Modern Retail

5 Ways to Streamline Your Fulfilment Operations

Fulfilment operations

This post first featured in ‘The Essential Guide to Fulfilment – Are Your Logistics Future Fit?’ published in association with PHL. To read the full ebook click here, or scroll to the end of the page to view on page-turning software.

It’s no secret that 2020 has required retailers to adapt their fulfilment operations on a large scale. Many of these changes have been made in a rush, with the aim to simply keep business running smoothly. However, now is the time to streamline these operations, making them as beneficial as possible.

Here’s how you can streamline your fulfilment operations:

  1. Contingency planning

Making sure you are prepared for all eventualities works to combat uncertainty and give you peace of mind when it comes to fulfilment. One way to do this is to outsource fulfilment operations, whether it’s to take care of your entire process, or using them as a backup warehouse. Having the ability to ship out of a secondary warehouse and keep overspill stock in case your primary warehouse has a problem, means you can be agile, adapting as required.

For some retailers, this could be two UK-based warehouses, however for others, it could be worth considering an overseas warehouse or fulfilment companies based in different locations. This can be particularly useful, meaning retailers can continue to operate at normal capacity, even if an area goes into lockdown or is added to a quarantine list due to COVID-19.

  1. Understand stock levels

It is vital to understand stock levels, allowing you to keep on top of quantities, demand and shipping.

Efficient stock management gives you fluidity, enabling you to stock across different warehouses, as well as transporting stock in the most beneficial way to your business.

Stock management software plays a pivotal role, with many retailers benefitting from its ability to import orders from numerous sources, including websites and Amazon, also aligning this with stock across multiple warehouses.

As an example, good stock management software can predict how much you will sell, based on the market, and enable you to better understand your stock requirements. Using this means you can ensure you don’t run out of stock and are ready to ship as required, reducing the likelihood of delays.

  1. Choose the right warehousing

Having a warehouse that is suited to your requirements is essential. An ideal warehouse is accessible, has the storage space you require and has staff that understand your processes and are able to assist with relevant aspects of fulfilment operations. Outsourcing to a fulfilment company means you can be confident that this is left in the hands of professionals, reducing the time and effort you need to invest into finding the perfect warehousing. The reason for this is that they will be able to advise on the most suitable warehouses, based on your requirements and take care of this on your behalf.

  1. Analyse performance

One of the most simple ways to streamline fulfilment operations is to analyse your current situation, understand areas for improvement and adapt processes moving forward. The great news is that a fulfilment company can make recommendations based on your usage, simplifying this process.

  1. Assess returns process

Now is the time to finetune your returns policy. Wherever possible, you should attempt to reduce the number of returns, offering in-depth product and sizing information, as well as accurate descriptions and imagery. However, when returns are required, you should have a clear and concise policy, making it as simple as possible for customers, fulfilment houses and warehouses.

Fulfilment operations

The Power of Great Customer Service

Case Study – Church & Dwight

Church & Dwight is the company behind innovative healthcare brands such as Arm and Hammer, Waterpik, Toppik and Viviscal. In their own words, they “power people’s every day by providing quality, affordable consumer products”. A commitment to providing customers with great products and fantastic service is the bedrock of Church & Dwight’s Company mission.   

PHL provides Church & Dwight with a range of Customer-facing services, including pre and post-sales product support. Our role is to deliver the highest level of customer service, in line with their vision.

Brand alignment – Our customer service team reflects the personality and values of Church & Dwight to give customers a seamless experience. Customers should feel they are talking directly with the brand and not an outsourced solution.

Knowledge of products and services – The PHL team have an extensive technical understanding of the healthcare products, ensuring customers receive the support needed to get the most out of their Church & Dwight purchases.

A skilled workforce– Our customer service team is highly trained and professional. As part of our tailored service, we provide multilingual support for Church & Dwight customers across the UK and EU via both phone and email.

Friendly & proactive – We are an upbeat and personable team who genuinely care about helping people. Our culture is about offering solutions and resolving queries quickly and satisfactorily.

Excellent customer service is vital to the success of any retail business. It is the most direct form of communication between you and your customers, and research shows that the more satisfied customers are, the more likely they will return. Simply put, happy customers are loyal customers.

If you are interested in learning more about how PHL tailor customer-facing services to embody your company values and ethos, then please get in touch directly with our Sales Director, Laura Palmer.

[email protected]

Direct – 01938 578310

Switch Board – 01938 551919

Read the full version of ‘The Essential Guide to Fulfilment – Are Your Logistics Future Fit?’ below.