When Amazon launched its Prime service in 2005, it set new standards for eCommerce and order fulfilment. With low-cost next-day delivery and free two-day delivery, it altered consumer expectations regarding delivery times causing many online shoppers to expect comparable speeds elsewhere.
Matching these expectations is tough for many retailers with meeting the speed requirements of the consumer being one of the biggest challenges in their supply chains.
But if you’re not able to deliver quickly, your customers may go elsewhere.
Here’s how to improve your order fulfilment speed in your business with four key strategies.
Micro-Fulfillment Centers (MFCs)
Instead of opening large distribution centers covering the entire country, open smaller MFCs situated strategically close to major urban areas. By doing this you will shorten delivery times.
The drawback to this may be the combined real estate costs.
Work With Third-Party Logistics (3PL) Providers
If your current distribution infrastructure can match the speed demands of your customers, partner with a 3PL provider with their own existing fulfilment centers across the country to meet this need. They can handle your order fulfilment, receive and store products, and pick and ship.
Make Use Of Your Brick-and-Mortar Stores
If you have a brick-and-mortar retail element to your business, utilize it to meet fulfilment demands.
For many grocery stores offering online shopping, this has been a valuable strategy.
When looking for global warehouse solutions, retrofit warehouse automation such as robotic order picking systems. This improves picking times and covers gaps in labor shortages.