Once upon a time sending a letter from America to the far East seemed almost like an impossible task, if not took days and months.
But technology has changed it all and transformed the movement of goods across the world.
In particular, the birth of Ecommerce has not only enabled your business to reach a wider market, but it has also made it easier for customers to find you.
At the same time, with Ecommerce, storage and warehouse systems have been showing stellar performances. This includes increased reliability, lower costs, higher productivity, and quicker response times to customers.
Overall, this results in better customer experience. And you know the formula, happy customers = happy business.
So how can Ecommerce have such a profound impact on warehouse systems and allow business to gain competitive advantages? Let’s dive in!
5 Changes Ecommerce Has Brought to Warehouse Systems
1. Better Software
It’s hard to deny the power of software when it comes to distribution. Due to the frantic pace of innovation, there are always new, more advanced warehouse technologies being released on the market.
Plenty of software options are available for businesses to choose from. They all aim to facilitate the inventory management and distribution processes.
You can go for anything that matches your specific needs. Be it a basic barcoding system or a real-time, complex data-streaming system that connects everything in one place.
Some of the hottest solutions in warehouse systems are mobile devices. They make it more efficient for warehouse workers and supervisors to perform their jobs. Data can be accessed easily and workflows can be automated.
Depending on the nature of your business, you can always find an affordable and effective mobile device solution for your warehouse inventory management.
2. Stronger Relationships with Suppliers
Good supplier relationships can make a break a business. After all, in order to grow and sustain a business, you need to work well with others.
Good warehouse systems help foster supplier relationships. Technical compatibilities can turn what once considered complicated into an easy, smooth process.
For instance, if a product quantity is low in stock, you can update the data instantly. You can also inform your supplier for a restock. This streamlines the process and helps speed up the communications. Likewise, it results in fewer errors and prevents the stress of not having an item in stock for shipping.
3. Quicker Training
Training is mandatory when dealing with complicated warehouse systems.
No matter how advanced the software you use, with poor training, your warehouse employees are bound to make mistakes. This can happen easily and frequently. They also would slow down the workflows and lower the overall productivity.
Ecommerce has sped up the training process without compromising the quality.
Since all the data can be accessed in one place, it’s become effortless to track every product in the warehouse. A single scan will give you enough information about a particular product item with zero error.
4. Reduced Inventory Waste
A common concern amongst warehouse owners is inventory waste. In general, wastes are the results the followings:
Having the wrong employee for the job
Inappropriate inventory processing
Waiting time before you can complete the next task
Transporting inventory throughout the warehouse
For sellers who handle their own order fulfillment, inventory wastes are very expensive. However, with Ecommerce, sellers can enjoy shorter lead times and faster inventory turnover. This means not only do they can invest in less space with less capital, they also benefit from higher returns on investment.
Thanks to drop shipping, one of the hottest trends in Ecommerce over the past year, you now can partner with a supplier and let them take care of the fulfillment process. No fees occur until you sell an item. This means you can enjoy the profits without you ever need to touch the product.
5. More Accurate Tracking Ability
In the age of digital technology, everything has become trackable. Most current inventory software will allow you to locate the whereabouts of a specific product — whenever you want and with utmost accuracy. All it takes is a quick scan.
Product loss as the result can be minimized. This in turns increases the efficiency of warehouse systems. It makes your business more attractive to potential partners, suppliers, and customers.
A particular great thing about Ecommerce is that it promotes continuous innovations.
Companies understand that staying competitive requires looking beyond their current workflows. There’s no room for being content.
You must constantly thrive and look for new ways to enhance your storage and warehouse systems.
Take a look at Amazon for inspiration. They’ve already offered same-day and one-day delivery! This has no doubt put them 100% ahead of the game.
Likewise, inventory management software businesses will need to stay innovative. This is the only way to compete with others.
7. Customer Behavior and Expectations
A thing for certain: customers expect more when they shop online. Again, Ecommerce giants like Amazon, eBay, and Shopify have raised the bar much higher.
Due to lack of opportunity to see and try on the actual product and other reasons related to shipping, at least 30% of items bought online are returned. This number is astonishing, especially when only 8.89% of items purchased in stores are returned.
Higher customer expectation can put some cost pressure on businesses. But companies should consider this as a motivator, a goal, and mission to help push them forward and improve their warehouse systems.
It’s hard to imagine how much technologies have revolutionized the way businesses operate. And new technologies will keep rolling out, even at a faster pace.
Perhaps in a few years, barcode scanners will get replaced by a simpler, better device. Or maybe something wearable?
Warehouses may become more specialized. This might potentially break inventory tracking process to smaller, more precise steps.
Any changes can take place. That’s exactly what’s so great about Ecommerce.
If you need further professional advice on how to take your warehouse systems to the next level, we’re happy to help. Contact us today!