Peoplevox spoke today at ChannelAdvisor Catalyst and had the following tips for warehouse management. Some of the tips will only apply to Peoplevox clients, but others can be implemented in any ecommerce warehouse.
One of the main problems with warehousing is if you try to store products in the same location all the time. Sometimes you’ll have more stock than there’s space for, at other times you’ll have lower stock and wasted empty shelf space. PeopleVox allow stock to be placed anywhere in your warehouse in any location and the software remembers where the stock is. All the stock of a particular SKU doesn’t even need to be stored together but can be split to fill all available warehouse space.
Store dissimilar products together
Put dissimilar products together. For instance if you put small pink knickers on the same shelf as blue hats they’re easy for your warehouse pickers to differentiate between products. However if you put small, medium, large and extra large pink knickers all on the same shelf it slows your picking process down and mistakes happen.
Filter and prioritise your orders. There’s no point picking and posting all your 2nd class Royal Mail website orders first and not getting time to ship your Amazon next day shipments. Filter and ship the most important orders first.
Peoplevox enable your pickers to systematically collect items and then at the packing bench any item can be picked up, scanned and packed and the system will automatically print the corresponding invoice and shipping labels. As all single item orders can be picked and packed in this method it’s much faster as neither the picker not the packer needs to know which item is associated with which order. It’s at the moment an item is due to be packed that the software recalls the order details – importantly items can be packed in any order.
100% Inventory accuracy
It sounds obvious, but make sure that your website inventory is 100% accurate. If your warehouse isn’t 100% accurate set thresholds where if your multi-channel inventory falls to a certain amount you do a stock check to ensure you don’t oversell.
Many warehouses are simply racked out, on the racks boxes or dividers may be used, but in general racking is never the correct size for the products. Often free standing stackable boxes of multiple sizes is more flexible and enables more product to be stored in a small space. Space costs money, but it’s not just financial savings that are important – it’s the flexibility of being able to reconfigure your warehouse as new stocks come in and seasons change.
Where’s my order?
Customer service can be cut down by having accurate knowledge of where an order is, when (if) it was picked, who picked it and when it was shipped by which carrier. PeopleVox can capture as many events as you like so that customer service employees can easily update customers.
Create personalised invoices
If you’re selling to German customers it makes sense to have exchange and return details printed in German. It makes sense that where you can you personalise and ideally have your software dynamically print the correct information. As well as language you may wish to have different returns information – for instance DVDs, CDs and software may need information regarding broken seals which wouldn’t be relevant to sales of clothing.