Some final preparations that could make all the difference
With Amazon Prime Day just around the corner – Tuesday 11th July – profiting from a boost in e-commerce sales will be on the minds of numerous third-party sellers. The mediaare all talking about it which can only be good news for retailers taking part.
But beware, Amazon Prime Day could prove particularly stressful for your warehouse and fulfilment personnel – the pickers, packers, despatchers, and customer services. From our recently published 2017 E-Commerce Fulfilment Report, we know how challenging peak times can be for small e-commerce businesses all the way through to large multichannel players.
Whether, as our report highlighted, you are hiring contract staff to help with the extra load, paying overtime to your permanent team, or pulling in staff from other departments, they need to be fully aware of what’s expected of them in advance of the day. Sharing and easing the burden, can go a long way in ensuring their morale is kept up. In the end, it is they who will make all the difference to a successful sale period, by fulfilling all those extra orders accurately and on time.
By optimising the layout of your warehouse and managing your inventory levels like a hawk throughout the sale, third-party sellers on Amazon can be much more assured that all their orders will be fulfilled efficiently and profitability, and without the potential for overselling or underselling.
Multichannel management company Volo Commerce posted a useful guide on preparing for Amazon Prime Day on our blog last month. And we thought we’d add 3 final considerations for providing some ‘pain relief’ to your warehouse team, helping you ensure a stress-free and productive outcome for all:
1. Save their legs:
Whether you are still relying on a ‘pen and paper’ warehouse methodology, or have invested in a Warehouse Management System (WMS), be sure to have mapped out optimum picking routes in advance of the sales event. This will avoid pickers crisscrossing the warehouse floor unnecessarily and thereby improve productivity.
For expected high velocity sales items, based on forecasting, create dedicated clusters of pickers, packers and despatchers in close proximity to Goods In. This will save time. However, if you are already using a suitable fit-for purpose e-commerce Warehouse Management System (WMS), this will automatically allow stock items to be placed by operatives anywhere in the warehouse, in any location, and remember where they are.
2. Don't waste their time:
Avoid pickers chasing and searching for items that don't exist because they have all been sold, and the next delivery hasn’t yet arrived.
So make sure all stock is available to sell and pickers know where to find it. Double-check there are no backlogs in Goods In and that all items have been put away.
3. Recognise they’re human:
We’re all human, and prone to mistakes, especially when the heat is on. Double-checks at Despatch will be the last chance for ensuring the right item will be delivered at the right time to the right customer at the correct address
If you have a WMS which is integrated with your order processing and shipping software systems, this will allow staff faster and highly accurate double-checking of these vital details, making the difference between a happy customer and a disgruntled one. It will also reduce the frequency of returns and help protect your profit margins. If you don’t, make sure your manual processes are up to the job.
If your warehouse already ticks all of the above boxes, all well and good. If not, hopefully these ‘stressbusters’ will provide some final food for thought.
To to learn more about making your e-commerce warehouse and fulfilment operations more efficient and able to cope with peaks and troughs, contact us anytime for a free, no obligation consultation. To find out about all the benefits Peoplevox Warehouse Management Software could offer your e-commerce business; download our WMS Buyers Guide.