Streamlining fulfillment in your business is important. When you can streamline your efforts, you can better funnel funding and spending.
If you are not streamlining fulfillment, you will find that you are throwing money at outdated and, most likely useless processes. When you shift your efforts onto streamlining, you can also focus on improving productivity, efficiency, and effectiveness too. When it comes to choosing the right software, there are many options to choose from. Selecting the right one will help fulfill orders with ease and speed.
Looking at the Business Needs
You know that you want to streamline fulfillment in your business, but what else do you need? Do you need to manage inventory better to ensure it is not sitting around waiting to move or sell? Do you need to streamline all areas of fulfillment, or are there certain elements and aspects that you are happy with?
When you are purchasing a new piece of software, you must look at what your business needs are, and you must establish how it fulfills your needs. If you do not focus on this, you will end up purchasing a piece of software that is perhaps not fit for purpose. Or one that may not get used as much as you want it to.
Consider More than Just the Price
All businesses will have a budget or price range that they want to work towards, and yours is no different. However, it is important that you look at more than just the cost or price of software. Look at the return you are getting and look at the convenience a piece of software is giving you.
Monthly costs, or annual costs for a piece of software, can easily be absorbed if you are gaining something such as increased productivity in return. Purchasing the cheapest package around is not important. However, it is important to break down what you are getting in return for a one-off (or monthly) payment.
Top Tip: Think about the customer’s needs. What does the end user want? Does the end-user or customer want their product delivered to them cheaper, or are they looking for quicker service? Some software packages can help you reduce the length of the supply chain, and this can mean your end user (or customer) gets their product sooner.
Selecting an Expert Provider
You do not want to just use any software or technology provider; you want to use the experts. When it comes to selecting an expert provider, you want to look at those that offer or deal with (third-party logistics).
A 3PL provider will have the knowledge, experience, and expertise that you need to utilize. They are those that know how fulfillment works and those that understand the supply chain and all the processes involved.
Covering the Supply Chain
Not all software packages and providers can confidently cover the supply chain, and this is important for your business. The supply chain can have an impact on your business costs and on the end-user experience. If it is not effective or efficient, then it will have a knock-on impact.
Software can help your business determine where changes or adaptations can be made within the supply chain. It can also help you assess if your supply chain is longer and more drawn out than it needs to be. Regularly looking at the supply chain and assessing what is happening, when, and why will help you streamline fulfillment at all levels.
Top Tip: Always look at the support on offer. Not all software packages and providers offer a great deal of support. This may not be a decision breaker, but it could have an influence over which piece of software you purchase and use.
If you have multiple employees or team members using the software package, then make sure they have support available to them. Without support, orders will get delayed, and cost implications will be attached to your supply chain.
Focus on Efficiency and Effectiveness
You want fulfillment to be streamlined, but you want to ensure that you retain efficiency and effectiveness. You do not have to compromise, and you shouldn’t, as this will impact your customer (or end-user). It is important that you look at what markers are in place in the software to monitor effectiveness and efficiency. Establish what effective and efficient fulfillment looks like to you and to your business. When you have this idea to work towards, you can then have a vision.
Allow for Growth
Your business is doing well at the moment, and in the future, it could be doing even better. So, with this in mind, you need to plan for growth. Ensure that the software package or provider you look at can accommodate future growth. If it cannot, you may want to consider other avenues. You want to be sure that a provider or package can keep up with your business’s changing needs, requirements, and demands.
Keep a look out as some software is only suitable for smaller enterprises. This may not be good for you if you hire multiple team members and have multiple sales channels or inventory lines. There are, of course, other providers that can readily accommodate growing medium to large enterprises, and these should be the ones you look at.
Don’t Overlook Inventory Management
Even if you do not offer a vast range of lines within your business, you will still need software that offers inventory management. An inventory that is managed with real-time data and information can help your business keep moving and help avoid those slow or stagnant periods. Inventory management that utilizes barcodes can be beneficial in a warehouse environment. Processes and operations can be streamlined when effective inventory management is in place.
Take your time to evaluate what software is on offer and what it can bring to your business. You may want to undertake a free trial to establish what software provider or package works for you best.