The Full Warehouse Management Experience

By: Teamwork Retail

Cut out the coupon, write a check or money order, and mail it away. Then wait six to eight weeks and your mail order purchase arrives at your doorstep.

Those days are over.

The latest trends in online commerce demand quicker, better, and easier consumer experiences. Consumers shopping online have become accustomed to discounted – or free – shipping that reaches the home in two days or less. When the big guys start offering that kind of service – which they can fulfill with their giant warehouse and army of workers – those expectations start to become the norm and consumers demand that all of their online shopping experience measures up.

Meeting this demand requires completely new ways to handle warehousing, inventory, order fulfillment, and shipping. Under traditional warehousing, fulfillment, and shipping models, pick-time, pack-time and overall fulfillment time are pretty well fixed. Certainly an online business could solve all of those problems on their own by adding more employees, fitting-out more warehouse space or partnering with a third party. That would work very well… as long as you have a pile of money to throw at the problem.

For the rest of us – those without a spare pile of money lying around – there is another solution. Technological development now delivers the efficiency, performance, and economies of scale that were once found only in very large logistics operations.

Along with new technology comes a new way to think about warehouse management. Cloud computing provides solutions that can be customized, scaled, and implemented quickly and with minimal capital expenditure. This allows anyone to enjoy the benefits of a fully featured Warehouse Management System (WMS) on a smaller budget.

The cloud unleashes new subscription-based business models that expand and contract your costs when your needs expand and contract. For example, a subscription to a cloud-based WMS-as-a-service system might provide licensing for 10 handheld scanners and a packing station year-round. But during the peak season, the system can expand to support additional scanners and stations as you hire on temporary employees.

The increased power of a full-featured inventory management system helps streamline the receiving, picking, and packing processes. Knowing where everything is assists in planning picking routes and streamlining the fulfillment of each order. Use of item tracking, ID tagging and connected material handling machines – also known as the internet of things — can speed up every step of inventory management because your system always knows exactly where each item is and where it’s going.

A modern cloud-based WMS such as Snapfulfil offers tools suited to improving existing warehousing activities or supporting the newest trends in the shipping and fulfillment business. Their solutions are capable of supporting new sales and marketing models, such as the recent trend in subscription boxes and delivery automation – products that are either curated and delivered regularly or single items that are delivered on a schedule. Market data shows that successfully meeting the needs of customers in that market leads to unparalleled loyalty and ongoing purchasing. But the secret to capturing those customers is efficient and accurate shipping at the right cost. Get it right the first time and every time and you will find yourself with a loyal returning customer base.

Snapfulfil was a pioneer in leveraging cloud computing to deliver the kind of service and technology that was formerly only available to the big guys. Their approach offers a variety of solutions, from the type of small-scale subscription model outlined above all the way up large enterprise installations. That means these solutions – like the cloud-based servers and connected devices the operate them – can grow as you grow, providing efficient operations and cost-saving technology that meets the needs and expectations of the modern customer.

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