Once your eCommerce platform is up and running, you should be able to celebrate all of the hard work and decisions you made to get there, right? Well, it is true that an online eCommerce business can take a while to get off the ground, but once it’s up you must grow it and optimise it. Just because it’s running doesn’t mean you have worked out all of the kinks in the overall integration.
The user interface may look inviting and you might have quality photos and descriptions up online but you cannot stop there. You need to make sure you have proper measures in place to manage your inventory stock. It is one thing to look good on the front end for your customers, but it’s another thing to have the behind the scenes logistics working seamlessly too.
That’s why it’s important to step back and look at how you are managing your inventory stock. With your eCommerce site primed for new customers, is your warehouse set up to cope with new demand and future growth?
Use an online inventory management system
If the front end of your business has moved online, so should your back end. The warehouse and inventory stock needs to be handled with an online inventory management system. These online systems allow for real-time tracking and updates in your warehouse. It can communicate with multiple parts of the business so everyone can be on the same page. Even better, it can be accessed from anywhere with an internet connection. This means that managers can make decisions offsite, which increases efficiency.
The real-time monitoring will be imperative as your business grows. You can use data from this monitoring to help you forecast and place orders that will meet demand. It can clearly highlight which inventory is turning over fast and which stock has been stagnant on the shelves.
Moreover, this system can be synced with your eCommerce platform. This can help with order fulfilment and automate tasks such as printing customised pick slips. If you choose to sell your product with other online retailers as well, the online inventory management system will keep track of sales and stock from multiple channels.
Build supplier relationships
Supplier relationships are imperative to a smooth running eCommerce business. In the eCommerce market, large orders can be placed quickly and you need to be prepared to handle them. In order to maintain efficiency, you might need to have multiple suppliers to fulfil big orders. It is ok to have your preferred or primary suppliers, but back-up suppliers are good to know. Work on building supplier relationships so when you’re in need of a hand to manage a large eCommerce order, you have a strong network to support you.
Hire the right staff
It’s also important to have the right team to manage your eCommerce platform and warehouse inventory. If the two teams do not work symbiotically, then it will be difficult to optimise eCommerce inventory processes. Moreover, look to have a dedicated team member who focuses strictly on supply and demand forecasting to optimise inventory stock levels.