3pl Logistics: Growing your Health & Beauty Business

As a 3pl logistics company, we know the importance of running a competent business with lots of moving parts. Deciding to go into business is a big decision. Knowing which industry to get into is also a big decision. How do you know where to focus your attention so that you get the best results? Well, one good tactic to focus on is demand.

Where there is demand, there is opportunity. You have made a wise choice for those who have gone into the industry of health and beauty products or at least are considering it. We want to help explain the ever-growing importance of this industry as well as how 3pl logistics will help to assist in this area of expanding your operations with ease.

Table of contents

1) Demand for health and beauty products in 2021

2) 3pl Logistics and Smart fulfilment provide business leverage in other areas

3) Brand control and custom packaging with 3pl logistics

4) The importance of organic and cruelty-free products

5) Health and Beauty Product Bundling

 

UK HEALTH AND BEAUTY ECOMMERCE MARKET IS GROWING

Over the last year, the health and beauty industry has seen explosive growth. One study has concluded that the UK health and beauty sector will reach £39.4 billion this year. This is an increase from £27 billion in 2020. Globally the market is predicted to reach a jaw-dropping £716 billion by 2025. The fastest-growing segment for health and beauty products is the online retail market, accounting for over half the total sales.

A Vouchercloud study has shown that the UK health and beauty market is one of the largest globally, just behind the Ukraine and Sweden. It’s important to note that even though the UK eCommerce market saw a reduction in sales from 2020 to 2021 by 6.1 %, it is still the third-largest eCommerce market in the world, just below the US and China.

3pl

Brick and Mortar VS Online Selling of Health & Beauty Products

Now with the more relaxed pandemic freedoms, more customers are flocking to traditional bricks and mortar stores. Trying on products before you buy is always a great incentive for consumers. However, because the online market is still so popular, many large companies have both a physical store and an eCommerce presence. In fact, eight of the largest online retailers also have a high street presence.

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With high demand can also bring high competition, so online retailers need to be as efficient and transparent as possible with their products. For traditional walk-in stores, having the extra inventory on hand to ship and send your products to your loyal customer base will keep you competitive with other exclusive online brands, allowing you to leverage both sales channels.

 

3PL LOGISTICS & SMART FULFILMENT PROVIDE BUSINESS LEVERAGE IN OTHER AREAS

Smart fulfilment refers to the technological practice and process of storing, managing, and sending products to your customers. 3pl logistics services allow businesses the freedom to focus on other areas of their business by leveraging our services.

In 2021 great health and beauty products are everywhere. We have the option to buy the identical product from various providers. So, why do some companies dominate and stand out from the others? Why do certain companies lead in this industry?

There are many reasons for this, but a significant reason is that these companies pay attention to more than simply offering great products. They also focus on branding, marketing, and personal service for better reach and a well-rounded 360-customer approach. Customer service is still a very critical element in a saturated post-modern online market.

Almost 90% of buyers are willing to pay more for improved customer experience

Another vital area of the business worth mentioning is fast delivery.

Quick delivery is a critical component of smart fulfilment it’s a result of optimal picking, packing, and final mile delivery. 1 to 2-day delivery provides a better D2C business relationship, encouraging future sales.

Companies that outsource to third-party logistics will have a leg up on the competition so that they can focus on all the other important areas of customer satisfaction. As you grow and scale your business and deal with recurring orders online, you will learn that automation is your best friend. Outsourcing to a 3pl will save you both money and time.

 

3PL logistics: Next-day delivery

If you read our article “The importance of next day delivery,” you will see that quick delivery is the new customer expectation. It is no longer a simple convenience, but I believe compulsory for businesses in 2021.

“49% of shoppers say that next-day delivery makes them more likely to shop online”

As a growing business, the ability to send more and more parcels gets more challenging as sales increase. Failing to meet the demand of delivery within 48 hours will quickly sink your business.

95% of customers tell others about a bad experience, and 87% share good experiences.

When you fail to despatch products in 1 – 2 days, you risk losing customers to another company that offers it. Next day delivery is a must.

 

Brand Control and Custom Packaging with 3PL Logistics

Outsourcing your health and beauty products to a 3pl provider is a wise decision. Before doing so, it may cause hesitancy to relinquish control.

You may have compared pricing with different companies, looked at warehouse locations, or feared losing brand control.

When you’ve invested so much time and energy into your business, you don’t want it to go to waste, right? Being hesitant is a normal reaction, but you don’t have to worry about that with 3pl logistics. Companies like Selazar take the time to handle your final product presentation and brand packaging with great care and meticulous attention to detail.

Brand packaging matters because customers associate with more than just the products. They also associate with values and pleasing aesthetics of the packaging. The most successful companies understand this.

“30% of businesses report an increase in revenue after improving product packaging”

With the right fulfilment partner, you don’t have to worry about these issues. You can remain steadfast with your brand control. You will always have complete brand control with every detail of your fulfilment process, generating and keeping loyal customers as always.

“43% of people spend more money on brands they’re loyal to”

One of the best health and beauty brands in the UK that fulfil with Selazar is Upcircle. You can see an example of their custom packaging below.

 

THE GROWING IMPORTANCE OF ORGANIC & CRUELTY-FREE PRODUCTS

product bundling, upcircle products, order fulfilment, ecommerce fulfilment, brands that use a 3pl, third party logistics services, growing health and beauty industry 2021, uk health and beauty product shipping, 3pl warehouse, 3pl servicesUnfortunately, the evidence has shown that animal testing in the Health & beauty industry is staggering. Approximately 100,000 to 200,000 animals suffer and die every year from animal testing in cosmetics alone. One company that is doing something about this is Cruelty-Free International. They gather signatures every day from regular consumers to prevent these cruel practices. They’ve collected millions of signatures from all over the world.

 

“A survey of over 15,000 women who buy beauty products concluded that 43% would stop using a beauty product that tested on animals.”

 

Why does this matter?

Well, it matters when working with similar value-centred, socially conscious companies. Growing your brand should also include a 3pl that knows the importance of responsible business practices. That’s why Selazar practices eco-friendly packaging and sustainability.

Eco-friendly packaging

Also known as “sustainable packaging” or “green packaging,” this Earth-friendly fulfilment alternative decreases our carbon footprint. The types of eco packaging supplies associated with green packaging are renewable materials that are safe and sustainable. This includes plastic-free materials, corrugated cardboard, and gummed tape.

“75% of Millennials are willing to pay more for an environmentally sustainable product, compared to 63% of Gen Z, 64% of Gen X, and 57% of Boomers”

 

HEALTH AND BEAUTY PRODUCT BUNDLING (DEALS!!!)

Selling health and beauty products comes with all sorts of miscellaneous items like cremes, foundations, brushes, and more. Product bundling or kitting involves picking and packing multiple items and pre-packing them for dispatch Accurate projections are vital with the old-school way.

However in the new-school way, when customers place an order online through your website, our innovative packaging algorithm notifies the distribution warehouse to gather multiple items into a single order. Keeping your stock dynamic – like you!

So, if a customer likes the deal you’ve virtually created, we’ll grab the components and create the bundle at pick time. Making a real bundle to your unboxing specifications. Simple. Convenient. Effective.

 

Conclusion

The health and beauty industries are only going to get better it seems. Make sure you have the right service to help you not only grow steadily but easily. Automation and tech-first smart fulfilment operations are key to managing your products and your brand. Let us know how we can help grow your health and beauty brand with 3pl logistics.

Expanding Fulfilment Operations with new 3PL Warehouse

Announcement: Our new 3pl warehouse

London, 26 May 2021: Rapidly growing eCommerce fulfilment company Selazar has announced the expansion of its operations, with the opening of a new state-of-the-art flagship 3pl warehouse in Nuneaton, Warwickshire. The new warehouse will see the UK-based tech company increase its reach to all areas of the country via this prime geographical location.

 

 

Selazar, which was founded in Belfast and also has offices in London and Birmingham, has been on a solid growth trajectory since its launch in 2019. The company has developed a highly innovative proprietary eCommerce fulfilment platform and primarily services medium-sized and bespoke retailers throughout the UK.

The new flagship 3pl warehouse offers the UK’s most accurate fulfilment service.

It is designed for high-speed, high-volume operations and is already demonstrating its capabilities. In the initial test phase, pick time was reduced by 20 percent within 30 days of the commencement of operations. Peak output volume for the facility is 250,000 orders per month and 1,000,000 picks per month at full speed.

Commenting on the opening of the new warehouse, Jack Williams, CEO of Selazar said: “Our new state-of-the-art warehouse marks an important milestone in our ability to provide fast and innovative fulfilment services throughout the UK. As we push to bring turnaround times lower and lower, we are constantly working to optimise our performance. At the Nuneaton warehouse, we’ve managed to turn orders around in less than 30 minutes. Our new target is sub-15-minutes. As an emerging start-up being recognised within the tech eCommerce space, Selazar is proud to bring 75 new jobs to the local community in the near future. “

The flagship 3pl warehouse setup was completed in record time, only two weeks to fully prep the site for change over. Using our tech-first approach, Selazar successfully migrated to the new site without interrupting our partner’s service. The new site will become home to a technology innovation centre where product lines and new start-ups can benefit from market-beating technology while they build pipelines and scale their business.

 

The start of an explosive expansion journey began right here in Nuneaton. The lessons learned and success of onboarding this site will form the base plan for Selazar’s expansion across the UK, EU and the Globe.

Selazar customer Will Duffield CEO & Founder, Starwood Sports – a UK-based retailer of premium products for recreational sports said: “Selazar has been an ideal partner for Starwood Sports, in both optimising our customer experience and distribution costs. The team understands our business and offers outstanding service that has helped us to grow our business. We’re certain the new Nuneaton warehouse will extend Selazar’s capabilities, which will be to the benefit of us and our customers.”

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About Selazar

Selazar is a UK-based tech-first eCommerce fulfilment specialist. The company has developed a proprietary, cloud-based warehousing and fulfilment platform for eCommerce retailers. We pick pack and ship products to your customers as efficiently as possible. No fuss, no headaches, just streamlined intelligent automated operations. Our transparent system lets retailers understand, track and ignore the complex process of fulfilment, allowing them to get on with the real work – growing their business.

Being recognised in Northern Ireland for our innovative approach, Innovate NI and Tech Nation have both recognised Selazar with awards for our easy to use platform.

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Logistics Services for eCommerce: What is 3pl, 4pl, 5pl?

TABLE OF CONTENTS

  1. 1pl Logistics Services

  2. 2pl Logistics Services

  3. 3pl Logistics Services

  4. 4pl Logistics Services

  5. 5pl Logistics Services

 

There is always specialised terminology within various industries. For the logistics industry, you will most often come across 3PL, 4PL, and 5PL. What these terms do is categorise what logistics services these specific providers offer. Depending on the services needed for your business, you will choose one of these terms. So, what is the difference? How do you know which one you should be using?

Outsourcing for logistics was a rare occurrence before the 1980s. However, as advances in technology began to happen, this transformed supply chains. With the rise of artificial intelligence (AI), outsourced logistics keep improving every year.

Having a clear understanding of logistics services and supply chain management can help your business financially. Things such as are my business spending too much money on transportation? Will outsourcing to a 3pl or 4pl save my business money? What exact services do I need, and do I need something simpler and more streamlined? What are the advantages and disadvantages of each service? So, let us discuss.

To have a broad overview of these services, we will also be touching on 1PL, 2PL, and 3PL.

 

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1PL (First Party Logistics)

What is a 1PL?

1pl simply defined means first-party or first-person logistics. The company or business with the product also takes care of all its own transportation and logistics. You will see this a lot with retailers and grocery outlets. From Sainsbury’s to Marks & Spencer, they have their own trucks and take care of their own logistics.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of a 1PL?

Advantages – Having complete control over your own logistics can be seen as an advantage. Internal communication needed only instead of external communication. The company has complete authority to manage operations.

Disadvantages – Handling your own transportation and logistics is expensive and time-consuming. Therefore, only the most prominent retailers tend to handle their own logistics. They must pay for drivers, trucks, fuel, and so much more like insurance and vehicle maintenance. Could that money be spent better with having less employees who simply coordinate deliveries with a shipping service?

 

 

2PL (Second Party Logistics)

What is a 2PL?

2pl, what is a 2pl, 2pl 3pl 4pl, 2pl 3pl, second party logistics, outsource fulfilment, clothing delivery, next day delivery clothes, same day delivery clothes, next day delivery dresses, next day delivery womens clothes, next day delivery mens clothes,2PL simply defined means second party or second person logistics. This is the scenario if a retail outlet didn’t use its own trucks and instead hired a service. If a manufacturer wants to send goods to a warehouse, they could a hire a shipping service to take care of that delivery. If a car dealership sells cars online and needs a car delivered across the country to a customer, they would hire a second party semi-truck company to do it. Some companies may also use the UK Royal Mail Service to send packages to their customers. So, 2PL basically covers transportation. Uber Eats, or Deliveroo could be considered 2pl’s as they only handle the transport of goods from restaurant to your front door.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of a 2PL?

Advantages – By using a second party, the business frees up time and company resources to focus on other aspects like growth. They may also be saving a lot of money by not hiring extra staff and trucks to handle their deliveries. Each company is different, so all costs must be considered. Would this option be cheaper for your business?

Disadvantages – You have to give up control to another party. If there are issues, you must rely on others to fix them. Quality control could be an issue if the provider is not a top-notch service. You’re still managing order processing and inventory management, which is very time-intensive. ( link to order processing somewhere?)

 

 

3PL (Third Party Logistics)

What is a 3PL?

3pl simply defined means third party or third person logistics. This is where outsourcing your fulfilment needs really ramps up, and service benefits kick in. The day-to-day operations of a 3pl range from receiving to final-mile shipping. They include:

Storing and managing your inventory in their warehouse, Inventory Management.

Picking and packing your items when an online order is made, Order Processing.

Tracking your products to their final destination, Order Management.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of a 3PL?

Advantages – Companies can outsource all their fulfilment needs for customers. They can rely on the competence and proficiency of a company that handles substantial amounts of consumer goods. This is particularly attractive for online sellers who are time short and looking for intelligent solutions. They can solely focus on growing their business and managing customers.

Disadvantages – Quality control is out of reach. Therefore choosing the right 3pl with a good track record of quality control and competence is critical to success.

 

 

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4PL (Fourth-Party Logistics)

What is a 4PL?

4pl, 4pl logistics, what is a 4pl, fourth party logistics, 3pl 4pl, difference between 3pl and 4pl, 4pls, 4th party logistics, 4pl companies, 3pl 4pl 5pl4PL simply defined means fourth party or fourth person logistics. A 4PL acts as the complete intermediary between their partner brands and several logistics companies. Essentially, they will work with other 3PL’s and manage the day-to-day operations closely with their supply chain network on behalf of their clients. They typically do not own warehouses, but partner with warehouses and 3PL’s in their delivery network to send items to for distribution.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of a 4PL?

Advantages – Freeing up the time to the retailer allows them to focus on day to day business operations.4pl’ss work to be very strategic in their process as they work to find the best solutions on behalf of the company. This means getting multiple quotes from differ3PL’s, pointing out inefficiencies and auditing the entire process.

Disadvantages – A inexperienced 4pl without the proper credentials or supply network can easily cause hiccups in the companies” supply chain. Though it can be helpful for a 4PL to control your logistics, you don’t have complete control over warehouse operations. Management of physical operations at the supply warehouses is removed.

 

 

5PL (Fifth-Party Logistics)

What is a 5PL?

5PL simply defined means fifth party or fifth person logistics. This service takes it one step further from a 4PL. Again, this is more of a consultant position rather than owning physical operations.

Their management of supply chain operations expands internationally, whereas 4PL and below tend to focus more on domestic operations. More than that, they also manage the supply chain from the supplier to the retailer or manufacturer they represent.

Basically, suppose they represent a company that makes computers. In that case, they handle sourcing the individual computer components for the computer manufacturer to build their computers while also managing the completed computers to be sent to customers afterwards.

They will source the services a company needs as well as negotiate contracts. Quite often, they focus on getting the best rates from many 3PL providers.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of a 5PL?

Advantages – They focus on leveraging technology to create highly efficient networks. The focus on eCommerce companies with no physical store space. Again, they are a convenience to companies that don’t want to handle logistics.

Disadvantages – Relying on a company that does not physically manage the process from the warehouse or supply chain. They work primarily from an office, not a warehouse.

 

 

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I hope you now have a deeper understanding of the different logistics providers, what they do, and how they operate. As a 3PL, Selazar believes we are the best solution for eCommerce companies looking to grow their brand and outsource their fulfilment. Our partners can meet us and see our warehouse. We are transparent and enjoy showing our clients our systems and automation to improve final mile delivery services to their customers with efficiency and precision.

 

 

 

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Warehouse Management & Innovation In A Post Brexit Era

Table Of Contents

1. Warehouse Space Post Brexit
2. Meeting the demand for Ecommerce Growth
3. Brexit Impact on UK Warehousing
4. Warehouse Management System (WMS)
5. 3PL Warehousing as a Customer-Focused Model

The Need For More Warehouse Space and Solutions Expands In The UK as eCommerce Continues To Boom In 2021.

Warehouse Space Surges Post Brexit< /h3>
While many people from the UK to the EU study the fallouts of a Coronavirus post-Brexit era, one fact remains: UK eCommerce is at an all-time high and will only get better. The new eco-system of warehouse management in a post-Brexit Covid era is rapidly developing.

According to Statista, in 2020, 87% of UK household made online purchases. Kooomo CEO Ciran Bollard has predicted UK ecommerce growth will explode, indicating that online retail spending in the UK will reach £75 billion by 2024. Now that more people are on the digital bandwagon, rising sales in 2021 have prompted companies to get more warehouse space. Retailers, 3pl’s, and other supply chains seek out more real estate from “last mile” delivery to big distribution centres. BNP Paribas Real Estate Research said warehouse space has increased by 73% since Covid.

“Covid 19 has accelerated pre-existing consumer trends and speeded up demand for online shopping at an incredible pace, resulting in a much greater need for warehouse space for retailers, supermarkets and third-party logistics providers. Changing consumer habits, along with uncertainty around the UK’s trading relationship with the EU, is likely to result in continued up-tick in demand as businesses may look at bringing supply chains closer to home.”

– Ben Wiley, BNP Paribas Real Estate

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Meeting demand for eCommerce growth

The surge in online retail and distribution have garnered more investment and attention in the last year. Companies like Selazar are securing more financing to meet retailers’ growing space requirements as customer demand increases. Expanding warehouse operations is a high priority to meet the behemoth 2021 eCommerce markets needs and beyond.

Securing more investors is always a solution. Or rather, simply partnering with other companies and 3pl’s may be more beneficial options for e-tailers. As companies look ahead and plan long-term strategies for eCommerce growth, it makes sense to outsource warehousing operations to offer greater flexibility and lowers overall costs. Location is always a consideration as well.

3pl warehouses near motorways and major highways logistically have quicker access to customers and the markets. Not only can this help retailers expand their demographics, but their bottom line within and around the golden triangle.

The United Kingdom Warehousing Association just released a report that the vacancy rate for larger warehouses is 6.8% (only 2.2% inside the M25). The market is even tighter for food grade and temperature-controlled space. Just a decade ago, the national vacancy rate was 23%.

So, what does this mean for warehouse prices in the UK?

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The company Knight Frank released an analysis finding that clearly outlines that it requires 1.36 million sq. ft of space for every billion pounds of online spend. By 2024 we could see an increase of 92 million sq. ft. Much of this growth is due to the grocery sector as well as online retail sales. Though the warehousing industry seems to be bouncing back more, UK supply chain companies will be competing for more for big commercial spaces as well as last-mile delivery.

The competitive landscape for space will most likely drive up costs with global industrial markets. As more products are being demanded online, more space will be required to fulfil the market. The spaces closer to significant transport areas with quick access to nearby concentrations of consumers will be the highest in demand.

Warehouse management system

To fully support and optimize warehousing and distribution functionality, it’s crucial to have the right warehouse management system. What is the new management system? Well, it’s not people. It’s technology. Specifically, it’s warehouse management software.

To engage successfully with inventory, fulfilment demands, returns, fully optimized and scalable automation software is needed. With all the Brexit changes, such as EORI numbers and custom declarations forms, having the right software helps to expedite a quicker process with little to no errors. If that information isn’t inputted prior and read accurately at the warehouse drop-off, this could cause more kinks in the supply chain delivery process.

Avoiding some of the most common 3pl logistics mistakes like slow or late shipments, poor inventory management, and errors in product details will create more success for your business and your customers.

You want to make sure your 3pl provider is doing this. Selazar currently has a 99.9% pick and pack accuracy rate because of its tech-first approach.

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Should you use 3pl warehousing?

As many retailers and brands are learning, warehousing and distribution are very expensive and can be ineffective as a pricing model when you’re mainly in the business of developing products. Therefore, UK 3pl’s like Selazar are the next best solution. When you don’t have to worry about packaging, sending items, dealing with returns, you can focus more on the customer.

Customers want a friendly experience and an easy process. They want quick delivery. Freeing up your time to focus on customer service and creating the best products will create raving fans and repeat business.

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The truth is, Covid has opened “Pandora’s box” of online shopping. Not only have more customers joined the home delivery revolution, but the demand for 24 hours and 48-hour delivery has increased. Without efficient systems to meet the needs of instant gratification, customers will begin to abandon ship increasingly. Managing warehouse inventory well is both our responsibility to our industry as well as our customers.

Good warehouse management means being more efficient. Responsible 3pl warehousing should be a tech-first approach for both space and time. Digital mapping and routing workers correctly around the warehouse matters when every second counts. Selazar makes this simple by digitally assigning the correct route for picking and packing, ensuring the most efficient use of time possible. Also, increasing the dispatch cut off time into the evening makes service better. This means customers who order by 7 pm can still get same day dispatch. This is why Selazar has received a 2021 award nomination for “Warehouse Efficiency” by the Logistics Awards. Warehouse management has been a focal point for the company.

Conclusion

We live in an evolving world. Ensure that you have the right strategy, warehouse management, and partners to grow into the eCommerce market through 2021, and beyond.

Selazar has partnered with some of the biggest and best brands in the UK and EU. We offer the best eCommerce solutions for companies in an evolving online marketplace.

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Warehouse Storage: 3pl Warehousing & fulfilment centres

Table of contents

  1. Warehouse storage

  2. eCommerce warehousing

  3. What is inventory storage and inventory management?

  4. Self storage and warehouse leasing

  5. How to improve inventory accuracy

  6. When to switch to a 3pl

 

What is warehouse storage?

Warehouse storage pertains to any large facility that is used for storing physical goods. This could be anything from clothes to electronics or planes. Some warehouses are empty while others are organised with a large storage apparatus and pallets. There are a few types of storage.

For example, there is general warehouse storage for the public that seek to store goods for a designated period of time in a single closet-like space. There is cold warehouse storage for grocery store suppliers. There is also regular storage for retail businesses that simply would like to keep stock and supplies for secure warehousing. Then, there is eCommerce warehousing.

 

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Ecommerce Warehousing

This type of warehouse storage is specifically used to store goods before they are sold to customers online. This is what Selazar does specifically as a 3pl. Responsibilities include keeping inventory secure in an organised environment, picking and packing the inventory when orders come in online, forecasting supply volumes, and tracking orders in real-time. Ecommerce warehousing ensures your orders are processed smoothly from intake to final mile delivery.

 

What is inventory storage?

Inventory management is an integral part of your eCommerce business. Inventory storage specifically refers to the logistics process of organising physical products within a controlled environment, like a warehouse or other large space. The purpose is to organise the physical products in such a way that they can be easily managed, tracked, and quickly distributed to customers.

What established businesses and 3pl companies will tell you is that inventory management is a critical component of B2C eCommerce. With eCommerce warehousing, there is a myriad of processes to ensure optimal operations and smart inventory tracking practices; for better shipping and distribution.

Selazar warehouses are divided into alphabetised rows that organise small to large items. It also includes a custom packaging area, delivery pickup area, and special docking station for the inventory intake process. It is managed so that dispatch speed is much quicker while also being more accurate.

 

73% of customers expect affordable, fast deliveries.

 

What is inventory management?

inventory management, logistics service provider, 3pl solutions, 3pl providers, logistics outsourcing, wms system,storage, warehouse stock, cargo warehouse e warehouse, warehouse packaging,Implementing smart inventory management and tracking is critical for supply chain operations. The aim is to be aware of your inventory at any given time, and how much of it you have so you can manage your inventory levels correctly. Mismanaging products can lead to delays in getting products out to customers, reflecting badly on your business. 34 percent of businesses have shipped an order late because they inadvertently sold a product that was not in stock. Digital software can manage inventory with ease so that everyone is aware of what is or is not available.

Inventory management, like Selazar’s, uses innovative inventory software, automation, and digital mapping. Technically speaking there is a lot more than meets the eye with storage and distribution.

43% of retailers ranked inventory management as their number one day-to-day challenge

 

Inventory software

Selazar is revolutionising supply chain management through the medium of technology. As a 3pl, we offer services like storage, pick and pack, and shipping, but at our core are a software company. We have gathered an innovative tech team that has created a proprietary software for Selazar alone, uniquely developing an industry-leading API (Application Programming Interface).

When packages arrive in the warehouse at Selazar, they are already labelled, and Selazar scans them before allocating them. Each parcel is given a unique SKU number (Stock keeping unit). The Selazar algorithm automatically calculates the best area for parcels based on the boxes’ size and shape – along with the amount of product. All the relevant data about the package is automatically synchronised, including product description, seller information, customs information, and more. Oh yeah, and it is all done with mobile phones.

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Within the Selazar portal, all information is automatically stored and can be seen from the warehouse worker’s mobile device to the end-user (business owner) in real-time.

2-way stock sync

Another added benefit of the Selazar platform is that it negates backorder issues. The system has a two-way sync with Shopify. Essentially, the stock that is held in our warehouse will synchronise with the number of units available in your store.

So, if you have 10 units of stock sitting in our warehouse, your Shopify store’s available stock level will also be 10 units. This allows your customers to freely purchase these items. If there is no stock of a particular unit in the warehouse, your Shopify store can be set up to show an item as being out of stock.

Stock management software such as this streamlines the entire process, greatly diminishing human error.

 

Automation

When a package is scanned in a distribution warehouse like Selazar, it is automatically assigned to a particular area – meaning pallet location or shelf location. This is all part of the intake stock process (ISP) After being assigned to a specific area, a worker takes the quickest route to the area through digital mapping. This allows for a streamlined and efficient process. The advantage of smart automation is that it allows us to not only move stock well during intake, but it makes it easier for processing large volumes of products as well. Packages are pre-labelled, and the scan upon intake provides all the necessary information about the products details making it simple, straightforward, and fast. After this process is complete and an order is placed online by a customer, it is automatically assigned a worker again to pick and pack the products. The is known as pick and pack fulfilment. It is scanned again when ready and then dispatched, which updates live within your online shop.

 

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Self-Storage is inefficient

Smaller business will often keep products within their home, local business, or use a local storage company. This can be a satisfactory solution in the beginning, however, can disrupt the home or business environment as operations expand. Then they need to physically drive and drop off packages which is very time consuming, and expensive. Deliveries will take longer. Plus, the entire inventory must be managed by the same people who need to be focusing on marketing, customer service, and so much more. 38% of customers say they will never shop with a retailer again following a negative delivery experience.

Paying for a general storage unit somewhere locally to store your products may also seem like a clever idea, however, can be limited due to the availability of units. It also takes a lot more time with driving and pick up, causing further delays.

Remember that you will also be paying monthly for general storage units, so you must pay for all the days. This is not necessarily a more cost-effective solution. If you sell out of all your product before the month is over, you are still paying for storage.

Selazar offers a pay as you go model; also known as consumption-based pricing. . If you sell out of stock, there are no further fees.


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Warehouse leasing

As businesses grow and develop, some may start to consider the idea to purchase or lease a physical space themselves for warehouse storage. After all, why not control the entire operation?

By doing this your business is going to accrue a lot of extra risks. An increase in demand over the last year due to the pandemic means prices are also rising. One study confirms that the warehousing and storage industry is expected to boom over the next five years at a compound annual rate of 1.8% to £19.8billion. CBRE has reported that the industry was 111% higher in 2020 than compared to 2019.

If you do still try to accrue warehouse space, common costs associated include:

  • Leasing costs
  • Insurance costs
  • Utility costs
  • Staffing costs
  • Technology costs

These are reasons why a good 3pl provider is a more effective solution; saving your business hundreds or even thousands every month. On top of that, you have the added benefit of not having to deal with the fulfilment centre process, allowing you time to focus on growing the business.

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Improving inventory accuracy

With millions of orders being processed every day globally, tracking inventory across multiple channels becomes more complex. 15% of inventory discrepancies have to do with systems not functioning properly or simply not communicating effectively across channels.

Without the proper management system there is no effective way to know:

  • The amount of product you have on hand
  • Quantity to be ordered to meet par levels
  • How par levels need to change based on sales
  • How to forecast upcoming sales seasons
  • Ongoing overhead costs

Keeping track of all these factors is liable to human error with antiquated ways of supply chain management. Using spreadsheets for smaller businesses is by no means a scalable solution. It is not automatic or efficient enough like smart automation.

Selazar has a 99.9% pick and pack accuracy rate, and their average order fulfilment time from online order to dispatch is under 30 minutes. With the average pick time being only 37 seconds on average, this keeps your costs low, because you are only charged for the time it takes to fulfil the order.

 

When to switch to 3pl services for warehousing and distribution

There are a lot of reasons why you may need to outsource your fulfilment operations. For example, if you are running out of space and growing faster than you can keep up with, it may be time to switch to a 3pl. Here are some more common issues:

1) Daily Service issues

Are your customers being let down on a frequent basis by slow delivery, damaged packaging, or wrong order fulfilment?

2) Shipping Costs

Is your bottom line being affected by lots of shipping costs?

3) Packing and shipping too complex

Are you struggling with special packaging on top of storage space and stacking? Then it may be time to switch.

 

You can let Selazar take care of all your storage, fulfilment, and shipping needs. We are the industry-leading 3pl with tech-forward solutions for your business. Call us today to find out more about how Selazar’s smart system helps sellers sell more.

 

Technological Innovations Transforming Shipping Logistics

Shipping logistics is a compounded process with several moving parts. The demand for logistic services soared at an all-time high in 2020, nearly doubling its 10-year value. Logistics Business’ report on the demand for UK logistics showed that about 40% of all take-up from 2020 is accounted for by e-commerce, another fast rising industry that’s set to earn a 22% increase by 2023.

Moreover, the pandemic response has created a bigger surge in demand for logistics and an even faster dispatch speed, as previously discussed in our ‘Dispatch Speed is Your Competitive Advantage’ article, as meal kit operators, parcel delivery and fulfilment, and medical suppliers have expanded operations.

The logistics process involves planning, sourcing, and transporting products, among many other things. Indeed, it would be a very complex line of work without technology. You’d have to contend with rapid changes, non-stop operations, and, not to mention, you’ll also have to factor in human error.

Fortunately, the increasing demand for logistics is happening alongside the rise of new technological innovations to help speed things along and simplify the process.

 

Blockchain Technology

What started out as a technology for Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, blockchain technology has made its way into the logistics and supply chain industry. It allows data to be stored on a shared global network, giving multiple companies and stakeholders real-time access to valuable information without letting them alter any of it.

 

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It helps streamline the flow of operations and improve transparency throughout the entire supply chain network. Tech expert Vitaly Kuprenko’s write-up about the pros of blockchain emphasises how blockchain technology reduces operational expenses too. He attributes this to blockchain’s ability to eliminate the need for intermediaries, thereby diminishing commission expenses.

Another feature of the technology that Kuprenko talks about is the security of transactions made within the blockchain; it’s impossible to change or edit a transaction once it’s documented on the network—leading to a reduced chance of fraudulent activities.

Telematics

 

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Telematics, or the use of telecommunication and information technology together, has been used in several industries for many years. Although the logistics industry has certainly benefited from it in recent years. Telematics streamlines the management of various warehouses and large fleets—and as the logistics industry will continue to grow this technology will become increasingly important.

 

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Two of telematics’ principal contributions to logistics are product transparency and traceability. When integrated well into logistics operations, telematics technology lets companies track where a given shipment is in real-time. What’s more is that future fleets are projected to be made up of connected vehicles, making them ready for telematics.

In fact, Verizon Connect’s post on connected technologies highlights how the connected truck industry in the European market will reach £9.70 billion by 2023. This is at a year-over-year rate of 12% from 2018. With a mix of built-in tracking devices and connectivity features in future fleets, it’s incredibly beneficial to start including telematics in your fleet management now. This gives you a competitive edge, as well as a smoother operations chain.

 

Expanded Automation

It’s said that the logistics automation market is expected to reach £88.24 billion by 2027, from £23.5 billion in 2018. This makes it one of the leading trends in the logistics and supply chain sector.

From self-driving vehicles and warehouse automation, to industrial robotics, automation is set to dominate the logistics industry. For one, giant online retailer Amazon, is using Kiva robots to automate the warehouse selection and packing processes.

 

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These robots fulfil “one-click” orders in less than 15 minutes, a mere third of the total time it would otherwise take a typical human employee to perform the same task.

Another way to incorporate automation into your business is through using a cloud-based fulfilment hub like our End-to-End Fulfilment Service, where you can manage your eCommerce business through an easy-to-use portal. We’ll help you come up with a fulfilment solution from the warehouse down to last mile logistics. It allows for a hands-free approach to eCommerce while still letting you track all transactions and enjoy full transparency.

 

Wearable Devices

This may be the next step after the use of smartphones and tabs, but it’s seeing a surge in the logistics industry since it literally frees up more hands. Using wearable technology, employees are able to access data and information almost instantly, without having to review and create paperwork. This maximises manpower and time.

One example of how wearable devices are used according to Food Logistics, is the integration of voice technology with wearables: A warehouse associate could drop a cart at the end of an aisle and then speak a command into their wearable device, which would then trigger an automated machine to pick up that cart for the next step in the shipping process.

 

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In addition to that, wearable devices can be used as safety and health tools as they can help monitor employees’ vital signs. However, it must be said that companies could face an initial challenge when they first adopt wearable technology. Employees may not be adept at using them immediately. It requires a seamless on-boarding process and workflow for you to see significant improvements in efficiency.

“Green” Logistics

“Green” or environmentally-friendly logistics isn’t just a trend, it’s part of a global movement. Fortunately, this move to help conserve the planet is cost-effective and one that can even help with customer retention. Contrary to popular belief that going “green” costs more, opting for a more sustainable route actually saves you money. It pushes you to reduce waste and increase the efficiency of warehouses, vehicles, and machinery, and this can reflect in leaner expenditure. A great example of this is UPS’ investment in 10,000 electronic delivery vehicles, decreasing their expenditure on gas and maintenance.

 

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Another reason to make this change for the planet is enjoying an improved reputation. Roughly 81% of consumers believe that businesses should take part in earth conservation efforts—and this could very well factor into their buying decisions.

Logistics as we know it will continue to evolve as technology develops; and it will help create a more connected, sustainable, and integrated global community.

 

 

Exclusively written for selazar.com By Jem Haw