Warehouse and Distribution Center Management
Without efficient fulfillment, your eCommerce business cannot achieve maximum growth. According to a report, the logistics sector in India is expected to touch US$200 billion by 2020 & India’s warehousing requirement is expected to grow at an annual average rate of 9% to 1,439 million Sq. Ft in 2019 from 919 Sq. Ft in 2014. This indicates the warehousing and fulfillment sector is on the rise in India. With the increasing requirements of e-commerce businesses and the vast spread of logistics in India, fulfillment centers are the next big thing.
If you own a warehouse, you would understand the kind of Input it requires a successful functioning. Your warehouse acts as your distribution center and also as your storage in most cases. If you do not own a warehouse, you can understand the requirements and prepare your business.
With the increasing trends, it is unnecessary to have a warehouse to run your eCommerce business successfully. Let’s find out more about warehousing & distribution center management success.
The Modern-Day Fulfillment Center = Warehouse and Distribution Centers
The modern-day fulfillment center is a culmination of storage, order processing, and shipping. Earlier businesses used to have separate storage known as the warehouse and different facilities used to distribute goods. The goods were often brought from the warehouse to a distribution center and then sent further for order delivery. Today’s fulfillment centers are equipped with all the necessary infrastructure and processes to ensure that storage, order processing, and distribution can happen from the same place.
Fulfillment centers take up warehousing by storing the inventory for multiple eCommerce businesses and processing the orders as and when they receive them from the company. Next, they take care of the picking and packaging operations involved with autoprocessing and move the orders to the shipping stage. These fulfillment centers have different areas designated for handling incoming and outgoing inventory to act as warehouses and distribution centers at once.
Let’s move further to see how you can ensure operational success within the warehouse and distribution center.
How to Ensure Operations Success?
Prepare Warehouse Floor Plans
To ensure proper order processing within the fulfillment centre, it is necessary to prepare a warehouse plan to store inventory systematically and create intelligent routes for optimized picking and order processing. This gives you a map of the entire functioning within the fulfillment centre, and you can allocate space and resources accordingly. This blueprint will help you with effective management when you set up operations.
The next step is to segregate inventory within aisles, racks, bins, etc. You must know by which category your products are located so that the packing process can be simplified and the time spent in this operation is reduced to the bare minimum. If your inventory is not appropriately segregated, the picking operator will keep roaming around in the distribution facility and be confused about where you want to pick up the product. Also, all the products must be barcoded to be easily tracked within the warehousing and distribution center.
Devise a Uni-Flow of Operations
The next step is to devise a unique flow of operations. This means that all the processes must flow in a single direction. If there are many too and fro between the operations, there might be confusion, and the resources might get entangled within the system. If you want to ensure seamless processing, devise a floor plan and routine that gives you a Uniflow of operations.
Hire Skilled Resources
The next crucial step of running a warehousing and distribution center effectively is by hiring skilled resources. Your resources are going to be the heroes of your Centre. They will be running the show, so you must ensure that they know their business and are trained to carry out daily operations. Along with that, they must also be trained to tackle difficult situations.
Conduct Fulfillment Training
The next step is to conduct fulfillment training for all the people you hire. You might have a staff that does not necessarily work actively on the floor. However, they must know about every operation they can handle any emergency easily. Also, understanding every fulfillment process will help them do their work effectively as they will not have to fend for the information again and again.
Track Relevant KPIs
Next, you must track all the relevant KPIs related to warehousing and fulfillment so that you can assess the performance of your warehouse and regular intervals. This will give you insight into whether you need to make any changes in the process or update your infrastructure.
Conduct Regular Audits
Finally, you must conduct regular audits with a trained team to ensure that all the processes are working in synchronization and if you have to make any changes to the machinery, infrastructure, etc. Even though in my file check-in relevant KPIs and conducting regular audits are a similar operation, an audit will give you a deeper insight into the people and their concerns and the KPIs. Therefore, conducting regular audits is essential for your business.
To make your warehousing and distribution center management successful, it is essential to establish stringent processes followed diligently. If these processes are not followed, it can eventually lead to a delay in order processing and poor customer service.