Integrated ecommerce explained
What does the phrase "integrated ecommerce" actually mean in practice?...
For the traditional warehouse manager, every day is a busy day. You have a lot on your plate, dealing with everything from goods in, product storage and couriers to managing recruitment, your workforce and operational targets.
What’s worse is that because you’re used to these daily struggles, you don’t often shout for help. But, with quality software in place, you will gain the help you need without even having to ask. Here are three things to expect in the warehouse after onboarding software that’s shaped for your business:
The pressure is high in a traditional warehouse environment, especially during peak sales periods like Black Friday and Christmas. This means that errors become all the more frequent. Worryingly, research shows that human error was reported as a top issue in 46% of warehouses when it came to goods in, and 34% of businesses ended up shipping late because of products they sold that weren’t actually in stock. This combination of errors decreases satisfaction rates from customers and sadly, puts you as a warehouse manager in the firing line for blame.
By investing in quality software, you will not only create a seamless multi-channel shopping experience in the front-end, but also streamline the back-end operations in your warehouse. Looking at both ends means you will be able to increase customer satisfaction rates by offering easy ways of communicating with your business and at the same time, make operations smoother so that customers can receive items from your business efficiently. Plus, you can use historic data to forecast ahead of seasonal peaks, making it an ideal solution for busy periods because you can predict buying behaviours more accurately and have the right amount of stock ready to sell.
Research found that 41% of warehouse managers have “an inability to attract and retain quality” when it comes to onboarding new staff. Unfortunately, slow onboarding for new starters and difficulty in effectively managing teams is a harsh reality in operations. With no audit of what’s happening in the warehouse, unclear data to measure the performance of pickers and no real grasp of customers’ expectations, it’s difficult to get a clear picture.
Robust technology will take a traditional warehouse to the next level, and HHT devices are the most comprehensive answer. The devices might look like smartphones to the naked eye, but they will revolutionise your warehouse processes. By increasing pick rates, reducing errors caused by mispicks, easily onboarding recruits and managing the workforce more effectively through pick rules, the warehouse becomes a smoother, more efficient operation. Also, by removing the time-consuming and laborious processes, you will contribute to a happier workforce all round.
As a warehouse manager, we understand why you might have developed a lack of trust in technology. Disconnected systems can mean that you’re working around technology that isn’t fit for purpose, making manual methods seem more appealing for the future. However, paper-based picking systems dropped below 50% for the first time in 2018, highlighting a turning point in warehousing. The Warehouse Management System (WMS) uptake was at 85% in 2019, with the most popular solutions being an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system module or a legacy/homegrown system.
Despite earlier reservations, more of you have been looking to tackle inefficient warehouse processes for some years now. In retail especially, 72% of businesses “plan to reinvent their supply chain with real-time visibility enabled by automation, sensors and analytics.” In terms of shipping, 65% of retailers are exploring innovative delivery services to provide a multi-channel experience. It’s good to see that some lasting changes are being made that will allow for greater success now and in the future, with ERP software already helping around 95% of businesses.
For those of you looking to make a technology investment, an ERP system and WMS combined undoubtedly provides the greatest level of control. By automating the mundane parts of warehouse management and seamlessly linking with other aspects of the business, such as purchasing and accounts, you will be able to realign your focus to the running and development of the warehouse, opposed to the running between departments to get a better understanding of what’s going on.
Read our latest white paper, Making business boom again: The complete guide to investing in ERP software, to find out more.
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