Search Results for: warehouse

Best Practices For Your Warehouse

In order for your warehouse to be as efficient as possible, there need to be a few best practices in place. These should be carried out by each and every one of your employees who has some responsibility in the warehouse. They ensure that things can continue to run smoothly and that there is never any hold up in shipping any deliveries and orders.

Take a look at these following best practices to see which ones you need to utilize in your warehouse right now!

So this happened… 😂😂 #warehouse #wearegettingracking

A post shared by Andy & Jeni (@chesterwool) on

Use Shipping Notifications

As soon as an item leaves your warehouse on delivery, you need to send out a notification to the buyer. This shows them that their item is on its way and can also give them a more definite delivery date. Similarly, it’s also a good idea to set up notifications for when your own orders are on their way to the warehouse. That way, you can be ready for when your new stock is delivered and you can have all hands on deck to help sort it out.

Carry Out Regular Inventory Checks

It is also crucial that you regularly carry out inventory checks and stock takes so that you always have a clear idea of what you have in stock and what might be running low. That way, you can always place orders before you run out completely and aren’t able to fulfil your own orders to your customers. There are a few different pieces of software and computer programs that you can use to help you with all of this. You can find out more about the best ones at www.blog.capterra.com.

Store Goods Efficiently

It’s important that you store all of your goods correctly so that none are damaged during storage. Using the racks available at www.atlanticrack.com will help you store all of your items so that they are all visible. They can also help you keep everything spaced out enough so that nothing ends up crushed or squashed. It’s also necessary to track the temperature of your warehouse if you store fresh food or other perishable items. That way, it will always be at the optimum temperature for storing your goods.

Retrain Staff

Whenever you get any new recruits working in your warehouse, you will need to make sure that they go through sufficient onboarding training so that they know all about your company’s warehouse best practices. But it also makes sense to retrain all of your employees on a regular basis as well. That’s because it will help them continue to work efficiently on a day to day basis. Not only that, though, but it also helps to refresh their minds about health and safety practices. Ideally, you should hold some training sessions for your staff every six months or so.

Hopefully, all of the great tips above will help you improve the best practices in your warehouse. And by doing so, your company can maintain its efficiency and profitability for the coming years!

Category: Business

Building Your Very Own Business Premises

Every business needs a home. If, unlike many business owners, you aren’t able to find the office or workspace you need already on the market, what are your options? Building may be the only way to get what you truly need from your workplace. If your business has specialized needs, like a certain amount of space or an environment better suited to housing technical equipment that you can’t store anywhere else, building may be your only option. But how difficult is it to build your own work premises and what are some of the challenges that a business owner might face trying to make one?

Know your needs first

Before putting together any floor plans or choosing a site, make sure that you are entirely aware of your needs. How much space are you going to need, what kind of environment will help you create a more safe and efficient place to work? If you want to rent out space within it to help make back your investment, can you offer the kind of space businesses nearby will be glad to pay for? How will your plans affect costs such as insurance, repairs, services, and local authority charges?

Find the right site

One of the better reasons to build your own premises instead of buying or renting an existing one is that you simply do not the building that meets your needs within the kind of location your business might thrive it. www.Entremetric.com takes a closer look at what you want from a location. Proximity to competition is one factor, but the ease of access for your employees and your logistics, such as deliveries and materials to and from your warehouse, can help reduce the running costs of the business.

 

Make sure it’s ready for the build

Choosing a plot of land and getting the permit to construct your building is one thing, but you need to consider the costs and time it takes to prepare the land as well. Not only do you need to clear the ground, you have to make sure it can support the building. You need to look at your engineering needs with teams like www.HelitechCCD.com. Ground that is unstable could prove a huge risk to your building’s integrity, and stabilizing equipment like vibro-stone columns and the right supports are entirely necessary.

Choose your team wisely

Unless you’re committing to building it entirely by yourself, you’re going to need to choose a construction team. When looking at teams like www.tartan-builders.com, ensure that they have experience in completing projects like yours in the past and that they are willing to show, in detail, work they have completed. If you can get in touch with past clients to find out what it’s like to work with them, then that is even better.

There’s no denying that it takes significant investment to build your own workspace, as well as plenty of strategizing and research. If you get it done, however, you could have complete control over the kind of space you do business in. To some, the investment is well worth it.

 

Category: Business

Get That B2B Sale Deal

What’s the heart that is beating to maintain business growth? What is essential at the core of your business expansion?

The answer is clients. If you haven’t figured this one out by yourself, it’s time to give up your career as an entrepreneur and consider a non-client facing job. But if you have congratulations. Now is the one million dollar question, namely, how do you manage to get a new deal with a new client? Client acquisition, especially in the B2B sector, can be extremely challenging. Indeed, there’s a little more to do than creating a handy click-to-buy app. In a B2B environment, client deals still run in a traditional face-to-face approach.

Are you ready to seduce your clients?

 

Do your research

So how do make sure that you can appeal to the right prospects? Ultimately; there is no way around it. You need to define your target audience, from which industry sector they’re more likely to be to basics demographics. The better you understand you market, the easier you’ll find to create tailored and relevant messages. Admittedly, while you can’t cold call every individual in your target audience, you can identify the companies that are the most likely to need your services/products. As a general rule of the thumb, if you want to get to know them, it’s easier to use either a common contact or to offer a free trial that is ideally timed with their agenda.

 

Find a hook they can’t resist

The free trial is by far the best hook you can offer to new clients. It doesn’t matter what people say, ultimately if something is free and of potential interest to their business, they’re likely to want to benefit from the offer. So what can you offer that is relevant to the current market? Let’s say GDPR is a priority today. For marketing service providers, you can suggest a free audit on GDPR regulations, for instance. If you’re an IT provider, you can target GDPR with a data removal offer. Insurance brokers can discuss GDPR protection, and so on!

 

Plan an introduction meeting

Once you’ve hooked your client, make sure to plan a meeting they won’t forget. You can even use a contract catering company for the occasion so that you can put your potential client at ease with a delicious buffet. Additionally, you need to make sure the meeting room is fully prepared to all IT requirements. There’s nothing worse than making your prospect wait because you can’t figure out how to project your presentation.

 

Book the best conference room

 

Last but not least: You need to deliver

Finally, you’ve convinced your leads, and they’ve signed with you. Bear in mind that if you’re not able to deliver, your client will probably look elsewhere for a provider – without mentioning the negative reputation you might receive in the process. So make sure that everything is ready, whether it’s a matter of warehouse management for good, or electronic process to keep track of your progress. A disappointed client is not the kind of publicity you want.

 

Client acquisition is the business equivalent to the ancient art of seduction. You need to know your target, gain their trust, cajole them into buying your services, and finally give them the satisfaction they need.

 

Category: Business

Updating Your Company’s Internal And External Business Approach

It’s important that a business looks good on the outside and the inside. There’s no point in creating a flashy advert that promises your brand can deliver incredible things if the truth is very different behind closed doors. You need to deliver on your promises if you want interested consumers to actually part with their money. People need to see that a company can actually follow through on its word if they’re going to purchase its goods or services. If you want to ensure that your entrepreneurial venture is successful then it might be time to update your company’s internal and external business approach. Here’s some advice to help you with that.

 

Tighten up your financial plan.

Let’s start by talking about money. That’s what keeps every business going, after all. It’s the only thing that’s relevant to every business in every industry, in fact. But so many entrepreneurs are so fixated on making sales that they fail to see the bigger picture. Sales are crucial, of course, but there’s more to financial success than that. Your company might already have a solid client base, but that doesn’t mean you have a solid financial situation. Making money is important, but being a smart entrepreneur requires you to spend that money wisely. You might want to take another look at your financial plan and think about ways in which you’re wasting money. Perhaps you could save money on the electricity bill by getting thicker glazing for office windows or buying energy-efficient appliances when old ones break down. And ask yourself whether you still need to waste money on paper (and hurt the environment) in the digital age. Reduce unnecessary overhead costs so that you can increase your profit margin.

 

Of course, saving money is only the beginning. If you want to ensure financial security then you need to be brave. Don’t hoard your earnings. You need to be courageous and spend money on improvements to your company. That’s the only way you can grow to meet the new needs of the market. Every industry evolves, so you need to evolve with yours. Making investments might be a risk, but it’s a necessary risk. Perhaps you need to hire some new employees to deliver a more extensive service and grow your customer base. Perhaps you need to buy higher-end technology and other resources. You need to make internal investments so that you can deliver a better service to the external market. Your customers will just flock to the competition if you don’t grow as a company. Rival businesses are always making improvements – don’t get left behind.

 

 

Look after your workers.

One of the main ways in which you should update your company’s internal business approach is by focusing on your workforce. You might already feel as if you provide great opportunities for your employees, and that may well be true, but you can always do more when it comes to looking after your workers. And, in turn, this will benefit the company immensely. Happy and healthy workers are bound to be far more productive, which means that your business is putting its money to better use; you’ll be paying the same salaries, but your employees will be delivering more. Additionally, internal improvements always improve your external image; clients will be far more impressed if the customer service they receive is professional and enthusiastic. In order to create such a workplace, you need to incentivize your employees. You need to respect them and recognize their hard work. You could award bonuses, free lunches, and other perks to the best workers in the office every week. This will give members of staff the motivation to work hard in order to receive rewards and appreciation for their input. You can massively boost the mood and morale of the workplace by taking the time to express your gratitude to employees. That’s how you look after your workers.

 

Still, it’s not just about promising a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. There’s only so far you can push your employees before you realize that productivity can really be increased by improvements to the company’s actual operations. For example, you could automate processes such as generating invoices or other administrative tasks that simply waste time. That way, your members of staff will be able to dedicate the work day to more technical tasks that actually further the company; the more they can deliver to customers, the larger your potential client base could be. Additionally, you need to think about improving the workplace itself in order to look after your employees. Safe working conditions are a must. Your workers are people; you need to keep them healthy both mentally and physically. You should make sure everybody is trained when it comes to using heavy equipment in the warehouse. But you should also make sure that the equipment itself is well-maintained because human error is only one potential safety risk. You should look into a good filtration system for your dust collector on the warehouse floor so as to ensure that your employees don’t inhale any dust. You might want to learn more about that. At the end of the day, looking after your workers will improve your business’ internal operations. This won’t just increase productivity, but it’ll ensure that you create the professional work environment expected of you by the target market.

 

 

Use the internet to go national (or international).

Finally, you need to think bigger if you want to update your company’s internal and external business approach. As we’ve discussed in this article, growth is integral to the success of any business. You need to invest in yourself so that you can expand and remain relevant in a changing market. If you really want to increase your sales then you need to aim to reach the national market rather than simply the local market. Perhaps you don’t have the money or resources to make that happen if you’re still a small business, but you don’t need money in order to grow in the modern age – the internet can help you. Reaching the external market in 2018 is so much easier if you focus on your company’s online brand. Improve your website’s content so that you show up higher in search engines; that way, you’ll drive more traffic to your website. Plus, you’ll see a better conversion of traffic to sales if your site is well-designed. Consumers are impatient in a fast-paced modern age; they don’t have time for websites with amateur designs and confusing content. Make things as simple as possible. Digital marketing is an integral part of any modern business strategy.

Category: Business

You Got The Sale, But Can You Deliver?

When running a business that sells from an online, mobile, or on-the-phone customer experience, securing sales might be your greatest concern. But it’s not the digital storefront or the marketing and conversion process that’s most likely to cause you to lose customers. The number one reason for poor customer retention is a delivery system that simply isn’t working. Here, we’re going to look at how to ensure your deliveries are convenient, efficient, and reliable not just for your customers but for you and your bottom line, too.

 

Run a ship-shape warehouse

All deliveries begin in the warehouse. It’s not just a place to store the goods before you deliver them, keeping it organised is integral to ensuring deliveries can begin as promptly as possible. Systematic organisation of stock, monitoring inventory levels, and keeping the warehouse well-lit and clean makes it a lot easier to find the goods you need when you need them. Efficient storage solutions with the proper racks and transportation equipment are also key in avoiding causing any damage to your stock. A high portion of faulty goods returns happen because goods were damaged not in transit, but in the warehouse before the delivery process even began. Along with the right equipment comes the need for ongoing training and retraining for staff. Appointing a warehouse safety officer can help you better spot potential risks to ensure relevant training to those who encounter or cause them.

Keep it connected

The warehouse is only one part of the overall supply and delivery chain, however. It only works effectively if it is working in tandem with all the other moving pieces. The packing room, the order completion system in your storefront, and the fleet management system should all be connected to it. Inventory management software is making it easier to connect these systems together, so that the warehouse team knows an order has begun as soon as it has processed just as your ecommerce storefront can update automatically with changes in stock, avoiding you from taking any orders for items that you don’t have.

Keep it electronic

The more you can avoid cluttering the warehouse and the delivery system, the better. The fewer resources you waste, the better. Many warehouses and businesses are starting to go completely paperless, relying instead on fully electronic processes. Using handheld devices like barcode readers to measure stock levels instead of noting on paper and using workflow tools for processing instead of transferring documents physically can save a lot of time. It also saves space that might otherwise be used to contain cabinet upon cabinet of files.

 

DIY or let someone else?

What about the transportation and fulfillment process itself? Many new businesses will sign up with a courier or delivery service that can help quickly get the business rolling. Saving you from the costs of purchasing and maintaining your own vehicles, many shippers will even provide free shipping materials such as boxes. However, as the business grows, the lack of control over your own delivery system can limit you. The more deliveries the manage, the less cost-effective it is to outsource, as well. When a business grows to a certain size, it has to look at the trucks in stock from their local suppliers and start building their own fleet. This also means creating safe driving policies, hiring drivers, and ensuring effective maintenance of vehicles. It takes more work, but in the end, it can make the process much more efficient, especially with the help of some of the tools we’re going to look at now.

Know the way

One of the reasons you want more control over your own deliveries is to better understand the delivery process. In particular, effective route creation and management can help customers receive deliveries much sooner as well as saving you money. Using fleet GPS technology, you can gain insight on the paths your drivers take. You can look at areas where they slow down due to traffic, for instance, and help them alternate roads that help them avoid them. What’s more, by planning more stops per route, you can ensure that every time a vehicle leaves the warehouse, it is fulfilling as many orders as possible before returning. Many fulfilment service providers include GPS tracking as a way to keep you informed of where your goods are at any given time, but you won’t be able to use those insights to customise routes and improve driving habits unless you are in full control of your fleet.

Keep the customer informed

The information gathered from your GPS delivery tracking won’t just help you, it will help the customer, too. Knowing where their package is through a parcel tracking feature can keep customers from becoming agitated or restless, offering them some peace of mind that their goods are, in fact, on the way. When they’re selecting their delivery options, for instance, ensure your system can provide estimated delivery dates for them. Connecting your GPS tracking to your customer experience can help provide real-time updates that stop them from clogging up your customer service channels with requests as to where their package is and when they can expect it.

 

Customer service is key

Of course, regardless of how automated, efficient, and easy-to-use your ordering and delivery services are, your customers are still going to have questions. Many ecommerce platforms still have trouble with customer support and it’s often down to two issues. The first is a lack of information. If your customer support team doesn’t have easy access to information on orders, stock levels, delivery location, and more, the customer will end up having to wait much longer for the answers they want. The second issue is a lack of the proper channels. Customer service should be accessible and highly visible. If a customer can’t see an easy way to connect with an online representative or a phone number to call, they are just as likely to cancel the order than to keep searching.

The cost conundrum

Every business running a delivery service is going to have to take a closer look at how, exactly, they price those deliveries. How much do you charge customers for deliveries? Some businesses, if they are able to cover their costs in their overall profits, will offer free delivery but that’s not an option every business can rely on. Others price on cost, keeping the charges for delivery transparent so customers know they’re not paying more than they should. What you should avoid, however, is attempting to use the delivery cost as an opportunity to profit further. Many customers will be savvy about the costs that other companies charge and will know when they’re being nickeled and dimed.

Reckoning with returns

Every business is legally required to have a returns policy that deals with faulty goods. But there is some wiggle room to be found in the creation of your own returns and refunds process. Ensure you educate yourself fully on your customer’s rights, avoiding the chance that a customer might opt to take legal action. It’s a good idea to see the status quo of returns policies within your industry by taking a closer look at those provided by competitors. You don’t necessarily have to guarantee returns for goods bought by mistake or ones that the customer later changed their mind on. By having a more open returns policy, however, you could boost customer satisfaction and retention rate.

 

Incentivise better deliveries

As effective as your systems may be and as much as you may automate different parts of it, you’re going to be relying on humans who are prone to error. Safety and efficiency in the warehouse, cost-effective driving, better organisation and handling of goods, these all depend on the different members of your team. The best way to make sure your people are as efficient as your systems is to incentivise it. Create a rewards system that takes into account different key performance indicators, offering something in return for those who keep the system running on time while withholding from those who fail to meet their targets.

Follow up with the customer

You want to know how effective the changes you make to your delivery system are. Following the metrics of employee performance, inventory levels, warehouse management and so on can give you some insights but the customer experience can be harder to measure. Ensure that you seek customer feedback on your delivery system, leaving it open for recommendations and reports of substandard service. Not every customer will take advantage of the chance to leave feedback. You can encourage feedback, however, by working to improve a sense of a positive customer/company relationship. A thank you letter or email and even a little bonus in the delivery, such as a pack of sweets, can help increase the emotional impact of receiving their goods, which can encourage them to engage more positively with the company.

From the customer experience to the warehouse organisation to the transportation of the packages, your delivery system needs to be connected from top to bottom. You can reduce your own costs as well as ensuring customers are better informed and satisfied.

 

Category: Business

Considering the Health and Safety Implications of Big Changes in Your Workplace

Any change that you make in the workplace is going to have wide sweeping changes that need to be taken into consideration before you make them. For example, if you’re going to add new machines or a powder coating booth to your manufacturing business, then have you considered the type of equipment or training that your employees need in order to utilize these new tools and machines to their fullest? It sounds like common sense and it should be, but not every business seems to care about the health and safety of their employees especially when new machinery or processes are involved.

This article is going to be mainly focused on industrial workplace where health and safety is a huge concern, but there are going to be a few talking points that also apply to even those working in offices. Without further ado, let’s take a look at some of the health and safety implications of big changes in the workplace and what we can do to reduce them.

Large warehouses and manufacturing plants are prone to accidents if you aren’t keeping employee safety in mind. 

 

Introducing New Equipment

When you add something new to your business, are you letting your employees know about it and teaching them how to utilize it correctly? For example, when you add new industrial process filters as part of your factory’s filtration system, are you giving your employees and foreman access to the manual and other important notes? Are you training them on its use and maintenance? Something important to health and safety like a filtration system needs to be fully understood even before its installed so that your foreman and managers can give their opinion on its use and how viable it is. If you don’t consult experts before making such a big change or if you ignore their warnings, then you could end up putting someone at risk.

 

Adequate Training of New Staff

Whenever you add new staff to your workplace, it’s important to train them sufficiently. It’s not just about training them to understand the machines and processes involved but also training them on your company’s workflow and any additional quirks that your staff might have in how they perform their tasks. This is going to vary from company to company, but let’s give a simple example to help illustrate this. Imagine that your staff have their own way of distributing safety equipment that is used for construction purposes. If your new recruit isn’t aware of how to receive their own safety gear from your inventory, then they’ll either hold up their work or they might be foolish enough to work in a dangerous environment without even considering the safety implications. It sounds unlikely for someone to do dangerous work without safety equipment, but it is your responsibility as the employer to oversee these things.

 

Final Words

No matter how big or small you think a change in your business is, it’s important to focus on all of the potential failure points and issues that you might run into.

Category: Business

Stop Your Business Spending Money it Doesn’t Need To

When you run your own business, you need to think about how to make savings. It’s not easy to run a cost-effective business, but it is doable. You just need to consider the areas that prove the most expensive. If you can come up with ways of cutting costs you’re going to save the business money, and help it to grow.

Don’t Waste Money on Stock

So many businesses tie up money in stock, and this can be such a waste. Having warehouses or offices full of stock is just haemorrhaging cash for the business. So, you need to try to make sure you don’t fall into this trap. When you order stock, you need to be efficient and only order what you need. Excessive ordering is wasteful and will cost you a lot of money. If you have any excess stock try to come up with ways of shifting it so you can make a bit more money. Don’t buy anymore stock or goods if you don’t need to. This is probably the simplest way to save money for your business.

Outsource Important Areas

Outsourcing is the magic word among business owners and has completely changed the way we do business. The internet has made it possible to outsource almost anything these days. So, it’s important to think about what parts of the company need to be outsourced. Try to make use of outsourced procurement services, online accountancy services, and freelancers. The idea is to try to outsource as many areas of the company as you possibly can. This will save you plenty of money in the long run as well as making the business more efficient. If you haven’t fully embraced outsourcing yet, then you’re in danger of being left behind by your rivals. Make sure you try to outsource as much as you can as often as you can.

Use Virtual Offices

One of your biggest expenses as a business owner is likely to be office space. And that’s why you need to come up with ways of cutting the costs of renting, stocking and maintaining your business premises. Now, an unusual but effective way of doing this would be to make use of virtual offices. You have probably heard of these before, but you may not be familiar with exactly what they are. Virtual offices are offices you can use solely when you need them. You basically rent them when you need to use them for things like meetings, and giving out your business address. It saves you money on having to pay for a lease on a commercial premises for the whole year.

Saving money is one of the secrets to success in the business world, and one of the things many people struggle with. It’s so expensive to launch and run startups these days, but as your company grows there are more and more ways to save cash. You just have to think about what your biggest business expenses are and come up with ways of cutting these costs.

Pixabay.com

 

Category: Business