Ensuring Ecommerce Business Continuity with Disaster Recovery Fulfillment

In IT circles, there’s a concept called “disaster recovery,” wherein a business tries to restore normal operations after some catastrophic failure in their technology or network. Disaster recovery fulfillment is like that, but with a logistics-focused twist.

For an ecommerce business, disaster recovery fulfillment can play a key role in ensuring business continuity—allowing the ecommerce to keep fulfilling customer orders after a disruption in their supply chain or shipping process.

Why Your Business Needs a Backup Order Fulfillment Plan

Disasters can happen at any time. Large-scale disasters, such as hurricanes, floods, and even global pandemics can have a severe impact on an ecommerce’s supply chains and shipments. However, many businesses aren’t sufficiently prepared for disasters. According to data cited by Supply Chain Dive, 41% of businesses surveyed “Felt unprepared for shifting store locations into fulfillment hubs” in response to the COVID-19 outbreak.

This led to delays in service to customers—and dissatisfied customers that were less likely to make future purchases or recommend the business’ services to others.

Having a backup order fulfillment solution to act as a kind of disaster recovery for fulfillment can be crucial for minimizing disruptions and keeping customers happy. This makes having access to a secondary distribution center crucial for minimizing the impacts of disasters on your ecommerce business.

The Five Critical Components of an Ecommerce Business Continuity Plan

When setting up a disaster recovery fulfillment solution to ensure business continuity, there are five key components that should be included in the plan:

1. A Business Impact Analysis (BIA)

How would disruptions to different parts of your supply chain or shipment processes affect your ecommerce business? What resources would you need to ensure operational resilience? A business impact analysis helps you answer these questions so you can prepare a better disaster recovery plan that covers your bases without wasting capital.

2. Multiple Distribution Centers

If your primary distribution center goes down, is there a backup location you can use to fulfill orders in the meantime? Planning for multiple distribution centers helps improve your ecommerce business’ resiliency in the event of a disaster.

3. Customer Communication Strategies

If there’s a disaster that affects your ability to fulfill orders, how will you communicate that to customers? Keeping customers in the know about major delays caused by floods, hurricanes, road damage, etc. can help manage expectations and improve customer satisfaction. After all, a customer is more likely to react positively to a delay if they know what caused it and what you’re doing about it.

4. Critical Inventory Identification

What are the items in your inventory that are most frequently ordered by customers? What items are more likely to sell during a major disaster? Identifying the critical inventory that your customers are most likely to order is a must for keeping them well-supplied and happy (while minimizing costs by not doubling up on every inventory SKU at a second site).

5. New Distribution Route Planning

How will products get to your customers from the new distribution site? What’s the best way to get around disaster-affected shipping areas to deliver products at an affordable cost? It’s important to consider new distribution routes and channels in your disaster recovery fulfillment plan to control costs and meet customer needs.

Simplify Disaster Recovery Fulfillment with The Fulfillment Lab!

Setting up a comprehensive business continuity and disaster recovery solution for fulfillment can be tough and expensive. This is where ecommerce businesses can benefit from partnering with an experienced third party logistics company like The Fulfillment Lab!

At The Fulfillment Lab, we’ll tackle your disaster recovery fulfillment needs with ease using one of our 14 shipping facilities around the world. Our experience in dealing with carrier services and logistics challenges lets us tackle your biggest fulfillment issues—all so you can sit back, relax, and enjoy the benefits of fast and reliable fulfillment.

Are you ready to revolutionize your order fulfillment and take the stress out of planning for a disaster? Reach out to The Fulfillment Lab today.

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