Roundup Fulfillment & Operations 15 Bottom-Line-Boosting
14. Develop a vendor-compliance program. Every function — from receiving to shipping — is impacted in some way by your vendors. Hence, a detailed and enforced vendor-compliance program will do as much to improve your DC operations as any one thing you can do. Vendor compliance means products arrive from a vendor as they should — in proper condition and delivered in the agreed-upon manner.
In addition to product quality, compliance standards that vendors must meet could include:
- packaging and shipping requirements;
- advanced shipping notices;
- master case and inner case, case labeling, product packaging and polybag specifications;
- accounting and paperwork requirements;
- logistics requirements and routing guides; and
- scheduling and statistical sampling requirements.
Benchmarking — KPIs
15. Develop benchmarks. By developing a set of consistent and measurable key performance indicators (KPIs), you can measure costs, productivity and efficiency. Once you've completed and analyzed your existing operation, compare it to accepted industry benchmarks. Avoid using general industry averages; they won't be specific to your business in product type, size and customers. Many companies are using management reporting online for critical KPIs for contact center and fulfillment. Remember: You can't improve what hasn't been measured.
Curt Barry is president of F. Curtis Barry & Co., a Richmond, Va.-based firm that specializes in multichannel operations and fulfillment consulting for catalog, e-commerce and retail companies. He wrote this article at the request of Catalog Success editors. Contact him at (804) 740-8743 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. Or visit the company Web site at www.fcbco.com.