In the past, distribution centers and 3PLs were the main users of warehouse management systems (WMS). But retailers are finding that a state-of-the-art warehouse solution can improve order accuracy, automate processes, and have more efficient picking and receiving operations. More and more consumers expect products to arrive at their doorsteps as soon as possible. If retailers are struggling to compete with quick order turnaround times, then implementing a warehouse management system is vital. A resilient WMS will quickly increase fulfillment and picking times, letting retailers know when they have to replenish products. The quicker, and more accurately a retailer fulfills an order, the more likely a customer will receive the correct item. Moreover, if a customer needs to return a product, a good WMS will allow a retailer to efficiently go through records to handle the return.
Not only will a robust WMS allow users to easily pull up records, but it will also give you data in real-time about all warehouse activity. Are customers unhappy about the long response time to their questions, due to a retailer’s lack of insight into their goods? An efficient WMS allows retailers to respond quickly to customer queries, while also letting other supply chain partners, such as distributors and wholesalers, know exactly what items are in any given warehouse, where those items are located, and what products need to be replenished.
Moreover, a WMS can help retailers grow. As you add more stock and processes, manual systems can become more chaotic and hinder your bottom line. But an efficient WMS will organize stock, keep track of inventory, and keep you in the know about dock activity. Tracking, especially, is vital in order to run agile operations. Retailers can use a WMS to produce real-time reports on their inventory and other warehouse processes, and glean insight into how all of these processes affect their ROI. Getting full data visibility into an operation can help retailers forecast for the future and know exactly what is causing bottlenecks, what stock to get more of next season, or what products aren’t doing as well.
Automation is also key. Do your products require value-added services depending on the item? Are those processes often mismanaged due to their specificity? A WMS can help a retailer manage complex e-commerce requirements, like custom packaging and labeling, with automated, pre-defined processes, from the channel, order, and product level.
Even if a retailer has their inventory and warehouse management under control, neither of those systems directly address integrations. As a retailer, managing and controlling your supply chain across so many different platforms can be chaotic and confusing, resulting in more and more errors as you continue to grow. Using a robust integration manager, retailers can automatically capture orders from any channel, with predefined workflows, so they don’t have to worry about manually inputting data across multiple platforms.
Moreover, an integration management tool that allows for any integration is vital; if a retailer begins to sell on a new channel or system, they need to be confident that the software will support this new connection. An integration manager that connects across systems, e-commerce platforms, and data formats can help consolidate your business in an agile and efficient way. In essence, there is no way to properly scale your operations without using software that automates the way you sell.
Single Unified Platform
So what can a retailer do to implement more tools than just an OMS, without overwhelming their teams by incorporating new, fragmented tools? Utilizing a system with all tools in one place could be a solution.
The Osa Unified Commerce Platform includes all management systems all within a single platform, giving retailers a real-time, bird’s eye view of order management, integrations, and warehouse management. To ensure that profits are maximized, retailers can view current stock versus sales and forecast future demand, while also getting full visibility of their order and inventory data across selling channels and 3PLs. What else can an integrated system do? With the Unified Commerce Platform, retailers can connect channels to sync data, automate listing pricing to reduce cart abandonment, set up new products, adjust replenishments, allocate inventory, and even print shipping labels from anywhere.
In this era of exploding e-commerce, it is vital that every retailer has easily accessible tools to grow and manage their business. Solely investing in an order management system won’t cut it; retailers need cutting-edge, competitive technology that can give them their time back to focus more on customers, the true driving force behind any retailer’s success.