7 Features to consider while evaluating a warehouse management system
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In Southeast Asia, the eCommerce sector has seen an unprecedented growth in the recent past. A study from L2, found that “25% of shoppers would abandon a cart online if they did not get same-day shipping option.” The fact clearly indicates how customers are eagerly shifting their expectations from next day delivery to same day delivery, transforming the way an eCommerce business generally operates. Due to such levels of customer expectations, it gets troublesome for the eCommerce businesses to manage these orders along with inventory and the warehouse while following the government regulations as well.
To step up the game, it is necessary for an eCommerce business to incorporate an advanced warehouse management system that can revolutionize their complete order fulfillment experience. A WMS automates almost all warehouse processes, and at the same time integrates with shipping, channel management, and other ERP systems.
So, what you should look for in a good Warehouse Management System?
- Ready integrations to marketplaces: It is necessary that the Warehouse Management System used by the 3PL or the eCommerce fulfillment center has the required integrations for faster customer on boarding and more efficient operations. Ready integration to marketplaces enables them to have a real-time view of their stock, inventories to be shipped and packed in accordance with the order placed. This also helps in systematic and smooth syncing of orders for processing and fulfillment. Additionally, It is very important that the 3PL is integrated with partner 3PL & logistic service providers to widen their reach and manage deliveries and returns cost-effectively.
- Client-wise segregation of inventory: The warehouse management system must allow ‘Client-wise Segregation of Inventory’ for ensuring Faster & Accurate Inventory control. Division of inventory on the basis of client’s identity, SKU number, serial/lot number etc. enhances inventory allocation process for clients at different locations and at the same time reduces error in the system. Additionally, it should enable the management of all clients through a single screen.
- Batch picking, product sorting and order consolidation: A proper picking strategy is an essential part of e-commerce warehousing as most of the operational costs occur in this process. Warehouse management system plays an important role in reducing this cost dramatically by creating a higher return on investment through the efficient management of picking process. Batch picking or multi-order is considered as one of the best picking methods as it increases the throughput and at the same time improves the operators efficiency. It is a process in which product demand from multiple orders are combined and picked in one pick instruction. After order picking, goods are sorted/consolidated by order or shipping destination. Thus, a warehouse management system should have the ﬂexibility to apply diﬀerent picking strategies based on the requirements of the warehouse, product type or order structure. Additionally, it must also allow automation of the order sorting process, post picking, on the basis of order or destination. This shrinks the manual effort, reduces labour cost and increases productivity.
- 3PL billing: There is a clear need of a Warehouse management system for improving the billing accuracy and customer service by capturing and invoicing the charges on a timely basis. 3PL business, retailers or CPG businesses who have invested in B2B fulfillment, often have a fixed billing scheme. An organisation therefore, pays for a fixed booking for a long period. The fluctuations of inventory in eCommerce fulfillment however renders fixed billing as an ineffective option. Thus, a flexible WMS system handles transaction based/periodic billing in an effective and timely fashion and is also robust enough to include miscellaneous charges as and when required.
- 3pl portal or self-service interface: On-time delivery is crucial for logistics businesses. Also, the new generation customers expect real-time information on the status of their orders placed. Real-time information of orders, inbounds, transactions and delivery time on a single screen helps logistics companies in overcoming the hassles of managing data on multiple screens. An efficient WMS system with a self-service portal or a single interface empowers the logistics providers to operate efficiently and at the same time reduces the customer support cost up to a great extent.
- Low Total Cost of Ownership: The WMS solution should have a Low Total Cost of Ownership. A Warehouse Management System that has inbuilt support and maintenance, enables faster time to market for clients. With seamless onboarding capabilities and high level of responsiveness, logistics business experience improved customer satisfaction and a faster return on your investment.
- Mobile-ready warehouse solution: Warehouse Management system that are mobile-ready enables warehouse personnel to take care of the order-fulfillment process in real-time and can dramatically improve the resource utilization, productivity, and inventory management process. Mobility provides warehouse personnel with the flexibility of any time and anywhere approach. The automated data collection via mobile ready systems can help logistic businesses to save on time and cost.
Vin eRetail WMS is designed for both B2B and B2C fulfillment, thus enabling companies to manage orders, inventory and returns effectively across multiple retail & eCommerce channels.
Vin eRetail has regularly been featured in various Gartner reports including- 2017 Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for Warehousing Management Systems.
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