Warehouse Improvements to Implement Before Holiday Season

Believe it or not, there is still a window of opportunity to make sure you are ready for this Holiday Season. Just think back to last year's peak season for a moment. Can you and your business afford to have Round 2 (and for some of you it may be Round 10 or 12) of the issues that you faced in past peak seasons? You may have completed a brief post Holiday Season review of what worked and what needs to change in your operations. Dust off that document and review with management the outlined issues that occurred last year and the ones that still need to be addressed. This should be done before any other areas are assessed and tackled.

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Warehouse Move: 11 Planning Considerations

Recently we had to assist a company that was in the midst of a warehouse move, but had failed to properly plan. The facility and location was selected, and the new warehouse facility is located roughly 825 miles from their current DC. Along the way, they reaslized they had forgotten about many aspects.   What seems like a simple concept or moving from one facility to another can become a daunting task in a hurry. 

Another Idea: Read Key Warehouse Layout and Design Principles 

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Product Returns Processing - Handle Returns With Care

Major e-commerce studies show a high percentage of customers - 80% in one study -say the ease of returning products is important to whether they will buy again.  Studies also show a high percentage of customers are more likely to shop with an online merchant if the merchant offers “free product returns”.  How well you handle returns can dramatically affect your profitability and customer lifetime value.

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Multichannel Inventory: What You Need to Know

It sounds like a sci-fi trilogy: Past, present, and future merge to provide a single, optimal inventory experience. Multichannel merchants manage inventory seamlessly throughout major business processes and across channels in order to find the perfect balance between customer service and profitability.

Few merchants today would claim to have reached this level of inventory management, as developing such a strategy can be complex. But there are compelling economic reasons to try.
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Training and Mentoring Your Management and Supervisors

The success of your efficiency/cost-control initiatives and customer service performance hinge on the strength of your first-line and mid-level managers. While promoting from within whenever possible is a best practice, insufficient development of managerial skills —knowing how to manage both up and down — is a weak link for more than a few companies.

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How Do I Develop a Liquidation Strategy for Slow Selling Products?

Problems:

Inventory is the largest single balance sheet asset in most e-commerce businesses, but around 80% of sales are typically generated by about 20% of products—and more than 50% of products often either do not meet, or exceed, their burden in terms of contribution to profit.  Many centers have significant space occupied by slow selling product; you can’t afford to sit on such high dollar inventories whose fully loaded costs include product costs, inbound freight, customs, marketing, fulfillment, inventory carrying costs, and eventual loss of margin through liquidation.  Yet merchants are often reluctant to act quickly on overstocks that sap profits.
 
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What Are Typical Vendor Compliance Policies that I Should Include?

So you have made a decision to move forward to develop and implement a vendor compliance program. You have an idea of what should be included into the manual to send to your vendors, but your not quite sure that you have all of the right sections.
 
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What are Typical Vendor Charge Backs?

In developing dozens of vendor compliance manuals, we have seen a wide variety of items, categories, and lists of vendor charge backs. We feel like with a new compliance program, you should include the following, to start with:

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How Do I Utilize Slotting and Replenishment to Reduce Costs and Control Fulfillment?

Problem:

Just 20% of products produce 80% of your sales, while as much as 70% of a picker’s time is spent “traveling” between pick locations to fill an order.  Maintaining sufficient inventory in the pick slots is a challenging and dynamic process.
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How Can I Increase Throughput and Capacity in my Distribution Center?

Problem:
With the management mantra “do more with less,’ moving into a larger space is not an option; you need to get more throughput and increased capacity out of your current physical layout and facility.

Solution:
Our 18 Industrial Engineering Principles are the best foundation for maximizing throughput and capacity from an existing facility. Use these principles to rethink how you use your fulfillment center and develop the most appropriate solutions for your needs.
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