If you have ever been in charge of commerce operations at a business, you know how intricate the processes are to ensure that everything is running smoothly. From making purchase orders, receiving and storing inventory in an organized fashion, to picking, packing and shipping that inventory- there are so many moving parts of the workflow to keep track of. With so much room for error, it takes a quality staff and a quality inventory management system to keep things running as they should.
Why Manual Processes Do Not Work
In order to do things in the most efficient way, taking care of these processes manually is not possible for most businesses. The excessive amount of time it requires as well as the unavoidable issue of human error will delay tasks and cause confusion within the warehouse. From the very beginning, there are processes which should be automated to speed things up and improve accuracy. For instance, if you are a business who make purchase orders from vendors to receive your inventory, you must be able to accurately decide how much inventory you should be ordering. This kind of forecasting should be done by looking over data collected and stored within an inventory management system. Cases such as repeating orders and special rules should also be able to be automated within a system.
When receiving this inventory into your warehouse, there must be a system in place to decide where these items should be located. Whether it is by aisle, shelf, bin, or hallway, a staff member should know just where to go inside the warehouse to place that item and later retrieve it. Automated processes including the use of barcodes are very helpful in achieving such organization. One will save time and reduce errors by having such a system in place. When it comes to picking and packing the items for shipment, there should be a clear designation as to which staff member retrieves which item and prepares it to ship. Running back and forth through the warehouse and retracing steps to pick multiple items is a waste of time. An organized plan as to which items should be picked at one time will help keep productivity levels high.
When it comes to the shipment processes, the goal is to ship the product or products to the consumer in a timely fashion for the lowest cost. A system which decides which shipping carrier and method will be most cost efficient for you and for the customer will help keep everyone happy. Other details such as how to pack the items in the most cost efficient way can also be decided for you within a quality inventory management system. Packing slips and tracking information should also be taken into account to keep things organized.
Finding the System That Fits Your Business
Having an inventory management system that automates your processes is great, but it’s not enough for most businesses- especially growing businesses. There are countless software options to choose from after deciding its time to implement such a system. These systems are usually relatively affordable and straightforward. You pay a monthly or annual fee and receive the features promised to you in order to keep track of your inventory. All of this seems great until you realize that your business, like most, has unique cases which will need you to go outside of the solution the software provides. Most likely, a customizable solution will be more beneficial for you.
Unique Businesses Mean Unique Processes
Before actually experiencing it, one may not realize just how many special cases come up within their business’s inventory management processes. Depending on your products and services, there are bound to be countless times when something comes up that is not able to be taken care of within your standard inventory management system. For example, some retailers provide personalized items- embroidered clothing, personalized jewelry, etc. This all must be taken into account when deciding how your orders come in and how it’s processed within the system. When it comes to shipping, what if a customer orders multiple parts of a kit which are not all in stock? Do you ship the parts available and later send the rest, or do you delay the whole order? Depending on your company, special cases can be as intricate as needing to ship products on dry ice due to food perishing or melting. In these cases, it is of course also very time sensitive. How do you include all of these requirements within a cookie cutter inventory management system that is standard for everyone?
With a more customizable solution, you won’t need to change the workflow processes you already have in place to suit your new software. The warehouse staff will not have to be retrained to learn new, less convenient steps to take when performing warehouse operations. Of course, there is always room for improvement, and you should take advantage of a customizable software to create new aspects of the workflow which further benefit the company. However, if something you are doing is already working for you, there should be no need to get rid of it.
Finding a Customizable Solution
Where do you find such a customizable solution for your commerce operations? There is only one software out there that will build out any feature you need ad work with you to figure out what those requirements should be. SkuNexus is the world’s most customizable software for commerce operations. From ordering to picking to packing to shipping and everything in between, the processes are designed specifically to fit your business’s needs. We will work with you to improve processes which no longer work for you and to implement new ones that will introduce efficiency and organization to your warehouse. Contact us HERE and schedule a demo to learn more.
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