As eCommerce continues to grow in popularity, so do the challenges faced by eCommerce startups. As a startup yourself, you know that running an eCommerce business is a challenging feat. Many factors can make or break your business, including supply chain management and warehousing solutions. Here are some of the top warehousing challenges faced by eCommerce startups in 2023.
Lack of Warehouse Space
According to Oberlo, eCommerce sales will likely be 20.8% of retail sales globally in 2023. But many eCommerce startups, especially those just starting or who have only been in business for a few years, need help finding warehouse space.
It can be especially problematic in densely populated cities with limited space available and high rents. In many cases, relocating may be necessary to find more affordable warehouse space.
One way around this issue is by partnering with other businesses interested in shipping large amounts of goods daily, a practice known as co-locating or co-sharing warehouse space. In some cases, multiple businesses will pay rent for their units within the same warehouse, while others may share an entire building by splitting up different parts or floors.
Warehouse Management System
A warehouse management system (WMS) is software that helps in monitoring warehouse operations, inventory levels, and warehouse workers. It is a must-have tool for eCommerce startups because it helps manage inventory levels, improve warehouse efficiency, and control costs associated with inventory. The WMS market was valued at $3,152 million in 2022 and is expected to grow to $14,536.7 million by the end of 2023.
The WMS software helps reduce breakage, improve product availability, and reduce delays in the supply chain by enabling accurate forecasting of product demand. The system also automates manual tasks such as picking & packing orders, picking up items from shelves, etc., reducing employee errors.
Coordination between Team Members
Effective communication between team members is a critical factor in any retail business. The warehouse staff needs to work together seamlessly and efficiently, from unloading goods from the trucks to their storage in the warehouse.
A lack of coordination among team members will result in a slower turnaround time for your products and higher costs, as you’ll need more resources and labor to get things done faster.
The same applies to logistics processes, including warehousing, transportation, and distribution. Suppose there needs to be a transparent system or guidelines that everyone understands. In that case, it can lead to miscommunication which could ultimately cost you money by slowing down operations or even losing sales due to late deliveries.
Managing Multiple Locations
Managing multiple locations is a big challenge for eCommerce startups. It is essential to manage the logistics of your delivery centers so that you can offer same-day deliveries and reduce costs. According to Invesp, 49% of shoppers are more likely to shop online if they are offered same-day delivery.
To manage these logistics, it is essential to have a proper inventory management system in place. It will help you track where the product is and how much stock should be in each warehouse or store location. It would be best if you also used software that manages returns, exchanges, and other customer service-related workflows to make your customers happy with their experience while shopping with you.
Managing Inventory Levels
The goal of managing inventory levels is to ensure enough products are in stock to meet customer demand while also ensuring they don’t have too much excess. Inventory management is a complex process involving many logistics and planning. You need to determine what your customers demand and how many products you can sell within a specific timeframe. It requires constant monitoring of sales trends and indexing them against available inventory levels.
You will have to use an advanced Warehouse Management System (WMS) to manage inventory levels. A WMS allows you to track every single product shipped from your warehouse down to the last detail. It includes information about where it was shipped from, who it was shipped by, and when it was shipped out, which helps eliminate any chance of fraud or theft within your company’s operations.
Managing Warehouse Operations
To manage warehouse operations, you must ensure that your inventory levels are managed well. You should always ensure enough inventory for peak business hours and a healthy stock in case your supply chain is disrupted.
The best way to do this is by using warehouse management software to help you manage inventory levels efficiently and quickly. You can also use a third-party logistics provider to control your operations better or hire in-house staff to manage the warehouse infrastructure and processes.
Need for Improved Warehouse Operations and Management
Warehouse operations and management is a crucial part of the eCommerce business. It involves many processes, which include inventory management, transportation and shipping orders, packing products in cardboard boxes or plastic bags, etc.
Warehouse operations and management can be challenging for several reasons. First of all, it is a complex process that requires a lot of attention from warehouse managers, who must ensure things run smoothly at all times. Secondly, supply chain regulations change also makes it challenging for warehouses to keep up with industry standards on time.
In conclusion, there are many challenges faced by eCommerce startups in 2023. However, it is essential not to let this negatively impact your business. Instead, it would be best if you considered how these challenges could be overcome and make sure that they do not affect your company negatively in any way. To learn about other options, visit this page.