It is almost impossible to be in the eCommerce fulfillment industry and not be swamped by the thoughts and worries regarding your inventory management needs. As your business grows, you might want to partner up with a third party logistics (3PL) fulfillment center for organizing your merchandise inventory and physical inventory. Relying on traditional inventory management methods and working solo can make efficient and well-informed inventory-related decision making seem almost impossible. That is why collaborating with 3PL logistics and switching to digital inventory can ensure easy order fulfillment for you and allow you to focus your resources on expanding your business.
What is Digital Inventory?
Having the ability in terms of necessary technology and inventory tracking systems, for monitoring your inventory in real-time, is known as digital inventory. It involves tracking inventory, collecting information, and updating records in real-time for increased visibility, maximizing dock-to-stock efficiency and enhanced order fulfillment.
By making use of a digital warehouse for 3PL logistics, business can keep tabs on the locations of items as well as their sales performance. By making use of digital inventory systems, businesses can also make informed decisions regarding the choice of splitting inventory across 3PL fulfillment centers, future procurement of inventory items, and choosing the best location for eCommerce fulfillment warehouse.
Digital Inventory vs. Traditional Inventory
The traditional approach of inventory management requires making manual updates on paper or spreadsheets whenever a change in inventory occurred due to the packing and shipping and/or stocking of item(s). It is a time-consuming approach that can prove to be a hurdle in the growth of modern eCommerce warehousing and shipping operations. The traditional approach is also prone to human error and hence diminishes the statistics for successful order fulfillment. Meanwhile, a digital warehouse significantly reduces the chances of human error and lets your business be on the top of eCommerce warehousing and distribution at all times.
Will Opting for Digital Inventory Enhance Accuracy of Order Fulfillment?
Essentially, it should as it offers real-time inventory updates. If you outsource your eCommerce warehousing and shipping to a third-party logistics company, your digital inventory system will be linked with the 3PL’s inventory management system being used at their eCommerce fulfillment warehouse. This should provide you enhanced visibility of your inventory, facilitate better demand forecasting, ensure supply chain optimization and accuracy of order fulfillment.
Best Practices for Digitizing Inventory
Digital transformation is a proven method of efficient inventory organization for your eCommerce business. Below are some of the best practices for digitizing your inventory and benefiting from an optimized supply chain.
Implementation of Digital Inventory Management System
Start off by choosing and implementing an inventory management system that caters to your eCommerce fulfillment warehouse needs. This is where a third-party logistics company like ShipBots can facilitate your inventory management process by providing tailored technology comprising of built-in digital inventory systems. With a functionally fabulous digital inventory system in place, you can efficiently prepare your eCommerce store to cope with big shopping events too.
Installation of Warehouse Management System (WMS)
Install a WMS and connect it with your digital inventory management system for improved warehouse productivity and enhanced visibility of operations. With the right supply chain warehouse location and a warehouse management system in place, you will be headed in the right direction for effective inventory management and improved workflow.
Selection of Inventory Management Automation Apps
You can automate several processes and maximize the dock-to-stock efficiency by choosing from a selection of inventory management and automation apps. These apps will notify you in case of important events such as when a certain item’s levels fall below a certain amount, and you need a reminder for reordering.
Collaboration with a Digital Inventory Partner
Making the right choice of a 3PL for ecommerce, that offers support in order fulfillment, warehousing and distribution, as well as digital inventory management will save you from the unnecessary hassle of multiple collaborations with different eCommerce solution vendors. ShipBots offers a wide array of end-to-end eCommerce solutions that can ensure consistent performance and transparency of operations.
Benefits of Digital Inventory Management
Digital inventory management has a fair share of benefits to offer eCommerce retailers, with the major ones discussed below.
Real-time Inventory Updates
The ability to keep a track in real-time on the levels of inventory, always, offers incredible ease for retailers. From preventing the occurrence of stockouts to checking on performance levels of various SKUs, digitizing inventory makes inventory management a breeze.
Lowered Inventory Carrying Costs
Digital inventory management systems enable efficient demand forecasting and allow you to procure just the right amount of inventory without overstocking and having to overspend on warehouse storage.
Automated Omnichannel Inventory Tracking
For businesses planning to sell across multiple platforms while offering consistent customer experience, omnichannel inventory tracking is essential. It enables a business to enhance its customer reach and be on the top of their game. With digital inventory systems, you can benefit from such automated omnichannel tracking of inventory across various eCommerce platforms by viewing a single, integrated dashboard.
Automated Restocking and Reduced Inventory Management Errors
Errors in inventory management can lead to dire consequences and retailers cannot afford to risk affecting customer satisfaction. Digital inventory systems significantly reduce errors and ensure fewer inventory data entry errors such as those caused by typing errors and miscounting.
How Can ShipBots Facilitate Switching to Digital Inventory?
Partnering up with ShipBots can ease the process of switching to digital inventory without costing you too much time and money. Not only that, but ShipBots is an expert in eCommerce fulfillment, so all your eCommerce inventory management, warehousing and distribution needs will be catered to. With ShipBots’ tech-enabled 3PL approach, you will get to experience fulfillment functionality of premium quality. A single, integrated dashboard will let you monitor and manage your inventory across multiple channels. To learn more about our order fulfillment services, you can contact our team of experts.