How to outsource your E-Commerce logistics?
In our previous article, we saw 6 reasons to outsource your logistics, but before taking the plunge, it's a good idea to ask yourself questions about your project and draw up a roadmap. If you are thinking of outsourcing, it is better to do it efficiently!
Here are some important points to consider :
1. Compare costs, internal versus external (fixed and accounting costs, but also less measurable costs : what you might gain/lose in quality of work for example) ;
2. Consider the cost of transition time for your business, and the cost of closing your warehouse ;
3. Do not hesitate to compare the different service providers and to study their quotes ;
4. The relationship with your service provider should be one of trust. You must be transparent about your logistical problems and know your logistician well.
Secondly, to ensure that your outsourcing is carried out in the best possible way, there are a few key steps that need to be respected to set up the process.
The steps to outsource your E-Commerce logistics.
Here are the main key steps in outsourcing your E-Commerce logistics.
Interfacing is an essential first step for successful e-commerce logistics. It is the starting point for coordinating all logistics interactions with the web solution (orders, flow management, etc.).
This step ensures the synchronisation of the different information, through your logistics flow. Once the interfacing process has been set up by the technical teams, you can receive your first orders.
Most of the platforms on the market - such as PrestaShop, Woo Commerce, Oasis, Magento, Oxatis or E-majine for the best known - must be configured. You will then benefit from a turnkey interface, where all the information related to your activity will be directly monitored in real time.
Receiving supplier orders
Inventory management and the receipt of supplier orders is the second key step in managing your E-Commerce logistics. It is very important to keep a perfect coherence between the number of orders received and the filling of stocks.
Not all companies have a huge storage space to place their goods (especially when they are starting up). The cost of the building as well as its management costs (fitting out, maintenance, security, etc.) are a hindrance for most companies. Using a service provider allows you to optimise the management of your E-Commerce stocks. However, it is important to ensure that your software is properly interfaced with that of the service provider in order to manage them as well as possible.
Order picking is a process that, when optimised, can help you to drastically reduce your cost of goods sold. This includes careful checking during picking, checking and packing.
For example, you can work with your service provider to set up a precise labelling system that enables his staff to find the products in the warehouse without effort.
Before you can ship your products, you need to pack them for safe (and orderly) transport. What options do you have? There are a few common options for packaging, including boxes or envelopes (padded or not).
You can also try to think outside the box by looking at other packaging options. Remember that the experience of unboxing a product is a key step in customer satisfaction.
In the context of E-Commerce sales, shipping and order fulfilment is one of the most important operations. There are a few key points that need to be checked to ensure that deliveries are not missed.
Firstly, the weight of each item should be checked. While this may seem like an obvious tip, it needs to be put into this specific context. Don't forget to allow for the weight of the packaging and related protective solutions. (Example: if you are delivering fragile products such as glass bottles)
Delivery costs are sometimes the subject of disputes between customers and E-tailers. It is always better to offer this to customers, especially if the products are returned. If you are not convinced, you can set up a series of tests including free and paid shipping. Also consider that a new online shop can benefit from a higher market penetration rate by offering delivery.
Finally, it is a good idea to offer some delivery solutions for customers who are not at home much, for example you can offer delivery to a relay point, registered delivery with signature or delivery to the workplace.
Last step in the success of your E-Commerce. Follow-up is very important to ensure customer satisfaction. An E-Commerce that does not listen to its customers will not go far. There are now so many follow-up solutions that can be neglected. Personalizing the customer experience is one of the keys to success.
Who are we?
Located in Mazamet (Tarn, France), the Groupe BLAZQUEZ specialised in the road transport for 50 years and more recently in E-Commerce logistics.
In 2010, Manuel BLAZQUEZ, the company's current president, took over the company Transports CABROL, which was created in 1970.
Ambitious, he has since strongly developed the company by grouping together other transport structures: TRANSEURO and TRANSWAY have successively reinforced the capacity of Transports CABROL.