figure a Niche

The first step towards starting a subscription eCommerce business is finding a niche for yourself. If you already sell your product through a website or marketplace, it is evident that few products are more popular than others. You can utilize these popular products to form a niche and begin a subscription service with them. 

Source High-Quality Products

The next step towards starting a subscription-based eCommerce business is high-quality sourcing products. The first subscription box you sent to your customer will delight them, however, if the quality is not matched in the second subscription box, there is a high chance that they will cancel the subscription. Therefore, ensure that the quality remains consistent each time a new subscription is sent. 

Define Your USP

Your unique selling proposition is why the customer will sign up for your subscription box. Figure out how you are solving the customer’s problem and how they will benefit from your subscription eCommerce model. This is why they will sign up and stay with your brand when the market is offering the same thing. 

Scale With Demand

When the orders start increasing for your subscription eCommerce model, you must scale with it if you see that you are receiving orders from various parts of the country. In that case, it is time to decentralize the inventory and store it in different warehouses so you can reach customers faster. If your order processing takes longer because of a higher volume of orders, it can impact the customer experience negatively, and your subscriptions can be canceled. 

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Outsource Your Logistics and Fulfillment Operations

A great way to successfully run your subscription eCommerce business is to outsource your logistics and fulfillment operations to 3PL fulfillment providers. 3PL fulfillment providers like Shiprocket Fulfillment can help you store inventory in multiple warehouses across the country and process the subscriptions month on month with the same amount of skill. This can help you reduce your RTO orders, build long-lasting relationships with customers, and also save shipping costs for your business.

Final Thoughts

A subscription-based eCommerce model is an up-and-coming trend in India. Many brands have tried it before, but there could be no better time with more and more people inching towards online shopping in India. The proper logistics with comprehensive supply chain management can help you crack this concept and bring in loyal and long-lasting customers for your business. 

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Mar 31, 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

5 min read

Understanding The Concept Of Inventory Position

March 24, 2022 by Srishti Arora - 5 min read

For successful warehouse management and order processing, it is essential to know where every SKU is kept and how soon it can be picked from its respective spot. 

Inventory management does not only include tracking and processing inventory. Positioning it in the right spot to be accessed quickly is also a considerable aspect of inventory management. 

inventory position explained

Inventory positioning needs to be strategized thoroughly to process orders on time and arrows free and maximize your warehouse efficiency and fulfillment speed. 

Even though it is an important concept, it is often ignored when preparing your order fulfillment strategy.

Let’s look at inventory positioning and its importance for your order fulfillment strategy. 

What is Inventory Position?

Inventory position refers to the place at which the inventory is held. This means its physical position in the warehouse and its position in the supply chain.

It describes where and how your stock is stored in the warehouse racks and bins. It needs to be optimized to ensure that order fulfillment SLAs are met, and the inventory costs are kept low. 

Why is Inventory Position Important?

Inventory position can usually impact our supply chain and order processing time. Here are a few reasons why knowing your inventory position in the warehouse and the overall supply chain is essential. 

Importance of inventory position

Ease of Access

The first benefit of inventory positioning is the ease of access. If you know where your products are kept, you can efficiently process them well in time. Also, awareness about the position of your inventory in the supply chain can help you process orders in specific locations accordingly. 

Minimize Order-To-Ship Time

Knowing the position of your inventory can help you speed up your order fulfillment process by reducing the picking and packaging time, and you can ship them out faster. Also, knowing where the inventory is stored in the supply chain can help you target customers accordingly and deliver to them sooner. 

Proper Tracking

Knowing the inventory position can help you track your inventory effectively, and you can avoid stock-out situations that can drive customers away. Also, it can help you get rid of dead stock sooner so you can save on your inventory handling costs. 

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Tips for Optimizing Inventory Positioning

High-Value Items Must Be Accessible

The first step for optimizing your inventory positioning in the warehouse is that the high-value items that bring you maximum orders should be kept in easy-to-reach locations. This will help save time for pickers and increase the speed of the order fulfillment process. 

You must assess which area is getting the maximum demand in the overall supply chain. The products must be stored in these warehouses strategically to ensure the minimum shipping time. 

Heavy Items Must Be Placed Low

Another important consideration is that all bulky SKUs must be stored at a lower location in the warehouse racks. This will ensure faster picking for bulky goods because pickers will not have to spend time bringing the products down at the rack. Also, you must store them at the popular locations from where they are ordered to reduce processing time. 

Forecast Demand

Always make it a practice to forecast demand in advance to develop strategies for your inventory positioning in advance. Analyze the most popular products and order them well in time so that your situation is like stockouts and place them in easily accessible positions. With dedicated slots allocated to these products, you can quickly analyze which products need replenishment. 

Have Designated Aisles For SKUs

Once your SKUs are decided, have designated aisles for specific SKUs. This will help your speakers reduce time in the warehouse, and your order to ship time will be minimized. 

Have a Real-Time Inventory View

Having real-time visibility on the inventory levels can help you position your goods strategically and process them much faster. It will reduce the risk of missed orders and maximize order fulfillment efficiency. 

Outsource to 3PL Fulfillment Providers

It is advised to tie up with 3PL fulfillment providers who have experience managing the fulfillment supply chain. Shiprocket Fulfillment is one such 3 PL fulfillment provider that can help simplify the fulfillment operations of your business. 

All you have to do is send your inventory to multiple warehouses located in India. Our team will handle all the incoming inventory, store and position it strategically, and process all incoming orders in minimum lead time to ensure that they are shipped and delivered as soon as possible. If you store your inventory closest to the customer, you can even offer one-day and two-day delivery to your buyers. 

Final Thoughts

Inventory positioning is an essential aspect of your eCommerce fulfillment supply chain. Make sure you consider it into your strategy so that you do not have to deal with losses later.

Shiprocket Fulfillment features
Mar 24, 2022 by Srishti Arora

6 min read

The Ultimate D2C eCommerce Fulfillment Guide

March 23, 2022 by Srishti Arora - 6 min read

According to a report by the Competition Commission of India (CCI), India’s ecommerce is growing at the fastest pace in the world at an annual rate of 51%. This means that eCommerce is spreading to every corner of India, and to survive this exponential growth, almost every brand today has an online presence. This surge has also given rise to a new type of eCommerce – Direct-to-consumer eCommerce. 

Guide to D2C eCommerce Fulfillment

According to a report by INC42 and Shiprocket, currently, there are 800+ D2C brands in India. Also, $200 Bn+ is the estimated Value Of The Indian eCommerce Market By 2026. 

Direct-to-consumer eCommerce is different from traditional retail eCommerce, where sellers sell via marketplaces or third parties. Therefore, the fulfillment requirements of this business model are also slightly different. Let’s look at what D2C eCommerce is and how to fulfill D2C eCommerce orders effectively. 

 What is Direct-to-Consumer eCommerce?

Direct-to-consumer eCommerce refers to eCommerce where the manufacturing company or brand directly sells their products to the customers without any middleman, retail, or distribution channel. They could be selling directly through their website, social media, or any similar channel. 

In the direct-to-consumer ecommerce format, the seller is responsible for their order management, processing, and shipping operations. When companies sell their products to the marketplace or a third-party vendor, this onus becomes theirs. Hence, eCommerce fulfillment becomes a significant aspect of the seller’s process. 

Now let’s look at the aspects of D2C eCommerce fulfillment and how you can ensure seamless fulfillment for your customers. 

Aspects of D2C eCommerce Fulfillment

Aspects of D2C eCommerce Fulfillment

Inbound logistics

The first aspect of D2C eCommerce fulfillment is inbound logistics. Inbound logistics refers to procuring the goods or manufacturing, logging the inventory, and receiving. 

Warehousing

The next aspect of D2C eCommerce fulfillment is warehousing. This involves storing goods in a designated space from where they are processed and shipped. 

Inventory Management

Once the goods are received in the warehouse, the next aspect is inventory management. This involves racking the products according to their categories and placing them in a tactical position to be picked for order processing whenever required. 

Order Processing

After inventory management comes the part of order processing where an incoming order is recorded and processed for delivery to the customer. 

Picking & Packaging

The orders are picked from their location and then packed for delivery. The warehouse must also contain the packaging material in bulk to ensure that all incoming orders are packed thoroughly. 

Outbound logistics

The next step is outbound logistics or shipping. This includes picking up packages from the warehouse, which are then delivered to the customer. 

Return Management

This process is also called reverse logistics, and it forms a vital aspect of the D2C fulfillment supply chain. Your fulfillment strategy must include returns to provide your customers with a seamless shopping experience. 

Different Ways To Carry Out D2C Fulfillment

Self-Fulfillment

Self-fulfillment refers to the process of running your warehouse where you carry out these operations and delivers your orders to customers. Under self-fulfillment, you need to bear the cost of setting up a warehouse, paying the employees, procuring the packaging material, handling returns, dealing with carrier partners, etc. 

3PL Fulfillment

Another option for D2C fulfillment is outsourcing to a 3PL fulfillment provider. A 3PL fulfillment provider will help you store inventory in their warehouses, where their skilled team will pick, pack, and ship all incoming orders for you. Usually, 3PL fulfillment providers have warehouses located in several locations as they take care of fulfillment for multiple companies. This saves you on capital investment and helps you fulfill orders without manually carrying out the process. 

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How to Ensure Seamless Fulfillment for D2C eCommerce

Streamline Fulfillment Operations

The first and foremost step you must take is to streamline fulfillment operations. This means that you must organize and synchronize operations wherever possible. If you see loopholes in your process, it is time you fix them. The more organized the process is, the faster your orders will be delivered. Most sellers have higher shipping times. This not only involves the delivery performance but also order accuracy. By streamlining fulfillment operations and setting up standard operating procedures for each process, you will optimize each function properly! 

Opt for 3PL Fulfillment by Shiprocket Fulfillment

A simple hack for making D2C fulfillment seamless is opting for 3PL fulfillment solutions like Shiprocket Fulfillment

Shiprocket Fulfillment has a robust network of fulfillment centers in Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Surat, Jaipur, Kolkata, Gurugram, etc. You just need to send your inventory to our warehouses, and Shiprocket Fulfillment will process all incoming orders post that. 

It is a fulfillment solution for your business that you can utilize for only order processing and fulfillment. You can sell on whichever platform you want, and we will take care of processing and shipping the orders. 

Store Inventory Closer to Buyers

To deliver faster to customers, you need to store inventory closer to them. This will enable you to deliver within two days. If you keep inventory in the same zone, you can save on shipping costs. Stocking inventory closer to buyers will help you reduce processing time, increase profitability, and improve customer experience. These will return to your website for a repeat purchase. 

Reduce Order-to-Ship Time

It is critical to reducing the order to ship time to process more orders in a stipulated period. Suppose you outsource operations to 3PL fulfillment providers like Shiprocket Fulfillment. In that case, you can reduce your order to ship time by almost 50% as we have the required technological infrastructure to ensure faster picking, packaging, and shipping with multiple carriers.

Ensure Proper Packaging & Order Accuracy

You must ensure proper packaging and order accuracy when you fulfill orders. You can accomplish seamless D2C eCommerce fulfillment where there are no complaints about the packaging of orders. Even though many people prefer fancy packaging, shipping the correct orders is more important than sending fancy ones.

Conclusion

eCommerce fulfillment forms an integral part of your overall e-commerce strategy. This is even more essential for D2C commerce businesses as everything is your responsibility for D2C commerce businesses. Tying up with a 3PL fulfillment provider can help you reduce the stress of seamless fulfillment and helps you reach more customers faster.

Shiprocket Fulfillment features
Mar 23, 2022 by Srishti Arora

6 min read

Key Supply Chain KPIs That You Must Track For Seamless Fulfillment

March 17, 2022 by Srishti Arora - 6 min read

Maintaining a seamless supply chain is a huge task. Many sellers worry about doing it successfully and spend most of their time on this task. However, they seldom leave out a critical aspect or don’t know about it – measuring its performance. 

Key supply chain metrics to track

Yes! Measuring the performance of your supply chain is as important as running it because it helps you improve your business and imbibe growth with evolving trends. 

Many sellers struggle with knowing the correct key performance indicators(KPIs) for supply chain management and do not track them. There are several supply chain metrics that you can follow to see the performance of your supply chain. If you jump directly into the deep end, it can be challenging to decide which ones are important and which ones can be less insightful. 

We have compiled a list of the supply chain KPIs that you must track for your eCommerce business to make this task easier for you. Let’s dive in to get started.

What are Supply Chain Management KPIs?

Supply chain management KPIs are performance indicators that businesses use to track performance goals. These are usually quantitative metrics used for evaluation. 

KPIs can be helpful to analyze if you are meeting your set targets and where there is scope for improvement.

A few supply chain KPIs include – 

  • Perfect order rate
  • Order fill rate
  • Freight bill accuracy
  • Inventory turnover
  • Supply chain costs
  • Average delivery time

Let’s have a look at them in detail.

List of supply chain KPIs

Top Supply Chain KPIs to Track

Perfect Order Rate

Perfect order rate measures the number of orders delivered to the right customer at the right time without any errors. 

The errors can include shipping delays, damaged goods, fulfillment mistakes, or lack of documentation. 

Perfect order rate is measured by calculating two different KPIs or sub-metrics, which are as follows – 

Damage-Free Delivery

Damage-free delivery is the percentage of orders which are delivered without any damages. A low damage-free delivery is indicative of the performance of your packaging process and shipping partner. Consistently low performance can mean that the packaging operations need an overhaul. 

Damage-free delivery = [(Total number of orders – Number of orders that arrive damaged) / Total number of orders] x 100

On-Time Delivery Rate

The on-time delivery rate is the number of orders delivered on or before the estimated delivery date. This KPI helps you understand how well you are meeting customer expectations regarding shipping and delivery.

To understand and improve your on-time delivery rate, it is essential to track India and auto closely and understand the reasons for late delivery. You must evaluate your last-mile delivery and partner with a fulfillment and logistics provider like Shiprocket Fulfillment to guarantee you one day and today’s shipping. 

On-time delivery = (Number of on-time orders / Total number of orders) x 100 

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Order Fill rate

Order filled rate refers to the number of orders completed in one shipment without the need for split shipments. 

This metric is essential to measure the efficiency of the supply chain, and it resonates strongly with customer satisfaction.

Optimizing your inventory management, decentralizing inventory, and maintaining an automated order fulfillment and management process can help you improve this metric. 

Fill Rate = (1 – [(Total items ordered – Total items shipped) / Total items ordered]) x 100

Freight Bill Accuracy

Even though invoicing and billing may not seem like a considerable aspect of your supply chain, the correctness of the data can help you maintain a thorough cash flow and improve the customer experience.

The freight will accuracy is a metric that measures if your shipping bills have the correct information like the price, number of items, amount, weight, etc. 

The best method for keeping this metric in check is automating the invoicing and billing process and outsourcing fulfillment and freight management operations. 

Freight bill accuracy = (Number of correct freight bills / Total freight bills) x 100 

Inventory Turnover

Inventory turnover rate refers to the total number of times you sold your entire inventory and replenished it in a specific period. 

A high inventory turnover rate suggests that you are selling goods quickly and your business is doing well. However, a low inventory turnover rate can mean that you have a lot of debt stock accumulated. 

To maintain a high inventory turnover rate, it is essential to thoroughly do a demand forecasting exercise every cycle. Also, keeping a quick order management and fulfillment process can help you make the process more efficient. 

Inventory turnover rate = Cost of goods sold / Average inventory value

Supply Chain Costs

This KPI measures the cost that goes into maintaining your supply chain operation. It is a combination of two KPIs that include – 

Supply Chain Cost as a Percentage of Sales

This metric considers the overall cost of managing supply chain operations to the total earnings from sales.

Supply chain cost as a percentage of sales = (Total supply chain cost / Total monetary amount gained from sales) x 100

Supply Chain Cost Per Unit Sold

This metric considers the cost of running supply chain operations concerning the average cost of procuring and selling one unit of a product in a specific period. 

Supply chain cost per unit sold = (Supply chain cost for a product / Number of units sold of the same product)

Average Delivery Time

Average delivery time refers to the delivery time to be delivered to your customer’s doorstep. This means the time taken to provide a shipment after you hand it over to your courier partner. This KPI is important for tracking the shipping speed. 

Average delivery time = Total days to deliver all orders / Total number delivered. 

A 3PL fulfillment provider like Shiprocket Fulfillment can help you lower your shipping speed by offering 1-day and 2-day delivery services for your orders and reducing the processing time for incoming orders. 

Final Thoughts

Regularly tracking these key performance indicators can be your key to a solid supply chain performance for your business. At any point, if you think your business is falling back because of your supply chain, analyze the needs and look out for outsourcing options to 3PL fulfillment providers.

Shiprocket Fulfillment features
Mar 17, 2022 by Srishti Arora