For many industries, 2014 is shaping up to be a busy year. Planning for an increase in activity will ensure that your order fulfilment service runs like clockwork and is able to meet demand. Here are our top tips to ensure your order fulfilment service operates smoothly.
Review Historical TrendsIn order to predict your busiest months, why not review last year’s fulfilment activity and see which months were particularly busy. There’s a high likelihood that these trends will repeat themselves this year. Reviewing historical trends can also help predict this year’s percentage increases, based on previous year’s growth statistics.
All Hands on Deck
During busy periods, it pays to have additional staff on board who can make themselves available at short notice. If you predict a busy month ahead, make sure you plan the logistics in advance. Arrange any necessary staff training so that new recruits can add real value to your order fulfilment service rather than simply fulfilling a ‘stand in’ role. This way, you sustain the quality of your order fulfilment while reaping the benefits of a busy period.
Order Extra Stock from Suppliers
If your predictions are right, you’re going to need extra stock from your suppliers as the chances are, it’s going to fly off the pallets. Imagine the frustration at knowing that you could have fulfilled more orders but didn’t because you ran out of stock. Again, reviewing historical trends can help you calculate exactly how much stock you’ll need.
Account for Bank Holidays and Other Deadlines
Make sure you anticipate any fulfilment issues due to bank holidays. If you outsource your transportation services, will they be running as many vehicles on bank holidays and will this delay your order fulfilment? If your fulfilment service relies on the Royal Mail for its postage orders, it’s worth checking the last postal dates before holiday periods. Similarly, if you fulfil orders internationally, you’ll want to check deadlines for international postage.
What other tips do you have to ensure a smooth order fulfilment process? Perhaps you’re a product supplier, what measures do you expect an order fulfilment service to have in place to ensure your orders are fulfilled on time?