When it comes to eCommerce shipping, you’ll need to juggle managing inventory with accurate order picking and sound drop-off and pickup coordination. Here’s a look at six essential steps in getting the process right.
1. Setting Up Your Warehouse
Whether you’ve invested in a warehouse or you’re shipping out of your garage, you need to set up storage and packing areas in a way that maximizes your efficiency. Give yourself room for pulling and packing, and set up specific areas for shipping and receiving.
2. Inventory Management
You need to have a clear idea of your inventory at all times, and how you do this will depend on the size of your facility and the number of different products that you offer. Labels on shelves might be enough for smaller operations, but big warehouses usually benefit by using barcode tracking.
3. Picking Orders
Depending on your product range and volume, you might opt to pick products on a per-order basis with packing slips or in batches with pick lists. Either way, you’ll need to have a plan in place for scaling operations in line with spikes or slowdowns in sales.
4. Packing and Checking Orders
Packing orders is your last opportunity to impress customers, so you won’t want to slack at this point. Packing carelessly will only make your brand look bad, so be sure the unboxing experience gets the attention it deserves. Have workers check each others’ orders, even if you’re using barcoded scanners.
5. Parcel Labeling
You might have a predictable box size that makes labeling a snap, but chances are you need parcel-specific labeling processes. Shipping software can be set up to automatically adjust to various box sizes, making the job a lot easier.
Many operations schedule pickups with major carriers on a daily or weekly basis, and having a set time allows you to plan packing to get everything out the door on time. If you’re going to drop off the parcels, be sure to get the paperwork right and follow the carrier’s specific procedures to avoid delays.
This blog post was based off of an article from Fit Small Business. Find the original here.