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Are you afraid of your data? How to get full visibility on your eCommerce fulfilment operations

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Halloween-man

It’s late. You’re feeling worse for wear after a long day at work, but you’re far from finished. There are still orders left to pack, and angry customers are more trouble than they’re worth. A feeling of dread rises in your chest.

You pick up the clipboard in front of you. Only 20 more to go. A light breeze rustles the paper and brings a chill to the air. With a shiver you zip up your jacket and open the warehouse door. The creaking hinges echo through the building. The place looks deserted - everyone else has left for the day. A dimmed light flickers above you.

You grab a trolley, head to the first location, reach down into the box and - great! Out of stock again. Why do bad things happen to good people? You sigh, wondering when the illusive item will appear once more, and move on to the next item on the list.

“Better luck this time?” you mutter under your breath as you peer into the racking. The box casts an eerie shadow on the wall behind. You reach in - only a few of this one left. A quick check of the packaging brings yet more horror. It’s out of date! You scramble to check the remaining ones in the box. All expired. Wonderful.

You imagine the abuse that will follow - the angry phone calls and disappointed tweets that will haunt you all week until a new batch arrives. It’s enough to put anyone on edge. And as if to rub it in, the next product along still lies in an unopened box, a thick layer of dust covering the label.

You awake with a jolt. The room is dark and your brow cold with sweat. Nightmares again. You heave yourself upright, still in a state of shock. The alarm clock reads 06:59. Time for work.

Arriving at the warehouse you grab your high vis jacket and reach for the clipboard, certain that this time it’s real. You browse the list of orders before you only to discover the same products on the list once more…

***

Have you ever felt in the dark about your fulfilment operations like our protagonist? As though you’re missing a vital piece of the puzzle that could be holding your online business back from success? Perhaps your inventory management is a horror story, never quite matching up to what you expect, or your most popular items are always out of stock, a ghost of their former selves. Maybe your perishable items are going out of date too often, or you’re finding batch control a nightmare to keep up with. The tale is a familiar one.

For many online retailers, ignorance is bliss, but not knowing why these things happen could be costing you money, and without the right help it could also take a lot of time and know-how to find out. It’s a familiar story, but a harrowing one. So how can you get a better insight into what’s actually going on in your warehouse?

Data can be scary, but not having it is even more terrifying! And the bigger your business, the more troubling a lack of full visibility becomes. Being able to identify both positive trends and possible problems using your fulfilment system is important - it could help you forecast sales, order in the correct stock and reduce wastage, returns and missing items. Your teams also need a detailed picture of where each order is in the fulfilment process in order to provide the kind of great fulfilment service and delivery experience your customer expects.

Cutting edge warehouse technology isn’t just for the big-hitters like Amazon. It can be used by online retailers of all sizes and sectors if they manage to find the right software. It’s incredibly difficult to create your own - that’s where we come to the rescue.

James and James’ cloud-based fulfilment technology is designed specifically for online and multichannel retailers - the system connects seamlessly to all of your online selling platforms and even your accounts packages. Your team can then access real time, in-depth data in easy to interpret formats anytime, from anywhere. From your buying team to your customer service executives, your business will have a comprehensive view of everything from inventory and outgoing order volumes to returns.

And our technology isn’t the only benefit. Outsourcing to James and James means that you can say goodbye to expensive warehouse leases and hello to our expertly designed facilities and specially trained pick and pack team. Using our system you’ll have an even more granular level of visibility as if you were standing in front of the products in your own warehouse. You’ll know exactly where a product has been, where it’s going, when it might go out of date, what batch it belongs to, and if you need to order any more. It also means no more nightmares for your customers - they’re always left smiling!

Fulfilment doesn’t have to be a horror story. Get in touch with our expert consultants today to start your journey to more visibility and better fulfilment.

October 28th, 2016 by Jonnie Davis

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Thinking about outsourcing your eCommerce fulfilment? Our expert team can help find a package that’s right for you.


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