Errors are costly, especially when it come to public warehousing!
Fulfillment is a complicated business that depends on many factors coming together at once. However, even if you do everything right in most aspects of the fulfillment process, one aspect of it can negatively impact your company’s efficiency — the order picking process. Picking is crucially important, but it’s also usually labor-intensive and prone to errors.
Reducing picking errors pays rewards both in increased customer satisfaction and in lower costs in the long run. For many companies, leveraging public warehousing can be the solution. Turning to public warehousing is wise for many companies because the solutions to picking errors can be both expensive and intensive to operate. The economies of scale that 3PL companies enjoy make it easier for them to amortize the costs of implementing these solutions. Here are some of the solutions that you can expect to see when you outsource your fulfillment:
- Regular cycle counts. While it’s impractical to repeatedly do a full inventory of a facility, regularly spot checking inventory helps to identify if there are problems before too many packages go out.
- Advanced automation. For many companies, automating the processes is still too complicated and expensive. In a public warehousing setting, though, automation is the order of the day. Robotic picking, advanced warehouse management software, and carousels all enhanced productivity and accuracy.
- Optimized layout. Warehouse layout is a complicated science. While some companies have the right personnel on staff to do it, many turn to 3PL companies or consultants to handle their warehouses. Instead of depending on an outsider to tell you how to organize your warehouse — and constantly having to call him back as things change — public warehousing gives you the ability to use a pre-optimized layout. This reduces the amount of walking and wasted effort that the picking staff endures, reducing fatigue and errors.
- Multiple layers of checks. One of the best practices in use in public warehouses is having multiple layers of redundancy. Pickers check their item counts, then packers count, then shippers repeat the process. The small amount of time that may be wasted on confirming an accurate order is much less than the larger cost of dealing with errors.
- Looking beyond picking. Public warehousing operations carefully inventory the stock that they receive so that they know what they’re responsible for. Sometimes, these inventories reveal that errors are happening in the delivery or receiving process instead of in the picking process.
A public warehousing provider does one thing and does it well. It has access to the latest technology, the best business practices and a hiring process that is geared to bringing in the right staff to get your orders picked and fulfilled correctly. This focus gives it the ability to spot issues more quickly, design better processes and ultimately improve your order accuracy rate. If you’d like to learn more about our how public warehousing and 3PL services can help your company reduce inventory errors, contact Clark Logistic Services.
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