Warehousing: What Function Does The Warehouse Perform In The Fulfillment Process
Warehousing is the process of storing inventory that is sold or distributed to customers. Warehousing is also the foundation of success for any company that sells physical goods. It allows you to store inventory, repackage, and use e-commerce shipping solutions on a large scale.
In this article you will be introduced to the process of order fulfillment, the main functions of warehousing, and the top warehousing companies, so let’s get started now!
What Are The Steps In The Order Fulfillment Process?
In order to begin the process of fulfilling orders, companies must ensure that their incoming inventory is fully processed prior to shipment. The goods should be inventoried and then inspected by the warehouse’s quality control department to ensure they are of the expected quality.
Next, the warehouse staff creates SKUs and barcodes for each item to simplify inventory control and retrieval.
New inventory products should be properly stored in the warehouse. If these arriving products have high sales volume and fast flow, warehouse managers should place them near the parking area to reduce the time to find these products and improve packing efficiency.
Honest Fulphilment has a special order processing system to alert warehouse staff of new orders, where the order will have details of the products purchased by the customer.
In this stage, the warehouse staff responsible for order picking picks the products from storage and the staff picks the products according to the color size, and quantity of the products in the order. Many modern companies have adopted automation and technology to complete this step of the order fulfillment process. For example, box-picking robots can be used to quickly retrieve items from the warehouse.
The warehouse packing team packs the picked products into appropriately sized boxes. It is important to note that employees should pack goods in the smallest size weight possible so that more items can be loaded onto delivery trucks. This can reduce shipping costs and can help speed up transit times. When packing fragile items such as glassware, employees use specialized packaging materials to ensure that products are not damaged during shipping.
Once the goods are packed, they need to be sent to a shipping company, each of which has its own packaging requirements and shipping costs related to weight. The management team must ensure that shipping standards are met so that there are no delays in the delivery of the product.
Finally, the goods are delivered to the customer. The company sends a shipping confirmation to the shopper’s email informing them of the status of the package.
We also recommend asking the brand for feedback on the quality of the product, shipping, and waiting time. This helps to improve issues that arise during order fulfillment in a timely manner.
If a customer is not satisfied and wants to return an item, they need to send the item back with a return label. Employees then inspect the goods, re-stock the items, and process the refund.
5 Primary Functions of Warehousing In The Order Fulfillment Process
The functions of warehousing include proper warehouse setup, efficient receipt of goods, proper storage of temperature-sensitive products, picking and packing in a streamlined manner, and monitoring warehouse logistics. The following is a detailed description of the main functions of warehousing.
Set up your warehouse space correctly and equip it with relevant equipment
Whether your warehouse space is large or small, optimizing its use is of utmost importance. You need to have at least one area for receiving, unpacking, shelving, long-term storage (if applicable), shipping and handling, and office work.
When arranging your warehouse floors, divide the areas by activity.
This will keep your daily operations organized and minimize the chances of supplies or tools being in an unrelated space.
As for the equipment your warehouse will use, it depends on the needs of your business. That being said, all warehouses benefit from basic supplies and tools. Here is a list of equipment that needs to be included
Receiving and storing inventory
Having a strong warehouse organization plan is important for receiving and storing all new stock. If you don’t have enough space, supplies can easily pile up and get in the way of timely outbound work. This area of the warehouse space should always be clear and organized.
Ensure that temperature-controlled products are maintained
This is important if you sell perishable items or food products that need to be maintained at a specific temperature. As your sales grow, make sure your warehouse has storage gear and equipment that meets or exceeds your industry’s regulations.
Pick, pack, and ship products efficiently
Getting your orders picked, packed, and shipped out is one of the most important phases of e-commerce. Set up your packing tables, cross-docking areas, and distribution staging areas as organized and clearly labeled as possible. During periods of high order volume, this will help you fill each order in as short a time as possible.
Monitor warehouse operations to address errors and inconsistencies
It sounds obvious, but no warehouse logistics are perfect. You may have a lot of unused inventory, run out of packaging materials early, or experience inconsistent orders for a particular product.
Use a paper or electronic inventory tracking system to timestamp the inventory received, when it’s ready to be opened, when it’s on the shelf, etc. Then, calculate the average time between each stage in a month, which will give you an accurate rate of receipt. Similar calculations can be used to measure the efficiency of the entire facility, such as the time spent on picking and packing.
After this article, I’m sure you know the importance of warehouses in order fulfillment! If you need an order fulfillment partner, look for Honest Fulphilment is a good choice, we have more than 18 warehouses around the world to meet your various needs, join us now!
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