8 Questions To Ask Fulfillment Management Software Providers

In our previous installment, we presented a long list of questions. That exercise is intended for eCommerce merchants to take a thorough look at their entire fulfillment picture. We want you to consider how you manage it, how you measure your performance, and, most importantly, where any breakdowns might be occurring.

At SkuNexus, we understand that the challenges online fulfillment presents can come in a wide variety of forms. Building and arming merchants with the management software to conquer those challenges is our raison d’etre.

If you realize you do indeed have issues that software can resolve, then it’s time to start asking more questions - of us. We field inquiries from merchants across the eCommerce spectrum, and while the businesses themselves may be vastly different, their fulfillment struggles are often very similar. So, who better to discuss brands’ most pressing concerns than a company that addresses them every day?

Here are 8 of the most frequent questions being asked about eCommerce fulfillment management software and how SkuNexus solves them.

1. Does your software integrate with my eCommerce site?

This is the most fundamental issue. Any answer other than, “Yes,” is a non-starter for continued conversation. If software systems don’t integrate with each other, no further questions need to be asked.

SkuNexus is designed for flexibility. It integrates out-of-the-box with Shopify, BigCommerce, and Magento, and via API with any eCommerce store.

What this means is that:

  • Every addition and/or update to your product information on your site is automatically pushed into SkuNexus in real-time.
  • Every order through your online store is instantly imported into SkuNexus and our automated workflow will immediately begin processing the fulfillment. 
  • Every time an item is sold on your website, or any other point of sale, inventory levels in SkuNexus will both be updated in real-time and pushed to all connected channels. This ensures inventory is tracked accurately across your entire system.

Beyond integrating with your site, SkuNexus integrates with: 

  • Online marketplaces like Amazon, eBay, and Etsy,
  • Point-of-sale (POS) systems,
  • Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) for partners like Target and Walmart,
  • Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems like Netsuite and SAP,
  • Accounting software like QuickBooks,
  • Over 150 global shipping carriers, such as USPS, UPS, and FedEx.

2. How long does it take to implement this software?

Speed of transition is on everyone’s mind when it comes to integrating new management software. You’re having fulfillment issues and you’ve decided on a solution. You want the system implemented, the problems solved, and your business process automation running full-throttle. Optimally, it would all be done yesterday.

There is no getting around the necessary elements of business process mapping. Each situation is unique, and a proper integration process takes time. 

Our implementation process has been streamlined to save time, eliminate interruption in service to your customers, and make onboarding a smooth transition for your entire team. As part of this method, we stage environments with a dual purpose. It helps train your employees while also allowing our team to conduct extensive testing prior to project completion.

No matter the scale of the project, SkuNexus will provide dedicated technology and business professionals to support implementation every step of the way. 

Specific consulting services include:

  • Analysis of existing OMS and business processes to align the SkuNexus solution with your needs.
  • Clear project planning that defines the goals across our team and yours.
  • Project management from SOW to go-live.
  • Deployment with full documentation.
  • Training for end-users as well as add-on managed services including help desk or support team.
  • Performance monitoring includes analysis of your systems and optimizing processes.

3. Can your software create automated workflows?

Automated workflows are at the core of SkuNexus functionality. Our customizability allows you to design workflows based on your operations, not a preconfigured system.

The benefits of this fundamental SkuNexus feature are many. By automating workflows throughout all processes, significant business process improvements can be made.

For example:

  • Efficiency: Removing manual decision-making allows employees and small business owners more time to focus on growth and less on operations.  
  • Productivity: Employees performing fulfillment only receive information relevant to them.
  • Accuracy: Automation can reduce the possibility of manual errors down to nearly zero.
  • Accountability: Customized workflows for in-store and warehouse employees clarify who is responsible for every function performed in the fulfillment process.

4. Do you do vendor management?

Free data flow is a critical aspect of eCommerce fulfillment, and this data flow should also extend to a merchant’s vendors. Vendor relationships are a key component of a successful eCommerce business, and clear, unobstructed communication between all parties is essential.

To address this, a dedicated Vendor Management System (VMS) is part of SkuNexus. This intuitive communication portal allows merchants to:

  • Configure custom access for vendors to specific parts of the system relevant to them.
  • Automatically create purchase orders and notify vendors of changing stock levels.
  • Receive information from vendors re: changing inventory levels, prices, or SKUs. 
  • Add designated products to vendors.
  • Choose a preferred or default vendor for multiple that sell a single SKU.
  • Add and manage dozens or hundreds or thousands of vendors without any reduction in loading or processing speeds.

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5. How does the system handle kitted products?

Kitting is an integral part of many brands’ eCommerce strategies. However, managing it can present a host of issues. 

The SkuNexus approach to kitting optimizes it through a combination of warehouse and inventory management.

  • SkuNexus can be used to track stock of finished products or kitted products may be broken into their child SKUs for ease of picking. 
  • Kitted products can also be represented in the system as the sum of standard materials required for lightly manufactured products. 
  • Inventory can be displayed as only finished kits or customized to be the number of possible kits that can be made from child components (even if those components are used in more than one kit).

6. Do you allow for multichannel eCommerce?

The number of communication channels has expanded and smart merchants have made great efforts to allow customers to shop from wherever they happen to be spending time online. The retail upheaval caused by eCommerce has also caused dramatic changes in how merchants fulfill orders, and from where.

Needless to say, many brands have been overwhelmed by the challenges they face in the wake of this, and need serious help in managing it.

SkuNexus is built by experts in multichannel inventory management. Our platform:

  • Manages all channels with one unified OMS,
  • Syncs inventory across all channels in real time,
  • Selects optimal fulfillment/shipping locations
  • Allows for options like BOPIS, ship-from-store, and dropshipping.

7. Can our company scale with your software?

Just as a naval fleet is only as swift as its slowest ship, so too can an eCommerce merchant be bound by the limitations of its software. A management system that places limitations on capacity is not built to expand alongside a company that is scaling.

To ensure our software will not hinder our clients, SkuNexus Enterprise allows for:

  • Unlimited SKUs,
  • Unlimited users,
  • Unlimited sales channel integrations,
  • Unlimited warehouses,
  • Unlimited orders per month,
  • Full dropshipping capability, and more.

In addition to these features, we provide something unique - total access to our source code. This lets you customize the functionality of the platform into something completely unique to your business processes and, as an added bonus, you own all code you create.

 

8. What’s your pricing structure?

Transparency is critical to establishing (and maintaining) trust in any relationship and truth in pricing is a bedrock of any business.

SkuNexus has multiple tiers of pricing/features based on the requirements of its users. Unlike many available software solutions which charge a % of revenue or on a per item/per fulfillment basis, we do not. This means that you will never be penalized for your growth.

We can accommodate merchants fulfilling a hundred orders a month to those doing a hundred an hour. Regardless of the size of your business, you will receive customer-centric service aligned with our core values.

The bottom line

Undoubtedly, you will have more questions to ask as you interview prospective management software providers. Your business goals, your products, your personnel, and a host of other factors make what you want and need highly specific.

At SkuNexus, we believe that knowledge is power. We look forward to hearing from you so we can learn about your business and share as much of our knowledge as possible.

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