When it comes to fulfillment the warehouse is crucial in the success of the company. It all ends in the warehouse, packaging the customer's products to picking the item off of the floor to send it out to the final destination, the warehouse is essential in making sure your company works efficiently. An optimized warehouse is something easier said than done, with so many moving parts just one hiccup will ruin the flow for a product. Here are some tips that you can use to make sure your warehouse is running as smoothly as possible.
Making sure that you are tracking specific performance measurements is crucial when trying to run a warehouse at maximum efficiency. If you are not tracking performance indicators, there is going to be no way to see if you are doing a good or bad job. Putting software in place to make sure these metrics are tracked automatically will help in the automation process and can then see the positives and negatives without taking time out of your day. Using the software to correct improper or bad practices will save you money and speed up the process of all items going through the facilities.
The physical layout of your warehouse is crucial in its success. Making sure that items are placed strategically will ensure that you will be able to package or pick the items in the fastest way possible. Tracking the movement throughout the warehouse can also be beneficial in minimizing the time between picks. One last thing that is important and can be overlooked is the size of the rows. Thinking about the width of the rows to ensure your machines can fit through and can get by each other without causing a traffic jam is going to make sure that everything will be moving as efficiently as possible.
Making sure that your equipment is all up to date and in good working order is one of the most crucial things that you can do to make sure you don't run into unexpected problems. Of course, some problems may arise, but it will mitigate most of the risk. Making sure that equipment will also ensure that your employees will make sure that they can do their job without increasing their physical workload. Equipment breakdowns can cost you a lot of money in time and productivity. Ways to prevent this are doing weekly checklists on your equipment and also making sure your equipment isn’t getting overused.
Optimizing your warehouse is a lot easier said than done but with planning and infrastructure put into place it can increase your productivity and in the long run make your money. This is something every company should think about and having yearly updates and meetings can ensure that you will not fall behind on your duties and provide your customers with the best experience possible.
Ecommerce has grown at an incredible rate this past year and going into quarter three there is no sign of it slowing down. This new growth may have forced your company to work overtime to meet the needs of your new customers. You may be overrun with orders that it has now become a full-time job to package and process all of your goods. Most people don’t think of fulfillment until they need to or it is too late. Everyone thinks of an amazing product, but most don’t think about the logistics of shipping or packaging the product. That is what outsourcing your fulfillment will help you to do. At a point, it becomes a business expense that is essential to the growth of your company. Here are some clues to look for so you know it is time that you need a fulfillment company!
Shipping is getting more and more expensive
When working with a fulfillment company you should be able to get more than just the benefit of peace of mind. An added benefit is that most companies that do specialize in outsourcing fulfillment usually have special deals with shipping companies so that you are guaranteed a discounted rate. Sitting down and adding up all of the costs that it takes for your company to do the shipping itself, it may be seen that it would be cost-effective if you getting someone else to do it. Looking at the invisible costs like the time that you spent packaging your products is something that you need to take into account when deciding if this is the best decision for your company.
Lacking speed and accuracy
When orders are starting to pile up you will be faced with the added stress that you are going to have to package and ship the items as fast as possible. This can lead to accuracy problems and unhappy customers. Lack of speed can also become an issue because you have one location that you are shipping from, when working with a fulfillment company they can direct you to centralized locations to make sure that your product is getting to the customer as fast as possible. With eCommerce getting faster and faster, mainly because of Amazon, most people are now expecting packages within 4 days of placing their order. This is crucial for you to keep your customers happy and not going to your competition.
It becomes hard when you start to offer complex items on your website like subscription boxes. When shipping just a singular thing a box it is very simple you just put the said item in the box and ship it out, but when kitting is involved it needs many items that may be at different locations in your shop. This can make you forget items or just take too long to assemble. When outsourcing they will be able to kit all of your packages in the most effective and cost-effective way.
Most people think that outsourcing fulfillment is just too expensive and that they could never do it, but with the right research, it can push your company to be more profitable than ever. Time value is a big invisible cost that you have to think about when running a company, wouldn’t your time be better spent working on marketing campaigns, or new items rather than packing up orders, you might even save money in shipping costs. So if you think that your company is that step, contact Complemar and we will set up a free consultation to see if our company is right for you!
When looking for how you want to do order fulfillment through Amazon there are two types that you can pick. FBA which is fulfillment by Amazon or FBM which is fulfillment by merchant. There are pros and cons to both of these and you have to know which will make the most sense when looking at which one works for your needs, or what mixture of the two would be the best for your company. Here are the pros to both the FBA and FBM.
Some of the pros for FBA is that,
When signing up for FBA your products are now eligible for Amazon two-day prime shipping. This is crucial in this day in age when people are now getting used to getting their items within that two days. Another benefit of this is that you look very reputable on the website and you are more likely to sell more products when customers see the amazon prime badge under your products. Amazon is a very reputable company so when customers do see that badge it makes them trust you more than a product that doesn't have that badge.
Set it and go
When you are setting up FBA Amazon has a very good reputation of once a product is set up you no longer need to worry about that item that they are fulfilling. You can focus on the more important aspects of your business and not worry about if your fulfillment order is getting processed and going out at the right time. Amazon will also include warehousing so when your items are stocking up inside of your garage, they will take it off of your hand and make sure that they will safely store your products.
Lower shipping costs
Amazon is the biggest online retailer in the world, with this comes partnerships with shipping outlets to ensure that they are getting the best prices feasible. This will increase your margins and will be a great economic move.
Here are some of the pros when it comes to doing fulfillment by merchant.
When working with a third-party company you will have a more hands-on experience and will know exactly what is happening with your products. It may be a lot more personalized and will make sure that any program that you need will get done. While at FBA it is pretty cookie cutter and there is not much leeway when it comes to what a company really needs.
Opportunity for Prime
You may think that because you are not doing FBA there is no chance for you to get an amazon prime badge under your product, but it is still possible. This will come with seller fulfilled prime. This is very hard to get and your company will need a long-standing relationship with Amazon. You need to have existing prime shipping order volume and have outstanding performance metrics for you to be considered. This is a tall task to achieve, but it is still possible.
Most of the time when doing business with an FBM you will be able to make slightly higher margins and make more money. This is because you will be paying fewer fees. The draw-off is that most of the time you will have fewer sales and may not have the peace of mind that your products are kept safe in warehousing. Over half of the shoppers that are on Amazon will be prime members and if someone is paying annually they are more than likely going to use prime when buying a product.
There are pros and cons when it comes to choosing if you want to fulfill using Amazon or Merchant. I have listed some of the pros that may come along with using either, but the best for your company may be using a mixture of both. If you do want to compare and see if an FBM is for you, contact Complemar for a free quote and we will have an industry professional reach out to see if our company is a good fit for you.
It is apparent that everyone was not ready to deal with the pandemic and who really would be. This is an occurrence that happens once in a lifetime. COVID-19 has put many companies in some tough spots but with determination, understanding, and adaptability, Complemar was able to take all the regulations and limitations in stride to make sure that we kept our employees safe and kept our clients happy. Here are some of the things that we had to adapt and change to make sure we thrive.
Increase Technology Use
During this pandemic, technology was and still is crucial in making sure that everything is running smoothly. Since we are yet to be out of the woods and the pandemic is still looming over our heads we have used video chats and other forms of communication to make sure that we were all staying on the same page and being safe at the same time. No one ever expected to have remote meetings in their newfound “home offices”, but all of our employees took it in stride and adapted to the circumstances that we were dealt with.
Putting an Emphasis on Employee Health
This virus has taken a toll on everyone. People are fearful of being in contact with this deadly disease and we have taken measures to make sure that our employees are as safe as possible during these trying times. We still require the use of facial coverings when they are inside of our facilities. Another safety precaution that we had put into place was taking employees’ temperature whenever they entered our facilities. One last thing that we have provided is transparency. We made it clear to all employees that we want them to voice their concerns and that we are here to listen. We wanted to make all of our employees feel safe while they are working.
We are yet to be out of the woods, but there is a light at the end of the tunnel as vaccine rollouts are occurring. We have found that communication and understanding are crucial during this time. Planning for restrictions and having a contingency plan is now something that we look at because currently, the environment is extremely unpredictable. Although the COVID-19 virus disrupted our country is going to be prevalent for months and maybe years, the fulfillment and logistics industry is always going to be present and stronger than ever. Complemar was able to act quickly and look to the future which ensured our success. We are looking forward to a new normal, but for now, we will continue to deliver essential goods that will keep the country and economy running.
Branding is one of the most used buzz words that are being thrown out in meetings, it is used for many things like personal brand, business branding, off-brand. It is a word that can be used to describe what your company or self is really about. You use this as a descriptor when you are explaining your identity, voice, and what you want your customers to perceive your company as. Here are some tips that you can use to make sure you brand your business in the most efficient and effective way possible.
Understand Your Audience
The best way when first trying to create a brand identity within your company is to understand your audience. The best way to do that is to create personas for your ideal customers. For example, I will create a primary and secondary target audience and from there I would create a fictional individual that will match the ideal person from each of the target audiences. You things that you will list are things like demographics, jobs, education, and hobbies that they might enjoy. Doing this will make you see things from the perspective of the customer, you will get an understanding of what they really want and from then on you will be able to market to them in the best way possible.
Utilize Social Media
It is stated that 79 percent of the U.S. population use some sort of social media weekly. Social media is the best way to differentiate yourself from other companies that offer almost the same item or service that you provide. Social media is also the cheapest form of advertising. It can have an astounding effect on company perceptions from an outside audience. A great example of this is Wendy’s. They have created a brand voice that is full of satire and comedy on all of their social media.
Make Customers Your Number One Priority
You can never have a great brand if you have a bad reputation with your customers. You can save money on advertising and marketing because when you have the reputation of a great company word spreads. So focusing on customer service will always pay off in the long run. Thinking about this from a customer perspective, think about what you do when you are a first-time customer for a company. You look at their reviews and their reputation. This where you can brand yourself without marketing and advertising. Individuals will always trust the word of others way more than things that your company will put out.
When your business is growing at a rate that you can not sustain it is extremely stressful to think about the next step. At Complemar we specialize in fulfillment and e-commerce and want to help you every step of the way. When bringing on more people and employing a company to do your packing, kitting, or shipping it might be hard to find the company that is suitable for you. This is a big leap in your company and drastically changes how current operations are run, but at Complemar we think of you as a valued customer that we want to help grow and see succeed. Here are some things that we do that you could find beneficial.
Provide unlimited support to our clients
We are there to make your life easier and with just a call or email or dedicated staff is here to help you with all of the problems or questions that you may have. Another thing that we provide is a project manager assigned to each of our clients, so there will always be someone that is there to solve your problems. Complemar has an extensive Onboarding process that takes all of our clients through how we operate and specialize it for the company so that they are going to get examples and figures that they are going to be seeing on a daily or monthly basis. We are here to make sure that all of your concerns are taken care of to the best of our ability and will make sure that at the end of the day both parties are satisfied. Even though our company is growing steadily and has large clients, no matter the size we still give an individualized experience to each of the companies that work with us.
Multiple Fulfillment Locations
Location is crucial because, in the long run, this will save you money and maybe even get your product to the customer faster. Choosing a company that has multiple locations in optimal parts of the United States is important, Complemar has locations that are strategically placed across the United States to make sure that your packages get to where they need to go in the shortest amount of time possible. A centralized location can be helpful because studies say that if a customer waits more than 7 days for a package they expect the shipping to be free. When talking to us and figuring out where your clientele is, we will make sure that we will choose a location or multiple locations that will suit your company and make it the most efficient process possible.
Complemar has a proven track record over many years of customer retention along with being one of the best at what we do. Our state-of-the-art technology will make sure that at every step of the process you will know exactly what is going on. We are extremely transparent and at the end of the day, we are here to help you grow. So what are you waiting for? Visit our website today to talk to one of our fantastic account executives to see if we are a good fit for your company!
Is it time that you move out of your house and choosing a fulfillment center? When choosing a fulfillment center there should be many things that come to mind, like where are the bulk of my orders coming from and how much is the transportation costs, what is the accuracy rate of this company? Another thing that is crucial to look at is the square footage of their location, can they handle your order, and do they have the history to do it effectively and efficiently. Here is more insight that could be helpful when you are choosing a fulfillment location
Location is crucial because, in the long run, this will save you money and maybe even get your product to the customer faster. Choosing a company that has multiple locations in optimal parts of the United States is important, Complemar has locations that are strategically placed across the United States to make sure that your packages get to where they need to go in the shortest amount of time possible. A centralized location can be helpful because studies say that if a customer waits more than 7 days for a package they expect the shipping to be free.
This is something that you need to look at with your product in mind because your retail costs need to offset the cost of the fulfillment, shipping, and manufacturing. So keeping this in mind you need to make sure that you are not moving to fast, it is sometimes smart to slow down and keep doing things on your own until you are at a volume where it is physically impossible to keep up with the demand of your product. If you do eventually need a fulfillment center, don’t be scared to ask about what rates they charge for, receiving, warehousing, pick and packing, and shipping. These are all costs that are going to be different per company, so shopping around is a good option, but beware that some companies seem too good to be true. You may need to pay more so your service is better or that you will have a better product manager that is very responsive.
Growing to the point of needing a fulfillment service is extremely exciting, but make sure you take all the necessary steps to ensure that you are going to sign with the right company that wants to see you succeed. Make sure they have a proven track record and during the meeting make sure you ask all the necessary questions so you are surprised later by fees that you may have not known about.
With the start of the new year, some trends have been surfacing. Most of it has to do with the COVID-19 virus and how the people are currently coping with this global pandemic. The effects of this are very prevalent and in the course of the last few months, the retail landscape has completely changed. We want you to be ready for some of the effects it might have on your business, so here are some trends that you may want to keep an eye on in the coming months.
With the pandemic, the shift from brick and mortar to online shopping is a drastic change that has many companies rushing to keep up with the demand that is now occurring. Most people are now looking online first and not going to their local stores to see some of the odds and ends that they need. This has forced the eCommerce sector to go into overdrive to keep up with the global demand. This is a good and a bad thing. It is a good thing because if you have a reliable system in place it is easy to deal with a new influx of new users, but it is also driving entrepreneurs and large companies into the landscape. The competition is steadily growing as many people see this as a big opportunity to make some quick cash. The solution to this is to make sure customer retention and happiness are at an all-time high. Making sure your customer is happy should be your number one priority as the marketplace is being flooded by big corporations and hopeful business owners.
Social media has been around for multiple years and it may not seem like the most optimal thing if you are an eCommerce company, but with younger generations getting into owning businesses it is the time to stop the inevitable and join! It’s quick, fun, and most importantly free! By doing this future customers can get an inside look at your company and see some of the fantastic things that you do to make sure you are pleasing the customer at every turn.
Your website is the face of your business, with almost every customer doing some research before reaching out it is important to make sure that your website is accessible from any device, you never know when your next client will be looking into expanding their business and if they find your website clunky and unusable from their phone they are just going to go to the next site.
eCommerce is a booming industry that is growing at an incredible rate. With the pandemic occurring worldwide wide those numbers are only going to be increasing drastically, this is the perfect opportunity for you to expand your business and make sure you have the size and capacity to deal with the demand. We hope that some of these tips are helpful to you and will make sure you are ready to take on 2021 in stride!
This year has been one like no other for us at Complemar. In the past, when employees asked if they could work from home, we would wring our hands carefully weighing all the pros and cons, and then develop a strict set of rules by which to operate. When the Pandemic hit this year, we simply asked all our office employees to work from home, without thought of rules. Keeping all our associates safe became our primary objective; especially those who were working in our facilities doing the receiving, picking, packing, and shipping of our customers’ orders. We physically divided associates into small teams with separate lunch and restroom facilities limiting their exposure to the rest of us in the company as much as possible. Anyone who could work from home, including me, started doing so immediately. Our offices are mostly empty.
Surprise, surprise, no one skipped a beat. Everything is getting done, maybe even better and more efficiently and employee morale is up. Thanks to our great IT team, our technology is working well. Most meetings are now conducted virtually, and we ask our team members to turn on their cameras to help us stay socially connected.
Office employees now working from home have seen increased efficiencies and we are much better with on-time attendance for meetings. Live meetings have been put on hold until this is over. Instead, we are sending out regular video updates to keep everyone informed. When we were notified of COVID positive cases at our OKC and Sparks facilities, there were no other associates who tested positive. We believe this lack of transmission was the result of careful adherence to the CDC guidelines (Watch your distance, Wear a mask and Wash your hands) and to temperature taking and rigorous cleaning protocols.
Fortunately, many of our existing customers are growing and new customers are signing up for our fulfillment services in response to the growth of their e-commerce businesses. Thankfully we have been able to expand our hours of operation to accommodate this increased demand.
Nothing compares to the COVID-19 pandemic since the Spanish Flu pandemic in 1918 that killed 675,000 Americans. We could learn from history; it came in waves just like we are experiencing now. People were asked to wash their hands, socially distance, and wear their masks. There was resistance to following those simple rules and the result was 50 Million deaths over 2 years.
I know how very tired everyone is with the stringent rules we are being asked to follow, but the recent news of vaccines should give us all hope that the end is in sight. The steps that were taken early on to keep us safe have paid off on multiple fronts. Most importantly, our employees and their family are healthy. Additionally, our company has been able to receive, pick, pack, and ship our customers’ products throughout this pandemic and that keeps our company healthy. Finally, shipping our customers’ products on time and accurately has resulted in the survival and health of their businesses. There is much to be thankful for, our heroic health care workers, our brilliant scientists, our loyal essential workers all doing double duty to help the world get back to the “New Normal”. We are all in this together. Stay safe.
When running a small business it gets to the point where your garage gets full and dealing with all of the orders becomes a full-time job. Don’t worry this is where Complemar can help you solve all your problems and eliminate stress. Order fulfillment will not only save you the hassle, most likely it will save you money too! Complemar can get lower shipping rates and make sure your customers are all taken care of in a timely fashion. Here are some other benefits that you could see when you outsource your order fulfillment!
When taking care of all of your orders you might be limited to the area around you because of shipping costs. This is where we can help you. We have experience packaging orders for a plethora of clients and will make sure that they will get their package faster than if you shipped it all on your own. We do this by having warehouses strategically placed around the United States to ensure that when an order is placed it will be shipped from a central location or the nearest location to the customers.
We are making sure we have all the tools for you as a business to succeed. This means that we have state of the art technology and processes that streamline the process of getting things done fast and reliably. Some things that will be provided by a click of a button is inventory management and security on your inventory. No matter if you have custom packaging or if you are shipping hundreds of things per day no order is too big for Complemar to handle
With less time spent on packaging boxes and round trips to the post office, you can focus more on your business. We are here to help you succeed and grow and we want to be alongside you to support and watch it happen. The free time that you will have will be immense, which you can put towards researching upcoming trends in your market or even just talking to prospective customers to see what the next new item will be.
There are many benefits of order fulfillment and it is a great investment because of the economic value that we bring in discounted rates on shipping. Also not to mention the opportunity cost of you being busy packaging your amazing products for your customers. We want to invite you to set up a meeting with us and see if you would make a good fit for our company. We have years of experience in the industry and are eager to help!
Rochester, NY (Headquarters)
Oklahoma City, OK
Buffalo, NY (Complemar Print)