Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Time-Saving Inventory Tips

No one enjoys taking inventory. It’s a time-consuming process that is an unfortunate necessity when you have physical product to sell. While our inventory tips certainly aren’t going to make taking inventory fun, they will help you save time so you can get back to other tasks more quickly.

Tip 1: Put everything in a specific location. This adds to prep time but makes counting go much faster. Make sure all your products are marked and labeled so that when you begin counting the process can move smoothly. Hunting around your warehouse for stray items is not what you want to be doing at the end of an already long day of inventory.

Tip 2: Mark everything as you count it. A lot of people are going to be counting a lot of items, and without proper labeling employees may waste time counting products that are already accounted for. Invest in brightly colored tags or labels that you don’t use in your facility for anything except inventory. By having labeling supplies exclusively for inventory, you alleviate confusion and waste less time.

Tip 3: Consider who will do the counting carefully. Taking an accurate count of your inventory is extremely important. This is why you want experienced employees who know your products to be the ones doing the counting. This is also important because employees who are not familiar with a product may not know what unit of measure they should be using. If nothing else, you want at least a few experienced employees helping those employees with less experience.

Tip 4: Create a map of your facility. Once everything is laced in marked sections, create a visual so that it is easy to find each of these marked locations. Ideally you would sketch out all of your shelves and racks. This makes it easier to assign people to different sections, and can also act as a checklist. Sections of the map can be marked the day of inventory as each section is completed.

Tip 5: When it comes to small supplies, weigh them, don’t count them. No one has time to sit down and count every single piece of loose fill, individual poly bags, or hooks. For items like this, use a scale and weigh them instead. It’s not worth the time to count all these items, unless you already have a system in place.


Do you have any time-saving inventory tips to share? Let us know in the comments!

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Wrap Up The Holidays The Right Way

Christmas is less than two weeks away, but until then you’re going to be busy packing and shipping. We’ve talked about preparing for the holidays, but today we’re going to give our best advice to help you get through the next two weeks.

The first thing you need to do is keep track of shipping deadlines. You have no control over when orders will come in, but by knowing the shipping deadlines you can get prepared now. Customers will want items to arrive before Christmas, so make sure you have plenty of shipping options that will make that happen. You always want to stay updated on shipping news. UPS, for example, is reporting delays. This should factor into how you ship.

You can’t control your package once it is in transit, but you can control how soon you ship it. Try to ship orders the same day as the orders come in. You want to mail as quickly as possible to keep your customers happy. One of our holiday hacks for this is to package popular items now, even if you don’t have orders for them. You’ll probably get them, and this can save some time.

And while you are packing up your products, make sure you package them to avoid damage. This means use void fill, don’t skimp on shipping supplies, and make sure each item has the proper padding. And if your product is damaged during shipping, replace it. Customers will appreciate it, especially if you make it easy for them.

Go the extra mile to make sure your products make it to their final destination. Add an address label to the inside of packaging in case the label on the outside of the box is damaged. Use extra tape or even multiple boxes to reinforce your package.

You can also make yourself stand out by making your packages more personalized. Include a generic holiday card with all shipments, a free sample, or something else that your customer won’t be expecting.


Most of all, remember that the madness will end. You can do it!


Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Our Top Tips For Ecommerce



Most companies have a website nowadays, and use that website to make sales. But ecommerce is constantly evolving, and it is important to give yourself an edge over the competition. Here are the top ecommerce tips we’ve got for you.

·        Think like your customers. When they come to your website, what do they want? Something straightforward? More dynamic? Design your website in a way your customers would love.
·        Create a loyalty program. This will keep customers coming back over and over again.
·        Make sure your website works well on mobile devices. So many people are shopping on their phones now, so you have to make sure your website looks good on one!
·        Make your delivery options stand out. People love fast shipping, so experiment with ways to make shipping faster, and be sure you advertise it! Can you offer free shipping? Even better!
·        Use photos on your website, on your blog, and on social media accounts.
·        But don’t neglect your text. Good copy is also very important.
·        Your goal is to make your customers have a smooth, easy shopping experience. That means you want them to have to go through the fewest amount of steps possible to get what they want. Test this on your website.
·        Monitor analytics to get an idea of what is working and what isn’t. And monitor often. Trends change!
·        Make sure your company has a voice. You don’t want to simply list your products, you want to list them in a unique way.
·        Don’t focus on the features of your product, focus on the benefits. Show how your products will improve people’s lives.
·        You’ll have to experiment. Try different types of ads. Different pictures. Find what works best for your audience.
·        Be specific with product categories. This makes it much easier for your customers to find what they are looking for.
·        Make your customers feel special. Maybe this is through a customer appreciation promotion, or maybe this is by giving away something for free every so often. You want your customers to feel appreciated.
·        Build your email list and use it. And you don’t want to build up a list of random emails, you want to get email information from customers who actually buy your products and will buy again and again.
·        Have an FAQ section. This doesn’t only save you time, but it is generally expected on any website. Answer common questions this way and you’ll get less emails containing questions, and customers will be pleased that they don’t have to wait for an answer.

This is only a small start, but these are our biggest tips for running a successful ecommerce business.
Have tips you’d like to share? Let us know in the comments!

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Prepare For The Holidays

It may not even be Halloween yet, but if you’ve not started preparations for the holiday season,
you’ve already fallen behind. The holidays are a crazy time and the more you have ready now the smoother the season will go. Today we’re bringing you our top tips to help you get ready for the holidays, now.

·        Plan discounts and specials now. You may already know your Black Friday deals, but what about other holiday sales? Get all of those figured out now so you can easily implement them.
·        Look at analytics and reviews from last year’s holiday season. What issues did you have? Was shipping too slow? Did items arrive damaged? Figure out what you need in stock, how much staff you need, etc.
·        Start stocking up on products now. Whether this means items you imagine will sell fast or shipping supplies to do your shipping in, doing this now is extremely important. Don’t procrastinate.
·        Decide on shipping prices and stick to it. Maybe you want to offer free shipping, or charge for it, or give free shipping after a minimum order. Whatever it may be, choose now and keep it that way through the holiday season. You don’t want to drive a customer away when they come back and see they suddenly have to pay shipping.
·        Update your return policy and make sure it is easy to find on your website. You don’t need angry customers leaving negative reviews because of confusion about returns.
·        Prepare for shopping spikes. Can your website handle the traffic of Black Friday and weekends? Most of your sales are going to happen during that time, so make sure you are ready with a fully stocked inventory and enough staff to handle requests and orders.
·        Look into shipping deadlines. Your customers are not going to be happy if they don’t receive their gifts by Christmas, for example. Know the different shipping services available to you, and know their cut-off days for package arrival. Get every order packaged and shipped before these deadlines.

·        Make a plan for operations during the holiday season. This means you want to make sure you have the staff, supplies, and equipment throughout the shopping season you need. Hire extra people for the time needed. Make sure your equipment is up-to-date and can handle the workload. Have people trained in this equipment so you don’t have to spend time doing this when you are busy.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Organize Your Shipping Station

If you are a large ecommerce company, you likely already have a large shipping station organized and ready to go. For you the shipping process is probably pretty streamlined. But if you are a smaller business you may have shipping supplies all over the place. By keeping your shipping supplies organized all in one place, you can reduce the stress of shipping and make the process go faster. Here’s our guide to making that possible.

Observe Your Available Space

The space you have available to you will vary greatly. You may have space in a building you’ve rented or a studio, or you may be working out of your garage or just from the kitchen table. Before you begin to stock supplies, you need to look at this space you have and decide, realistically, how much of this space can be dedicated to your shipping supplies. You can’t stock all of your boxes on your kitchen table, for example. Once you understand the space you have to work with, you can begin to get organized.

Assess The Supplies You Need

There are certain shipping supplies you should always have on hand. Some of these are the basics, and some of these will be specific to your business. You will likely have labels, bubble wrap, corrugated boxes, and other similar items. Figure out what items you will need regularly and make sure you have them.

Larger Items Lower, Smaller Items Higher

You don’t want to have to extend your reach to pull down large boxes. This can easily lead to injury. Instead, keep larger, more bulky shipping supplies lower where you can easily reach them. Maybe you store them under a table or desk, or maybe you stack them besides your workstation. This depends on the space you have available to you. Storing things vertically and higher up can save on space, but only do this with smaller, lightweight items.

Keep Regularly Used Items Nearby

Scissors, packaging tape, and labels are the types of items you will be using for just about anything you ship. Keep those at your packing station at all times, placed somewhere out of the way but within reach. Needing to leave the room for scissors while packing up shipments wastes a lot of time.

Keep It Comfortable

If you have occasions when you work at your shipping station for long periods of time, you need to make sure your workspace is comfortable. Install enough lighting so it is easy to see. Make sure you have air flow, such as by using an indirect fan. Having a portable electric heater for the winter months can keep you warm while you work. Consider these things and make space for them.

Use Labels

Labels are essential, especially if you are storing items in storage cabinets. Make your labels clear and color-coded to make it easier to find the items you are looking for. This is also great because if you need to bring in extra help, these people will be able to quickly find each shipping supply they are looking for.


We hope these tips will help you keep your shipping supplies better organized. Have any tips of your own? Share them in the comments!

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Choosing Your Envelopes



Last month we featured our mailing bags and envelopes, but it got us thinking that we could have gone into a lot more detail when it comes to choosing the type of envelope that is right for your needs. When shipping you can’t simply choose any type of envelope, you have to choose one that is the best for your item. Despite what you may think, there is a huge variety when it comes to envelopes, and we’re here today to go into the different types in more detail.



Styles

Redi-Seal – You’ll be able to present documents professionally and without fuss with this type of envelope. These envelopes feature a self-seal, meaning you don’t need moisture to close them. Simply close the flap and press.

Self-Seal – These envelopes are easy to seal. All you have to do is pull off the tab and press the envelope closed. Fast, convenient, and uses minimal waste.

Gummed – The flaps on these envelopes are heavily gummed to ensure you get a secure seal. These envelopes require moisture to be sealed.

Clasp – Metal clasps on envelopes are easy to use and allow you to reuse your envelopes, making it a great economic option.

Jumbo – These oversized envelopes are perfect for mailing and transporting oversized documents. The flaps are ungummed allowing the envelopes to be reused.

Expandable – Expandable envelopes do just that, expand, so that you can more easily ship bulky items such as books.

Flat – These envelopes are great for use as stiff enclosures to prevent documents and photographs from being bent while in transit.

Materials

Paper – Paper envelopes are best for lightweight documents and products, typically in a personal or business setting. Our paper envelopes are made from 100% recycled content. These envelopes provide basic protection and are relatively inexpensive.

Ship-Lite – Ship-lite envelopes are made of paper that is reinforced with mesh screen poly fibers, making them six times stronger than standard paper envelopes. This type of material is strong enough to handle documents, catalogs, magazines, and even some books.

Nylon Reinforced – If you’re shipping items that don’t require extra protection or padding, this material is perfect. They are extremely lightweight and cheap compared to most other mailers.

Kraft – Kraft corrugated is tough and stiff, making this type of material ideal for items that need to not be bent or damaged.

Cool Shield – Keep perishable and temperature sensitive items at the correct temperature with this type of material. It is designed to also be puncture and water resistant to keep objects inside safe.

Tyvek – This material is ten times stronger than typical paper envelopes. If you need something that has extensive puncture, moisture, and tear protection, this is the type of envelope you want.

Poly – Lightweight, affordable, and resistant to tears and moisture, these are a great option for shipping items.

Jiffy Rigi Bag – Perfect for corner and edge protection. This material is stiff due to it being made from Kraft laminated fiberboard. Mailer won’t bend, fold, or crease.


Padded – If you need some extra protection, go for padded envelopes, which are made using expandable fiber padding to protect items from damage. 

Monday, July 17, 2017

Product Feature: Mailing Bags & Envelopes


We’ve not done a product feature in a while, so this month we’re going to focus in on a category that doesn’t get the recognition it deserves; mailing bags and envelopes! These bags and envelopes can be used around the office or when shipping items. We’re going to dive into this category a bit to give you some more information.

First, let’s talk about mailers. These are the items you’ll be using to do more of your shipping. Mailers come in a wide variety of styles, so we’ll dive right in to advise you about which mailer is right for you. If you’re mailing clothes, DVDs, books, and other similar items that need some padding but aren’t too fragile, you’re going to want to go for a poly mailer, padded mailer, or bubble mailer. Poly mailers are going to be the best bet if you want your mailing bag to be puncture resistant and water resistant. If you’re not so worried about that but still want good cushioning for your shipment, go with the trusted bubble mailer. Padded mailers are a great choice to help protect products inside from moisture and tears during shipping. If you need to keep an item flat or it isn’t particularly fragile, try flat mailers, nylon reinforced mailers, or Jiffy Rigi bag mailers. Look at each of these mailers for more details to better determine which mailer is perfect for you.

Next we’ll discuss envelopes. We have several different kinds of envelopes to suit your various needs. We have a huge selection of paper envelopes for you to browse. Take a look at our business envelopes, self-seal envelopes, inter-department envelopes, and so much more. If paper envelopes won’t cut it, Ship-Lite envelopes are six times stronger, making them great for paper documents, magazines, and catalogs. And if you want to be extra safe and get great tear resistance, Tyvek envelopes are ten times stronger than traditional paper envelopes.

We even have paper bags for your merchandising needs! Get the bags you need for groceries, hardware, general merchandise, and more. These various bags allow for all sorts of different items to be packaged. Even better? These bags are 100% recycled and recyclable.


We hope you enjoyed our featured product category! If you have any questions feel free to give us a call at 1-877-501-7225.