Multichannel order fulfillment can be challenging with a lot of moving parts to manage. In this article, we provide tips for overcoming challenges posed by a complicated multichannel fulfillment process and how companies can overcome these challenges to streamline their order fulfillment across multiple channels, with the help of a fulfillment company like Phase V.
1. Visibility: Real-Time Inventory Management
Managing your different marketplaces and the other outlets in your multichannel marketing plan separately can be time-consuming and difficult to manage without investing in advanced inventory management programs.
Multichannel marketing order fulfillment relies on being able to see all of your sales transactions and inventory counts in real-time. 3PL service companies, such as Phase V Fulfillment provide advanced inventory management technology that integrates with all of your marketplaces and other sales outlets to consolidate your channels to a user-friendly platform so you can view all inventory activity on all channels in one convenient interface.
2. Inventory Analysis And Restocking Alerts
When your SKUs are moving at different speeds, at different times, you take the risk of running out of inventory to fulfill orders. This can cause several problems such as backorders and out-of-stock messages that can frustrate your customers and result in a loss of business. Online shoppers are fickle and quick to go elsewhere in a click to find the product they want from another vendor. While it’s tempting to overstock your popular SKUs to avoid shortages, other measures need to be in place to accurately analyze your inventory needs.
Your 3PL fulfillment service provider’s data management capabilities can give you valuable insights into how to keep a lean inventory without having too much inventory on hand. Applying formulas that determine the velocity of your inventory products, factor in how long it takes to restock from your suppliers, and adding the time it takes your fulfillment center to process your inbound orders, you will be confident about when to reorder the various SKUs you need to fulfill your orders. Further, setting up automatic low inventory triggered alerts when you have a month’s inventory on hand can head off any disruptions in your supply chain.
3. Data Analysis And Demand Forecasting
Planning for busy sales cycles, such as the holiday season is challenging enough, but when you start adding marketplaces and unforeseen circumstances, such as big box store contracts or world pandemics that increase your sales rapidly, you’re going to need something more than Excel spreadsheets or Google Docs to keep the ball rolling and planning for future sales cycles.
Proprietary Fulfillment Technology
3PL service providers, such as Phase V, feature their proprietary fulfillment software that allows you to utilize data-based demand forecasting to more accurately generate predictions about your sales cycles throughout the year. You can evaluate data about SKU performance and velocity that will help you make more accurate decisions about upcoming sales cycles. Eliminating more of the guesswork about how much inventory you need during different cycles, you can access your customer relations database from your 3PL’s user-friendly dashboard to learn about your customers’ buying habits and analyze sales across different channels. Your 3PL providers’ advanced databases can also help personalize when and how often you should market products to your customers, based on their order histories for more in-tune targeting.
4. Transparency & Agility
Selling on multichannel marketplaces means that your products need nationwide, or even global, distribution destinations. Shipping from just one location can incur extra shipping costs and delays that may impact your on-time delivery rates negatively. Because consumers continue to demand free shipping and fast delivery times for their online orders, you may be forced to assume expedited shipping costs when orders aren’t moving as fast as you planned, especially given the current state of global supply chain deficiencies. Also, due to the state of the global supply chain, transparency in every step of the fulfillment process is essential.
Most reliable 3PL service providers track orders from the warehouse floor throughout the fulfillment process to your customers’ doors. Promoting transparency in your order processes allows your customer to plan for package arrivals and check on the progress of their orders at any time.
Many 3PL fulfillment service providers are strategically positioned with multiple facilities to affordably and efficiently fulfill your multichannel orders. With new state-of-the-art facilities in Fort Myers, FL and Phoenix, AZ, Phase V 3PL Fulfillment can save you time and money shipping your orders to the east coast and Latin American countries, while also covering the west coast, Mexico, Hawaii, and other international destinations.
5. Strong And Stable Operational Infrastructure
When you want to scale up your e-commerce business, selling on multiple marketplaces can make a significant difference in your sales volume. At the same time, if your e-commerce business isn’t prepared to handle the rapid influx of orders, your pick, pack, and shipping operations can suffer dramatically, as your accuracy rating drops, with errors in the fulfillment process causing customer complaints along with exchanges and returns that clog up your fulfillment operations. A scalable solution for managing your multichannel marketing lies in partnering with a trusted, tech-powered 3PL service provider with advanced management tools and a strong networked infrastructure in place, in order to:
- Consolidate your multichannel outlets into a user-friendly platform that makes it easy to manage inventory counts and assess how your SKUs are performing in real-time.
- Utilize experienced pick & pack personnel working with emerging picking technology involving AI or AR applications to automate the picking process.
- Leverage the skills and experience of packaging logistics experts that work to streamline your packaging processes, also offering packaging management solutions for bulk and EDI shipping that guarantees prompt delivery to the correct locations and distribution centers.
- Integrate with shipping carriers and third-party shipping solutions that ensure your orders are delivered accurately and on time, with carrier discounts.
- Gain access to reporting and forecasting tools in addition to accessing free or inexpensive shipping.
- Increase responsiveness with direct access to tracking information.
Selling on multichannel marketplaces in today’s fast-moving e-commerce world can boost your business to the next level of success but can also derail your forward movement if your e-commerce business isn’t prepared to scale in a big way! Phase V 3PL Fulfillment helps streamline your multichannel marketing sales into one convenient platform with the technology and infrastructure that allows your orders to go seamlessly from click to shipped as your company grows.
Contact Phase V to get your business set up to scale up!