Smartphones are everywhere today. Over a billion Android and iOS devices are in use around the world today, and more than two out of every three Americans own a device running a mobile OS. There are obvious reasons for this mass adoption: smartphones and tablets are easy to use, and they are capable of doing a lot. Their fast, intuitive touch-based interface make even complex computing tasks easy for a wide range of people.
Smartphones also have great potential in business and commercial environments, thanks to their portability, wireless capabilities, and ease of development. It is now very common to see smartphones and tablets in point-of-sale, mobile payment, inventory and receiving, and other tasks that benefit from mobility and intuitive interfaces. But what if a smartphone or tablet could be used in order management and order fulfillment in place of a desktop?
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As a wholesale distributor, you face unique challenges that other ecommerce businesses don’t. Your orders are larger, your daily shipping volume is greater, and your long-term customers are more demanding. Your wholesale inventory management solution needs to be up for the challenge. Here are some tips to turn your warehouse into a lean, mean turnaround machine:
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Most ecommerce businesses pick and ship their orders using the same general workflow. A warehouse manager may start by printing out paper pick lists for each order waiting to be shipped. This paper slips are then taken into the warehouse for order picking. Once each item in an order has been picked, it’s handed off to the shipping department. The shipping crew then packs and weighs the order, then prints a shipping label.
The warehouse management industry refers to this workflow as discrete order fulfillment. It’s a simple and easy to adopt way to fulfill orders of any amount. This makes it a clear choice for ecommerce businesses that are just starting out and growing. But businesses that are facing an increasing order demand need a way to speed up their order fulfillment. If this sounds like your business, batch picking and shipping may be the answer.
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Inventory management is most often handled on a per-SKU basis. All units of a SKU are summed up into one large quantity. Sales, shipping, and receiving then deduct from that lump sum. This is the ideal inventory management solution for most online retail businesses. It’s fast, simple, and serves your warehouse’s needs without getting in your way.
But what if your business requires you to track individual units in your warehouse? This is something that even the most advanced inventory control workflows can struggle with. How can you track single units that are being lumped together under their shared SKU? The answer for many businesses is serial number inventory tracking:
Continue reading “Introduction to Serial Number Inventory Tracking”
Most ecommerce retailers don’t sell their goods exclusively online. Some have dedicated brick and mortar store space that they sell goods in day after day. Others only sell face-to-face on occasions like trade shows and local pickups. In any case, you need a way to keep inventory up to date regardless of how the sale was recorded. That’s why so many retailers are looking for a way to synchronize inventory to POS software and to their online sales channels.
Continue reading “How (and Why) to Synchronize Inventory to POS and Online Channels”