How to meet customer delivery expectations by speeding up order fulfilment
Most of us have felt the panic of the week before Christmas or a friend’s birthday, when that last present hasn’t arrived yet. Yes, you might have ordered it late, but you expect it to be there on time.
Consumers like easy and convenient online shopping experiences. In fact, 63% of customers say delivery speed is an important consideration when shopping online. Supporting this, the IMRG’s 2021 Home Delivery review observed a sharp increase in the percentage of people who expect same and next day delivery vs. pre-pandemic life. On top of this, they also state that 65% of people say a good delivery experience encouraged them to purchase again from a retailer!
So, how quick you deliver your product is important, as it can help or hinder the purchasing decisions of potential customers. That’s why making sure your packing operation is running as efficiently and quickly as possible is indispensable – especially as we move towards peak!
Seasonal demand presents its own challenges. And pack times is one of them! Our 2021 Peak Performance Survey found that 42% of retailer’s and 3PL’s pack times increased during last year’s high-demand season. This can often be another spanner in the works when you’re trying to meet customer delivery expectations.
We want to exceed customer expectations, so they know they can rely on you all year round, even during peak. With that in mind, how can you meet customer expectations? By speeding up order fulfilment!
To help you get started, here’s a few ways you can increase your operational efficiency
Consider new packaging materials
Do you know how long it takes to pack your products? Have you timed it? You might find a significant area holding you back, and it might be the packaging materials you’re using. From assembly to taping, time can add up substantially, especially if your team find your packaging hard to use
For example, if you’re using a complex die-cut cardboard box, it could be adding to your pack times. Extra folding and taping could slow things down, especially if you’re contending with high demand and temporary team members.
It might be time to explore new packaging designs to find an easier and quicker alternative for your packers to use. You should aim for packaging that’s quick and simple to assemble no matter the experience level of your packers, so it’s easy for them to fulfil orders.
So, if you are using cardboard boxes as your packaging of choice, have you considered a crash-lock box? They’re quick to erect and fast to pack. They pop open for effortless assembly, eliminating the need for taping the bottom of the box – saving precious time.
Unlock the possibilities of packing tape
Packing tape is the unsung hero of saving time when fulfilling orders because there is so much you can do to make it more efficient. If you are applying tape using a hand dispenser, swapping to gummed paper tape with the appropriate dispenser can help you save time, use less tape, and improve your overall pack appearance.
Automated gummed paper tape machines can dispense over 1m of tape every second. You can pre-program the length of tape you need, seriously speeding up the number of packs you can seal, while controlling material use. Most water activated tape dispensers also hold rolls that are longer than conventional plastic packing tape. This means less down time for roll changes – perfect when you need to get orders out the door quickly. These dispensers can fit easily on any packing bench and don’t cost the earth, so they’re easy to install as well.
For high demand environments, you can also opt for in-line automatic tape machines. This sort of packaging machinery applies tape to your parcels as it moves through a machine. Packaging automation will speed up your operation and help you increase the number of orders you can fulfil!
Make your void fill more efficient
Void fill is important – it protects your products after all. However, you need to make sure you’re using it efficiently, especially during seasonal spikes in demand. During peak, you may use much more void fill in shorter amounts of time.
If you’re using air cushions, this can mean your packers frequently needing to change rolls or get new packing materials. The outcome? This will slow down your packing process.
A quick change you can make to speed up your fulfilment is switching to longer rolls of void fill. This will result in fewer roll changes, cutting down time and increasing your throughput. A bonus is that this reduces the amount of stock maintenance in the packing area too. Using longer rolls can also help you save warehouse space.
Don’t forget about the automated possibilities for your protective packaging. There are options for high demand environments, which automatically dispense the right amount of packing material, which can help save time and reduce waste.
Support speeding up your order fulfilment with innovative packaging solutions
At Macfarlane Packaging, we have the packaging solutions and services to help you transform your packing operation, including speeding up order fulfilment so you can meet customer delivery expectations.
Take the Packaging Optimiser. It’s a unique tool we’ve created that can uncover what your packaging is costing your business and the environment. It can help to improve productivity and increase storage space to help your business run smoothly throughout the year and during peak. Learn more by clicking here, and book a demo with us today!
Macfarlane Packaging experts are on hand to help your packaging operation prepare for the high-demand season. Why not contact us today to find out how we can help?