Business is nothing if not for fulfillment.
It’s the backbone on which profitability grows. It’s where the rubber meets the road. Whether you’re running an online e-commerce business or are an established Fortune 500 company with global offices, accurate fulfillment is critical to your success. It can also be quite complicated.
It doesn’t matter if you’re shipping 1,000 or 1 million packages a year, you’ve probably run into some fulfillment challenges that have caused some kinks in your supply chain. But the good news is that you’re not alone. All businesses will run into fulfillment issues at one time or another. It’s how you respond to those issues that make the difference.
Here’s a look at some of the most common fulfillment process problems and how you can look to solve them:
Missing parts. Late arrivals. Damaged goods. Misprinted labels. Or the worst-case scenario: missing packages. All of these can spell disaster for your customers – especially if you don’t have a high-quality customer service program in place. As a recent article in Forbes makes clear, customer service can make or break a company. The key to implementing a world-class customer service program comes down to three things:
- Investing in software that helps your customer service representatives manage quality control and track every package at every step in the supply chain;
- Training your employees to deliver the absolute best customer service – every day, without exception; and
- Making customer service a part of your company culture by embedding it into every level of your organization.
What is monitored can be managed, and in a world where customers have more options than ever, it’s never been more critical to monitor and manage your inventory accurately.
Neglecting your inventory can lead to a host of problems such as higher costs for both you and your customers, missed sales, uncertain cash flow, and not to mention a loss of customers, all of which can bring your company’s reputation to its knees.
Inventory management is especially crucial in today’s e-commerce world, which has changed distribution and warehousing where customers can quickly click to a competitor to buy what they want (and then give you bad reviews on other websites). These days, there are few things worse than customers paying for products and then finding out later that it’s unavailable or going to take weeks to arrive.
If you are like a lot of companies that struggle with inventory management, you may need to upgrade your inventory management system, especially if it’s not automated. A second option would be to partner with a trusted 3PL that specializes in fulfillment that can help you develop and provide inventory management and supply chain solutions that work for you and your customers.
In terms of available and emerging markets, there has never been a better time to be in business. Thanks to advances in technology, people across the country and around the world are potential customers. Of course, you need to be able to successfully deliver your products to take advantage of the global marketplace.
International shipping can be complicated. It can require copious amounts of paperwork, different taxes, and customs fees for different countries, along with extended shipping times.
If you don’t have a highly trained team in place to deal with all of the ins and outs of international shipping, you might find the entire process to be more trouble than it’s worth. Many companies even skip shipping internationally altogether, leaving money on the table and a loss of market share.
On the other hand, you can partner with a company that has extensive experience delivering products across the country and around the world – a company that can handle all of the paperwork, taxes, customs forms, and makes sure that your packages are delivered just in time and on budget.
Need a Helping Hand?
Don’t let common problems cut into your profits. Instead, connect with JIT Services today to learn more about fixes that can make you more efficient.