using-data-and-analytics-to-gain-advanced-insight-on-warehouse-management

Let’s get straight to the point here… in order to deepen your company’s supply chain strength, you have to go beyond the well-known basics of warehouse management. Advanced warehouse management starts with gaining an understanding of which areas of your company stand to benefit from evolving your back-of-house processes.

According to Forbes, there are 3 main reasons that people invest in omnichannel initiatives, which includes warehouse management. The first is to boost sales, the second is to boost market share and the third is to improve customer loyalty. Yet in order for these goals to be accomplished, you must invest in a tech solution for your warehouse management needs.

While it is true that a comprehensive tech solution will have the capability to compile data including inventory levels, customer and supplier orders, shipments and deliveries, financial data, CRM analytics and more… the next step towards achieving supply chain maturity is knowing how to implement that data in order to improve purchasing decisions and increase accuracy throughout all of your warehouse locations.

Let’s discuss how you can use data from your back-of-house operations to make more informed financial decisions, reduce processing costs and virtually eliminate shipping errors – all helping to increase your retail business success.

Incrementally Invest in Real-Time Insights

Don’t make the mistake of over-investing in a data-based decision or initiative before you have had enough time to monitor your company’s performance and the variables that impact it over time.

Solution providers such as Brightpearl enable you to see real-time data updates pertaining to your warehouse management operations - meaning that you can easily access information on which areas of your inventory are performing well, as well as which categories are simply taking up valuable warehouse space.

Still, proceed with caution… the easy availability of warehouse data can compel even the most seasoned retailer or wholesaler to make split-second decisions regarding major purchases.

It takes time to gain the advanced insights necessary to make a major decision regarding your business. Factors such as weather, holidays, sales and actions your competition is taking can cause significant fluctuations in sales numbers, as well as in which categories of inventory turnover the most quickly.

Instead of making important decisions for your business based on short-term data, give your inventory management software enough time to cross-analyze all of the data that is relevant to the performance of different categories of inventory within your business to gain an accurate overview of your business’s performance.

Agile Implementation Minimizes Loss

It is essential for your retail or wholesale operation to quickly respond to new technological advancements in order to maintain a competitive warehouse management operation. We are living in an age of unsurpassed technological growth and the bar for what represents an aggressive warehouse management solution continues to be raised depending on what new technology most recently hit the market.

Supply Chain Insights suggests that you use a “test and learn” strategy to determine which technologies work best for your company through “small, agile sprints.” It is essential to work with your solution provider to see which technological advancements can offer your company the most ROI.

As a result, maintaining an open line of communication with your solution provider, as well as choosing a provider with quick response times and a willingness to grow with your business can help your business quickly respond to tech trends and determine which of them will work for your company.

Using the “test and learn” strategy also means carefully analyzing analytics from the small sections of your business where you test out new technologies. You need access to this data in order to determine whether a specific solution or invention is right for your business, so it is crucial that your inventory management solution is equipped to report performance data back to you in real-time, so that you can pull the plug if the technology in question is not performing as expected.

Final Thoughts

Attaining supply chain maturity doesn’t end once you have implemented a comprehensive warehouse management solution. Knowing how to use the data and analytics compiled from the technology is key to get the maximum benefit from your warehouse management solution. By taking the actions above, you can be well on your way towards evolving your supply chain operations, as well as enabling your company to stay on the cusp of new advancements in retail technology.

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About the Author

Nicole Leinbach Reyhle is the Founder and Publisher of Retail Minded, a publication committed to supporting independent retailers through news, education and support, as well as the Co-Founder of the Independent Retailer Conference. Recognized for her expertise in independent retail, Reyhle has published thousands of articles about small business and is the Author of the book “Retail 101: The Guide to Managing and Marketing Your Retail Business” from McGraw-Hill. Additionally, Reyhle has contributed to Forbes, Fiverr, IBM and more, and has been the Spokesperson for Small Business Saturday from American Express since 2014. Learn more about Retail Minded at www.retailminded.com, at @RetailMinded on Twitter or at Facebook.com/RetailMinded.