Running an online selling business, ensuring accurate stock availability can still be a struggle for sellers who have yet not adopted the correct strategies in their warehouse management processes.
With the advancement of technology, sellers will no more have to deal with time-taking tasks related to stocking and managing products across their multiple warehouses.
Of course, like any other online seller you may be still be struggling to lower investments in inventory by controlling wastage and surplus, both.
But the question, are you taking advantage of technology?
Selling across multiple channels
Ordering, storing, and ensuring products are ready for shipment individually does not only consume time, in fact, reduces efficiency that sellers can gain by upgrading their inventory management capabilities for all their warehouses.
Whether dealing with a single or multiple warehouses- the key to a successful warehouse management is an ability to eliminate the risks of missing or delay in fulfillment of customer’s orders.
Amazon FBA (fulfillment model by Amazon) is helping many sellers, especially start-ups, and small sellers to eliminate warehouse tasks and ensures they are able to adapt the best shipping solution and fulfill every customer’s orders in time.
Also, sellers on Amazon using FBA are allowed an optional Multi-channel Fulfillment Service that eliminates the hassle of managing shipping and fulfillment service for their other sales channels too.
If you are not selling on the giant marketplace Amazon and are still struggling to find the best solution to boost your warehouse management, you may continue reading this blog.
Breakdown of warehouse management, and how technology can help you increase efficiency:
I- Considering collaboration
An instant ability to communicate with your suppliers and warehouse team members is the backbone for an efficient warehouse management.
Unable to connect with any of them, especially during rush days can delay order fulfilment process and delivery to your potential customers who have trusted your brand for making their online purchases.
For instance: One fine day you receive multiple orders for your slow-moving products, however, forecasting less demand for such products you don’t have sufficient stock in hand. This is when you will have to switch over supplier’s details and ensure your staff members are able to procure and process your customer’s orders in time.
Not allowing a single access to your warehouse staff members can lead to miscommunication and even worst your staff members can end up placing duplicate orders for the same products.
What you can do?
Centralization is the key for successful warehouse management, which means ensuring communication are performed at one place, will automatically help you access the correct information at the correct time.
II- Considering procurement
The way you deal with your suppliers will determine the availability of stock, especially when required on an urgent basis.
Using multiple channels to connect and communicate with your multiple suppliers can be time-taking and error-prone too, if not done in an organized way.
For instance: You sell across multiple platforms and marketplaces, and with the popularity of your brand, your product is likely to improve its rankings in Amazon, as well as, other search engines results too.
This is when, you’ll have to ensure you have enough products in hand, if not, it is important you or your staff members are able to communicate with correct suppliers and ensure products are being procured to fulfill every order that comes in.
What you can do?
Contact management software allows instant communication. Allowing sellers an ability to bring all their suppliers and staff member’s information at one place, you can eliminate risks of delay in finding the correct supplier and sharing product information that is required to process your customer’s orders.
III- Considering Inventory layout
You may experiment with shelf and rack arrangements; however, the visibility of your stock will determine how efficiently new products are put away and retrieved for fulfilment.
Manually looking up for stock every time an order hits you store can delay order fulfilment process and there may be times when any of your staff members would procure new stock in error, even if they are available on the shelf (not visible due to unorganized stock arrangements).
For instance: You receive multiple orders for your multiple stores in a single day and tracking each of your warehouses separately to process your customer’s orders can lead to long hours and affect the delivery confirmation promised to your customers.
Increasing your product offerings is a great idea for any seller’s, however; not being able to find stock in time, may increase costs and delay fulfilment process.
What you can do?
Real-time inventory management software offers instant access of all your inventory on-the-go. This means, allowing your warehouse members a single access of your entire inventory can ensure they are able to immediately track the required stock and ensure correct products are associated with customer’s order and fulfilled immediately.
IV- Considering Picking
Running multi-channel selling business, you may have to deal with a number of sales orders coming from your different stores, therefore, can be confusing which one to fulfil first.
Mostly, consumers place an order online, considering the convenience of receiving their product delivery, therefore, being able to spot urgency can eliminate the chaos among warehouse staff to understand which orders have to fulfil when.
For instance: You sell on Amazon and eBay, however, using Amazon fulfilment service you can allow consumers to choose from multiple shipping options that can include same-day delivery for certain products.
You may not receive an equal amount of sales orders from each of your selling channels, however, not being able to identify urgency for each can impact warehouse management efficiency and your customer’s experiences too.
What you can do?
Order management software offering pick list generating option can help you and your warehouse staff members to easily access your multiple store order details at one place from where they can print a pick list to ensure every order is processed within the delivery dates offered to your customers.
V- Considering dispatch of products for fulfilment
Last, but not the least, you will want to ensure each of your customer’s orders are being immediately packed and fulfilled.
Dealing with a single warehouse may not lead to a delay in fulfilment process; however, dealing with multiple warehouses and manually (packing) each order can irritate your staff member, which in turn, can lead to a delay in dispatch of customers orders for fulfilment.
For instance: You receive multiple orders in a day, and with a limited staff you need to ensure that every product is being packed properly and dispatched as per the customer’s requirements.
Performing repetitive order processing tasks manually can surely reduce your staff member’s efficiency with time!
What you can do?
Multi-channel software can help you eliminate manual process, as well as, perform your multiple store’s order processing tasks from one place. This will automatically reduce errors and improve your warehouse management efficiency, irrelevant to the number of warehouses you deal with.
An industry- leader in multi-channel retail management software, Orderhive also enhances warehouse management processes for a number of retail brands through the above mentioned cloud-based solutions.
Through a combination of innovative technology and experts from the same field, Orderhive is focused on providing robust inventory and shipping management solutions to increase the overall selling efficiency and customer satisfaction.
All the best 🙂