Subscription box businesses have transformed the eCommerce industry while creating unique fulfillment challenges. This rapidly growing industry shows no sign of slowing down, so fulfillment providers looking to keep up need to adjust their processes. Since subscription-boxes require the coordination of many SKUs, fulfillment providers need to take a different approach to fulfilling orders and keeping up the standards for their client’s customer experience. In order to keep up with the pace of high-volume daily transactions traditional warehouse and fulfillment methods cannot be applied and, if not done properly, can adversely impact customer service and profitability. Below are four ways to optimize your fulfillment operations for your subscription-box clients.

  1. Inventory Management
    While subscription boxes allow businesses to anticipate order volumes, the differing number of SKUs that can be involved lead to inventory management challenges for the fulfillment provider. Each individual SKU must be accurately accounted for in order to satisfy customer expectations. Offering clients, a real-time inventory management dashboard will allow them to better manage their procurement processes and help ensure that the warehouse will have all the items it’s supposed to for shipments to be processed on time.
  2. Receiving Processes
    With SKUs changing every time a box is scheduled to go out the receiving process is crucial for fulfillment providers working with subscription box clients. Products need to be tracked from the moment they arrive at the receiving dock, all the way through shipping to the client. By improving the speed of receiving and minimizing errors you’ll be able to optimize warehouse space and ensure fewer out-of-stock moments.
  3. Warehouse Storage
    The fast turnaround times of subscription boxes means warehouses need to have flexible storage options. Since each shipment will contain different products, fulfillment providers will need to be able to establish the storage location and picking procedure for each shipment in a short amount of time. A real-time inventory and warehouse management system (WMS) is crucial for getting this right.
  4. Labor Management
    The mini-peak seasons created by subscription boxes can be very labor intensive. Ensuring that you manage both the workload and workforce in the most efficient manner is vital for a successful and profitable operation. Utilizing a real-time WMS will help to make your warehouse as efficient as possible as well as provide insights into areas that may be over or under performing.

When looking to take on subscription box clients you’ll need to ensure you are will to establish new processes, techniques, and adopt real-time technology in order to provide exceptional customer experience.