Fulfilment Centre Consultants Warehousing is an integral function of the supply chain and the role of warehouses is to serve as storage or distribution hubs. But with the emergence and rising complexities of eCommerce and contemporary business models and strategies, warehouses were not sufficient to meet these requirements. The primary role of conventional warehouses is storage for further distribution but the requirements of modern-day eCommerce is that of a tailor-made place that could optimize the storage and flow of inventory and serve additional functionalities like packaging, product mixing, order fulfilment, etc. This led to the emergence of fulfilment centres that have enabled eCommerce businesses to better address and fulfil their strategic requirements. With the use of fulfilment centres, eCommerce retailers keep their inventory strategically closer to their customers to shorten the delivery timelines. Whenever an order is placed by a customer, the closest fulfilment centre is notified with necessary details within the back-end IT systems triggering the process of fulfilling the order. Goods are then packaged, labelled for shipping purposes, and moved to the designated logistics channel. To manage a fulfilment centre Omnichannel Fulfillment Strategy should be made. Managing today’s eCommerce fulfilment centres requires professional know-how and expertise. And with infrastructural bottlenecks in many African countries, it is also important that eCommerce retailers set their vision and do their planning accordingly. These factors have led to many retail businesses turning to fulfilment centre. e-Commerce Fulfillment Consultants assist in setting up their fulfilment centres that could meet the modern-day business and customer requirements, equipped with the right software technologies, powered by efficient layout planning, and driven by robust processes executed by trained staff. Here are a few challenges that eCommerce retailers are prone to encounter in setting up and running a fulfilment centre in Africa. Challenges in managing fulfilment centres Catching up with the Industry Delivery Standards Delivery timelines are making and breaking retail eCommerce enterprises; to be able to deliver a day earlier than the competitors is capable of making a difference. This means a lot when we consider hundreds or thousands of orders every day. And the game begins from the fulfilment centre decisions and operations. Unprofessional and unplanned ways of strategic and operational planning will not work. A proper Omnichannel Fulfillment Strategy is required to win the competition game in eCommerce. From choosing strategic locations, robust inventory management, agile order fulfilment processes, and right technologies, there is a lot of work that becomes a big differentiating factor between e-commerce brands. Identifying the software application requirements Business software applications play a big role in managing the operations of a fulfilment centre and keeping them in sync with the business and marketing strategies and the rest of the supply chain and distribution network. One needs an updated understanding and knowledge of how these fulfilment centres work and the different functions involved in it to be able to correctly identify the business-IT requirements. And this applies to even the best of the eCommerce fulfilment consulting firms in Africa or anywhere else in the world as fulfilment centre management has emerged as a complex expertise in itself. Managing the layout Knowledge and understanding of what constitutes efficient layout planning is crucial for e-commerce retailers whether they are using a third-party order fulfilment service or managing their own. e-Commerce Fulfillment Consultants helps them to assess the layout design before they enter into any agreement or start investing in setting up their own. The bottom line is that an efficient layout design will speak for how quickly, safely, and correctly fulfilment centre operations are carried out for last-mile delivery and the handling of incoming and outgoing inventory. Managing the flow of inventory Excess inventory and idle space are two undesirable situations for an order fulfilment centre. Too much of inventory will put duress on the available space and empty shelves mean more costs per order. Managing the inventory at the optimum levels is the best way forward. This will call for accuracy in demand forecasting, full-proof purchase planning, robust processes and procedures, real-time inventory assessments with the help of technology, practical lead time estimations, etc. Fulfilment and warehouse Consulting firms can help you to choose the most suitable layout for your fulfilment centre business. Last-mile delivery The last-mile delivery is the most critical touchpoint where what you have done so far for a delightful customer journey meets the test. If you fail here, you run the risk of spoiling the customer experience. Ensuring success at the last-mile delivery function necessitates hiring the right delivery partners, formulating robust SOPs, and putting in place a convenient and reliable feedback mechanism for customers with strong customer support. How YRC can help you through its Fulfillment Consulting Services: a glimpse Keeping in consideration the modern-day requirements of retail and eCommerce, we offer a comprehensive set of services aimed at helping businesses in setting up and managing their fulfilment centres or even to choose one. YRC’s team of e-Commerce Fulfillment Consultants will guide you from operational planning to last-mile delivery assistance to offer a comprehensive set of expert eCommerce fulfilment consulting services for Africa. Highlighted below are some of our services. Become process-driven One of the keys to success in order fulfilment is to become a process-driven enterprise. SOP is the best possible answer here. With defined operations, your team gets a clear and unambiguous operational roadmap. SOPs also eliminate the chances of mistakes and shirking of responsibilities. With our domain experts, e-Commerce Fulfillment Consultants in SOP development, we will work to ensure that your business processes and operations are well-defined, mapped accurately, always remain on track, and with adequate checkpoints to control deviations, if any. Layout Planning YRC’s expert e-commerce fulfilment centre design consultants will assist you in coming up with an efficient layout plan towards optimizing space utilization and achieving smooth and agile operations throughout the year across varying levels of demand. YRC will also guide you in customer demand forecasting, purchase planning, and inventory management across different product lines. Identify the software requirements In an order fulfilment centre, the software application is the platform where employees record, register, track, and disseminate inventory information within and beyond the operations of the fulfilment centre affecting the purchase decisions, inventory management, order fulfilment, and delivery functions. For that, the software application also needs to be integrated with the rest of the processes of the supply chain. YRC will assist you in the Omnichannel Fulfillment Strategy, selection, integration, and implementation of the right software solutions for your eCommerce order fulfilment centre. Staff Training We cannot stress more on the importance of the staff and their skills in the performance of an organization whether it is Amazon, a mom & pop store, or an order fulfilment centre. To ensure that our staff training programs are effective and tailor-made, we carry out job analyses, define the roles and responsibilities, assess the skill requirements, study existing working procedures, design training modules, create training calendars, etc. Assistance in last-mile delivery The scope of our fulfilment consulting services extends to ensure that you have a reliable last-mile delivery function. We will assist you in formulating your last-mile delivery strategy, in the selection of the right delivery partner(s) going through a planned and stringent process, and in delivery partner integration. We are a boutique retail consulting firm. To know more about our fulfilment centre business consulting services or if you have any query, drop us a message and we will get back to you.