We’ve all been there. We’re down to the last roll of toilet paper or only have one remaining laundry detergent pod left. That’s why fulfilling those customer orders as fast as possible is more important than ever. In the FMCG world, orders placed today were actually needed yesterday. Here are six ways your warehousing solution can focus on getting those FMGCs to move even faster.
There are many things to consider when implementing a First In First Out (FIFO) approach in your warehouse. In most cases, you should implement this practice regardless of whether or not the quality of your product degrades over time. Implementing a FIFO put-away and pick process will help improve your operations overall. A warehouse management system (WMS) that simply directs operators to the oldest inventory first does not meet the needs of many warehouse environments. Many FMCG customers prefer to store product in various locations with mixed SKUs or flow rack staging. It is critical for your overall success to choose a WMS that takes FIFO into consideration during both the put-away and picking processes.
2. Utilize Cross-Docking
Cross-docking is when you offload product from one truck and then put it directly onto another—without storing the inventory in your warehouse. This process saves you a lot of time and money because 1) you can get your products to your customers faster and 2) you don’t need to take up inventory space in your warehouse. Use this procedure as much as possible to keep your operations flowing.
3. Wave Replenishment
Can you sell an item today and have it back on the shelf the same day? Too often companies think of wave replenishment in terms of how it will affect their picking team on the other end. In reality, wave replenishment has much more to do with available space on your floor and your available equipment, such as lifts.
Your warehouse replenishment team may need to coordinate their efforts in a way that doesn't cause unnecessary traffic on the floor or produce too much downtime when there are not enough lifts available for a specific set of tasks.
4. Maximum Visibility
Because full, accurate supply-chain visibility is a necessity in the consumer goods industry, visibility service offers customers full product traceability and efficient management of physical and administrative flows. A warehouse provider that supplies full Control Tower visibility lets you see where your products are at all times—from inbound shipments to putting away within the facility, to pick, pack and shipping for your end customer. This insight helps to keep cost low and planning more transparent.
5. Co-packing, Labeling, Kitting
Value-added services such as labeling, co-packing, and kitting can add time to your fulfillment process. Make sure you provide in-house packaging and labeling services customized to your specifications to save time. All of this can be done on-site so shipping can occur the same day.
6. Strategic Geographic Warehousing
FMCG operations call for flexible, responsive storage facilities. You need warehouses that can manage all your operations and offer value-added services. These warehouses also need to be located near your customer base to ensure faster delivery at economical prices for your business.
In this industry, customer expectations are higher than ever. Meeting or exceeding those expectations needs to be a top priority. By implementing these warehouse solutions, you can be sure your fast-moving consumer goods live up to their name.