What is a Warehouse Management System?
A Warehouse Management System (WMS) is software used by manufacturing and retail industries that offer visibility into a business’s entire inventory, improving the management of supply chain procedures from when goods and materials enter a warehouse until they move out to fulfill orders.
Every online business has different types of goals associated with them. To get the most qualified answer to the principal needs of every online business, Shipedge presents seven important warehouse software management features that will help you improve your business’s brand and efficiency.
Seven Vital Features Every E-Commerce Warehouse Software Should Have
In the following sections, we will present features that all WMSs should have to improve e-commerce business from brands.
1 – Omnichannel Order Management System
An Omnichannel Order Management System (OMS) is one of the main important features of e-commerce fulfillment. This tool allows for connectivity across all inventory to different channels like marketplaces, shopping carts, and selling tools. It also connects inventory locations such as FBA and physical stores and links to different suppliers.
With an OMS, you will get a centralized place to manage your orders across platforms, channels, and throughout the logistics lifecycle. Shipedge’s OMS allows you to:
- Manage fulfillment: Route your orders to the optimal place to fulfill them using proximity, inventory availability, and more. Then, get updates and control the process remotely.
- Prevent poor customer experience: Ensure accurate inventory across all your digital sales channels to avoid order backlogs
- Get reports and analytics: Centralizing all your order management will allow you to get better data across systems and gain valuable insights
- Improve inventory forecasting: Keep your organization a step ahead of the curve by utilizing intuitive inventory forecasting with automatic Purchase Order (PO) generation
- Returns and replacements: Push timelines and responsiveness to turn potential negative customer interactions into positive ones
By using the order management software in conjunction with a warehouse management system, you will be able to reduce repetitive work that could be automated through software. That will reduce overheating, focus on growing revenue, and win consumers’ trust.
2 – Security Features
Every day, one of the biggest challenges brands with an online presence face is dealing with the dangers of hackers and scammers who constantly look for new ways to take advantage of the lackluster security system and other vulnerabilities. Independently of your e-commerce business goals and the size of your business, one concept that should always be present is maintaining the data security of everyone who trusts your service.
With a cloud-based WMS, you are providing a second layer of security for consumers. Most cloud-based warehouse software systems are hosted on encrypted servers, making it much more difficult for hackers to obtain any information from your company. Additionally, with cloud-based software, servers are automatically updated to ensure that the latest security measures are in place. Using outdated software that you have to manually update increases the risk of security breaches- hackers will attempt to take advantage of systems running on an old version.
In addition to encrypted servers and automatic updates to protect you from online strangers and criminals, using cloud-based software allows for data to become more secure as only authorized employees have access to the WMS. Hosting your software on one computer that anybody could walk up to and look at poses a threat to your business.
When searching for new software for your warehouse, ensure your technology partner has an ISO certification. ISO certifications help ensure that the company you are working with practices safe and ethical procedures. Shipedge, for example, has an ISO 27001:2013 certification, which focuses on preventing security incidents and assuring customers that your company is serious and committed to the quality and protection of services. With the implementation of an ISO certified Warehouse Management Software, you are ensuring:
- High-quality protection: Customer and client data is secure
- Diminution and eliminations: of vulnerability and risks
- Peace of mind: We are compliant with the highest information security standard
- Confidentiality: of every customer’s or client’s data
3 – e-commerce Demand Planning
Peak seasons, like Black Friday, Cyber Monday, the weeks leading up to Christmas, or specific seasonal events mean periods of high demand for most parts of your business.
With the use of appropriate technology for your business, you can forecast the amount of inventory needed to satisfy orders during the influx in orders placed. This is called inventory forecasting. By using inventory forecasting, advanced technology can also create automatic Purchase Orders (POs) for you. Meaning, your WMS will predict the amount of inventory you need and create a purchase order based on the demand it has planned for. With e-Commerce Demand Planning, you gain a better understanding of the amount of stock needed for your peak season, enabling you to sell all the inventory in your supply chain without missing opportunities to sell because you are out of stock.
Using a Warehouse Management System will simplify this process, making difficult tasks a breeze. Demand planning enables you to use data from cross-functional areas of your business, such as marketing, sales, and purchasing, to make effective decisions regarding inventory.
With Shipedge’s WMS you will be able to:
- Reduce Missed Opportunities: Avoid backorders and ensure you have enough stock to keep order volume steady
- Free up Capital: Two major customer experience issues face many companies with poor demand planning. The first is supply shortages or backorders, where you have to tell your customer what they ordered is no longer available. The second is when a customer is ready to buy but your product is out of stock on your site.
- Eliminate Overstocking: Keeping too much inventory or products that don’t sell ties up your capital and can destroy your business financially.
- Improve e-Commerce Business and Subscription Services: Maintain all the information needed to deliver better customer experiences.
Using an e-Commerce Demand Planning tool with your WMS can be crucial for a successful peak season. Plan your busy periods appropriately, have answers to all the questions your employees and customers will ask, get better performance visibility and dominate sales in your market.
Discover how our WMS can improve your business
4 – Returns and Replacements
Reverse logistics includes communicating with customers through portals or self-service platforms to manage:
- Shipping options
- Tracking and inventory
- Refunds or credit
- Replacement shipments
- Printing prepaid shipping labels
Some returns management solutions also allow companies to personalize returns portals with custom branding or integrate them directly into a retailer’s website.
Shipedge’s robust return management toolset will help you eliminate negative customer experiences, and turn them into positive ones. By using returns software, you will also be able to protect all your investments at a higher level by preventing return fraud.
5 – Cartonization
Cartonization is an automated Warehouse Management Software (WMS) process that determines the most appropriate packaging for an item or group of items destined for shipment. This WMS function is responsible for increasing order fulfillment efficiency and reducing the overall cost of packaging and shipping. If you decide to implement cartonization in your business, you will receive an automated analysis of the best pick for each carton. This is determined using the product’s size, weight, height, length, and width. This process will help increase order fulfillment efficiency and reduce associated costs.
By using the cartonization feature that Shipedge offers you may:
- Increase warehouse productivity and efficiency: WMS software helps removes the guesswork as to what products go in what packaging. When packers know exactly how to package items, products are shipped out of the warehouse in less time.
- Maximize your warehouse profits: by reducing shipping, handling, and packaging costs.
- Reduce labor costs: With Shipedge’s advanced technology, you can control most warehouse processes and see whether certain pickers/packers are performing up to your standards.
6 – Accurate Inventory Availability
Inventory accuracy measures the difference between your stock records and physical inventory.
With Shipedge’s WMS accurate inventory availability metric, you will be able to:
- Update stock: With accurate inventory availability, you will get better insight into your stock levels. This will help you make smarter purchasing decisions to ensure surplus stock is not sitting in the warehouse for too long or to restock a diminishing supply. Inventory accuracy reduces both overstock and stockout events.
- Get better reports: Inventory accuracy shows which products sell well, and which don’t. 3PLs will be able to report to their clients what is selling best and worse, and eCommerce brands can adjust marketing plans accordingly.
- Identify inventory errors: By prioritizing inventory accuracy, you can catch errors in your inventory counts. For example, by comparing your inventory records to your physical inventory, you can determine if you have inventory shrinkage.
7 – Order Updates
Finally, another essential feature is that a warehouse software system should have automation that sends updates to customers as their order goes through the order lifecycle.
With Shipedge’s WMS, you will gain access to the “wall.” This system will allow you to communicate with your customers when the order is delivered, helping you improve your relationships while experiencing better performance when choosing your brand.
During this article, we presented some vital features that all WMS software should offer to e-commerce-focused warehouses to improve your fulfillment processes. Shipedge offers all of these features and more to make automation and order fulfillment a breeze.
Discover how our WMS can improve your business