Long gone are the days of aftermarket parts catalogs and massive showrooms that cater to everyday drivers. Today’s automotive industry lives largely online. Customers prefer buying replacement parts and aftermarket equipment on the web instead of visiting stores in person. The North American online automotive eCommerce market size is now worth over $16 billion (U.S. dollars) and growing at 14 to 16 percent per year, and OEMs and other automotive companies will need to adjust their operations accordingly. Instead of shipping to a local auto parts retailer, OEMs need to deliver individual products right to a customer’s front door.
Competition is heating up as more sellers and online retailers look to get a piece of this growing market. Automotive equipment manufacturers need to reduce costs while getting their products out the door as quickly as possible if they’re going to meet the needs of today’s drivers.
If you’re looking to improve efficiency throughout your operations, use these tips to keep your products moving.
Use Warehouse Management Software to Predict Future Trends
Today’s automotive equipment manufacturers need to track their merchandise as it moves throughout the supply chain to keep up with demand. You can use these programs to track inventory levels and the velocity at which your products move off the shelves, helping you prepare for any fluctuations in demand. This helps you make the most of your warehouse space so you’re not hanging on to merchandise that’s not popular with consumers.
The automotive industry is changing fast as manufacturers and drivers alike embrace new technology and additional safety features. As these trends come and go, your facility needs to stay one step ahead of the competition so you can adjust your inventory accordingly.
Tracking your inventory also helps you prepare for and avoid any potential delays in the supply chain. You can learn from past mistakes to make sure your inventory arrives intact and on time.
Find the Right Storage and Shipping Containers for Your Products
Nothing will slow your facility down like using the wrong containers for your products. It’s not just about keeping your products safe during transit. It’s about keeping your inventory organized in the warehouse so you and your team can speed up the order retrieval process.
Use plastic collapsible bulk containers to quickly move inventory throughout your facility. You can put incoming items and returned items into these containers so staff members can quickly put them back on the shelf. With collapsible containers, you can move unused containers out of the way so your team members can move freely throughout the space. As soon as new products arrive, quickly deploy your containers to sort incoming inventory. This helps you keep your operations as flexible as possible.
Stack racks are perfect for organizing your inventory and getting products off the ground. Tires store extremely well on stack racks. You can hang tires around poles or slot them individually inside your stack racks for more quality control. Label individual shelves with the proper SKU number to quickly make sense of similar products, especially if you carry dozens of different varieties of the same item.
Coordinate with Carriers and Retailers
Your warehouse is only one part of the supply chain. While you can’t micromanage all of your business partners and carriers, you can improve cooperation by sharing data with these third parties to improve delivery outcomes. As you start tracking your inventory and predicting future demand, share this information with your business partners to help them prepare for any possible changes. For example, if your business needs to make room for large, bulky products, make sure your carriers have enough resources available to keep up with demand.
You should also pass along safe handling instructions to make sure your products arrive in mint condition. Label your containers with this information to reduce confusion during transit.
Consider Investing in Automation
Warehouses all over the country are quickly embracing the benefits of automation, including new order fulfillment technology, automatic pickers and stockers and package tracking equipment. Automating certain aspects of your operations will help you improve efficiency. You won’t have to worry about human errors or unexpected accidents slowing down your operations.
Blockchain strategies can be used in the automotive warehouse as well. You can use the blockchain to automate transactions and various steps throughout the supply chain, while reducing the threat of fraud and product tampering.
Choose the right equipment and containers for your products to improve efficiency. It’s all about getting your products out the door as quickly as possible.