5 Ways to Improve E-commerce Order Fulfilment with Inventory Management
The basic assumption in e-commerce is that customers will browse through your product catalogue and place orders through your online store, whether it is a website or a mobile app, or both. Yet, ironically, this is the most complicated part of any e-commerce business. The importance of inventory management is paramount to successful e-commerce order fulfilment.
Keep reading to find out.
What is the importance of inventory management to improve your order fulfilment?
The potential of an inventory management system in improving your order fulfilment system is undeniable. A centralised system allows you to keep track of your inventory levels in real-time, across multiple locations.
This means you can quickly identify the products that are in stock, the ones running low, and those which need to be reordered. You can avoid overstocking or understocking, which are scenarios that can lead to loss of sales or rising costs of carrying inventory.
For example, if your business has multiple warehouses, a centralised inventory management system can help in identifying which warehouse has a particular product in stock. This can help in reducing lead times, as products can be shipped from the warehouse that is closest to the customer. No more delays in data retrieval, no more lag in restocking your products. Your processes will be efficient and without hindrances.
Some advantages of using an order fulfilment system are:
- Streamlining processes and reducing waste
A streamlined supply chain is crucial for an effective order fulfilment process. From working closely with suppliers to ensure that they have the inventory to fulfil orders to using just-in-time inventory management to reduce excess inventory, it all adds up. The importance of an inventory management system in reducing lead times and improving the overall efficiency of the order fulfilment process is immense.
- Enhancing accuracy and efficiency
Accuracy in forecasting is crucial for inventory management. You need to know how much inventory you will need to fulfil orders in the near future. This requires accurate forecasting of sales volumes, seasonality, and trends. How else can you possibly plan?
The importance of inventory management comes through here—using a full-service platform ensures you get automatic updates and smart suggestions. This means you are notified when the stock is running low, and you can reorder immediately.
- Increasing visibility and control
Using an automated system for the entire order fulfilment process flow can help increase visibility over your e-commerce operations. It can give you more control and allow you to optimize different processes or nodes based on the current need.
Automation can help your e-commerce business to reduce the time and resources required to process orders. For example, if orders are automatically processed, you can save the time required to enter data manually. As added benefits, errors decrease, and the accuracy of order processing improves.
What are the best practices for inventory management in e-commerce?
When choosing an inventory management platform for your e-commerce business, there are multiple options available. What factors should you optimise?
To help you, we’ve compiled a list of the best practices for inventory management in e-commerce.
- Tracking and processing raw data in real-time
- Automating the order fulfilment process to reduce manual errors
- Analysing the data to make informed decisions about which products to push and which ones to pull
- Managing relationships with suppliers and vendors smoothly
5 ways to improve order fulfilment with inventory management
- Implementing real-time inventory tracking
When tracking inventory levels in real-time, inventory management is crucial. A good inventory management platform like Ordazzle can help you automate the entire process.
This will help you ensure that you always have the right amount of stock to fulfil orders and avoid overselling. With the help of an inventory management platform, you can set up automatic reorder points for products, so you never run out of stock.
- Optimising order fulfilment processes
You can use the central dashboard of the system to view all your orders in one place and track them from start to finish. This ensures that you can quickly and efficiently fulfil orders, even during peak times.
- Improving supplier and vendor management
The ease with which a platform can manage suppliers and vendors increases the importance of inventory management in e-commerce. Manually, you’d have to juggle between calls and notifications, not to mention the timely processing of invoices!
This can be a hindrance in your order fulfilment process. For instance, imagine you’ve run out of stock of a product variant, but past invoices that haven’t been cleared which your team doesn’t know about can delay stock replenishments.
Using a good inventory management platform can help you avoid such catch-22 situations. Not only does it help you handle the entire process of vendor and supplier management, but it also sends out automatic notifications anytime the stock is running low.
- Utilising forecasting and demand planning
This is an example of a task that can take a lot of time when you do it manually, and is never completely accurate. But when a machine does it, it takes only takes seconds with much more accuracy based on its ability to interpret vast amounts of data and make predictions based on it.
Allow your inventory management system to do what it does best and forecast your demand data. You can then use this data to optimise your inventory levels, avoid stock-outs, and reduce the risk of overstocking.
- Integrating with other business systems
An inventory management system can integrate with other systems, such as your e-commerce platform and shipping carrier. This ensures seamless workflows which allow your teams to quickly and efficiently fulfil each order.
The importance of inventory management in your e-commerce business is not to be understated. Optimising it manually is out of the question—you need to leverage technology tools to the greatest extent. Using an integrated, end-to-end inventory management platform like Ordazzle will help you bring structure and efficiency to your order fulfilment process.
Find out how Ordazzle’s Inventory Management System can improve overall efficiencies in order fulfilment, lower operating costs, and give better control to your teams over inventory data and customer experiences. Speak to our experts today.