Developing an Online Marketplace - Middle-East If you want to start selling via the eCommerce channel over vast distances, you cannot dodge using the services of a fulfilment centre. In eCommerce, retailers’ inventories are strategically stored in different fulfilment centres. Whenever an order is placed, the journey of that order to the customers’ doorstep begins at the fulfilment centre where the item is stored. After an order is received, the goods are packaged, labelled for shipping purposes, and moved to the designated logistics channel. There is a process to it, but that is how it works. Why a fulfilment centre? Why not start an order from retailers’ workshops or warehouses? By using a fulfilment centre, eCommerce retailers keep their inventory strategically closer to their customers which shorten the delivery timelines. That way, these fulfilment centres act like temporary warehouses equipped to handle eCommerce order fulfilment. This also means that none of the tasks like packaging, labelling, and shipping could be done earlier than at and from the fulfilment centres. Whether it is a domestic or foreign retail brand (online or offline) and they have a target market in Dubai or UAE, their inventory will have to pass through one of the fulfilment centres in the city. Challenges in managing fulfilment centres If you are planning to build and run your own fulfilment centre in Dubai or within UAE, for your retail eCommerce business or thinking of availing a 3PL solution, or you are intending to build a fulfilment centre for eCommerce retailers, you must be aware of the challenges involved so that you could plan and prepare yourself accordingly. Meeting the requirements of eCommerce With eCommerce, the delivery game has reached a whole new level of competition and competencies. With product homogeneity, shorter delivery timelines give an edge to the retailers in securing customer orders. Choosing a strategic location for the fulfilment centre, robust inventory management and warehouse planning, agile order fulfilment processes, and right technologies strongly determine whether a fulfilment centre is equipped to handle eCommerce order fulfilment effectively, efficiently, and competitively. Identifying the IT requirements Managing fulfilment centres is a full-blown profession now. One needs an updated understanding and knowledge of how these modern-day fulfilment centres work and what are the different functions involved in it. This will lead you to have a better understanding of the strategic IT software requirements of your fulfilment centre. Even the best of the eCommerce fulfilment centre consulting firms in Dubai or anywhere else need to keep themselves updated with the relevant technological advancements made in their field. But business and IT are two separate fields and a businessman need not necessarily possess the expertise in both. Optimizing space utilization Real estate being an expensive affair in Dubai and within AUE, there is an acute requirement for businesses to utilize the available space in the most judicious manner. The same applies to the fulfilment centres which are generally large spaces and can attract high rentals or high cost of acquisition. Secondly, the layout plan of a fulfilment centre affects the volume of inventory it can hold, number and dimensions of the shelves, zone allocation for carrying out different order fulfilment operations, safe and smooth movement of inventory and staff, and so on. If the layout planning is not done proficiently, whether done internally or via the services of eCommerce fulfilment centre design consultants, it can slow down the functioning of a fulfilment centre especially during the peak seasons or busy hours of the day. Impact of inventory management Like warehouses, fulfilment centres are also limited by a maximum carrying capacity. Despite getting a good number of orders, order fulfilment may get delayed if this threshold limit comes to the risk of being breached. To keep the inventory at the optimum levels, there is a need to effectively control the inflow and outflow of goods via accurate demand forecasting, use of analytics, better coordination with the logistics associates, planned reordering schedules, practical lead time estimations, reflecting sincere delivery timelines to customers, etc. How YRC can help: a glimpse Keeping in mind the modern-day requirements of retail and eCommerce, YRC (Your Retail Coach) is dedicated to providing professional assistance to businesses in setting up and managing their fulfilment centres or even to choose one. From operational planning to last-mile delivery assistance, we offer a comprehensive set of expert eCommerce fulfilment centre consulting services for Dubai. Robust operations through SOPs If you want your fulfilment centre to be process-driven, then SOP is the best possible answer. With defined operational roadmaps, not only a clear way of executing tasks gets defined but also the chances of mistakes and shirking of responsibilities shrink to almost nil. With SOP development as one of our core competencies, YRC will work to ensure that your business processes and operations always remain on track with adequate checkpoints to control deviations, if any. Layout Planning Our team of expert layout design consultants will assist you in designing an efficient layout for fulfilment centre, towards optimizing space utilization and achieving smooth and agile operations for any volume throughout the year. YRC will also guide you in inventory flow planning. Address the software requirements With the right software application in place, you can be assured that your fulfilment centre’s operations are within the scope of your digital ecosystem. YRC’s team of fulfilment centre management consultants will help you identify the software requirements and ensure that the application stands integrated with the business software ecosystem of your enterprise. Keep your HRM relevant Keeping in mind Dubai’s dynamic workforce market, YRC’s HR experts will help you in a multitude of areas to keep your organization strong from the inside. We will help you with organization design, staff analysis and succession planning, defining and mapping of the HR SOPs, and designing a robust performance management system. Last-mile delivery integration At the tail end of the order fulfilment process is the last-mile delivery. Anything done wrong here could jeopardize all the efforts made so far. And because the last-mile delivery function stems out of an order fulfilment centre, we will also ensure that you have a dependable one. To achieve that, our team of fulfilment centre consultants will assist you in formulating your last-mile delivery strategy and defining the SOPs and also delivery partner selection and integration in the event of hired services. Process audits We realize that merely achieving the process outputs within the stipulated terms is not sufficient. It does not even ring the bells of business process improvement. That is why our process audits are designed to focus on the merit of the processes under examination. We are a boutique retail consulting firm. To know more about our eCommerce fulfilment centre business consulting services or if you have any query, drop us a message, and we will get back to you.