Engage with Your 3PL Partner to Deal with Post-Holiday Returns
The holidays are a time of hyper-consumerism. People purchase a plethora of gifts for family members and friends. Not to burst anyone’s bubble, but statistics show that the majority of those gifts are likely to be returned for various reasons. And the massive surge of online shopping and e-commerce transactions that was brought on by the pandemic means that most of those returns will have to be electronically processed rather than at a store.
When you outsource e-commerce and 3PL fulfillment services, you get access to extensive return management that provides automatic updates on each transaction.
Here’s how the right 3PL partner can help you stay on top of your post-holiday returns.
Turn Your Return Policy into a Sales Growth Opportunity
Empowering your sales team and representatives with in-depth knowledge of your brand and a flexible and seamless return policy makes it easier for them to maintain customer satisfaction. Gift returns don’t necessarily mean that the customer had a bad experience with your brand. It could just mean that the product wasn’t what they wanted or that it was the wrong shape, size, or colour.
Every time a customer calls or emails to inquire about your return policy, your team has a unique opportunity to spin the conversation in a more positive direction. Ask meaningful questions that reveal a little bit about themselves. Why they’re returning the product is a good conversation starter. If applicable to the situation, tell the customer about other products or services that they might enjoy instead.
Fine-Tune Your Return Process
Make sure your website features a step-by-step guideline on how to return unwanted merchandise. To ensure total customer satisfaction, returns should be handled as efficiently as possible. It should be as simple as contacting your organization, speaking to a customer service representative, and getting the return request processed in a customer relationship management (CRM) system. Once the request is processed, send the customer a prepaid return shipping label. This will facilitate a smooth return process with minimal customer inconvenience.
Designate a space in your warehouse or distribution center to receive and organize returned products and avoid any mishaps.
Train Your Customer Support Team to Handle Returns
Customer service representatives are the backbone of brick-and-mortar and e-commerce businesses. They’re the customer-facing frontline workers that directly process transactions, answer questions, resolve complaints, and provide feasible solutions to everyday issues on a regular basis. It’s important to provide your customer support team with the necessary resources to do their jobs properly and to the best of their abilities. Make sure they’re fully trained to process returns quickly and efficiently to make the process as easy as possible for everyone involved.
Discuss Holiday Returns with Your 3PL Fulfillment Partner
A large influx of returns during the post-holiday season is standard practice in the supply chain industry. But you have to have a feasible plan in place to make sure that returns and refunds are processed in a timely manner and minimize revenue loss as much as possible during this time. Now is the time to start devising a detailed holiday returns plan alongside your 3PL fulfillment partner.
Lean Supply Solutions can handle your returns management needs on your behalf. We sophisticated automated systems in place that accurately track all transactional metrics, including returns with ease. Contact us today to learn more about our services.
- Published in Blog
Top 5 Benefits of Outsourcing Warehousing and Distribution to 3PL Logistics
From small businesses and start-ups trying to gain some clout in specific industries to large well-established enterprises that want to break into new markets across the globe, outsourcing warehouse and distribution operations to 3PL services is a smart move. Supply chain outsourcing companies have the expertise and access to state-of-the-art technological equipment to help scale your business by setting and achieving new daily objectives.
Is your business ready to take the plunge? Here are five reasons why you should consider working with warehouse outsourcing companies to bolster your supply chain operations.
Scale Up Your Business with 3PL Fulfillment Services
Business expansion means inevitably breaking into new markets and growing your product line to meet evolving customer demands. Outsourcing 3PL distribution and warehousing services can help you better scale your business, seamlessly transition into seasonal changes, and provide you with flexible supply chain solutions to meet your transactional needs.
Significant Cost Savings
Renting or purchasing warehouse spaces to store inventory requires a significant financial investment. It also means taking on large financial risks. As your business continues to grow, you’re going to need to keep expanding the warehouse space, hire more personnel, purchase more material handling equipment, etc. All of these factors increase your overhead costs and tie up funds that can be allocated for running your core business.
Outsourcing warehouse and distribution services from a 3PL provider eliminates all of this financial risk and helps you take steps to further scale your business.
Concentrate on Core Business Operations
Partnering with expert 3PL fulfillment services allows you to concentrate on managing and investing capital into your core business operations without constantly having to worry about what’s going on in the warehouse. Concentrate on running your backend operations, closing business deals, and managing your employees to achieve new heights of success and let 3PL experts worry about your warehouse and distribution operations.
Get Expert Insights to Streamline Warehouse and Distribution Operations
Contrary to what you might think, you don’t have to figure everything out on your own. Along with many years of professional experience, supply chain outsourcing companies have access to the technological equipment and resources to provide palpable warehouse and distribution solutions that streamline your operations. Outsourcing warehouse and distribution services gives you the strategic foothold you need to increase operational efficiency, cut costs, and scale your business the smart way.
Add Value to Your Supply Chain Operations
3PL fulfillment services add a lot of value to your warehousing and logistics operations. Services include cross-docking, kitting, repackaging, assembly, processing product returns, product inspection, reverse logistics, order consolidation, and more. Hiring a 3PL company to handle these tasks for you can save you a lot of time and money and ensure that your operations run smoothly.
Get Expert 3PL Services from Lean Supply Solutions
Lean Supply Solutions offers effective, reliable, and flexible end-to-end supply chain strategies and customized logistics solutions that can streamline your operational efficiency and accuracy. Contact us today to find out how our extensive 3PL fulfillment services can work for you.
- Published in Blog
Top 5 Factors to Consider while Choosing a New Fulfillment Partner for Your Business
As your business continues to grow and managing it keeps you busier than ever, choosing the right order fulfillment services to support your organization is absolutely vital. E-commerce fulfillment services can help you manage and process incoming and outgoing shipping transactions. Working with the right fulfillment partner can also help you identify specific inaccuracies and inefficiencies in your shipping process, so that you can make the necessary improvements in your supply chain management.
If you’re in the process of looking for reliable and efficient e-commerce supply chain management services, here are some of the most important factors to consider.
Understand the Services Offered by the Fulfillment Partner
When looking into 3PL distribution companies, it’s important to consider what types of services they offer. Standard supply chain management includes picking, storage, packing, and shipping. But some supply chain management companies may offer additional services such as kitting, high production assemblies, and flexible storage options to accommodate your growing brand’s increasing needs. It’s important to ask about these types of services before signing a contract with a company.
Make Sure They Leverage Modern Technology
Regardless of distance, modern technology is pivotal to fulfilling online transactions and delivery processes. When seeking out e-commerce fulfillment services, it’s recommended that you inquire about their specific technological infrastructure to ensure they have the resources necessary to carry out your fulfillment processes.
Learn about Fulfillment Partner Support Services and Response Times
Order fulfillment is a very time-sensitive process. Customers expect that their orders are being worked on almost immediately after they’ve been placed. They want updates in real-time, so they can track their order delivery status and guarantee that it will arrive within a certain timeframe.
Communication and fast response times are crucial components of 3PL distribution because they demonstrate that these order fulfillment companies are committed to offering excellent customer service and consistently fast delivery options.
Look into Their Industry Experience and Past Track Record
Industry experience is another qualifying factor that indicates exactly what kind of procedural results you can expect from your e-commerce supply chain management company. That’s not to discredit the expertise or work ethic of newer organizations, but it’s a lot easier for businesses to make an informed decision about 3PL distribution standards when they have a past track record to make comparisons.
Get Insights about the Pricing of Fulfillment Services
Whether you’re a new or more established business, you likely have a set annual budget allocated for fulfillment services. Partnering with 3PL order fulfillment services can actually get you significant price breaks or discounts on minimum orders and recurring payments. But remember that opting for the cheapest services isn’t always a wise choice. You should look into what services each e-commerce supply chain management company has to offer at different price points and go from there. Consider whether the companies have specific order minimums in place and whether they will charge you extra for overages or if they offer more flexible shipping, returning, and storage bundles.
Lean Supply Solutions is a privately owned corporation that provides integrated customized solutions for complex logistics procedures. We provide diverse and innovative shipping and handling solutions to a wide range of companies across multiple industries across the globe. Contact us today to learn more.
- Published in Blog
Top 5 Supply Chain Strategies for E-Commerce Businesses in 2021 and Beyond
There’s no such thing as universal one-size-fits-all supply chain strategies for e-commerce businesses. Every business has its own unique set of qualitative and quantitative supply chain standards, management requirements, and strategies that maximize efficiency and productivity with one common goal in mind: to achieve as much customer satisfaction as possible. A masterfully planned and executed e-commerce supply chain management strategy can help create positive customer experiences and perceptions of your business, which increases your brand value. A high brand value based on consistently meeting and exceeding customer expectations can lead to significant business growth in a relatively short period of time.
These are the top five supply chain order fulfillment strategies to help you reach new levels of e-commerce success in 2021 and beyond!
Use an Effective Warehouse Management System (WMS)
Warehouse operational costs can go through the roof, especially for larger facilities with a lot of inventory to store or move. Fulfillment and labour costs, not to mention the costs of purchasing and maintaining equipment can lead to massive budget overflows. With the help of a detailed and sophisticated warehouse management system, you can minimize your operational expenditures without compromising the quality or efficacy of your operations.
Ensure Better Returns Management
Returns are an inevitability in the retail industry. Whether customers were simply dissatisfied with the product they receive, it wasn’t what they expected, or it was defective, every e-commerce business needs a reliable, reasonable, and effective method of handling returns. Using a digital barcode scanner to track all incoming and outgoing packages can help you stay organized and ensure that all transactions are properly processed in a timely fashion.
Stay Informed about the Velocity of Your Goods
Velocity of goods has to do with the amount of time it takes each product to sell from the time it hits the market, so to speak. This is usually determined by three important factors: the demand, affordability, and marketing of the product. Certain products are typically expected to move faster than others. Keep track of which products move faster, so that you can calculate your sales margins accurately and decide which items should be liquidated to reduce storage time and expenses.
Leverage Advanced Mobile Technology and Software Architecture Like SCPaaS
Supply Chain Platform as a Service (SCPaaS) effectively utilizes secure cloud-based platforms and digital storage solutions to store confidential business information and grant convenient access only to authorized personnel. Supply chains are a combination of multiplatform digital and brick-and-mortar entities that must work together in perfect harmony in order to yield positive results. All product movements in and out of facilities must be updated and recorded in a timely manner to ensure the utmost accuracy. Leveraging advanced mobile technology and software architectures effectively enhances large scale supply chain solutions for better capital gains.
Use Third-Party Logistics to Boost Supply Chain Management Goals
Trustworthy and transparent third-party logistics companies should have a proven track record when it comes to helping businesses establish efficient customized order fulfillment strategies that meet and exceed their goals. Internal fulfillment facilities often lack the space, personnel, and advanced technology to fully support massive business expansion whereas 3PL solutions are equipped to handle all levels of growth.
Lean Supply Solutions is different from other 3PL service providers. We take on a customers-first approach that ensures consumer satisfaction and on-time safe delivery methods are the top priority. We’re able to accomplish this at every turn, even when faced with unthinkable circumstances, through the use of our advanced technological SCPaaS and Harmony Logistics Platform as a Service (HLPaaS) cloud-based system. Contact us today to learn more.
- Published in Blog
Best Fulfillment Service Practices to Ensure an Excellent Customer Experience
When it comes to establishing and keeping up a successful business empire, nothing is more important than delivering consistently positive customer experiences at every turn. Customer experience is the pinnacle of every modern-day digitally delivery-based organization. You either deliver good or bad customer experiences—there’s no in-between.
For digital businesses, it starts with utilizing the best fulfillment service practices that enable you to offer quick, reliable, and reasonable order processing and delivery timelines. Good end-to-end customer experiences are closely tied to overall customer satisfaction and the likelihood of repeat purchases as well as personal recommendations. Follow these tips to improve your order fulfillment strategies and maximize the efficiency of your warehousing and distribution services.
Update Customers on Their Order Status
Consumers these days thrive on instant gratification and have come to expect it from the companies they support. To sufficiently appeal to this expectation, modern brands send an automatic order confirmation email containing order details along with a reference and tracking number so customers can track their order progress. This helps improve the post-order customer experience and ensures customers are fully updated at all times on the status of their order including estimated arrival dates, delays, and other information.
Use 3PL to Ensure Fast Delivery Speed
Third-party logistics, also known as 3PL, involves outsourcing third-party organizations that have the necessary resources available to fulfill certain portions of supply chain applications and services. This includes fulfillment services, warehousing, and distribution. New and established brands alike can save a lot of money and make their supply chain processes far more efficient and accurate by integrating advanced 3PL practices into their business models.
Create a Positive Branding, Packaging, and Unboxing Experience
Unboxing is a key component in today’s shopping experience. Many social media influencers have built up their entire brands solely on showcasing themselves opening and unboxing products in front of millions of followers online. Packaging is the first thing consumers see when they receive your product. Not only does it have to be sturdy and capable of withstanding all kinds of environmental and handling damages, but it should also aptly represent your brand. This creates a positive and memorable first impression and unboxing experience.
Maintain Product and Brand Transparency with a Good Return Policy
Ordering products, particularly clothes, is a little daunting. Sometimes, products show up and they’re not what you expected or they don’t fit right. That’s why so many people still prefer shopping at brick-and-mortar stores where they can see, touch, and even smell products in person. While it’s impossible to replicate that same shopping experience online, you can offer your customers total product and brand transparency along with a reasonable return policy. Providing customers with a return shipping label indicates that you truly value their patronage.
Transparency of this nature builds brand loyalty by earning the trust and respect of your customers. Use clear, concise, and straightforward packaging that’s also durable so that customers can easily recognize your brand and product.
Boost Supply Chain Efficiency with a WMS
A proper and fully integrated warehouse management system (WMS) helps organize and track inventory levels so that you can replenish or replace items as needed. Through advanced technological automation, WMS software can help you optimize warehouse and distribution center management for faster output and improved end-customer experiences.
Lean Supply Solutions: Your Trusted 3PL Partner
Through expert warehousing and distribution center services and processes, Lean Supply Solutions has helped numerous brands improve their order fulfillment strategies to create better customer experiences. With over 20 years of experience and a proven track record, our sophisticated 3PL solutions speak for themselves. Contact us today to learn more and partner with us.
- Published in Blog