January through March are months of great opportunity for fulfillment warehouses; holiday returns have been processed, consumer spending is generally down, and new marketing campaigns are often in the implementation phase. This makes January through March a great time to critically review and assess internal operations with a focus on keeping costs down and service levels up.
Some areas of focus for service level improvement and cost reduction.
- Work to minimize employee turnover. In order to keep your best workers for instance, clearly communicate your expectations of them and give them a chance to provide feedback. Create a workplace environment that makes people want to stay. It is particularly critical to motivate and keep good first-line managers who can motivate fellow employees, communicate change, and effectively manage a multilingual workforce with flexible schedules.
- Maximize fulfillment warehouses open space and operational efficiencies. Avoid the significant expense of fulfillment warehouse relocation by improving current space utilization and efficiencies. Try to change storage and work area configurations to postpone the need to move.
- Take the time to document or fine-tune the performance metrics of your fulfillment service company. It is critical in this data-driven environment to measure operational and financial performance against pre-defined benchmarks. Take the time to examine historical data and fine-tune those metrics so they become a standard and integral part of business operations. Effective performance metrics are both a benefit to company management but also a strong marketing plus for prospective clients.
- Take a critical look at company infrastructure and partnerships. Evaluate server and systems infrastructure to ensure there is adequate memory, bandwidth and security in place. Examine the terms, performance and costs associated with all partnerships – from freight carriers to packaging providers and office supply providers.
In conclusion, use the first months of the New Year to sharpen your operations, reduce costs and gain a competitive advantage. For additional information about the fulfillment services offered by Fulfillment America, contact us for further information.