How a Warehouse Management System Helps Increase Inventory Accuracy and Avoid Out of Stock Issues
Having issues with keeping track of your inventory? It happens. But it can be embarrassing (and bad for business) when your website doesn’t show an item out of stock.
What you need is a way to keep track of everything and make sure your warehouse processes are managed appropriately.
A warehouse management system is a fast and simple solution that helps you know exactly what’s going on at your facility so you never sell an out of stock item again.
Sound too good to be true? Found out more about how warehouse management systems work by reading this article
Forget about human error
Manual inventory counting is outdated and simply should not be used anymore. Especially for online businesses.The best way to remove as much error as possible is to let automated systems track inventory instead of having people manually update the inventory.
To do this, all your warehouse team needs to do is remember to scan items at each step of the process. They follow the scanning process for incoming goods, put-away, picking, and packing, and the software you use will track exactly where the item is in the sales and shipping process, as well as whether it is a part of available inventory.
Add a buffer between your customers and your stock
A lot of businesses have shared inventory across several different online marketplaces. That is, you may sell the same stock on your own website and several other marketplaces like Amazon. This can make it difficult to keep track of how much inventory you have left so that all your marketplaces are accurate.
With a warehouse management system that sends you notifications, you can remove the available item from all but one marketplace when you get low on stock. This prevents oversells that make customers frustrated.
You can also implement buffers by only showing 50 percent of your total available quantity of an item if you are putting it on a site with a daily deal or flash sale going on. This also prevents oversells, and using a management tool helps you know what quantities to offer.
By integrating your inventory management system with your E-Commerce platform, you can automatically update stock to show 0 left selected sites when you get too low.
Reorder before you run out
Warehouse management software can also help you estimate when you’ll need to reorder new products. Different products run out at different rates, and it can be difficult to keep track of when you need to reorder what. But this kind of software can give you detailed reporting features so you know which items are going fast and need to be reordered sooner.
It’s another great way to prevent out of stock sales.
Warehouse management systems are scalable
Your E-Commerce business is going to change over time. You may be able to track inventory manually right now. But a day will come when you can’t. And you don’t want that day to sneak up on you and cause problems with your customers.
Instead, what you want is for your business to have an automated inventory system already in place before you absolutely must have one. And as your business grows, the WMS can grow with you.
That’s why it pays to start using a WMS when your store is small, so you can be accustomed to the way the system works by the time you have a lot more inventory to juggle. (But don’t worry; you can still get started with a WMS, even if you aren’t so small anymore.)
Prevent lost sales from false out of stocks
Another problem that might occur, which is related to the selling out of stocks, is not being able to sell items that actually are in stock. When your inventory is updated manually, some items may be received at the warehouse but haven’t been added to your ERP or E-Commerce system yet.
When that happens, the items can be listed on your marketplace as out of stock when they actually are available for purchase, and that slows down your sales, as well as potentially turning away customers. Those customers may end up looking for your item at a competitor’s shop instead. If that happens often enough, with enough customers, it creates a lasting ripple effect on your business.
Each of those lost sales can represent multiple lost sales over the lifetime value of that customer because if they had received the item, they might have ordered from you again.
But with a WMS, you can integrate with an ERP, like Plentymarkets, so everything stays updated.
Save time for employees
A WMS not only improves efficiency at your warehouse, it also saves your employees time. There is no reason that they should be manually tracking tedious administrative tasks instead of doing the actual work of put away, picking, and packing. And they can use the software with small, simple mobile devices instead of the clunkier devices used before.
But it’s not just the warehouse team that saves time. You also don’t need to busy your IT team with software issues when you utilize a cloud-based WMS. It’s easy to implement and doesn’t require a lot of technical know-how..
Maintain control of your inventory
A lot of businesses look into third-party logistics providers as the scale up. That is, they let someone else handle their warehouse and inventory. But that route is not without risks. When you let someone else handle inventory, you lose control over the accuracy of the records. And you lose control over how your stock is handled. That means more errors can slip in.
Incorporate your retail and e-commerce fulfillment
If you operate both as an E-Commerce and physical retailer, no worries. You can still take advantage of a cloud-based WMS. This software can keep track of stock for both the online inventory and the inventory for the physical store locations. This makes inventory processes a whole lot easier for your employees.
Get full flexibility with Pulpo WMS
The bottom line is that a cloud-based WMS like Pulpo WMS is the most flexible and scalable option for tracking and anlyzing your inventory. Because it is an online software, you can get immediate updates to the available tools.