Solving the Top 5 Challenges Facing Warehouse Managers
ShipWorks recently held a webinar discussing the top 5 challenges facing warehouse managers. If you missed the webinar you can watch the recording or read the transcribed highlights below.
About the Webinar Presenters:
Wes Clayton currently oversees the strategic vision, direction, management and operations of Interapptive and he has served in a variety of management roles including customer support management, partner relationship development and operations. ShipWorks is Interapptive’s flagship product and is a reliable and powerful multi-carrier shipping software that enables ecommerce sellers and warehouse shippers to deliver goods faster, more efficiently and more cost-effectively.
Andy Eastes has many years of experience in eCommerce – as a seller, a consultant and now as the CEO and co-founder of SkuVault. Andy is passionate about empowering eCommerce sellers by helping them improve their internal processes. His company, SkuVault is a cloud-based inventory & warehouse management system designed to work with your warehouse, not against it.
Topic: Shipping – Picking the Right Carrier for Lowest Cost
Challenge: Amazon Effect – Customers Expect Free and Fast Delivery
Solution 1: Leveraging Carrier Strength
Effective e-commerce shipping requires easy and immediate access to multiple shipping carriers. Companies who use a single carrier to deliver all of their packages face distinct disadvantages to those who choose a multi-carrier strategy. The ability to choose a carrier based on service options provides a great customer experience. With a single carrier, you are limited to what that single carrier has to offer.
Solution 2: Leveraging Technology
Is your shipping software set up to automatically select the best rate for each shipment based on rules your shipping or warehouse manager puts in place? Let’s face it–the more tasks you can automate, the fewer decisions employees need to make. That means faster order processing, fewer errors and more control of the shipping process so you can get your package into the hands of your customers sooner.
Topic: Shipping – Efficent Warehouse Picking
Challenge: Inefficient Picking
Solution 1: Simple Picking and Pick Lists
As for as picking (picking is where warehouse staff collects articles in a specified quantity to go into a parcel for shipment) goes, we really want to limit the pick lists to information the picker needs. We want to separate this by warehouse, code or SKU, item title, location, quantities they need to pick. The goal is to help your picks fly through this list and not walk down a million fields.
Solution 2: Picking Workflow Option
There’s lots of different methodologies for picking in a warehouse and it really depends on the size of the warehouse, speed at which to ship your product, product categories, types and size. ShipWorks and SkuVault can automatically create a picklist—we have a lot of flexibility with a hybrid model. We can actually use different picking workflows for different sets of orders (single vs multi-item orders).
Topic: Inventory – Ensuring SKU Quantity & Audit Management
Challenge: Inaccurate Inventory Quantity
Solution 1: Real-Time Quantity Updates
When a sale occurs on one of your connected channels, the quantity of the item needs to change on your other channels to reflect what you have available. This becomes more complex when you have kits and kits line items in the mix. SkuVault can connect channels in a variety of ways to solve this challenge. SkuVault connects channels including:
- Channel management platforms like ChannelAdvisor
- Shippping softwares like ShipWorks
- Ecommerce platform like shopping carts
- Marketplaces like Amazon and eBay
Solution 2: Inventory Audit of the Night Cycle Counts
With SkuVault, we’ve made cycle counting with locations so easy that you’ll be able to achieve our recommended four cycle counts per year. Increased cycle counts means fewer physical counts, which means fewer man hours and more sales. Messy inventory is inaccurate inventory, and inaccurate inventory leads to oversells, undersells, and stock lying around your warehouse not listed on your online channels. SkuVault’s goal is to keep an accurate count of your quantities – what’s on hand, where it is, and, ultimately, what’s free to sell.
Solution 3: User Accountability and Human Error Prevention
SkuVault’s user roles features ensure ensure that only authorized personnel are accessing sensitive information. For example, you can customize user roles to give temp employees limited access to certain warehouse functionality, to give Customer Service access to transaction history, or to give buyers access to sales & re-order reports only.
Topic: Inventory – Supplier Reorders
Challenge: Control, Accountability, & Tracking of Inventory and Costs
Solution 1: Advanced Reporting
Accurate reporting helps you to make more informed decisions for your business. Our re-order report, for example, can help you to determine which products to zero in on and gives you insight into what you are selling. We want to look at your top sellers and slow movers so we know what to do to get it moving again. Long story short, better data allows you to make better purchasing decisions, yielding a better ROI.
Solution 2: Replenishment Report
We want to provide our customers with peace of mind, and we believe that the replenishment report feature is capable of doing just that. Never again worry if you have enough of your most popular selling items in stock, or if you need to order more from a supplier. Let the detailed replenishment report tell you when you’re running low, or when to reorder.
Topic: Shipping – Packaging and Returns
Challenge: Ensuring you have a Returning Customer
Solution 1: Package Branding
ShipWorks offers many options that allow businesses to really create a cohesive brand experience as it relates to the fulfillment process. One way we can do that for our customers is through customized templates. Our software offers the ability for customers get in there and create customized templates that can be simple as adding your logo, company information, or website to more advanced such as putting dynamic content information on your output documents based on information about your orders.
Solution 2: Returns Management
According to a UPS customer experience study that was done in 2013, nearly fifty percent of buyers return the product that was purchased online. 65% of consumers will shop more with the retailer if they offer a hassle-free returns policy. There’s a real opportunity here for online sellers and shippers to focus on integrating return policies into their workflows. It can be as simple as adding return policies that will drive satisfaction or key business and really focusing on creating a seamless returns process overall is essential to continuing to ensure return customers for your business.