By: Maggie M. Barnett, Esq., COO at ShipHero
Over the years, plenty of brands moved their fulfillment outsourcing overseas, setting up a series of complications in the wake of COVID-19.
While the pandemic continues to disrupt supply chains, brands are taking the opportunity to reevaluate their logistics processes and build a stronger shipping plan. By taking steps to identify pain points, leverage warehouse data, and bring outsourced fulfillment closer to home, the interrupted logistics network can become less of a daunting obstacle.
1. Identify supply chain pain points
The first step to solving supply chain woes is to identify where the pain points are. Most eCommerce brands are hitting roadblocks when importing their products into the U.S. and communicating with their fulfillment partners.
Whether it’s a lack of flexibility, an inability to meet customer demand, or outdated IT systems, it’s essential to understand specific areas of trouble in order to start making improvements. The best way to narrow down the exact issues impacting your supply chain is by leveraging warehouse data.
2. Leveraging warehouse data
To get an idea for where there’s room for improvement, brands are beefing up their data capture and analysis procedures. This elevated visibility offers a way to better understand inventory, customer demand, warehouse capacity and how these factors drive the cost of running a business.
Without a digitally driven logistics operation, risk mitigation becomes infinitely more difficult. In such a volatile supply chain environment, improved visibility is a key initiative for emerging consumer brands aiming to optimize their fulfillment processes.
3. Mitigate supply chain risks
For years, eCommerce brands moved their fulfillment outsourcing to other countries, opening the door to an untenable amount of risk that went mostly ignored until the onset of the pandemic.
Now, brands are opting to bring their fulfillment operations back in-country, granting them more control and flexibility when shipping products to their customers’ doorstep. While this might come with a higher price tag than warehouses in another country, mitigating the risk of bottlenecks and inventory shortages is well worth it. While the fulfillment outsourcing cost might be higher in-country, the ability to get supplies and shipments reliably will help meet customer expectations and avoid expensive issues down the line.
4. Communication within the business
For any successful business, communication is key. That’s especially true for teams juggling the uncertainties of today’s supply chain. In order to avoid bottlenecks and mis-ships, sales, devs and warehouse workers need to all be on the same page.
For brands working through multiple 3PLs, communication is especially difficult. When evaluating your shipping partnerships, it’s a good idea to find fulfillment outsourcing options that offer more efficient and holistic processes.
Communication with your customer base has also gained new importance in light of shipping complications. Being upfront about delivery times, or including a breakdown of raised prices can go a long way when building trust in your customer relationships.
5. Determine the best supply chain solution for you
No two eCommerce brands are exactly alike, and the shipping solutions that work for one business might not apply to another. There’s no cut and dry solution to today’s supply chain issues, so brands need to find creative, custom solutions that empower their customers, employees and shipping partners.
Outsourcing fulfillment, especially with multiple 3PLs, can easily complicate any of the steps listed above, so it’s important to seek out reliable partnerships that can set your brand up for success in the long term.
That’s why so many brands are turning to ShipHero for a reliable fulfillment option that offers superior data management. From emerging eCommerce stores to Fortune 500s, ShipHero helps clients grow their business with a dependable shipping partnership.
If you’re struggling to get your Fulfillment Operations under control, contact ShipHero’s Fulfillment Experts today to talk about our fully outsourced fulfillment solution.
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Maggie M. Barnett, Esq., COO
About the author: Maggie M. Barnett, Esq., is the COO of ShipHero. She is responsible for planning and executing the overall operational, legal, managerial and administrative procedures, reporting structures and operational controls of the organization. Barnett’s greatest strengths are leadership, risk mitigation, change management and a passion for business transformation. She is known for her expertise in delivering operational excellence and an ability to provide guidance and mitigating risk. Her leadership of ShipHero is grounded in a servant mentality, always doing the right thing for our stakeholders. Her passion for ShipHero comes from the ability to drive operational excellence throughout the organization impacting the lives of our employees, customers, and partners.