Here’s some top tips for retailers on how to operate a smooth subscription box business from fulfilment experts Diamond Logistics.
1. Size matters
Choose your fulfilment partner wisely! It’s important they have the system capability to effectively and efficiently manage your data and the number of boxes you are dispatching, so be clear about your system requirements and projected figures from the start. Check that they can manage the volumes they say they can – find out the size and capability of their service centre.
Work closely with your fulfilment partner on realistic deadlines, especially for subscription cut-off and stock arrival dates.
At Diamond we give our retail clients a stock arrival date, check it matches their requirements, then schedule a team to start building boxes from that date. Stick to the schedule and work on it together!
2. Manage supplier relationships
Keep on top of the relationships with your suppliers to avoid supply chain breakdown. If your product doesn’t arrive, this will cause delays in the shipment, which can lead to fines.
Again, stick to the schedule, and make sure your suppliers do too. Otherwise you could have a team of fulfilment centre staff ready and scheduled to build your boxes just twiddling their thumbs…
If you’re planning to scale and grow, make sure your supply chain is able to scale and grow with you. If they can’t, you’ll fail pretty quickly.
Stay especially close to your packaging supplier! Late packaging is as bad as late stock…
Find out how your fulfilment centre can support you if your packaging supplier fails – Diamond Logistics Service Centres have packaging stock which clients are able to access if their own packaging fails to arrive.
Keep in mind that you want to work with a centre which is big enough to absorb the added pressure of delays and still able to send out a quality product.
3. Understand the journey of the parcel
Understand the shipping process. Do you know that your parcel could travel along a 700 mile route and be touched by 20 different people via an economy courier? Not bad for £3.50. It’s worth appreciating the process each parcel goes through, and why it’s critical to have secure, quality packaging as it moves from hub to hub.
4. Don’t overpromise
Be realistic! Offering a 48 hour shipment service over a bank holiday weekend, for example, is not smart. Manage customer expectations. If you choose to work with an economy carrier (which you would if the item costs less than £25), it’s essential to share accurate information you’re your customers about how long it will take. Ask customers to allow 3 – 5 shipping days. And don’t be put off charging your customers for shipping – they expect it now.
To find out more on how nationwide network Diamond Logistics can help you run a smooth box subscription business complete the following form: