5 Easy Ways to Reduce Shopify Fulfillment Waste

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When you own a business the last thing you want is to lose profit because of waste. These Shopify fulfillment strategies help you streamline and earn more.

You’ve been in the business of e-commerce for a while, but you need to trim the fat. Why not look at your Shopify fulfillment workflow and see if anything can improve there?

A lot of people don’t think to look at their fulfillment process when they want to save money. But it’s really a no-brainer. A more complicated fulfillment process doesn’t add value to your product. In fact, it could even be detrimental.

Here at Floship, we’re keen on helping our customers get the most out of their business transactions. That’s why we’ve put together a list of five ways you can reduce your fulfillment waste.

1. Declutter Shopify Fulfillment

In the old days when brick and mortar stores dominated, you had to provide a massive selection of products to make money. That’s not necessarily the case anymore. You can now measure demand and figure out exactly how much inventory you need.

Make sure you have just enough inventory. In the brick and mortar days, you could just put something on back order if you ran out of a product. You can’t do that anymore. But, you also need to make sure you don’t have too much product cluttering up your warehouse. This will slow down your Shopify fulfillment process.

Calculate your demand. Then reduce your production to fit.

2. Touchless Shopify Fulfillment

Well, that’s not exactly possible, but again, a more complicated and longer fulfillment process doesn’t add value to your product or your company in the mind of consumers.

This is exactly why you need to look at transportation.

  • How many times do human hands touch your product or the box it’s in?
  • Essentially, what is the product cycle in your warehouse and beyond?
  • Are you using a 3PL?

If not, this could be an excellent way to reduce the number of touches it takes to get your packages in the hands of customers.

Sometimes it’s not worth the effort to set up your own warehouse and processing. Shopify offers fulfillment through Amazon. But we recommend you do your research and find the right fulfillment service for you.

Save Time

Another great advantage of using a fulfillment service is a boon to your time:

You no longer have to manage a warehouse, even if that warehouse was your garage. No more packaging and logistics nightmares.

Now you can focus on what really counts, sales and customer base. R&D could take a boost as well. You’ll be rolling in time and ideas in no time.

Tech

Fulfillment services offer processing technology you probably don’t have. No need to invest in expensive software to manage your inventory.

It’s predicted that you will have to re-platform your software every four years anyway. Why would you spend on something so temporary?

Find out how to Automate your Shopify Order Fulfillment process with the Shopify + Floship Integration here!

Save Money

Really, you don’t think this would save you money? Yeah, you could buy that really awesome forklift. You could even go down to your local bar and brag to your buddies that you own a forklift. And, it’s tax deductible, right?

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True on all accounts, but it still won’t save you money. Fulfillment services already have forklifts and warehouses and shelves and employees….you get my drift. You don’t have to invest in so much capital.

Efficiency

You can’t be close to every customer. But some fulfillment services can. You may not be large enough to keep a shipping company accountable, but a fulfillment service might.

You can be efficient and keep your risks down.

Flexibility

Can you scale up or scale down your distribution very quickly? How quickly? Sometimes a fulfillment service is just the right thing if only because of flexibility.

Your demand might change on a dime. A fulfillment service will be there to help you out.

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3. Reduce Unnecessary Motion

If you’ve ever worked in an environment under OHSA, you probably had to watch all those videos. You know, the ones that talk about workplace safety. Don’t cut a box and use your hand as a backplate. Things like that.

But one of the things you should take from your old or new OSHA training is the concept of unnecessary motion. In 1990 MIT coined the phrase “Lean Manufacturing.” They learned this concept from Toyota’s post-WW2 manufacturing style.

Essentially, you reduce unnecessary motion by following the Five S Method: Sort, Set-in-order, Shine, Standardize, and Sustain.

If you can find ways to make things smoother for your employees or for yourself, you will reduce waste. Stack boxes closer to the front of the warehouse or garage. Organize tools so that you don’t have to reach. Build appropriate desks for your height so you don’t have to bend over to type.

These are only a few ways you can reduce unnecessary motion in your Shopify operations.

4. Reduce Defects

Your Shopify fulfillment process should include paying attention to your customer’s perceptions. If you have insufficient packaging or material, you will quickly find that customers’ will respect your product less.

Not only will they respect your product less, you will suddenly have more product coming back through your doors as returns.

Spend some extra time before you begin fulfillment. Test packaging. Ensure good QA when it comes to your products. You don’t want to have any defects in  your products when they go out.

If you can do this, you will eliminate massive amounts of waste when it comes to your e-commerce fulfillment.

5. Utilize Your Employees

We know what it’s like. It’s hard to trust. It’s hard to let go. But if you’re big enough to have employees, you should be big enough to utilize those employees.

A lot of managers take on too much of the process on their own. Stop wasting effort trying to do everything. Step back, take stock of who you have and what they’re capable off. Now delegate tasks. You are now part of a team. You may be team captain and coach, but breakaways are rare in the business world.

You cross the finish line together or you don’t cross at all. That’s kind of how it works. Or, at least it’s supposed to work that way.

Conclusion: Get A Fulfillment Service

If you haven’t already, check out Floship to see what we can do for you. You never know how much waste you can eliminate in your Shopify operations and shipping workflow. Make your life easier now. Go make some money.

Find out how to Automate your Shopify Order Fulfillment process with the Shopify + Floship Integration here!

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  • December 5, 2016