!

Starting June 1st, 2023 Our warehouse fee will be $0.65/cubic foot per month

In effort to lower the warehouse storage fee during inflation, we have went narrow aisle racking.This construction took us four months but the project is finally completed. With narrow aisle racking, we are able to drop storage by 24%.We as partners will go through this inflation together.

Starting June 1st, 2023 Our warehouse fee will be $0.65/cubic foot per month

In effort to lower the warehouse storage fee during inflation, we have went narrow aisle racking.This construction took us four months but the project is finally completed. With narrow aisle racking, we are able to drop storage by 24%.We as partners will go through this inflation together.

Blogs/education-series

03/27/2024

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Backorders: Definitions, Strategies for Minimization & Management

    For entrepreneurs, the phenomenon of backorders presents a dual challenge. In sectors like footwear or mobile devices, backordering can cultivate market excitement and convey a heightened demand to consumers. However, they may equally serve as indicators of underlying inventory management challenges or broader supply chain disruptions. Prolonged or recurrent delays in fulfillment could potentially pose a competitive disadvantage.

    It is important to understand the difference between back orders and out-of-stock situations. Understanding how this work is also crucial. Managing the pros and cons of backordered essential for creating a business plan that meets your needs.

    What is a backorder?

    What is a backorder?

    What does backordered mean? When a product is not available now but will be in stock later. It's also called a company's backlog. Backorders may arise due to production delays, disruptions in the supply chain, or inadequate planning.

    Backorder can take weeks or months to fulfill, depending on the reason and type of product. Custom-made items may have longer wait times. If a product is temporarily out of stock, businesses may offer customers the choice to wait for it to become available.

    Businesses usually keep the customer's payment information to make sure the product is delivered quickly once it is ready. A backordering shows businesses that there is more demand for a product than there is supply available.

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    What causes backorder in supply chain?

    A myriad of internal and external factors contribute to the occurrence of backorders, notably:

    1. Supply Chain Challenges

    Supply Chain Challenges  affect backorders

    Ongoing disruptions stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns, compounded by environmental issues and global conflicts, continue to plague many supply chains. These challenges can impede the seamless flow of production, transportation, and delivery, thereby impacting the timely fulfillment of orders.

    2. Demand Fluctuations

    Unexpected surges in demand for a specific product can lead to backorders. Anything from a viral marketing campaign to an unforeseen extreme weather event has the potential to trigger a sudden spike in demand, resulting in challenges to maintain inventory levels.

    3. Strategic Inventory Management

    Decisions surrounding inventory management play a pivotal role in backorder dynamics. Opting for minimal inventory or operating a dropshipping business may necessitate dealing with backorders as a compromise for reduced warehouse costs.

    Alternatively, maintaining surplus stock, known as safety stock, provides a buffer against supply chain disruptions and shifts in demand, aiding in order fulfillment reliability.

    Advantages and Disadvantages of Embracing Backorders

    Advantages and Disadvantages of Embracing Backorders

    The fundamental premise of the crowdfunding business model revolves around the notion of the backorder, albeit it may not be explicitly termed as such. Customers pay upfront for a "reward" with the expectation of receiving it months or even years later.

    1. Positive Aspects of Selling Backordered Items

    The crowdfunding model effectively underscores several favorable aspects of securing preorders for products.

    ✔️ Assured Demand: Serving as a quasi-crystal ball, backorders offer a close prediction of future demand.

    ✔️ Customer Connectivity: Upon placing an order, customers provide their contact information, facilitating communication about current orders and future offerings.

    ✔️ Prepayment Advantage: Crowdfunding platforms collect upfront payments, enabling businesses to leverage capital for increased production of new products, aiding cash flow throughout manufacturing and distribution.

    ✔️ Growth Opportunities: Capital from pre-sold products can be utilized to expand manufacturing runs, achieving revenue benchmarks and fostering business growth.

    ✔️ Market Insights: Backorders serve as an invaluable customer survey, revealing high-demand products, including popular colors and sizes.

    2. Potential Costs of Backorders for Your Business

    Potential Costs of Backorders for Your Business

    Undoubtedly, there are significant drawbacks when customers must wait to receive their orders.

    ✔️ Cancellations: Prolonged wait times increase the likelihood of order cancellations, driven by changing preferences or circumstances.

    ✔️ Payment Processing Challenges: The risk of credit card expiration before order processing rises, necessitating contact for updated payment information, providing customers an additional chance to reconsider.

    ✔️ Customer Service Complexity: Backorders heighten the probability of issues requiring customer service intervention.

    Fortunately, with effective management, these challenges associated with backorders can be mitigated. Continue reading for tips on transforming backorders into a positive experience for both businesses and customers.

    3. The Distinction: Backorder versus Out of Stock

    In the realm of e-commerce dynamics, the disparity between "backorder" and "out of stock" holds significant implications for both vendors and consumers alike. While an "out of stock" label denotes a temporary unavailability halting prospective purchases, a "backorder" designation permits customers to place orders despite the item's current unavailability. Notably, backordered items carry a promise of eventual restocking and delivery, contrasting starkly with the uncertainty surrounding out-of-stock items, which lack a guarantee of replenishment. 

    Consequently, while both scenarios entail an absence of immediate availability, the distinction lies in the assurance of future restocking and delivery inherent to backordered items. Acknowledging this, businesses must navigate their unique operational frameworks to determine the strategic placement of products as either backordered or out of stock.

    This decision hinges upon considerations such as consumer patience for delivery, the efficacy of back order tracking systems, and the broader impact on inventory management protocols. Thus, the distinction between backorder and out of stock emerges as a pivotal facet of modern business models, dictating customer expectations and operational strategies alike.

    3 Key Strategies to Ease Business and Customer Discomfort

    3 Key Strategies to Ease Business and Customer Discomfort

    In addressing customers awaiting backordered items, various tactics can be employed. Partial orders with waived shipping charges for in-stock items and providing discounts or coupons on subsequent orders are viable strategies.

    Yet, paramount is transparent and honest communication. This initiates with a clear website interface and extends to diligent follow-up emails post-order placement. Here, we present three crucial communication tips to ensure the satisfaction of your backordered clientele.

    1. Manage Expectations

    Ensure transparency on your website regarding backordered items. Specify the anticipated shipping time if available. A delay revelation post-order negatively impacts the customer experience.

    Reinforce through email communication. Assure customers of active resolution efforts. Keep them informed about the impending shipment, mitigating surprise charges on their credit card.

    2. Create Anticipation

    Mitigate the risk of order cancellations due to delays by implementing strategic communications.

    Establish an automated email funnel for customers awaiting their orders. Highlight product features, suggest related items, and initiate a countdown to shipment.

    Leverage these emails to cultivate anticipation, turning a delayed order into an opportunity for customer engagement.

    3. Maintain Communication Throughout

    Provide continuous updates on order progress. Honestly communicate setbacks and delays to foster trust.

    Enable customers to track back-ordered products with stock notifications. Consider sharing progress updates on the product page or via social media.

    Emulate crowdfunding's communication model, acknowledging production delays and instilling patience in customers eagerly awaiting innovative products.

    Strategies for Effectively Handling Backorders

    Strategies for Effectively Handling Backorders

    Efficiently navigating backorders demands meticulous planning and precise recordkeeping, proving crucial for maintaining customer retention and loyalty. The following are key best practices to adeptly manage this task.

    1.  Assess Your Reorder Points for Enhanced Inventory Management

    Businesses grappling with consistently high backorder volumes should consider revisiting their inventory management strategies. The key lies in scrutinizing and adjusting the minimum stock level, known as the reorder point, to potentially mitigate backorders. Conduct these reviews at least quarterly and especially during disruptions in the supply chain.

    In instances of frequent backorders, a proactive approach involves maintaining inventory levels above the reorder points to act as a buffer against uncertainties in the supply chain and fluctuations in demand.

    2. Optimize Operations with an Advanced Inventory Management System

    Investing in a robust inventory management system is pivotal for streamlining order processes, tracking inventory throughout the supply chain, analyzing historical performance, and projecting future sales. When dealing with backorders, the system allows you to designate and manage them in your online records. Once replenished, swift processing and delivery can be executed, updating the ledger to reflect a completed sale. In cases of order cancellations, seamless removal of the sales order and adjustments to inventory records can be carried out.

    Selecting the right software is crucial, with emphasis on programs that seamlessly integrate with your ecommerce accounting tools and boast automatic reordering features.

    3. Diversify Suppliers for Reliable Customer Service

    Diversify Suppliers for Reliable Customer Service

    Ensuring uninterrupted customer service in the face of delays involves identifying multiple suppliers for the same or similar products. Thorough due diligence, including an upfront cost analysis to compare pricing, is essential. Evaluate supplier performance based on key metrics such as on-time delivery, product quality, and responsiveness. This strategic move will fortify your supply chain resilience and enhance your ability to meet customer demands promptly.

    In Conclusion

    FAQs

    1. What's the Duration of a Backorder?

    In the realm of commerce, a backorder is a unique circumstance tied to a particular company or product. Regulatory frameworks and industry norms do not prescribe a fixed timeline for the resolution of a backorder. Some enterprises may publicly communicate their anticipated resolution timeline, while others opt for direct customer notifications upon product availability.

    2. Deciphering the Meaning of Backorder

    When an item is on backorder, it is no longer in stock and typically experiences high demand. Efforts are underway to address the product's current unavailability, with the company potentially engaging in manufacturing scale-up, resolving supply chain challenges, or dispatching final products to storefronts.

    3. Distinguishing Between Backorder and Out of Stock

    Backorder and out-of-stock scenarios share similarities. While an out-of-stock status indicates unavailability, a backorder suggests that the item, though out of stock, may still be orderable but not available for immediate shipment. Companies may designate a product as out-of-stock if they prefer not to further distribute that specific item. Conversely, a backordered product is more likely to return, typically due to a temporary delay in product availability.

    4. Unraveling the Causes Behind Backorders

    Backorders stem from various factors. On the supply side, a company might deplete its inventory due to supply chain complications, underestimated manufacturing capacities, or delays in delivering products to physical storefronts. On the demand side, a surge in consumer interest, particularly for new releases or popular items, can contribute to backorders.

    5. Implications of Backorders on Business

    The impact of backorders on businesses can be negative, prompting customers to seek alternatives rather than waiting for product arrival. However, certain considerations come into play. Firstly, certain backordered products, such as the latest generation of video game consoles, are not easily substitutable, and loyal customers are often willing to endure the wait. Secondly, backordered goods may attract attention, generating headlines that underscore the product's popularity.

    Simon Mang

    Digital Marketing/SEO Specialist

    Simon Mang is an SEO and Digital Marketing expert at Wordcraft Logistics. With many years of experience in the field of digital marketing, he has shaped and built strategies to effectively promote Wordcraft Logistics' online presence. With a deep understanding of the logistics industry, I have shared more than 300 specialized articles on many different topics.

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