Obviously it's important to provide your customers with the products they desire at a competitive price. But it's equally important to consistently deliver those goods with a high degree of accuracy. You should always promote continuous improvement, but I want to point out some of the most effective ways to improve order accuracy for your e-commerce orders.
Product Validation by Barcoding
As your orders are packaged they need to be verified for accuracy. Humans make mistakes, and quite often at levels that are unacceptable. If your products are not validated by a barcode scanner, then most likely your error rate is much higher than it could be.
If your products are purchased from a distributor, they most likely already have a UPC or an EAN barcode. If you are the manufacturer, you should either devise a unique part numbering system (with barcodes) or register your product with GS1 and receive a UPC/EAN code.
Record Product Weights
Products obviously weigh the same on the way out to your customers as they do when they arrive at your fulfillment center. Make good use of this by having the technology that allows the comparison of the expected weight and actual weight of an order (after packaging/shipping).
The first step to success is to accurately record product weights upon receiving them from your supplier. You may utilize manufacturer specifications or record the weight yourself. If you record weights yourself, make sure you have your scales certified to match the application of your product.
Create Weight Exception Rules
Setup weight exception rules for all outbound shipments. However, it doesn't make sense to use the same rules for all weight ranges. For example, it may be okay for a 20 lb package to have a variance of 1 lb (or 5%). However, 5% of a 14 oz package is only 0.7 oz. Lighter weight packages are better suited with a higher weight variance allowance.
Once exception rules are in place, it's important to make sure that the person performing the weight error inspections knows that every package must be inspected thoroughly. A quick decision to allow a package through the check point could result in a customer receiving the wrong item(s).
The exceptions process will catch other problems that deserve attention as well. For example, it may discover that an item weight was recorded incorrectly upon receiving it. Or, it could reveal the fact that an order was packed with too many units - this happens very easily with small products that have inner packs from the manufacturer.
Settle for Nothing Less
These are some of the most effective methods used by Logistech Solutions, Inc. to improve order accuracy. If your current process or fulfillment center isn't providing an acceptable measure of quality, please contact us for a free price quote!