While the supply chain speeds toward a record-breaking peak season, ecommerce is already at its breaking point.
Inventory has been subject to changing customers buying patterns and the ability to reorder in anticipation of future trends can feel downright impossible.
With that in mind, let’s look at five additional ways to maximize ecommerce inventory and streamline fulfillment as peak season approaches.
1. Just-In-Time Fulfillment
Just in time fulfillment is fast and effective. However, it relies on gauging demand with replenishment to get freight freight in the facility with minimal time between packaging and outbound shipping. That makes it a precarious option for one-off gifts and items that spike during peak season yet it’s an excellent way to approach household necessities during the demand, effectively alleviating supply chain resource strain to handle the other needs.
2. Drop Shipping
Drop shipping puts the worry over managing order fulfillment in the hands of the manufacturers. Since orders are routed to the nearest factory, manufacturer location or distribution center, the whole process stays out of house.
As a result, your business can focus on storing the extra inventory that comes with a holiday shopping season.
3. Cross Docking
Cross docking is a form of just in time fulfillment. However, it is also a viable option for companies that wish to maximize replenishment and available dock timed slots. Since freight is unloaded at the dock, crossdocking can be useful in consolidating or deconsolidation of shipments at the facility level and avoid extra costs resulting from too many parcels circulating within your network.
4. Pop-Up Fulfillment Centers
Pop-up fulfillment centers may exist in closed locations, temporary warehousing space, or in the back of a truck in a parking lot. The site isn’t what matters, it’s all about having access to accurate order data and accepting package and sending shipments off into the network for delivery closer to customers.
5. Store Front As A Distribution Center
Using the storefront as a distribution center is yet another ecommerce inventory management strategy that works during peak season.
Since customers are expected to shop more online than visiting stores, using stores as a distribution center can help stabilize inventory to account for the fewer than usual purchases in the brick and mortar location.
The reality is there are dozens of additional inventory management strategies that can help companies survive peak season. However, the more significant, higher than usual demand for household necessities will put added pressure on supply chains.
For those that leverage these five strategies for ecommerce, the opportunities to save resources and do more with less will abound.