Automated Order Allocation: How Real-time Inventory Data and Smart Order Routing Ensure Faster Delivery
Receiving orders online and dispatching them accurately in minimal time together make up the core of e-commerce. Yet, this is the most complicated part of the process with several moving parts. Given the involvement of multiple different parties who operate separately, managing the e-commerce inventory management process as a whole and ensuring uninterrupted order fulfilment is a huge challenge.
Using an e-commerce inventory management system can help you optimise your internal workflows. It can take the stress out of overseeing each individual element and ensure your deliveries are completed on time.
Let’s look at the advantages of an automated inventory system.
Why you need an automated inventory management system
The foundation of any successful e-commerce business is centred on efficient order management and fulfilment. An effective system for ensuring that your inventory status is updated correctly in real time and your orders are processed smoothly is essential for an online business of any size, but more so for large, big-ticket sellers.
Large e-commerce businesses typically have a massive inventory of products that they need to keep track of, which can be a daunting task without the help of an automated inventory management system. An inventory management system is a software solution that allows businesses to track their inventory levels, sales, and customer demand in real-time. By automating the e-commerce inventory management process, businesses can avoid the risk of overstocking or understocking products, which can lead to loss of revenue and customer dissatisfaction. With an automated inventory management system, businesses can also improve their supply chain management by optimizing their inventory levels and reducing the cost of holding excess inventory.
When it comes to updating your inventory status after every sale and making sure that the correct stock availability is reflected on your e-commerce website and warehouses, manual updates are time-consuming and highly prone to errors. Individual personnel are likely to forget minor tasks, and this can have a huge impact on the customer experience. The solution is to automate the e-commerce inventory management process with an integrated solution that has smart order routing capabilities. Hence, another reason why large e-commerce businesses need an automated inventory management system is to reduce the risk of errors and inconsistencies in their inventory records.
Manually tracking inventory can be a time-consuming and error-prone process, leading to inaccurate records and ultimately, loss of revenue. An automated inventory management system ensures that inventory records are up-to-date and accurate, reducing the risk of stockouts, overstocking, and misplaced inventory. By reducing the risk of errors and inconsistencies in inventory records, businesses can improve their operational efficiency, reduce costs, and provide better customer service. Overall, an automated inventory management system is essential for large e-commerce businesses to optimize their inventory management and streamline their operations.
How does an automated e-commerce inventory management system work?
The efficient functioning of e-commerce inventory management processes depends on the type of platform you choose. For large e-commerce brands and resellers running multi-brand marketplaces, a full-service e-commerce management platform that can handle the entirety of the key processes, including orders, inventory, logistics, and the multiple channels where they sell will deliver better ROI (return on investment) and scalability options than one with just basic features.
To this end, you should choose a platform that aligns with your business processes and requirements. Some features of such an effective inventory management system are:
- Real-time inventory data to prioritise orders
This feature ensures that there is no delay between accepting an order and updating your inventory. Minimal lag means faster order fulfilment.
- Smart routing algorithms to optimise delivery routes
When you’re working with multiple suppliers and multiple warehouses, smart routing algorithms can help cut down on delivery times by optimising the route.
- Automate order allocation to reduce manual errors
The moment you rely on manual updates, you open yourself up to the possibility of errors. Automating the order fulfilment process works better when there is a smart order routing system built into your e-commerce management platform that transfers orders to the right fulfilment node or warehouse based on parameters such as order location, currency, etc.
What are the advantages of an automated inventory system?
The high competition in the e-commerce industry does not allow brands to be complacent. Since there are no barriers to entry, new brands come up every single day that can fill in gaps in the market by providing customers what other sellers can’t.
In such a competitive landscape, it is very important that every process of the e-commerce operation functions optimally. This will give you an edge over other competitors. But don’t worry—you don’t have to do it all yourself. An automated e-commerce inventory management system can help you achieve and maintain these high standards.
Lower the average delivery time for orders.
Using an e-commerce inventory management system, you can speed up the order fulfilment process and make it efficient.
Essentially, once orders are placed, the inventory gets updated automatically to reflect on your website or app. You get customised reminders when your stock is running low and get real-time information on which products are moving faster.
This ensures that you always have enough stock to service your orders and don’t have to rush at the last minute. It also allows you to pre-plan your inventory to take advantage of high-demand periods.
Reduce the average order fulfilment cost.
Knowing how much of each product you have at all times ensures you don’t have to scramble at the last minute to fulfil your orders. No more last-minute panic calls to your supplier, no more extra delivery charges, and no more stress about order delivery.
The main advantage of an automated inventory system is that it cuts out all inefficiencies from your order fulfilment process and removes any strain on your bottom line.
Reduce the time spent on customer service.
It is indeed ironic that the very thing you require in ensuring your e-commerce customers are satisfied is also the most difficult to attain.
Customers judge e-commerce brands based on two basic parameters: product quality and delivery experience. If you crack the code on both, you can ensure customer satisfaction. Using a customisable and scalable order management system will help you optimise both these parameters. You can track demand patterns and feedback to improve your product quality. Apart from that, you need a smart order routing system to automate the order fulfilment process through the right fulfilment hub.
Introducing strategic automation in your e-commerce operational framework will help scale up your business more seamlessly, establish more standardised processes, and fast-track sales growth. An end-to-end e-commerce inventory management system like Ordazzle can be the differentiator that ensures smooth customer experiences for customers and better visibility over processes for operations teams.