Since the rise of e-commerce and more people living their connected lives on multiple channels, the buyer journey has shifted. Your customers will no longer adjust to your business model. They want their interactions with you to be seamless and simplified by dynamic processes.  

 This blog post discusses five reasons why you need to optimize your warehouse operations to make the fulfillment experience a positive part of the customer journey and how a best-of-breed warehouse management system (WMS) can support your efforts. 

#1 Gain a competitive advantage 

 Slow and unreliable processes in the warehouse can keep your customers from buying your products. In a recent study by Zebra Technologies1, 36% of decision-makers said that packing, staging and loading are one of their weakest operational areas, along with order fulfillment time (35%) and picking accuracy (35%). So, optimizing your workflow is the first step to gaining a competitive advantage when it comes to how you actually pick, pack, and ship orders. Consolidating your order picking will allow you to pick multiple orders simultaneously, saving you time and money. 

 With a non-reserving warehouse management system that operates in real-time and combines all possible assignments in the entire warehouse at the same time, you can increase the quality of your operations by approximately 10 – 30 %. 

 

#2 Bridge the gap between departments 

A good supply chain organization is an integrated one. As prioritizing the customer experience is not simply a marketing and sales responsibility anymore, you can realize competitive advantages for your business by bridging the gap between the different departments. Internal collaboration and sharing of customer data will generate new revenue.  

The WMS provides a full-scale overview of your entire warehouse operations. You can easily share the data collected across functions within your organization. With the software integrated with your enterprise resource planning (ERP) and other fulfillment services, you will have total control and be able to optimize and improve. 

 

#3 Communicate with your customers 

Regarding tracking and delivery, customers want to feel in control, so the more information you provide them, the happier they will be. Communication throughout the fulfillment process builds trust, minimizes order cancellations, and improves the customer experience. It’s a simple way to create long-term satisfaction and stand out from competitors.  

The optimal WMS software is a source of real-time information about your warehouse operations, allowing you to share inventory, location, status, and packaging information with your ERP and transport management system (TMS) and give you the whole picture so you can keep your customers informed. In addition, it can help with your marketing efforts, e.g., customizing delivery notes to represent your business positively. 

 

#4 Turn returns into business 

 Like it or not, returns have become the norm. According to a 2019 USP survey, about 36% of online shoppers globally returned an item within three months2. So, you must set up your warehouse operations process, assuming the product will be returned every time. From there, you can optimize the workflow for what happens when an order is returned. 

 A smart warehouse management system keeps continuous inventory of your handling of goods. The return process is standardized and structured so that quality check can be carried out and undamaged goods can be returned to normal stock for sale. 

 

#5 Keep up with the future 

 Automation has been used in warehouses for a while, and the trend is clear – according to Gartner, 75% of large enterprises will have adopted some form of intralogistics smart robots in their warehouse operations by 2026. While investing in intelligent machinery can improve the delivery experience, it cannot simply be added to any warehouse operation. You must know your challenges before you choose your tool, so work with a logistics expert who can analyze your business model and see where you can make the most out of your automation. 

By letting a cutting-edge WMS system control your warehouse automation, you can benefit from flexible and intuitive software that can adjust to your changing needs and facilitate your automation

Summary 

When customers buy a product or service, they also buy an experience. The supply chain is a central part of this experience. Your business must adapt to future trends and technologies to keep up with the changing demands. You can meet customer expectations and make your business more profitable by improving warehouse operations.