What Is the Role of Inventory Management in Supply Chain?

What is inventory management, and why is it so important?

Inventory management refers to the process of ordering, storing and using the company’s goods or materials.

Successfully managing inventory enables companies to meet their consumers’ demand levels with appropriate supply. Ineffective management can lead to excess inventory, leading to the risk of damage, damage, or demand shifts, leading to stock accumulation.

Supply-Chain Inventory Management丨ChinaDivision丨G2-Learning-Hub
Supply-Chain Inventory Management丨ChinaDivision丨G2-Learning-Hub

If the stock is not sold before these events, it is usually sold at the clearance price or destroyed.

 According to a survey by the Association for Supply Chain Management (ASCM), nearly 60% of respondents indicated that inventory management is one of the top technical skills in their field.

This is an essential part of keeping the supply chain running smoothly. Effective inventory management requires a reliable technology platform and communication between all relevant parties.

Without inventory management, companies will suffer higher levels of waste and additional storage costs. Without accurate and up-to-date information, it is impossible to communicate with customers about product availability and estimated delivery dates.

How to improve inventory management in the supply chain?

 Effective supply chain management starts with technology. Eliminating traditional human errors can save time and reduce the risk of errors.

Digital operation management makes it easier to share any information recorded in the entire supply chain. If your company has implemented a Transportation Management System (TMS), then you have already optimized the whole supply chain!

 

How-to-improve-inventory-management-in-the-supply-chain丨ChinaDivision丨STORIS
How-to-improve-inventory-management-in-the-supply-chain丨ChinaDivision丨STORIS

Transportation management and warehouse management are two fundamental parts of a successful supply chain.

The Transportation Management System (TMS) handles the movement of products throughout the supply chain and provides the necessary communication platform for carriers, shippers and manufacturers.

The stock management platform focuses on the quantity and type of products in warehouses or other storage facilities. These technologies form the basis for the company to deliver its products to customers as efficiently as possible.

For example, when a company uses TMS to respond quickly to a customer’s order, it will soon move out of the warehouse instead of occupying inventory space. 

The integration of inventory management and TMS can make it easier to track deteriorated or defective inventory. With the help of TMS, warehouse managers can easily track the movement route of products after they leave the warehouse by tracing SKUs.

When an item recalled, the warehouse management team will have all the relevant information needed to find and isolate the defective product. Real-time inventory information will help bridge the gap between inventory management and transportation management.

How to Transition From Crowdfunding Campaign to Ecommerce?

Your project has market validation, customers, and funding (coming soon)—the three essential elements of any successful brand. One of the logical paths to follow now is to move forward with your project and create your own e-commerce brand.

Here are four tips for turning your crowdfunding campaign into e-commerce.

1. Build your website

In fact, we recommend that you create a website for your brand and products during or before your campaign, even if you may not be ready to sell products on your website after the event is over.

Your crowdfunding campaign page can be seen as a way to drive traffic to a platform that you can own and control during and after the campaign. Besides, creating a website before launching an e-commerce store will make the transition from crowdfunding to e-commerce smoother.

2. Choose an e-commerce platform

After setting up your website, you need to add an e-commerce platform to start selling. An e-commerce platform is a kind of software through which online companies can manage their e-commerce sales and operations.

E-commerce platforms such as Shopify, WooCommerce, etc., can simplify the online sales process and are an essential part of many e-commerce strategies, especially for first-time sellers.

Using it with an e-commerce platform that integrates a third-party logistics (3PL) provider can help automate your order fulfillment process, allowing you to focus on bigger and better plans without having to pay attention to the details of transportation.

3. Establish a partnership as early as possible

We recommend establishing a partnership during the crowdfunding process, which can help you promote your products.

For example, find an accountant who works well with you and understands your business model. He/she can not only help you set the right goals for your campaign but also help you keep your business stable when you open an e-commerce store.

Also, finding the right fulfillment provider in the crowdfunding campaign will ensure that you successfully set up supporter rewards and the shipping of orders from the e-commerce store.

The implementation of e-commerce and crowdfunding may be different or more complex, so it is essential to choose an implementation provider that can simplify your business processes.

Excellent 3PL, it has the following functions:

  • Integration with major e-commerce platforms
  • Ship in two days
  • Distributed inventory
  • Inventory management tools
  • there are more!

The above features ensure that you successfully implement your campaign and ensure that you successfully enter e-commerce.

4. Keep in touch

If your crowdfunding campaign goes well, your supporters will become the biggest fans and most loyal customers.

Expanding your customer base is essential, but don’t forget where to start! Your community of supporters can help spread information about your online store and recommend your products to friends and family. In exchange, offer discounts or referral rewards to your supporters.

In conclusion

Remember, your crowdfunding campaign may be just the beginning, and these tips can prepare you for the next stage of e-commerce success.

What Are the Objectives of Inventory Control?

Inventory control is a method of tracking the flow of inventory. It starts with the purchase and warehousing of the goods until it reaches the manufacturing unit or market. This process can be performed manually or using an automated system.

When the goods arrive at the warehouse, inventory management can ensure that these items (such as inventory, raw materials, components, tools, etc.) are effectively received, counted, classified, arranged, stored and maintained.

Objectives-of-Inventory-Control丨ChinaDivision
Objectives-of-Inventory-Control丨ChinaDivision

The types of inventory control management systems

When installing an inventory control management system, companies generally need to consider several aspects, such as cost, budget, availability, and accessibility. Inventory management systems can usually divide into the following types:

An inventory management system that uses barcode technology is more accurate and efficient than an inventory management system that uses manual processes.

Barcode inventory management

The inventory management system using barcode technology will be more accurate and efficient. The bar code system automatically updates the inventory level when the staff scans it with a bar code scanner or mobile device. 

The benefits of using barcodes in the inventory management process include:

  • Accurately record all inventory transactions.
  • Eliminate time-consuming data errors that often occur in manual or paper systems.
  • Eliminate manual data entry errors.
  • Easy and convenient scanning speed.
  • Automatically update existing inventory.
  • Record transaction history and quickly determine the minimum level and reorder quantity.
  • Simplify documentation and reports.

Periodic inventory management

Periodic inventory management requires manual tracking of inventory, which is more suitable for small businesses. It does not track inventory every day, but it allows companies to understand inventory level within a specific period. 

Companies will choose to use LIFO or FIFO inventory accounting methods or other methods to calculate the ending inventory value.

Perpetual inventory management

Perpetual inventory management, an accounting method of inventory management, is also called continuous inventory management. 

It links bar codes and radio frequency identification with the accounting inventory system, received inventory, point-of-sale system, and production system to track the path of inventory movement in real-time.

The objectives of inventory control are as follows:

  1. Ensure the continuous supply of materials and inventory so as not to affect production when customers demand.
  2. To avoid overstock or understock.
  3. To ensure sufficient materials for production.
  4. To minimize the capital required for operations and sales activities.
  5. To optimize the various costs of the warehouse, such as handling costs, storage costs, etc.
  6. To reduce losses due to deterioration, theft, waste and damage.
  7. To provide data for short-term or long-term planning under inventory control.
  8. To maintain system inventory records.
  9. Ensure sufficient cash flow to improve operational efficiency.

Ecommerce Order Fulfillment Progress: 4 Strategies to Optimize Your Fulfillment

“Paid Successfully.” When the order system displays this page, for customers in front of the screen, your order fulfillment process maybe just a step in their minds.

They just want to know when and where their items will arrive under the conditions they wish.

However, for e-commerce business owners, the order fulfillment process is no easy task!

This process involves multiple steps and people. Coordinating them all is a process that usually requires continuous improvement and improvement to reduce costs, satisfy customers and enable employees to work with maximum efficiency.

Four Strategies to Improve Your Ecommerce Order Fulfillment Process

Maintain an Attractive Refund Policy

Your return policy is an integral part of your e-commerce order fulfillment process. But how exactly does this support your business?

In short, when the customer receives the order, the order fulfillment is not over yet. On the contrary, once he or she is satisfied with the service provided by your company, it is over.

Therefore, you need to develop an effective return policy so that you can process returned orders and issue refunds when required.

Warehouse Management System Seamless Integration

Now that products come from all over the world, the truth is that you may not produce the items you sell online in-house. 

Your products are likely to be transported to storage in warehouses by various distributors and delivered directly to your customers.

Embrace Warehouse Automation

If you are not familiar with automation, it may sound daunting-is it really safe to hand over control of your business to a computer?

Many companies insist on what they know, even if they are aware of the problem’s inefficiency and crux. The idea of radical change can be daunting, leading to an attitude of “know your demons better.”

However, automation does not mean that robots will run your warehouse. On the contrary, this means that all time-consuming manual steps are prone to eliminate human error.

For example, when your warehouse operators receive an order, the automated system can let them know strictly which packaging option should be used, the most efficient order picking, and the best courier service to use.

When you receive orders from different channels, the execution of the order may become complicated. Having a standardized, automated fulfillment process avoids confusion and enables your warehouse staff to sort out orders as quickly as possible.

Enable End-to-End Order Visibility

Now you need to make sure that you can see everything in the entire supply chain.

In simple words, this means that both you and your supplier should be able to access the same catalog, inventory, and order fulfillment process-know precisely what items are available, quantities and locations. 

Besides, the e-commerce customer you are browsing should check whether an item is in stock and the amount is small or essential, how many things are available.

This clarity is called end-to-end visibility and is an essential aspect of customer satisfaction and accurate order fulfillment.

Crowdfunding eMail Marketing:Strategies Make Your Campaign Successful

How to make your crowdfunding campaign successful? What method is the most effective? The answer is obvious. Send emails to the right people at the right time.

This is a real and effective strategy tested in many crowdfunding projects. A survey found that the conversion rate of email is 34% higher than other outreach activities.

So why is crowdfunding email marketing effective? Because it is more personalized, highly targeted, and easy to track and replicate.

What Crowdfunding eMail Marketing Strategies Make Your Campaign ALIVE

Who Is the “Right One” You Should Email?

The recommended strategy is to divide your email contacts into three main categories. Personal networks, potential early supporters, and strangers. Then, use a different strategy for each mailing list.

Crowdfunding-eMail-Marketing-Strategies丨ChinaDivision
Crowdfunding-eMail-Marketing-Strategies丨ChinaDivision

Personal network

This list usually contains friends, family members, and committee members who are very enthusiastic about your project. Please note that to make the project progress more smoothly, please obtain 30% of the target funding within 48 hours after the project launched.

This is a vote of confidence for other supporters; just crossing your inner circle, you are more likely to raise the remaining 70% from a wider audience.

Now that you know these people, it is not difficult to collect and organize their lists. When sending emails to this group, personalize the content of the emails as much as possible. They will be grateful when you send more personal support requests because they may know you personally.

Early supporter list

In addition to your personal network, you also need to make a list of early supporters. This is a larger team composed of everyone else who may be interested, so there is a good chance that your project can be supported.

Stranger list

Reaching out to people you already know and getting early support from the committee’s contacts is a great way to get your campaign started.

But these are not enough. It would be best if you used more channels to promote your crowdfunding project to get support. Get more donations from strangers.

Email-Marketing丨ChinaDivision丨jmexclusives
Email-Marketing丨ChinaDivision丨jmexclusives

When Is the “Right Time” You Should Email?

The timing of the email is critical for your crowdfunding email. When the release date approaches, you should plan to send four emails. This will help to have the most significant impact immediately after the launch and reach the fundraising goal as soon as possible.

1. One week before

Sending an email at this time will let your audience know that your crowdfunding plan will be launched soon and is eligible for secret sharing. They can share the landing page with friends, including links to social media and pre-written messages (embedded “click to share”) to promote social sharing.

2. Three days before

Share the details of your special offer. For anyone who contributed within the first 48 hours, we recommend giving a discount. Many different early discounts or similar privileges to attract more mail receivers.

3. Launch day

Notify your mailing list, the event is still activated, and they can claim their allowance for a limited time. Make sure to use call-to-action buttons (Contribute Now! Pre-Order, etc.) above and in the middle of the email, including product images.

4. Two weeks later

Send this email to everyone on this list who hasn’t donated yet, and provide them with the last special offer (although not as good as the original offer) to convince them. Check the list of contributors to avoid sending them emails.

How ChinaDivision Helps Crowdfunding Campaigns

ChinaDivision has a lot of crowdfunding experience, and we have helped many startups run successful crowdfunding campaigns.

Our platform integrates Kickstarter directly to help you run and fulfill your crowdfunding campaign by offering you the best advice and the most affordable shipping solutions. We can help you plan your fulfillment costs and send rewards to your backers wherever they are.

How Chinadivision Help Your Crowdfunding Fulfillment?

What is Crowdfunding Fulfillment?

Crowdfunding fulfillment refers to inventory management, pick and pack, packaging, and product shipment funded online. Crowdfunding projects face more different unique challenges than traditional retail projects.

A perfect crowdfunding project usually requires immediate mass selection, fast packaging, and timely delivery of rewards.

Many successful crowdfunding campaigns forget to consider the cost of storage and reward realization, and these costs account for about 20% of the project cost on average. For crowdfunding projects, it is important to budget and plan rewards storage and fulfillment when the time is up.

Crowdfunding-Fulfillment-Services-ChinaDivision
Crowdfunding-Fulfillment-Services-ChinaDivision

Many crowdfunding campaigns focus on creativity and passion rather than fulfillment logistics, which is why a third-party logistics provider chose to handle reward fulfillment in Kickstarter campaigns.

The key to successfully assigning rewards is to find partners who can simplify and simplify the order fulfillment process.

For example, customers of ChinaDivision often see reduced shipping costs because they provide discounted prices, free packaging, and many other value-added services. Due to China’s many logistics channels, low cost, and cheap labor, China Division deliberately provides the best fulfillment plan for overseas customers.

ChinaDivision provides accurate forecasts of execution costs and budgets for customers with small orders. Customers with a large order volume can also have a large volume of customized services.

ChinaDivision crowdfunding fulfillment service

ChinaDivision can store, select, pick and pack, and ship crowdfunding rewards. ChinaDivision specializes in assisting small businesses, start-ups, and crowdfunding activities to provide high-quality services at affordable prices.

Providing supporters with a seamless, positive experience ensures that they are interested and willing to support future crowdfunding or e-commerce activities. One of the most critical parts of crowdfunding fulfillment is the logistics aspect of packaging and shipping rewards. Let ChinaDivision help.

ChinaDivision specializes in packaging and shipping products in various shapes and sizes. They can help you reduce costs as much as possible in terms of fulfillment so that you can devote most of your energy to essential aspects.

Besides, with a warehouse area of ​​hundreds of thousands of square feet, you can store many items. You don’t have to worry about dealing with the reward before sending the reward to the supporter.

3 Key Points to Consider When You Choose Order Fulfillment Center

Everything starts small, including e-commerce stores. Although your online store is still in its infancy, you may have to take care of most things yourself, including order fulfillment and shipping.

But, as the store grows and the customer base expands, you may need more help to help your business go to the next level when you realize that you can no longer handle everything on your own.

order-fulfillment-center丨ChinaDivision
order-fulfillment-center丨ChinaDivision

What is order fulfillment service?

Order fulfillment service covers the entire process from sales to delivery to customers. Successful order fulfillment depends on third-party logistics to complete the order fulfillment steps of an e-commerce online store, from receiving, processing, packaging, packing, and shipping products to customers.

A good e-commerce order fulfillment strategy is essential for online companies to maintain competitiveness and build customer loyalty.

And, what is order fulfillment center?

The order fulfillment center provides warehousing (storage) and transportation services so that online companies can conduct business without having their warehouse or storage space.

E-commerce sellers can send their inventory directly to a fulfillment center, and then deliver it to customers from there.

Most order fulfillment centers will be integrated with major online shopping platforms (such as Amazon, Shopify, eBay, etc.) to make it easier for sellers to manage inventory and deliver products.

order-fulfillment丨APS-Fulfillment-Inc丨ChinaDivision
order-fulfillment丨APS-Fulfillment-Inc丨ChinaDivision

Why you need order fulfillment center?

One of the most obvious benefits of using a fulfillment center is that you don’t have to do everything yourself. But the benefits go far beyond that. Outsourcing order fulfillment can have a meaningful impact on the growth of your business.

Reduce rental costs

Many third-party logistics service providers offer flexible pricing. This means that as your business develops, they will be able to adjust costs accordingly to your needs. Renting a warehouse yourself involves many potential costs and considerations.

Professional solution

When you use an order fulfillment center, you not only get warehouse space, but you also have the professional services of a team responsible for operating the fulfillment center.

Each 3PL has a team composed of logistics experts and technical support personnel, who will help you all the way. You can easily implement receipt management, inventory management, order processing, and transportation operations.

Optimize customer experience

Although it is basically free for you to do this work yourself, it may actually cost you a lot of money in the long run. Customers want faster shipping time, so in-house fulfillment may cause you to fail to meet these expectations and bring a bad customer experience.

What Inventory Turnover Ratio Is Good?

Let’s start with the most basic definition: What is inventory turnover ratio?

The definition of inventory turnover ratio

Inventory turnover ratio refers to the number of times the company’s inventory is repeatedly used or sold during a specific period, roughly reflecting its ability to manage inventory levels and the frequency of replenishing stock.

Companies generally prefer a higher inventory turnover ratio. The high ratio indicates that your inventory products are selling quickly, which shows that business performance is good.

Inventory-Turnover-Ratio-Orderhive-ChinaDivision
Inventory-Turnover-Ratio-Orderhive-ChinaDivision

What inventory turnover ratio is good?

The apparent answer: as high as possible.

For many e-commerce companies, the ideal inventory turnover rate is about 4 to 6. Of course, different industries have different standards, but a ratio between 4 and 6 usually means that the ratio between your replenishment and sales maintains a good balance.

In other words:

A good inventory turnover rate can let your business:

  • Products will not run out, but usually meet customer requirements
  • Inventory will not be overstocked and become deadstock
  • Improve profitability and reduce inventory holding costs/handling costs

In short, if your company can achieve a good balance between inventory, sales, and costs, then your e-commerce is expected to achieve natural and stable growth.

How to optimize inventory turnover ratio?

  1. Targeted design of marketing activities that meet the cost to increase sales
  2. Comparing with competitors in the industry to develop pricing strategies
  3. Good at growing product portfolio and stimulating customers to place orders
  4. Forecast inventory and plan for inventory purchase
  5. Regularly negotiate the purchase price with the supplier and obtain a preferential purchase price
  6. Develop preferential strategies to encourage customers to book products
  7. Eliminate dead stock as much as possible

Wonderful Ecommerce Fulfillment Model Keep Your Customers

Fast! Faster! Nowadays, the development of technology makes us more and more impatient. We expect technology to make things faster, and when we have to wait, we will feel frustrated.

Almost the entire process of e-commerce order fulfillment is facing the problem of acceleration. Customers want the lowest transportation costs and the shortest delivery time.

If your product’s sales volume grows steadily, but you cannot have better technical support, then customers who add shopping carts may turn to your competitors.

However, if you can provide customers with fast delivery speed and excellent customer experience, it will help promote your orders’ continuous growth and increase brand awareness.

Ecommerce-Fulfillment-Model丨ChinaDivision
Ecommerce-Fulfillment-Model丨ChinaDivision

How to Choose the Most Suitable Ecommerce Fulfillment Model?

Choosing the most suitable ecommerce fulfillment model is crucial because you cannot take responsibility for making mistakes. If you lose customers due to a poor fulfillment experience, they will quickly turn to your competitors for help.

A study showed that nearly 40% of customers said they would choose to return or stop shopping with retailers because of a negative delivery experience.

The perfect e-commerce fulfillment model depends on the size and nature of your business. If you are happy to do everything yourself and have the time and space to do so, then in-house fulfillment will be the best choice.

However, self-fulfillment may bring many hidden costs. For example, if you decide to sell through Amazon, remember that regardless of the fulfillment method, they will charge all sellers 15% of each product’s sales price.

Order-fulfillment丨ChinaDivision-1
Order-fulfillment丨ChinaDivision

In-house fulfillment may become a burden for your business because supply chain management is not a simple matter. It needs enough space to store inventory and enough time to complete all tasks.

If you choose to work with a third-party logistics provider, then you need to take the time to screen which partner is best for your business.

It is meaningful to choose 3PL with experience and mature technology. At the same time, you should also consider price, quality control, the number of warehouses and their location, and whether the order fulfillment system seamlessly integrates with your system.

Good fulfillment companies will also handle returns management properly. Of course, you need to make sure that your budget can meet all the features you need.

What Questions Should You Ask Your Next 3PL Provider?

How do you determine which 3PL provider is the best? An indispensable part of business operations, it is important to let 3PL suppliers manage your supply chain. This is why you should not just choose anyone.

Although it is not uncommon to compare the pros and cons or read customer reviews, we recommend that you go further. As with finding new employees, the best way to find out which 3PL company is best for you is to interview your best prospects. Although this may require more work and more time, it is ultimately worth it. If you are worried, then the following questions should be at the top of your list.

3PL-Provider丨ChinaDivision
3PL-Provider丨ChinaDivision

1: How do you meet my e-commerce needs?

Before choosing to change to another 3PL provider, make sure you understand the person you are hiring. Although they may be similar, there are differences between the two companies. In the rapidly changing world of e-commerce, it is important to understand how potential 3PL companies can meet your exact transportation needs. 

Believe it or not, there are logistics companies everywhere that are not involved in e-commerce, or because of demand, they are new, which means they may lack experience. If you are an e-commerce company, it is important to choose a company that can meet your needs. To find the perfect match, don’t choose a company that only meets general e-commerce needs but fully meets your e-commerce needs.

2: What logistics services do you provide?

When it comes to freight, every company has its preferred method. You own yours, and the 3PL providers own theirs. You want to make sure everything is aligned. However, you also want to make sure that you have the right to choose and that the company you choose is willing to accept it. 

Many companies claim to provide “one-stop” services, but not everyone does. You should investigate your potential 3PL companies to find out if they are as they claim. Trust us, if you don’t want to fall into any trap, please pay more attention to freight.

supply-chain丨ChinaDivision
supply-chain丨ChinaDivision

3: To what extent do you assume responsibility and how to deal with claims?

The question is divided into two parts, which can catch the other person off guard. Everyone likes them, but no one wants to answer them, which makes the two-part question so big. 

The assumption of responsibility is an important aspect of transportation (whether it is domestic or international transit), so we recommend this issue as a surprise attack. The correct coverage will give you peace of mind, and it will help ensure better customer service.

4: How did you handle or correct errors in the past?

This is a multifaceted problem. On the one hand, this is a way for you to view the company’s mistakes. On the other hand, it reveals how the interviewing company handled these errors. Early mistakes are not always bad, so we remind any 3PL companies that have not made mistakes. 

Ideally, you will want to find a company that has grown through errors. To be sure, their recent records and customer reviews should be evidence of their improvement. Handling errors also means that you know how to resolve the mistakes, whether something similar has happened to them.