Holiday shopping is stressful enough for shoppers, but they have no idea how stressful it is for retailers, too!
Even though you’re doing everything you can to make the holiday season a successful one, being pulled in so many different directions makes it hard to focus on any single part of your business.
This season, it may be time to partner with a 3PL to help make your holiday fulfillment less stressful.
Here are four ways they’ll streamline your holiday fulfillment process:
EDI Ensures Order Accuracy. Electronic data interchange (EDI) processes allow your 3PL to pass data from system to system, as well as electronically connect to distributors and international shippers. When your data is managed using EDI, the same data that goes in one end comes out the other exactly the same. There’s no need for a human to have to repeatedly enter the same information and risk introducing errors in important shipping documents and customer orders when EDI is in place.
SKUs Tighten Inventory Control. SKUs are a great way to make sure each and every item in the warehouse is tightly tracked from the moment it enters the facility until the moment it leaves. Using these codes allows your 3PL to keep a precise count of how many of the item is still in the warehouse, how many have shipped and when they’ll need to be reordered. Tighter inventory control means no back orders or waits for customers who are trying to get gifts wrapped for the holidays.
Bar Code Scanning Ensures Correct Pick and Pack. Because SKUs are widely utilized in 3PLs, bar code scanning can be used to ensure that the pick and pack process is flawless. Whether your 3PL uses robotic or human pickers with bar code scanners, individual items can be checked against orders before they’re picked and again before packing to ensure that order accuracy is near perfect.
Cartonization Saves Shipping Dollars. Cartonization is an area that a lot of small to medium business owners don’t consider when they do their own order fulfillment, but you can bet your 3PL is thinking about it. Instead of throwing your orders into any old box, they evaluate each and every order and pack it into a box that provides the tightest fit. This saves you money on shipping because your orders take up less space in the delivery vehicles or shipping containers, allowing room for even more holiday deliveries in a single shipment.
Your customers are trusting you to fulfill the orders that will bring them holiday cheer, but with so many boxes to fill it can seem impossible. That’s not a problem when your 3PL partner is ready to help move those items with speed and efficiency that can only be matched by Kris Kringle himself.