Tis the season – for rush orders

The difficulties of order fulfillment and shipping are never more obvious to the general public than in December.

This is the month where everyone needs something right now. It’s the month where shipping the right product at the right time doesn’t just matter to your customers, but also to their customers, and their customers after that.

When a truck goes down in December, everyone is impacted.

It’s with that in mind that I tackled the topic of order fulfillment for a feature in January’s edition of Truck Parts & Service.

In that article, I spoke to members on the supplier and distributor sides of the supply chain, and asked them how they run their operations to ensure the right part is shipped to the right customer at the right time. Every time.

(I had the good fortune of visiting one of those suppliers, Meritor, for a tour of its parts distribution center in Florence, Ky. earlier this year. A peak inside their extremely efficient operation can be found in the photo gallery below.)

You’ll get a chance to read everything they had to say next month. In the meantime, one piece of advice I’d give to distributors facing this upcoming holiday season is have picking and packaging plans.

Create a strategy for your warehouse that minimizes the time an employee spends hunting for a part. Time is money, and five minutes wasted by a picker is time you can’t get back.

In December — when it seems like every order is a rush order — a well-designed picking policy can seriously improve your fill rates.

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