Realizing the value of better warehouse and inventory management
Warehouse and inventory management form the backbone of any successful retail operations. Without an effective relationship with warehouses, merchants will struggle to move product between vendors, store shelves, eCommerce storefronts and, ultimately, the consumer.
That being said, warehouse and inventory management is still an issue that challenges every retailer, from the industry-leading giants to the small mom-and-pops. For example, Walmart recently came under fire from investors after private executive communications were released publicly.
In the leaked material, key management figures vented about the company's inability to keep shelves stocked and the impact it had on Walmart's sales figures and overall bottom line. The message was clear: Walmart is suffering the slowest sales in the past seven years, and at the center of the problem lies the bare shelves in-store and out-of-stock SKUs on its eCommerce website.
If even Walmart, one of the world's largest retailers, is struggling with inventory management, than it should be on the radar of every merchant in the industry. A proper warehouse management system, particularly one that is integrated into other eCommerce software to give retailers the most up-to-date inventory information, is crucial to not only growing and expanding, but also general survivability as well.
"A [warehouse management system] gives your business efficiency, order accuracy and expense reduction," explains Scan for Mas, a WMS solution provider. "Orders can be shipped immediately because the software can easily locate items in the inventory. Businesses are assured that errors in order management are reduced and that consumers receive their orders promptly and in good condition. A WMS can also help you maximize your storage capacity, lower your labor costs, and, more importantly, offer your business the advantage of a much improved customer service."
Warehouse and inventory management in the grand scale of retail operations
Warehouse and inventory management obviously play critical roles in the eCommerce operations. Without an effective warehouse management systems enable retailers to deliver products to their customers as quickly as possible, merchants will struggle to gain ground in today's retail landscape.
However, warehouse management shouldn't be considered an insular activity. Just as warehouse management affects retailer operations in a number of ways, other activities could also influence merchant purchase decisions. An agile retailer will look at a number of factors before ordering inventory, and for merchants to make the best business decisions, they need to look at the whole picture.
eCommerce software such as SalesWarp can help retailers connect the dots between various retail activities, from warehouse management to product management to customer analysis. The retail picture is broad and all-encompassing, and by utilizing the right eCommerce software solution, merchants can strive for improvement in the modern business world.