All That You Desired to Know Regarding Fulfillment for ECommerce

The fulfillment for eCommerce is the central part of your eCommerce sales chain that helps you deliver your products to customers. Basically, e-Commerce fulfillment is a comprehensive process involving activities ranging from receiving orders to documenting, picking, packing, and finally shipping of items through third-party logistics of global recognition. Simply put, in the beginning, while most online retail houses were used to maintain inventory while packing boxes in their workshop like a garage, etc., as they grow with millions of customers across the globe, they consider outsourcing their order fulfillment third-party logistics company or 3PL.

The consistency and similarity of predictable and accurate order fulfillment is the success key to keep customers happy, earn positive reviews, and multiply the market. A well-planned and professionally managed eCommerce fulfillment not only saves your money, time but equally helps your online retail business project operate seamlessly with increased market reach. To make this monumental project success, working with a specialized eCommerce fulfillment service provider should be your first priority that helps make your business lively and agile. Here’ we are going to discuss the four basic elements of the e-commerce fulfillment process:

Receiving

Having inventory in hand is essential to fulfill orders coming through your retail business partner. On receipt of the pallets, items are documented, logged in inventory, stored on the shelves, and other kinds of storage units. Since you are equipped with a professional fulfillment for eCommerce partner, maintaining inventory is essential to take care of fulfilling orders from your trusted associate.

Inventory storage

Inventory storage, which is widely known as warehousing involves effective organization as well as storage of the shipments, which should be done proficiently by your outsourced partner. To undertake your larger online operation successfully, the fulfillment point should have a large-scale storage arrangement combining with bins, shelves, high-tech mobile shelving systems, and also pallets. Appropriate inventory storage is essential to keep merchandise secure, protected, which offers higher visibility to understand what is available in stock or for the execution of order while which are about to finish. This helps in maintaining high-class integration among the retail stores and its 3L partner.

Order processing

As orders continue to come, they need to get processed keeping the same speed. This processing job involves 3 vital steps including picking, packing, and getting them ready for shipping to customers. Each material packed and ready for ship should be included with a slip explaining the warehouse location, quantities apart from instructions like the kind of packaging material used including boxes, ploy bags, packing tape, bubble mailers, bubble wrap – or using customized packaging that reaches end customers in undamaged condition. Finally, shipping labels should be affixed to the package.

Shipping

Immediately on the processing of the order and labeling is done, it needs to be shipped. This process of shipping usually includes global courier companies like UPS Store, DHL service, or its equivalent and once it’s shipped, the retail shop is sent the tracking info which can equally be shared with customers enabling them to track their deliveries.

Return processing

Whereas a customer returns an order, they are shipped directly to the fulfillment for an eCommerce service provider or the retailing point where it needs to be evaluated. Based on the cause of return, item quality, and the return policy of the retainer company, the item may be restocked as obtainable inventory or discarded due to faulty.

ePakShip is a fulfillment center located in Lexington, KY offering order fulfillment services such as pick, pack, ship, inventory management, warehousing, shopping cart integration, and so on. To know more, visit https://epakship.com/about/.

The Innovative Leader: Skills and Strategies

Challenging circumstances and complex issues face every leader today, no matter the organization or environment. These circumstances and issues give rise to ever-increasing demands for leaders who have the capability to innovate.

Leaders who innovate see the bigger picture, grasp the entire situation including all the variables that may come their way. This means they have the capacity to think differently about their organization, they have the skills which allow them to bring new ideas and energy to their role, to address challenging situations and find solutions to complex issues. As a result, they bring more innovation into the entire organization.

Skills:

Innovative leaders have powerful imaginations, they challenge everything, looking where others have not looked. They constantly ask, ‘What if?’ And because they do, they find new opportunities and take reasonable and appropriate risks. An XBInsight survey of over 5,000 CEOs worldwide found innovative leaders are more successful than non-innovative leaders as a result of five key competencies. The survey found innovative leaders are better able to manage risk and seize opportunities. They demonstrate curiosity, lead courageously, and maximize a strategic business perspective.

Because they have excellent communication skills, innovative leaders generate enthusiasm for opportunities, motivating and inspiring others to collaborate with them and take the needed risks. They apply emotional intelligence to their everyday lives, continually building relationships with team members, colleagues, and bosses. They have confidence in their team, recognize and support creativity in the team, and the ability of them to work together effectively on implementation strategies.

Finally, innovative leaders are tuned in to the details of a situation and its effect on the organization. They dig down to seek out new patterns and consider new points of view. They are willing to change their perspective, challenging their own previously held convictions.

Strategies:

Innovation is about implementation. Without implementation, innovation is creativity – the generation of new ideas, something new without the application – non quantifiable, minimal risk, and no investment. Kouzes and Posner, in their book, The Leadership Challenge, encourage leaders to challenge the status quo by searching for opportunities, experimenting, and taking risks. They suggest leaders ask themselves:

  • What can be challenged?
  • What needs to be improved?
  • What can I learn?

To drive innovation in your organization, consider applying the following five strategies.

1. Increase your knowledge from a variety of sources.

Innovation is based on knowledge. Therefore, you need to continually expand your knowledge base. Read things you don’t normally read. Think about your personal experiences. Is there knowledge or skills you can apply to being innovative at work? What are your interests, hobbies, or volunteer activities? Do you play the piano, are you a gourmet chef, do you write short stories? Thinking about personal experiences may help you to tap into other knowledge and expertise and leverage them at work.

2. Treat patterns as part of the problem.

Sometimes we rely on previous experience to determine our next steps and we fall into a pattern of behaviour. Reach out to team members, colleagues, and bosses to test out your innovation plans. Are you relying on previous experience only to develop your solution? Are you spending time to reflect on the justification of your assumptions, beliefs and values?

3. Turn off idea generation and work on implementation.

Creativity is the process for generating ideas, lots of ideas. But at some point, you need to stop, step back, and decide on which idea to implement. Innovation is about actually working the idea, implementing and executing in order to bring the idea to life.

4. Foster an innovative environment.

Involve your team in your innovation decisions. Communicate and collaborate with them. Part of your role as a leader is to encourage the creativity of those who report to you. Make sure they have the tools they need to create and adapt to change. You do not need to, or should you, do this alone. That is why you have a team. Be a courageous change agent by trusting yourself to trust and lean on others. As you build your innovation skills and expertise, your team should be building theirs as well.

5. Evaluate, revise, repeat.

As with any change, it’s critical to evaluate the result. Ask yourself, and your team, what has been learned from the experience? Did anything occur that was not expected? What would we do differently? What could we have done better? Document your findings and apply them to the next situation that needs innovative thinking.

Innovation is not about the past but rather, visualizing a desired future state. The goal of innovation is to find a better way.

How To Not Crash The Airplane Under Pressure

Let me give you a hypothetical high-pressure situation.

You’re the pilot of a small, single engine airplane. You take off, alone, in this single engine airplane, and head out over a large body of open water. At about 800 feet above this water, your single engine starts to sound funny (and not in a “ha-ha” way), and you notice you’re not gaining altitude at the rate you should be. At around 1200 feet above the water, your single engine quits.

This is a high-pressure situation. What do you do?

Fortunately for you, it’s a hypothetical high-pressure situation. Unfortunately for me, it wasn’t hypothetical when it happened to me several years ago.

I don’t want to keep you in suspense, so I’ll just say that I survived. As did the airplane. As the plane was falling back to earth, I was able to make a quick U-turn and, with only inches to spare, manage to land on the runway from which I had just departed.

So why did this high-pressure situation have a happy ending? Well, it came down to two elements – the same two elements that will help you survive your high-pressure situations as well.

Preparation… and focus.

Preparation

I had been in situations that were similar to this before. During flight training, my instructor put me through dozens (if not hundreds) of simulated engine-out drills. Granted, these were at a much higher altitude (which means more time to recover), and they were only simulated, but I still knew the procedures. Also, I had (coincidentally) recently begun glider training, and had already soloed, so I was familiar with flying with no engine. Again, not identical, but I still had a bit of an “I’ve been here before” feeling. And finally, because of some special training I had done with an instructor just the week before, I knew what angle of bank would give me the most turn for the least altitude loss.

In other words, I had prepared for a situation like this. When the trouble began, the preparation kicked in. I knew what to do because, again, “I’d been here before.” Your takeaway: One – when you’re in a high-pressure situation, think back to a time when you’ve successfully gotten through a similar situation in the past. It doesn’t have to be identical, just similar. Remind yourself, “I’ve been here before.” And two – anticipate the high-pressure situations you’re likely to face, and train for them. Practice them when the pressure’s off, and you’ll be better equipped to tackle them when the pressure’s on.

Focus

Primarily because of my training, when the pressure hit I went into sharp focus. Analyze the problem, solve the problem. Nothing extraneous. No thoughts of, “Boy, if I wreck the airplane – and am somehow able to walk (or swim) away – what are people going to think of me? It’ll be so embarrassing. And expensive. And if I’m delayed (or worse), who’s gonna feed the dog?” This is all just noise, and in a high-pressure situation, you need to shut out the noise. Your takeaway: When you’re in a high-pressure situation and you hear the “noise” starting to enter your brain, ask yourself, “What’s the most important thing for me to focus on right now?”

You may never have to pilot a plane to an emergency landing, but you will face other high-pressure situations in your life – both personally and professionally. In these situations, your two best friends will be the same two that saved my bacon: preparation and focus.

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