Are your e-commerce distribution lines optimized? High-volume distribution means that even a minor interference in efficiency can lead to major slowdowns, lost opportunity and, ultimately, lost revenue. Unfortunately, the cause of a bottleneck isn’t always obvious.
Optimize your Warehouse and Distribution Supplies to Improve Efficiency
Management of e-commerce distribution supplies is an area where proper planning and optimization can lead to big payoffs. In a distribution center, every line generates income, so the critical supplies that keep the lines moving should be a major focus of any effort to improve efficiency. However, there are many ways inefficiency can creep into the process:
1. Supply and Shipping Label Shortages
Many companies have made it a priority to run as lean as possible. After all, less product on hand means less overhead and more profit. But if not enacted carefully, these cost-cutting efforts often result in a shortage of critical distribution supplies — causing all related processes to grind to a (very expensive) halt. Run out of shipping labels, and no shipments can go out. Run out of inventory tags, and you can’t pull products. Shutting down lines due to supply shortages directly equals money lost.
2. Improper or Defective Products
What is the best product for your process? Finding the answer to this question is essential for increasing your productivity. Sometimes it’s about saving time. Something as simple as using a different label material could save time by yielding more labels per roll.
Sometimes it’s saving your distribution line from a costly shut down. Using the wrong adhesive, for example, can have consequences that reach farther than you might expect. Every time you have to stop your process and deal with a product issue, that costs valuable time and money. Additionally, if your labels are falling off the carton, then your staff are devoting time to both troubleshooting and dealing with angry customers.
Tip: Using the proper distribution materials can save your business from costly shutdowns, overworked staff and angry customers.
3. Equipment Setup and Maintenance
Equipment failures are catastrophic, but that also means they are easy to spot; equipment slowdowns can be more sinister. There are many things that might cause a piece of equipment to run at a percentage of optimal efficiency or to lose efficiency over time. If your printers, scanners or timing belts are not setup correctly, they will not work to their highest capacity. Proper maintenance is also vital to line optimization. Not cleaning your equipment and changing parts will lead to ever compounding functionality issues. This can effect everything from other distribution supplies to the longevity of your equipment.
Ask the E-Commerce Distribution Supplies Experts
The key to discovering inefficiencies is looking at the big picture. Shortcuts and cheap products can have minor short term benefits that cause major long-term problems. One of the best ways to avoid or correct these issues is to consult with an expert. A reputable supplier will work with you to develop a customized solution for your unique operations.
When you find the right supplier for your business, they’ll be your partners in productivity—going above and beyond to fix current slowdowns and anticipate future issues. Here are some things to look for in an e-commerce distribution supply partner:
- They ask for samples of your product
- They demonstrate how their current products are running
- They are willing to come in and view your facility, including all of your equipment
- They ask detailed questions about your process
- They offer examples of their solutions
With the right supply partner, you’ll enjoy superior quality solutions to even the most surprising inefficiencies.