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Fulfillment woes
How do you ship 50 orders/day efficiently?
ace2000

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4050 posted 6:52 pm on Jul 14, 2005 (gmt 0)

How do you ship 50 orders/day efficiently? We use Quickbooks (w/FedEx) and Stamps.com. I think we're going to change to UPS soon because FedEx doesn't pick up our expedited packages from our business and they seem to have a lot of extra charges. WE've considered going to a barcoding system. What do you think?

 

sun818

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4050 posted 7:14 pm on Jul 14, 2005 (gmt 0)

Automate. If you are using a desktop program, your order manager should download details from the shopping cart. Then pass that information to UPS WorldShip and or USPS via Endicia Dazzle. Print the shipping label.

I also find that packing takes more time than printing the label. You can improve your packing process if everything is within hand's reach and your feet does not have to move nor your body have to twist when packing.

abertone

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4050 posted 8:44 pm on Jul 15, 2005 (gmt 0)

We have a desktop order management system that downloads our orders from our web site. It maintains our inventory, purchasing and drop shipping for things we don't stock. We print a packing slip for orders that ship out of our warehouse with a barcode on them.

Our order management system integrates with UPS worldship and the barcode. We scan the barcode into worldship, which pulls in all customer information and then we print the label. Before we were scanning the barcode we would enter the order number manually and occassionally send items to the wrong customer due to typelexia, etc.

As far as actually streamlining the packing, we do the shipping in pairs. One person pulls all the product off the shelf and a second packs it. It is the fastest method for us.

-ABertone

ace2000

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4050 posted 9:11 pm on Jul 21, 2005 (gmt 0)

Thanks. I followed your advice and did a ton of research and a lot of PHP programming over the weekend ;). We now have all orders exported to UPS worldship and Stamps.com with the click of a button (and clicking the import buttons in each application), then we have a person at the shipping computer filling labels while another person picks and packs. Soon will get somone to pick and have 3 employees doing it.

This has cut our time by almost 2/3. Next I want to implement a barcode on our order invoice so you can just scan it and UPS worldship will automatically pull up the order info. Is that easy to do? Is UPS already set up to do it? Right now we enter the order ID # and the info pops up.

Thanks!

ace2000

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4050 posted 9:13 pm on Jul 21, 2005 (gmt 0)

Also, I'm looking for a low-cost inventory management software solution that will allow me to scan incoming product when it arrives (log inventory) and then scan it when it comes off the shelves. Perhaps I can integrate all of this with our PHP website?

kjs50

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4050 posted 9:14 pm on Jul 21, 2005 (gmt 0)

Hello,

It's really easy to do and that's how we have it setup. You can have UPS Worldship setup so it maps to your current database realtime. Then, look for the keyed import option and it will popup a screen where you can scan the order number.

beautykat

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4050 posted 3:39 am on Jul 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

With 50 orders a day? Have you considered using a fulfillment company to take care of this?

We are averaging about 10-12 mins per order per person right now. This involves downloading order, printing labels and packing. Have any of you timed your order processing time before?

sharbel

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4050 posted 4:40 am on Jul 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

I've done a lot of optimizing process flows for e-commerce sites and let me tell you... without a good programmer, you are always going to be lagging.

Even *with* a fulfillment company doing your shipping, you still have to get them the info.. A site that I did some work for in the winter was spending half a day each day to do their orders (labels, printing, packaging etc). I developed some components to tie their site's back-end to Canada Post (their shipper) so they just had to select the orders, and print the labels. Without having to manually type in the orders, automatically generating the packing slip, and generating her manifests etc, she was able to get her orders done in an hour.

With the extra time, they started really advertising a lot more. Within a couple months, they needed a fulfillment company. So, I had to develop a couple more components to allow them to dynamically generate a CSV file so they can send it over to the fulfilment house each morning. Their orders are triple what they were doing when it took them half a day, and their total processing time with the fulfilment house, and my components, is less than 10 minutes.

Again, they are growing still... The fulfilment house is now even suggesting I develop an area where they can go in themselves and pull orders to package. They might add a night shift, so they want to grab orders at night instead of waiting for morning when everyone rushes to post their fulfilment files.

I guess the point is, order fulfillment can *really* tie you up if you arent constantly trying to improve it.

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