Wholesale and Distribution
Meeting the challenge of creating and sustaining that smooth flow from order to fulfilment while managing growth is essential.
LEAD TO ORDER TO FULFILLMENT TO CASH (AND EVERYTHING IN BETWEEN)
We’ve worked in 500,000 sq foot facilities with 30 loading doors and state-of-the art conveyer and scan systems that can processes thousands of orders a day. And we’ve worked in 4,000 sq foot warehouses for fast growing businesses who are finding that a paper-based process for picking 20 orders a day just doesn’t scale to 1000 orders a day. (At least, not without hiring a dozen more staff). And don’t even get us started on taking orders when you don’t have inventory to fill those orders.
After all, what’s there to go wrong in “customer places order (for inventory that you actually HAVE); order is sent down to the warehouse; warehouse waves the order and pick-pack-ships it; customer is charged for the shipped items. Website updates, showing customer’s order status”?
Simple, right? But then there’s the problem of maintaining accurate inventory levels in the warehouse. And getting that inventory back to the website (so you don’t accept orders you can’t fill).. And making sure items exist in the warehouse AND the website. And the 3PL will only accept orders in a certain format and their inventory reports are sometimes inaccurate. And what about cancellations on the website. Oh, and cancellations in the warehouse too (back to those inaccurate inventory reports . . .). And some customers have multiple profiles too.
And then there’s returns. Everyone hates returns. Everyone. Even people doing the returns hate them. People hate them so much they call them a different name (reverse logistics). You wouldn’t give your worst enemy the job of managing returns. But returns are a fact of life, up there with death and taxes.
Bottom line – we know that if you don’t get the flow from order to fulfillment working smoothly, growth is going to be challenging. Heck, just doing business TOMORROW is going to be challenging.
At a certain point, Excel and Quickbooks just can’t cut it any more. The old adage that “you can do anything in Excel (if you have enough time)” is only true until you need more than 24 hours in a day.