Fully integrated material handling & storage systems for your business

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Great Customer Experience
starts in the Warehouse

In today’s modern world, superior customer experience is a key differentiator in a busy marketplace.

If you can’t provide customers with what they want, when they want it, they simply go to a competitor.

Now, for those of you still questioning how important it is to provide superior customer experience to today’s buyers, consider this . . .

86% OF PEOPLE ARE WILLING TO PAY UP TO 25% MORE FOR A BETTER CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE

So, having implemented all of the necessary communication/support channels for buyers, and trained your customer-facing staff to provide the best levels of service, that’s all you can do, right? Not quite. The fact is, with all the will and investment in the world, a company is only as good as its warehouse. Without the right tools, processes, and procedures in the warehouse, a company will struggle to distribute its products on time and to the right buyers – resulting in poor customer experience. Ultimately, making a sale is only the start of the process, it’s everything that comes after this point that will help to create an excellent relationship with customers.

If you’re looking to help your organisation generate more sales, revenue, and profit, then the focus must start in the warehouse. Many of your competitors may not yet have realised the important correlation between the warehouse and their business success – so now’s the time to act and stay ahead of the market curve. To help you gather the information you need – and to direct your focus towards the relevant areas of your operation – we’ve created this helpful guide. Simply read on to see how you can make sure your warehouse is the driving force behind your organisation’s growth.

Employee Engagement

When looking to improve processes and wider business results, employee engagement is a hugely important factor to consider. Engaged employees think more creatively and are more likely to suggest alternative processes and procedures to improve their role/output. In a warehouse environment, engaged employees who are actively looking for ways to streamline the way they work is a valuable asset for any business and one that can ultimately have a massive effect on the company’s customer experience.

ENGAGED EMPLOYEES ARE 18% MORE PRODUCTIVE

To ensure your employees remain engaged and focused on potential improvements, start by including them in plans and discussions. Inform them of the importance of their role and the warehouse in general, and explain how their performance can ultimately improve business output and the customers’ relationship with the brand. Where necessary, offer your warehouse operatives learning and development opportunities so that they can become experts in their field and identify improvements much faster. Additionally, ensure they have the right tools for their role, as this will enable them to perform at an optimum level, remain engaged, and be better positioned to identify further opportunities for change.

When looking to improve your organisation’s customer experience through the development of warehouse processes, focusing on employee engagement may seem trivial. However, this investment in staff will pay dividends when the operatives themselves start to provide valuable suggestions and feedback. Not only will this mean that ideas are generated ‘at the coal face’, but change will be easier to implement if the initial idea came from the employees themselves.

Good Relationship with Suppliers

There are always strong arguments for consolidating suppliers and reducing the overall number of suppliers to an organisation – and rightly so. But, the real value of reviewing the current supply chain is to identify the organisations that provide the most ‘added value’. this means that over and above their product/service, what else do they do to help your business? in today’s crowded marketplace, it’s not simply a case of selling their products, it’s about opening discussions, providing advice, and doing their best to ensure that your business is given the best possible chance to succeed.

REDUCING SUPPLIERS CONTRIBUTES A 3.35% COST REDUCTION FOR INDIRECT SPEND AND A 9.18% REDUCTION FOR GENERAL EQUIPMENT AND SUPPLIES

So, start by reviewing your current and prospective future suppliers, and look for those that offer a consultative approach. This methodology means that instead of simply trying to generate a sale from you, these organisations will look to work with you, guide you, and empower your business. For example, let’s say you are looking for a warehouse storage solution. Of the suppliers you contact, 9 out of 10 suggest standard racking that they know is similar to your current solution. But then, the other supplier visits, carries out a full-scale review of your warehouse operation, and your business’ needs. From here they share their expertise with you and advise that you opt for a different form of racking entirely. As experts, they provide clear and concise reasons why this change would benefit your business and help streamline your processes.

Now, as you can see from the example above, if you just want to update your existing tools like-for-like, then there are a variety of suppliers who can help you. However, if you are looking to dramatically improve your warehouse procedures, your company’s output, and your brand’s customer experience, then look for industry-leading suppliers that provide a consultative approach. A valuable partnership such as this can go on to become your competitive edge in the already busy marketplace.

Process Review and Amendment

Given how important and closely linked the warehouse operation is to a business’ success, it’s important to make sure that all processes and procedures are optimised. this guide has so far suggested a variety of areas which you can turn your attention to. However, to help you carry out a comprehensive review procedure, here is a simple checklist of factors to consider . . .

46% OF SMBS EITHER DON'T TRACK INVENTORY OR USE A MANUAL METHOD

5

Inbound Processes

Receiving – speed of dock to stock

Returns – enhance reverse logistics

Quality Control – exceed customer expectations

5

Inventory Management

Replenishment – stock products for faster order fulfilment

Cycle Count – eliminate downtime for costly physical inventories

5

Outbound Processes

Waving – plan and process what you need, when you need it

Picking – improve your accuracy

Packing and Shipping – reduce costs, stay on time

5

Visibility to Your Workflow - System Intelligence

Workflow Monitoring

Visibility Benefits – eagle’s-eye view of all processes and movement

With an estimated 35% of facilities experiencing ongoing picking error rates of 1% or more, this type of review and analysis of your operation will help to highlight areas which can be streamlined, improved, and if necessary, overhauled.

24% OF CUSTOMERS CONTINUE TO SEEK OUT VENDORS FOR 2+ YEARS AFTER A GOOD EXPERIENCE

The previous statistic shows that following a good customer experience, buyers will continue to prioritise your brand for the next two years. this is a level of loyalty that some organisations can only dream of, and it’s all down to providing a good level of service.

When it comes to customer experience, the entire organisation has a responsibility – from the customer-facing staff to the finance team in a back office. And, as the warehouse operations manager, the landscape within which you can improve the business is, of course, the warehouse. It’s worth remembering too that a coordinated warehouse and high-performing workforce, mean a reduced level of stress and chaos for you too.

Effective and efficient processes within your warehouse mean smooth operations and happy customers at the end of the line. And this well-organised and streamlined approach is dependent on the tools and procedures you have in place. By utilising the knowledge of industry/product experts, it’ll be possible to make tasks simpler for you, your staff, and your business in general. And, of course, with a warehouse operating at an optimum level, a business can be sure that it’s doing all it can to provide customers with an unrivalled experience.