II. Overview and Definitions
Critical to a fulfillment center’s success is planning and staffing for the number of orders we need to ship out on a given day. At ShipMonk, we project the number of daily orders based on a mix of historical trends, recent order volume, and alerts we receive from our accounts about expected increases in volume. An unanticipated spike in orders from one account can put our team significantly behind on fulfilling orders leading to delays across the board for all accounts. To prevent this, we have a feature called Spike Protection.
II. Overview and Definitions
The information for Spike Protection is displayed within your ShipMonk Dashboard. See an explanation of the Order Allowance Overview (left) and Orders Shipped (right) graphs below.
Order Allowance and Submitted Orders
Every day each account is designated an ‘order allowance’. This allowance is calculated 5 days in advance by looking at the average number of orders submitted per day over the previous two weeks plus a 10% buffer. For example, if between the 1st and 14th of the month you averaged 200 orders submitted per day, your allowance for the 19th of that same month would be 220 orders. The minimum allowance is set to 100 orders. The allowance is indicated on Order Allowance Overview as the gray dotted line; the number of orders actually submitted on each day is indicated as the green line on the Order Allowance Overview.
Overflow and Backlog
If an account submits a greater number of orders than they have within their allowance, then those orders will be flagged as ‘overflow’ and moved to the ‘backlog’. These backlogged orders will continue to accumulate as new orders are submitted until the allowance resets the next day. At that point, the day’s allowance will be filled with the oldest orders from the ‘backlog’. If there is any remaining room in the allowance, new orders will be added to it as they come in, but if the entirety of the allowance is taken up by orders that were already in ‘backlog’ any new orders will be added to the ‘backlog’. This will continue each day until the ‘backlog’ is cleared and orders flow as normal. The overflow is indicated by the shaded red area and the backlog is the dotted red line.
1. If I submit a large number of orders above my allowance will I have to wait for you to ship them all based on the daily order allowance?
We won’t ignore the orders in the ‘backlog’. If you have an unexpected spike, our operations team will staff up as quickly as possible to fulfill all of the orders as our goal remains to ship every order within our standard timeline. The existence of the backlog and the prioritization of orders, based on allowance, is not to punish any accounts that do spike unexpectedly, but rather to ensure that your orders are not negatively impacted by another account’s unexpected spike.
2. What should I do if I know I’m going to have a spike?
If you know in advance that you will experience a spike due to a sale, an advertising blitz, a media appearance, etc., please let us know as far in advance as possible. If you notify us at least 5 business days in advance we can commit to fulfilling up to a 30% increase in orders submitted within the standard SLA (20% on top of the 10% buffer in your allowance); anything larger than a 30% increase will be completed within a custom timeline that we will provide to you shortly after you alert us to the spike.