If you handle the shipping, your warehouse storage, and the logistics of consumer electronics, you know how challenging it can be to manage the supply chain process on your own. Electronic items must have durable packaging and specific storage requirements. Due to their often high price value, they also require better levels of storage security.
If you’re looking to work with a third-party logistics company, you’ll like reading the tips and tricks in this article. In the sentences to come, you’ll learn how experts at distribution centers can take the burden off you by handling, storing and transporting your items safely. What’s more is that you’ll find out exactly how to select a supply chain company for your needs.
Table of Contents
- Ask the Consumer Electronics Fulfillment Service About Inventory Management
- Select a Fulfillment Service Experienced in Handling Dangerous Goods
- Make Your Packaging Durable And Aesthetically Pleasing
- Look For A Consumer Electronics Fulfillment Partner That Can Scale
- Choose The Right Fulfillment Center Location
- Ensure That Your Goods Are Secure
- Ask About Their Experience With E-Commerce Marketplaces
- See If They Keep An Eye Out For Seasonal Demands
- Your 3PL Partner Should Have The Right Technology
Tip 1: Ask the Consumer Electronics Fulfillment Service About Inventory Management
A good supply chain and logistics company is one that can store many different products while upkeeing efficiency, speed and security. With higher volume of goods often come handling challenges. Poor handling of goods at the storage facility can result in damaged, outdated and unsold items.
Real-time inventory management allows supply chain logistics companies to foresee these problems. It’s a system that increases the efficiency of the supply chain, and it also saves time and money.
Tip 2: Select a Fulfillment Service Experienced in Handling Dangerous Goods
Electronic products with batteries are widely used.
Consumer electronics fulfillment services must handle products with lithium battieries with special care. If products are short-circuited, or batteries are pierces with sharp objects, it may lead to a fire within the storage facility. Your third-party logistics partner should be able to store and handle these products correctly so that batteries stay safe during transportation.
If dangerous goods aren’t packaged properly, they may leak toxic substances into their environment. Electronic products must also be stored correctly (at the right temperature and humidity) to avoid degradation.
An article by the Progress in Energy and Combustion Science describes the dangers that come with improper handling of Lithium-ion batteries:
“Lithium-ion batteries (LIBs) are booming due to their high energy density, low maintenance, low self-discharge, quick charging, and longevity advantages. However, the thermal stability of LIBs is relatively poor, and their failure may cause fire and, under certain circumstances, explosion. The fire risk hinders the large scale application of LIBs in electric vehicles and energy storage systems.” [efn_note] Qingsong Wang, Binbin Mao, Stanislav I. Stoliarov, Jinhua Sun, A review of lithium-ion battery failure mechanisms and fire prevention strategies, Progress in Energy and Combustion Science, Volume 73, 2019, Pages 95-131, ISSN 0360-1285, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pecs.2019.03.002. [/efn_note]
Tip 3: Make Your Packaging Durable And Aesthetically Pleasing
Packaging and branding stand out, especially when it comes to consumer electronics. Unlike other goods, electronic products (television, speakers, computers) are purchased once every few years. Therefore, the unboxing experience needs to be excellent.
The packaging also needs to be durable. Companies sometimes overlook the importance of good quality packaging when it is being transported to distribution centers or consumers. During transportation, high-value items can get damaged, which may result in monetary losses.
You need to ensure that you work with an e-commerce fulfillment service that can follow your handling requirements, and that can work with you to select a suitable packaging for your consumer electronics.
Tip 4: Look For A Consumer Electronics Fulfillment Partner That Can Scale
If you have a growing business, you want to ensure that you pick the right partner for your journey. Rather than choosing a fulfillment service that can only handle your current volume, select one that can scale along with you.
This means that as you get more orders, you are taking on more storage space within the warehouse. When selecting a fulfillment service, ask about their ability to take on more storage space in the future.
Tip 5: Choose The Right Fulfillment Center Location
Whether you have a brick-and-mortar retail chain or an e-commerce retailer, selecting the correct location for warehousing can benefit you in many ways. If your products are closer to your consumers, the shipping process will be cost-efficient. In case you’re shipping overseas, the distribution center needs to be closer to ports.
Tip 6: Ensure That Your Goods Are Secure
Electronics are at the top of the list when it comes to expensive products, and unfortunately, they are frequently targeted for theft.
Replacement of these goods can be costly for consumer electronic companies. To avoid this, make sure that the 3PL service provider you’re working with has a warehouse management system with proper security systems and ask if they offer any insurance.
Security cameras, alarms, and trained staff can keep your items safe.
Tip 7: Ask About Their Experience With E-Commerce Marketplaces
With the vast range of sales channels available nowadays, a large number of customers order electronics online. Your third-party logistics service provider must be familiar in handling all e-commerce platforms and marketplaces (BigCommerce, Wix, Shopify).
A supply chain logistics company familiar in handling e-commerce marketplaces can ensure a smooth handling transition and help scale your business faster.
Tip 8: See If They Keep An Eye Out For Seasonal Demands
When the holiday season gets close, purchases start spiking in the consumer electronics market. With customers looking to purchase the newest devices the market has to offer, many e-commerce retailers can find the holidays overwhelming.
Demand planning can help prepare for the busier seasons. During high-demand times, logistics companies often order more stock and take on seasonal personell to handle the increase in volume. If you’re selecting a supply chain logistics company to work with, ask how they handle seasonal demands.
Tip 9: Your 3PL Partner Should Have The Right Technology
Handling and managing electronic products is challenging. It can also be risky as the product can get damaged. To overcome this problem, the use of up-to-date technology is essential, as it allows for tracking, security, and efficient goods processing.
If you’re looking to work with a fulfillment center, the MacMillan Supply Chain Group is here for you. Our experts are more than happy to answer any questions you may have. You can call us at 416-941-2759 or email us here.