By starting out small, direct selling businesses can quickly tap into the latest trend. However, if that trend takes hold, the potential can be explosive. The ability to manage exponential growth is critical to long term success. Many direct selling start-ups begin with inventory in their home garage and might then move on to rent a bigger space as business grows. Managing a growing inventory and getting the right orders to the right representatives in the right timeframe is critical. To ease growing pains in warehousing and fulfillment operations, fast growing direct selling businesses should consider the following:
  1. Optimize your inventory – The most critical aspect of your fulfillment operation is knowing what and how much inventory you have at all times.
  2. Understand your order profile – Know the types and volumes of orders that your warehouse needs to handle and the level of activity on individual products.
  3. Analyze your picking methodology – Measured in time and money, order picking is the most costly activity within the warehouse and most closely linked to customer satisfaction.
  4. The Perfect Order – Add automation technology to eliminate unnecessary processes and perfect your order picking process to get the right product to the right customer every time.
  5. Measure your performance – Decide which metrics are mission-critical to your business, benchmark against those KPIs and set targets for improvement.
  6. Future proof your fulfillment operation – Regularly review your order profile and picking methodologies to ensure that your fulfillment operation adapts as your business grows.