When Amazon launched its Prime service in 2005, it set new standards for eCommerce and order fulfillment. 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. The growing speed requirements of the consumer is one of the biggest challenges in competitor supply chains.
If you’re not able to deliver quickly, your customers will go elsewhere.
Here’s how to improve your order fulfillment 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 order fulfillment or warehouse solutions, look for those with retrofitted warehouse automation solutions. This improves picking times and covers gaps in labor shortages.
By implementing these systems your business will be best positioned for success.