Growing Your Shipping Department

This year has been a complicated mess for most companies working in the United States.  Due to the massive amount of different regulations from state to state companies are struggling to keep up with the change.  Many companies have moved from a brick and mortar store to a more e-commerce focused business almost overnight. This has changed the backend and in many cases the front end of many stores.  If this change is happening to your company or you are pondering moving to a larger e-commerce focused business then I want to go over a few areas that have impacted our company that may help you out.

The big thing we noticed with all the regulations is that our staff and also the number of people allowed in our store had to be limited.  In our business, this meant a total revamp of our company.  We ended up moving many of our staff into different positions and at different times in order to allow us to keep our staff. Since our front end staff was no longer needed to sell directly to customers we transitioned them into working on our newly focused e-commerce section.  This was not as easy as we imagined it would be.  We have to not only train these employees to do shipping, but also we had to make the appropriate space for them to work.

The space issue was something that took time to overcome.  We now moved from 80% inside sales to 80% e-commerce sales.  This big switch meant that we needed to move our front end store into a much smaller section.  The easiest way was to get a hold of the landlord and make sure it was fine to put in a temporary wall which took the floor space on the front end and made it much smaller.  We lowered the floor space by about 60% and started to create more space for staff and storage.

Our goal was to be able to store the products more efficiently and be able to find and move them in and out of our system more reliably.  See with a brick and mortar store display and showing products correctly takes priority.  The other thing to think about is to eliminate inventory issues such as theft.  That can ruin your number fast.  So in order to do this, we ended up ordering lots of shipping supplies in order to organize our new back end store better. We looked up some articles and other staff remembered that most big box stores simply use cardboard bins that they ordered as shipping supplies.  This was a super-easy way to move products into a new aisle system.

We move the back end of the store into aisles that allowed us to use a numbering and letter system to categorize each product in more detail.  We had a good system but since our inventory was going to double and need to be a bit more efficient it was necessary.  The staff understood the system really quickly.  This was a wonderful thing because the ABS aisles and numbers for each shelf sped up each order gatherer in finding a product.

I hope these small steps ended up giving you an idea of what you can do with your store.  If you are moving into more e-commerce then space will be more important then looks.