Distribution centers handle product storage and shipping. They keep a detailed inventory of all incoming and outgoing goods to ensure complete accuracy and efficiency of every shipment. Warehousing and distribution services also handle order fulfillment, take stock of inventory, and ship out items. These distribution center processes are typically carried out on a tight schedule.
To accommodate the constant flux of incoming and outgoing shipments, distribution centers are typically equipped with a loading dock, storage area (kind of like a warehouse) and a shipping area. Efficiency, accuracy, and organization are all imperative characteristics of fully functional e-commerce distribution services to ensure smooth operations at all times.
What Does the Distribution Center Process Entail?
This includes inventory restocking/replenishment to guarantee that there’s always enough product stored for order fulfillment and shipping when it’s needed. During especially busy times like the holidays or even lockdown when most people are forced to order items online, proper inventory management through e-commerce distribution services is especially important.
Failing to thoroughly track inventory, predict demand for certain items, or restock in-demand items can cause serious issues like prolonged backorders and stockouts or out-of-stock events. Stockouts and out-of-stock events occur when there isn’t enough inventory supply to meet large demand and the stock is completely exhausted until a new order can be placed with the manufacturer.
Pick and Pack Fulfillment Services
Unlike warehouses which merely store inventory for indiscriminate periods of time, distribution centers typically move at a much faster pace. Distribution centers are responsible for direct order fulfillment, product mixing, packaging, cross-docking, and more. Products in distribution centers typically have a shorter shelf life or expiration date and need to be delivered as quickly as possible, whereas warehouse inventory can be stored for a longer period of time. That’s where a good pick and pack fulfillment process comes in handy.
Returns are a normal part of commerce, whether it’s online or in-store shopping. However, the process is a little more complicated for e-commerce businesses than brick-and-mortar ones.
E-commerce businesses rely on distribution centers to handle returns for them through an RMA system. RMA systems are essential for managing e-commerce returns because they make the process a lot smoother and easier for customers and businesses. Businesses can and should provide return shipping labels for customers to send unwanted items back.
RMA systems also make it easier to process returns, issue refunds, and issue product exchanges. Making the return process as seamless as possible also ensures customer satisfaction and can aid in customer retention for future purchases.
Restocking and Auditing
One major distribution center benefit is that they take care of inventory restocking/replenishment and auditing on behalf of businesses. Distribution centers must keep a detailed record of all current incoming and outgoing inventory to guarantee that there are no product shortages.
You want to make sure that you always have a sufficient supply of product to meet the demand. Distribution centers must work closely with warehouses to ensure that inventory records are always kept up to date and that all shipments go out according to schedule. Working with multiple warehouses means that distribution centers need to keep the lines of communication open at all times across all channels.
Using a secure cloud-based network of state-of-the-art inventory auditing and tracking systems is an effective way of ensuring you always have enough product to meet the demand. Failing to restock products in time or not preparing to meet the demands of your customers can result in what’s known as a split shipment, which is when products that have multiple items are shipped separately as the parts become available. While most customers are understanding about this as long as you explain the situation to them, it can cause a huge inconvenience and customer dissatisfaction if they needed the item shipped immediately.
Overstocking is just as detrimental as understocking as you could be sitting on large amounts of inventory for a long time. Overstock items can end up costing you money because they take up space in the warehouse that could be used for more popular items. Companies typically have to sell these items at a discounted rate just to get rid of them. Working with a prominent supply chain company like Lean Supply Solutions can help you avoid under and overstocking product.
Benefits of Choosing Lean Supply Solutions’ Distribution Centers
At Lean Supply Solutions, we have a customer-focused protocol that’s dedicated to not only storing products, but also meeting and exceeding customer expectations to the best of our ability. Here are a few reasons why you should work with us.
We’re partnered with trusted transportation companies that enable us to provide our customers with cost-effective and efficient shipping solutions, so that we can get products out to end-customers as quickly and safely as possible.
Meet Clients’ Specific Requirements
Every client is unique and has their own set of shipping requirements. We use a detailed Warehouse Management System that records all client information, so that we can effectively manage and fulfill orders according to end-customer specifications.
Reduce Overall Distribution Costs
With a strong commitment to eliminating waste throughout every step of our supply chain and distribution process, we’re focused on improving our organization’s performance one step at a time. And it all starts with cutting down unnecessary expenditures that are eating away at your budget.
Integrated with Powerful Technology
We use a versatile and secure series of cloud-based technological networks that are designed to be effortlessly integrated with the platforms used by our customers. Our customers can synchronize their online ordering platforms with our network, so that any orders placed on your website will be redirected to our system immediately.
Reliable and Experienced Partner
Our mantra is “produce the right products and provide the right services at the required time in the required quantities with consistency and predictability”—and we stand by it. Over the years, we’ve proven our loyalty and capability to adapt to and integrate evolving technological components into our business model to make our logistics protocols as easily accessible to our clients as possible.
Why Choose Lean Supply Solutions as Your Preferred Distribution Center?
Using our incomparable industry experience and knowledge, we can help you streamline your e-commerce or brick-and-mortar distribution processes significantly. By employing sophisticated SCPaaS cloud computing technology, Lean Supply Solutions can help you update inventory levels, process order fulfillments, process refunds, boost customer experience, and process payments quickly. Contact us today to learn more.