Are Fulfillment Mistakes Taking a Bite Out of Your Profitability?
Every time you send an order out the door, your company’s reputation is on the line. A few fulfillment mistakes such as the wrong item shipped or the wrong quantity picked can add up to a poor reputation and lost revenue. Your customers count on you for their success just as you need them for yours. If your company needs to establish a better reputation in the eyes of your customers, we have several tips to improve your warehouse management and reduce fulfillment errors.
Tip #1: Automate your warehouse.
Automated warehouses use barcode scanners, warehouse management systems, and other tools to log goods into the warehouse and log them out again during fulfillment. Such systems reduce the amount of manual errors made by failing to count items, incorrect counts, and mistakes during data entry.
Tip #2: Add structure to the process.
If your warehouse doesn’t have a structured process for receiving orders, picking, packing, and shipping, you are leaving the success rate of your order fulfillment to chance. You can reduce mistakes and close gaps in the system by creating a structure and process that details each step for your employees. Make sure that the process is in writing, and train your employees on each step in the process. Don’t leave it to your employees to create the steps in the process or you will end up with many, perhaps competing, processes in place.
Tip #3: Reduce the number of steps in order fulfillment.
Another area that can be problematic for many companies is that the number of steps it takes to fulfill orders is so lengthy and complicated that employees can’t remember them easily. Any process with more than a handful of steps is open to mistakes. Spend some time in the warehouse working alongside your team to actually see what’s working and what doesn’t. Then update the process, reducing redundant steps and making it simple and effective.
Tip #4: Set a baseline to measure improvement.
You may have heard from employees that there are “many” mistakes being made in the shipping process. Just how many mistakes qualify as “many?” Whenever you can, quantify the situation and set a baseline so that you will know for certain whether improvements you make are having the desired effect.
Let’s assume that you know that as of today, 5% of orders have a mistake in them. When you examine this data, you see that employees are mixing up packages, placing the wrong packages in the wrong shipper’s bins. This delays orders because the packages are returned from the incorrect shipper.
Given that 5% figure and an understanding of the nature of the problem, you can now take action steps to rectify it. You can reward employees for reducing the error rate. There are many things you can do to reinforce the positive nature of your improvements. Without the baseline, however, there’s no way to know whether changes made any impact at all.
Eliminate Fulfillment Mistakes With Warehouse Management Systems from Scanco
Scanco can help take your warehouse management to the next level and eliminate many of the mistakes that are ruining your company reputation and hurting profitability. We offer warehouse management software and support, barcoding software and label printing, and much more. Learn more about our services online or contact us.