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Four signs you should automate fulfillment

If you’re in the ecommerce business, you know better than anyone else that focusing on sales growth, profitability and building a bank of satisfied, repeat customers is a stressful game. Anxiety is a fact of life for most business owners. But if you’re smart enough to spot the telltale signs your stress levels are taking their toll, you might consider automating your fulfillment and shipping processes to run your business more efficiently to achieve a healthier bottom line…

Here are four signs you need to pay attention to:

Can’t relax
As orders come in and you start panicking about how your staff are going to pick, pack and ship the items economically and accurately without any errors. How is your carrier going to get them to your customer intact without any blunders, on time?
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With so many manual steps involved from order to shipping, it’s easy to feel anxious at the number of possibilities of things going wrong, delays and inefficiencies occurring that negatively impact on the customer’s buying experience. At Volo, we have been working with customers since 2006 to fine-tune their fulfillment and shipping processes to help them cut time, money and mistakes out of operations. Every Volo customer has a dedicated success manager who focuses on growth in the first year and beyond. We occasionally do site visits to investigate the current warehouse set up and make improvement recommendations to help sales growth and process proficiency in a one or two-hour visit.
You’re losing sleep worrying whether your sales processing system is doing the job properly. With multiple marketplaces, using different seller IDs, you can’t afford to lose track of who’s paid for what and where it needs to be delivered. Matching orders to payments is painstaking and time consuming for you.
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When it comes to sales order processing, your processes are better and your staff happier if they can do everything in one system where all your order information sits in a single and coherent view, helping you match sales orders with payments and accounting systems easily. The Volo platform manages physical and drop-ship inventory data across all relevant sales channels, storing the information needed for listings, pushing them out to your channels and automatically updating stock levels everywhere as you sell your products. We also provide you with the functionality to process sales orders, fulfill them and keep your customers up-to-date on the status of their delivery.
You’re doing the shipping yourself and struggling to find a good balance for the right number of pick runs you do during the day. You still haven’t found a picking process that works for you. You’re unsure whether to organize your pick list order-by-order, or cumulatively with a central order pool.
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Volo has a dedicated picking screen and a flexible workflow model which can support any of your picking methods, be it order-by-order or by a central order pool. When it comes to labelling, consistency helps you improve speed and reduce errors, so make sure your product codes and information are the same on the product box for warehousing, and the same on the shelves for picking, invoice and delivery documentation. You can use Volo to automate all of this printing, and re-deploy a full-time employee elsewhere in the business where they can really add value. As with picking, the better you can organize your packing area, the faster you can pack your orders ready for shipping. Volo has packing screens to allow your fulfillment staff to get the order assembly right every time.
Feeling overwhelmed
When it comes to shipping, there is a lot going on and it’s hard to keep on top of things and ensure every step is error-free. From printing off the manifest for the carrier to scanning packages before they go to the carrier van and back to the carrier's warehouse (where they’ll possibly be scanned again) so you and the customer can check on the package’s process. Add in international elements and you have to consider airports, airlines, customers, duty, international shipping infrastructure and providers.
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Integrate as much of your carriers’ processes and data feeds as you can into your own system – the greater the integration, the better efficiency all round. Volo’s focus on streamlining and automating your entire shipping process to provide the most comprehensive range of fully integrated carriers, including all domestic and international carriers, is a critical area where you can make major efficiency gains. Finally, when you use the Volo system, you have full access to Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) functionality integrated into your operations. FBA gives you additional options around sales growth and profitability, as well as fulfillment, and being able to improve the customer experience by offering Amazon Prime and FBA you’ll have more chance of winning the buy box. With full FBA integration in Volo, you have complete control over the consignments of your products that you send to the various Amazon fulfillment centers.