The COVID-19 outbreak has affected all areas of eccommerce, but some more than others. Shipping carriers in particular have seen huge disruptions to their normal ways of working. More specifically they've seen an increase in demand and a reduction in staff, all the while having to comply with new changes in how goods should be handled and delivered.
Ultimately, all of this has led to an increase in the time it takes for your products to be shipped to your buyers. To mitigate against this challenge, some sellers have been looking at ways they can continue operating, without relying too heavily on the carriers that can’t always ship goods on time.
One approach that has proven effective is to increase the number of locations stock is held in.
In fact, by spreading stock across multiple warehouses, each located in different areas of the country or globe, sellers are making sure they’re fulfilling orders as closely as they can to the end buyer.
Sellers with multiple warehouses.
Managing multiple warehouses can come with it’s own set of problems.
You need to make sure that each warehouse has enough stock to meet local demand, and you need to keep a keen eye on where your stock is moving so nothing either gets sent to the wrong place or lost in transit.
It gives staff in every warehouse clear visibility on where available stock might be and lets them request stock from other warehouses. The holders of stock can then pick, pack and ship these items to neighboring warehouses, and Linnworks will keep track of every action that takes place.
Having good, structured and audited communication between your warehouses is key if you want to take a more agile approach to product storage.
Not every business is in the position to buy more storage to spread their products across a wider area.
Warehouse space can be expensive, as are the costs to hire and train the extra staff needed to manage them. This is where 3rd party fulfillment centers come in, storing your stock and fulfilling your orders on your behalf.
Linnworks manages 3rd party fulfillment centers, much like your own locations. You can see what stock is available at a location and submit orders to those locations to be fulfilled. The key process to nail down here is effective automated communication between your business and the business that’s holding your stock.