For Big Box retailers and e-commerce businesses fulfilling orders quickly and cost effectively is a key differentiating factor that can capture new business and retain loyal customers. Delivering customer orders on-time and in good condition leaves customers with positive feelings, increasing the probability that they will shop with you again. Do not leave your customers with negative feelings or perceptions about your business.

A prime example of an omni-channel order fulfillment disaster is Best Buy. During the 2014 holiday season the electronics retail giant turned off many customers when short notice cancellations were received. Although top company executives attempted to remedy the situation, the damage had been done. Grievances were aired for all to see on the World Wide Web. Utilizing the proper inventory management technology could have provided Best Buy distribution centers with improved visibility, preventing the issue before it began.

The most common omni-channel order fulfillment areas needing improvement include:

1. Developed and tested sales channels. Do not make your customers suffer through your retail channel growing pains. Before releasing new sales channels put them through a vigorous testing program to ensure their effectiveness of that channel, the supporting automated data collection network and supply chain management software. Fix and bugs or deficiencies before making it available to customers.

2. Supply chain visibility. Many homegrown, legacy or paper-based inventory management solutions do not offer your business an accurate insight into how your business operates, what inventory is on-hand, in transit or being returned. When multiple interactive sales channels are being used having an accurate inventory count is imperative. Implementing a functionally robust WMS can help to increase visibility into more accurate and usable datat.

3. Sales Pattern Utilization. With improved visibility will come better insight into sales patterns and inventory flow through rates. Use these sales patterns to implement a JIT inventory replenishment model. This can help to reduce inventory holding costs for your business while reducing out of stock scenarios.

4. Transportation Vendor Capabilities. Evaluate your transportation vendors regularly to ensure you are receiving the best rates and service. Damaged, late or expensive deliveries will reflect poorly on your operation as well as the transportation vendor. Monitor complaints and other transportation analytics to weed out vendors negatively impacting your business.

5. Reverse Logistics. Ease of use when returning items ordered through sales channels is just as critical as the original fulfillment. Simplifying this process for customers will help to reduce hassle, improving the customer service experience.

To learn more about how to avoid order fulfillment disasters contact Datex logistics experts today at www.datexcorp.com or marketing@datexcorp.com.

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