E-commerce is the main driver for the fluid movement of international goods. Global shoppers won’t have access to numerous products from the other side of the world without efficient warehousing, logistics, and other supply chain management services.
These days, satisfying customers don’t only rely on the products you sell. For the most part, buyers need to consider affordable, fast, and accurate order fulfillment. Your product may be the best in its class, but without reliable shipping, your business could fail to expand its client base.
What Is Warehousing?
Whether a small or medium-sized enterprise, your organization needs to keep up with the changing demands of the industry. Warehousing refers to the act of storing physical products in a facility or warehouse before being dispatched to another storage facility or the end-user.
Operating a warehouse requires proper security, protection, and inventory. A business should store their products safely, know the location of each item batch, and be aware of the number of items kept in the facility.
Warehousing is a cost-effective strategy for sellers expanding their customer base. New businesses often start from home, or in the case of the most successful e-commerce platform, in the garage.
When orders keep coming in, the space in the property won’t be enough to accommodate the items. Depending on the most efficient strategy, these companies could either: rent a storage facility or a warehouse or seek the help of a third party to do the job for them.
For example, instead of opening an office or store in a region like North America, small to medium-sized retail shops based elsewhere will provide service warehousing Toronto to save on costs. Once a buyer purchases an item from them, this storage facility in Toronto will pull out the product and ship it as soon as possible to the buyer.
7 Signs Your Business Needs Warehousing Services
As logisticians and supply chain employees know, the industry is fraught with many challenges that cause delays and losses. When a business does a poor job fulfilling their customers’ orders, they risk losing their clients to better-performing merchants.
These red flags are telltale signs that your business needs warehousing services.
- You’re Running Out of Space
As mentioned, it’s understandable for start-ups to test the waters and operate from home. But if the product becomes a hit and the orders keep coming, you must consider moving out to a bigger space.
Lease out a proper storage facility to keep your products. Or better yet, outsource the job to a reputable warehousing service provider. This way, your business can establish a better supply chain to satisfy customers.
- You Have High Delivery Error Rates
Shipping a defective product or a missing and wrong item is unacceptable in the eyes of the customers. When your inventory, packaging, or any stage of the fulfillment process becomes disorganized, so will be the errors in deliveries. The same is true when you’re shipping items across different borders.
You may find it overwhelming to accurately monitor, confirm, and ship orders if you’re still starting, especially if you don’t have enough people working for you. Erroneous deliveries result in costly delays and returns. It can also trigger negative customer feedback that can damage your brand reputation.
- Your Deliveries Are Often Delayed
Some circumstances warrant delayed shipments and deliveries, such as weather disturbances. However, delays in fulfilling customers’ orders should be an exception rather than the rules.
If your business often experiences late shipments, it’s an indicator that you either need to streamline your processes or have a better warehouse management system. If you’re running a small business and need to know more about supply chain systems, you can hire third-party warehousing services in the meantime to keep up with your deliveries.
- Your Customer Claims Are Rising
Because of increasing incidences of delivery errors, your customers will file claims for product replacements. These claims often stem from having the customer’s shipment addresses wrong or sending out a faulty product. It can also happen when you inadvertently ship out the incorrect item to a customer.
Whatever the reason, these claims can impact your business operations by causing delays and additional costs for shipping returns and repeat shipments.
- Your Fulfillment Costs Are Too High
A high volume of shipments often means your expenses per delivery will significantly drop in the logistics industry. If your business is paying more, it can signify that there’s something wrong with your internal processes.
Often, a complex inventory process could lead to delays in locating a product. As a result, your business may need to pay extra to rush the shipment and compensate for the delays on your side. Costly shipments could be commonplace if your business doesn’t have a proper warehouse management system.
- You Often Run Out of Stocks
A company without ample experience in keeping stocks and inventories or entities without an efficient warehouse management system may not be capable of monitoring its remaining reserves. Additionally, your business may not be able to anticipate sales or product shipments accurately.
These mishaps can lead to problems with stock replenishments, and you’ll be surprised that you no longer have a highly in-demand product left to ship out. Worse, you may re-stock less marketable products and have to dispose of them despite low markups.
- You Can’t Keep Up with The Demand
Besides delays in sending out orders, your business may not fulfill the customers’ order requirements during peak season but even during regular days. Check your shipping and receiving areas. Are there too many boxes lying around waiting to be processed? Are there enough people working to have these tasks done at the right time?
There can be several reasons your business isn’t able to handle these processes well. Check whether you need to add more staff or if it’s your system causing bottlenecks. Either way, a warehousing service provider can help your business create streamlined and faster inflow and outflow of goods.
The Bottom Line
Business growth is always welcome in any organization. However, this expansion could also mean that your company may not have the capacity to iron out flaws in the system, leading to one or a few of the signs earlier mentioned.
If you’re having trouble fulfilling customers’ demands, then it’s time to revisit your processes and see how you can improve. Remember, only retailers with happy customers can thrive in the fiercely competitive e-commerce sector.