When starting in e-commerce, it’s common to use an outside shipping company to take care of the day-to-day storage of goods, packaging, and shipment. Beyond the initial 1-3 orders per day, it becomes difficult to manage as a solopreneur, yet borrowing for your new business and taking on a warehouse lease along with employees is often not possible right away.
Nevertheless, once you’ve gotten to grips with your e-commerce venture and profits are building, it’s possible to decide to lease a small warehouse and take over the shipments. Here are some key points to consider when handing shipments internally.
Create Procedures for Everything
Efficiency is the key to warehouse work. Optimize procedures to reduce the time spent on key tasks, especially repetitive ones.
For instance, when two popular products that customers often buy together are situated at opposite ends of the warehouse, it takes longer to bring them together to package them up and ship them out. This isn’t necessarily a problem right away when the orders are still small, but the time inefficiencies multiplied can eventually result in many hours of lost time.
Figure out which products are the best sellers and those that get bought as a package (or offered that way) and position them nearest to the packaging area to minimize movement delays inside the warehouse itself.
Keep Product Boxes Together
Galvanized stem wire is commonly used in warehouses. It’s designed to package up multiple boxes to keep them together. This avoids a single box falling off from its perch and potentially landing on an employee.
Also, when boxes are stored at ground level, it avoids a box accidentally getting picked up and moved to another area. The fact that they are packaged using wire, perhaps provided by a reliable company like Baling Wire Direct, will give a warehouse worker pause before breaking through the wire to access one of the boxes to move it.
Don’t Let Efficiency Result in Lost Personalization
What many customers may like about your business is that there’s a personal touch. This might mean personally signed “Thank you” cards in every box sent out on delivery or other little extras.
These kinds of things separate a small business from a conglomerate that doesn’t necessarily take the time to do that same thing. Also, if the business has a figurehead that people identify with, then that person adding their signature makes the customer feel like they’re buying more from the person and less from a faceless brand. Turn that to your advantage, even when scaling up operations, as it’s likely to still be a key selling point.
Also, don’t neglect customer service. While your focus might have shifted temporarily to getting a newly leased warehouse operating perfectly, customer service cannot get left behind. Most customers are not fond of the computerization of customer call management. This is also an area where the entrepreneur can provide something more personal where each caller is not getting rushed off the phone to get to the next call waiting. It all helps to separate the business from the crowd.