the-essentials-of-integrating-your-warehouse-management-system

In the past, branches of a business functioned almost completely independently of one another. Back-of-house processes such as warehouse and inventory management, shipping, and accounting took place separately from front-facing processes that included customer relationship management and point of sale. Keeping this in mind, however, when there is little to no communication between branches, companies risk losing vital consumer data and are unable to offer customers speed and accuracy that comes from a fully integrated warehouse management system.

On the bright side, though, if you are currently using multiple different solution providers for separate branches of your business, there is an opportunity to operate more efficiently and accurately by merging your front and back-of-house systems – ultimately resulting in increased profits and happier customers. Maybe this is why Deloitte forecasts that investing in “strategy and operational excellence” is key to retail success in 2018.

Below, discover more about integrating your warehouse management software to help optimize your retail business for the rest of the year ahead… and beyond. 

Merge Operational Processes

It is essential to unify the separate branches of your business to remain competitive in today’s fast-paced retail marketplace. When you integrate your warehouse management solution with your CRM system, your operational software has the capability to automatically update, register, and respond to customer data as it enters your system. Data that comes in through your front-facing POS system or back-office inventory management software automatically updates across channels; so accurate customer data, shipping information and updates on inventory levels can always be accessed when necessary. Instead of customer or operational data wasting away in siloes, it becomes accessible to the employees who need it at the right time – empowering your company to provide your customers with a more responsive omnichannel shopping experience. 

Reduce the Margin of Error

According to The Balance, administrative and paperwork errors comprise 16 percent of shrinkage in the retail business. Fusing the separate branches of your business into one unified platform, however, reduces the opportunity for machine or human error. This arms your employees with more accurate financial and customer data – positioning your company to respond quicker to warehouse management issues such as shipping mix-ups or out-of-stock inventory.

As a result of your employees wasting less time dealing with operational glitches, your company will be able to provide better customer service – as well as saving money on unnecessary hourly wages. Decreasing the rate of operational errors also translates into less customers lost due to internal mistakes – a valuable point to consider for any business. Other points you won’t want to overlook? Shipping anomalies happen less frequently, customer service issues are more immediately addressed and inventory updates happen more quickly and accurately. 

Deliver Products Faster

Customers expect retailers to provide them with quick and accurate shipping of their favorite products. In fact, a recent study by Internet Retailer, found that 50 percent of customers have abandoned an online shopping cart because they didn’t like the shipping options. In this same Internet Retailer study, 45 percent of customers reported that “fast shipping” to them means delivery within 2 to 4 days. While this can seem like a small window of time, integrating your warehouse management system functions can help your business cut shipping times to give your customers the quick product delivery that they’ve been conditioned by online retailers (such as Amazon) to expect.

Using a comprehensive solution for all of your back-of-house needs – including inventory management, warehouse and fulfillment, CRM, financial management, purchase order management, and more – conserves time that would otherwise be spent updating and exchanging information across company branches. By streamlining all of these systems onto one simple platform, your company can provide customers with a faster delivery process and get time back to focus on helping customers and growing your business.

Final Thoughts

There is no need for modern retailers to waste resources trying to juggle warehouse operations, shipping information and customer data across multiple platforms without a comprehensive software solution to streamline all of these complex processes. Instead of trying to manage it all yourself, partner with a provider with a proven track record of helping retail and wholesale businesses like yours cut costs and grow to scale. Brightpearl can help you to minimize operational errors and simplify your daily business processes while providing you with real-time sales insight across all of the channels and branches on which your business operates.

Finally, if you still aren’t convinced how a WMS can help your business, consider what Angie Sole of Herbert Sports says: “Brightpearl is the heart, arteries and veins that give our business its lifeblood. When the rapid growth of our business created a need for increased accuracy and productivity in our processes, Brightpearl’s Warehouse Management System, Warewolf came along and saved us £16,000 a year in warehouse operating costs and a further 12 hours each month in administration effort.”

Ready to scale your growth? Let Brightpearl help!

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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.