When it comes to peak season there’s no such thing as a silent night – or day – especially for your IT professionals. Because if any part of your web site isn’t working, it can easily turn a customer’s festive shopping experience into the Nightmare Before Christmas.
It’s no different for the IT professionals who handle the fulfillment side of your business, or at least it shouldn’t be.
The Role of Information Technology in Inventory Management
After all, there are numerous ways that state-of-the-art technologies and automation can make a huge and positive impact on everything from your facility throughput to your order accuracy, all of which are mission critical when the holiday season rolls around.
That’s why we’re such big believers in making the right kinds of technology investments at Verst – and why we place so emphasis in making sure our fulfillment systems check all the blocks in terms of playing well with yours.
So which technologies are our perennial favorites? And which are the equivalent of those shiny but largely useless stocking stuffers your parent still insist on giving you?
Four Inventory Management Technology Tips
Well, we loathe to name names, because we’re trying to keep this advice as objective and vendor-neutral as possible. However we will tell you that we’re huge fans of a four-step, systems-enabled process that includes:
- Data analysis that looks closely at everything from your inventory number and budgets to your market needs. This enables us to craft a detailed peak season proposal that actually works for your company rather than just some generic idea of what your company needs .
- Order management systems that are compatible with Shopify, Magneto or any other order management systems you might use. That way every critical link in your peak season supply chain (including your shopping cart that tells customers whether items are actualy in stock) can have the latest information on inventory supply levels at every location – and can access it within seconds.
- Tracking technology that follows your inventory as it makes its way to fulfillment centers, as well as barcode scanning that verifies all of your items have made it there, along with warehouse management software that chooses the right location for each of your SKUS. This powerful combination allows us to achieve a dock-to-stock time of about four hours, so inventory can be ready to ship sooner rather than later.
- Software that requisitions orders and that triggers the workflow needed to get orders seamlessly picked, packed and shipped out the door – including order "capturing" that is almost instantaneous, so that the appropriate change to your inventory registers right away.
Final Thoughts on Technology for Inventory Management
Needless to say, these aren’t the only systems we use. For example, once a product is packaged and shipped via a designated carrier, advanced tracking can be a real holiday crowd-pleaser, because customers love being informed at every step of the way via email confirmation and/or mobile tracking. But that’s another topic for another day, so come back soon to see what we have in store for the remaining stories in our Twelve Days Of Christmas series.
Until then, happy selling – and happy shopping.
Read other blog posts from this 12-part series entitled "The 12 Days of Peak Season":