Knowing that your distribution fulfillment strategy is working gives you a better insight into how your business is performing. This is important for reducing order fulfillment errors, improving your inventory management and remaining competitive. Supply chain leaders must learn to recognize the warning signs of risky fulfillment strategies, the indicators of success, and how to maintain positive growth to stay profitable.

Using Various Freight Tactics to Reduce Costs & Streamline Management

Signs That You Might Need a New Fulfillment Strategy

Warning signs of a strategy on the brink of collapse include:

  • Lengthy product cycle times.
  • Poor replenishment and reordering of inventory.
  • Limited visibility in procurement.
  • Higher freight spend.
  • Inability to manage laborers and workflows.

Indicators of a Strong Strategy

A strong distribution fulfillment strategy must enable continued scalability, agility, and profitability. Key indicators that your strategy is working include:

Strong, Lean Inventory

A strong inventory is a benchmark for a working distribution fulfillment strategy. Without inventory, your strategy is immediately on the back foot. If you plan to fulfill orders in-house, you must have the inventory available immediately.

If outsourcing your distribution fulfillment strategy, your inventory needs to be with the provider who is distributing goods on your behalf.

Either way, if you have a strong inventory in place, it’s the first sign that your strategy is working.

Well-Stored and Organized Inventory

Inventory storage and organization is key to the success of any distribution fulfillment strategy. It ensures that your goods are secure and protected while enabling you to track what is available to ship to your customers.

If your warehouse is well-stocked, organized, and easy to navigate for order processing, it’s another good indication that your distribution fulfillment strategy is operating as it should.

Quickly Processing Orders

If you are processing orders quickly, your strategy is working to perfection. It’s a good sign if your distribution fulfillment strategy has clear instructions on which materials should be used to pack different products, and packing slips and labels are consistently added to ensure that there are no distribution errors once goods leave your storage facility.

Smooth Shipping Processes

Consistently meeting despatch and delivery deadlines is another key indicator that your distribution fulfillment strategy is working. Partnering with reliable shipping firms for national and international distribution is a smart way to keep to your shipping schedules and meet deadlines consistently.

Factors to Consider That Keep Your Distribution Fulfillment Strategy Working

Now that you know the signs that your distribution fulfillment strategy is working, how do you keep it that way? Here are the top things to consider:

The Location of Distribution Centers

While the size of your storage space matters for maintaining inventory levels, the location of your distribution centers is a determining factor for fulfilling orders. Your customers demand faster delivery at ever more
affordable costs.

There are several ways you can keep your distribution fulfillment strategy working when it comes to location, such as:

  • Urban fulfillment centers, which will allow you to quickly and affordably ship to customers in bigger cities with larger populations.
  • Store fronts-as-a-distribution center, which maximizes omnichannel value and keeps all inventory in mind.
  • Spread inventory across multiple locations, which will allow you to distribute goods within close proximity to your customers.

The more distribution fulfillment centers you have in proximity to common shipping destinations, the more you can leverage ground shipping. Remember that ground shipping is considerably more cost-effective than air expedited shipping and much faster than shipping from greater distances.

Leveraging Technology

Technology integration will help to future-proof your distribution fulfillment strategy. Software implementation and optimization allow you to improve your supply chain systems and enable omnichannel fulfillment.

You can better manage your orders and track essential information, including inventory quantities, which will help you ensure that you can fulfill orders across multiple locations.

Free Shipping

Free shipping as part of a distribution fulfillment strategy is becoming more prevalent and essential to customer satisfaction. Reducing shipping times and delivery costs will attract more customers.

Offering free shipping can increase customers’ order and retention rates, but bear in mind that it can be expensive, especially if you have a high return rate.

Get the Help You Need With Your Distribution Fulfillment Strategy

Strategy is everything in successful supply chains and efficient warehouses. Knowing when things might go wrong, recognizing what goes right, and recognizing the top considerations to continue to build a better strategy, your organization can attain lasting success. 

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