Ecommerce is changing by the day – are you ahead of the game?
Few industries have grown as rapidly as ecommerce, and the business model continues to evolve. The change has been driven by the current market conditions with the pandemic, market leader influences and customer expectations. It wasn’t too long ago that an order could be fulfilled within 24 hours and delivered in 5 days to receive glowing praise from the end customer.
Fast forward to 2020 and the consumer has been “trained” to believe that an order placed on Monday will be delivered on Wednesday at the latest. How long will the two-day expectation be acceptable is the question most are asking themselves. If history is a sign of what’s to come, same day and next day fulfilment services, even though already available, will become the standard in the not too distant future.
While the experience is designed to be as easy and convenient as possible for customers, the complexity of fulfilment is far from simple. With two-day, next-day, or even same-day deliveries at no extra charge rapidly becoming the norm, maintaining these high levels of customer service requires enhanced technology.
Whether you have multiple fulfillment centers or ecommerce sales operations, or are a 3PL, WMS Software enables streamlined workflow-driven fulfillment operations for speedier, more accurate fulfillment.
Three primary benefits of enhanced technology are connectivity across the transaction, increased efficiency to meet customer expectations, and the ability to integrate multiple data streams.
1. Connectivity is Critical
The good news for professionals in the eCommerce order fulfilment industry is the availability of a wide range of technology options to help efficiently run your business. What’s even more important is these systems are now connected typically through webhooks, APIs, or other integration methods.
This allows supply chain leaders to be constantly connected to sales activity in a real-time environment which allows for labour-management planning, transportation management, material management, and more. There’s no question that every day in the life of an eCommerce order fulfilment professional is different and curveballs are the norm but we have to embrace that we are now in a technology-first industry and make investments that position ourselves for future success.
2. Increased Efficiency Makes It Possible to Meet High Levels of Demand
Some of the challenges that supply chain teams experience also impact the ability of merchants to meet order fulfilment goals. For example, the labour market for warehouse associates is extremely tight and competitive. It’s never been more important to not only have competitive wages and a people-first culture, but to finds ways to automate some aspects of warehouse operations.
WMS solutions are key to achieve efficient automation.
A WMS system is a software application designed to help with the daily operations of your warehouse. The software tracks inventory, manages stock rotation and drives the workforce to ensure they are getting the job done.
This means that you have an extensive audit of everything in your warehouse ensuring good management decisions can be made regards sales and purchasing. A solid WMS system will reduce error and increase efficiency within the warehouse which will be a huge cost saving.
This does not mean replacing workers – it is about making it possible for the teams to optimise their time on the clock. Robotics and Artificial Intelligence (AI) are just two technologies that improve eCommerce fulfilment operations as well as WMS software. The use of AI to predict order forecasts at the unit level by geography allows for inventory placement closer to future customers which reduces transportation time and cost. It all adds up to a more efficient operation before the first order is processed.
3. Integration of Multiple Systems Enhances Visibility
In today’s eCommerce world, there is no “silver bullet” or single super-technology that will magically meet your needs. In fact, providers often take a technology stack approach. This includes leveraging integrations with platforms, marketplaces, and retailers that are connected to an OMS (Order Management System), WMS (Warehouse Management System), TMS (Transportation Management System), and LMS (Labour Management System).
The goal of the “stack” is to drive a cost-effective operation that also provides meaningful information to make intelligent data-backed decisions. To give a business the opportunity to sell products in any channel anywhere in the world and to easily push timely order information to customers.
Many Choices, But Technology Is Not a “Nice to Have”
Managing a warehouse and all the inventory, as well as the staff related to that warehouse, can be a daunting task. In addition, ensuring the effectiveness of your supply chain so that you’ll be able to meet customer expectations is even more difficult. However, with a proper WMS solution, and other key technologies, all of those tasks can be made seamless, thus ensuring your company can easily boost both its efficiency and its overall performance.
There are many different ways to enhance your technology infrastructure, including partnering with a third-party logistics (3PL) provider. Regardless of how you choose to approach it, now is the time to embrace technology. It isn’t a “nice to have” anymore, it’s just the price of admission.
Speak to one of our team to understand how Clarus’ WMS system can cost effectively support best practice warehouse management processes, better customer service and highly efficient working for a range of warehouse operations with pay per month options and no IT infrastructure needed.
Our platform can scale from a one user, small depot system to a 100’s of user distribution centre operation. The ClarusWMS platform will cost effectively scale with your business based on demand.
ClarusWMS is a UK based supplier of warehouse management solutions with a wealth of industry experience in third party logistics, wholesale / retail distribution, online fulfillment and manufacturing warehousing.