September 19th 2023 11:00:00 AM
Want Better Customer Service? Improve your Warehouse Management Practices
July 5th 2022 11:00:00 AM
At first glance, it doesn’t seem as though your warehouse management practices have much to do with customer service. If you dig just a bit deeper, you’ll find the two are definitely related. Your warehouse management practices directly impact how well your business can provide good customer service.
Changing Function of the Warehouse
Everyone has witnessed the explosion in the global e-commerce market. According to Spotify.ca, the 2022 e-commerce market is predicted to reach $5.55 trillion. In 2020, online sales made up 17.8% of purchases, and that figure is expected to grow to 21% in 2022 and 24.5% by 2025.
Warehouse Management Practices and Customer Service
Warehouse management plays a significant role in customer service. If your company is going to provide exceptional customer service, it starts with your sales team.
Once the sales representative makes a sale, the logistics department must deliver the customer’s ordered items. The following are four ways good warehouse management practices impact customer service.
1. Ensures the Right Products are in Stock
When you keep track of your inventory, you know the quantities available in the warehouse. You’ll also know which items are selling quickly and which ones are moving more slowly (and costing your business money).
Customers don’t want to place orders only to discover the items they need are out of stock. Keeping a tight handle on your inventory saves time. You don’t have to do spot checks to confirm whether you can fill orders for particular products. You also save money by reducing the number of “rush” orders you have to place for low-stock items.
Your customers expect accurate information when they place orders. Suppose your business can provide customers with real-time data about whether you have enough stock to fill their orders promptly. In that case, the customer has peace of mind their order will ship on time.
2. Reduces Picking and Packing Errors
When customers place orders, they want to receive the correct items. They also want to receive their order in good condition. Suppose customers receive an incorrect item or one that is damaged. In that case, retaining their trust and future business will be challenging.
Careful warehouse management reduces the likelihood of errors in order picking and packing. It also ensures the items are handled carefully to lower the possibility of damage.
3. Quicker Order Fulfillment
A well-managed warehouse means orders can be picked and shipped more efficiently. Some e-commerce companies promise their customers next-day delivery for in-stock items. Customers may be able to arrange for same-day delivery of some products.
Next-Day Delivery. Your business may not want to compete directly with other companies on next-day deliveries. This level of service drives up your delivery costs significantly. It also puts more pressure on your warehouse and shipping team members. Unless you have a significant demand for next-day delivery, your business may be better off deciding not to compete with companies offering next-day delivery. Your business can offer fair prices, reasonable shipping rates, and excellent customer service. When combined with fast (but not next day) shipping, you still provide an attractive option to your customers.
Suppose your warehouse is poorly organized, or you don’t have good visibility through your supply chain. In that case, delivering items promptly to customers will be challenging. An efficient warehouse management system and the right technology solutions will help your company stay on track. Your customers will benefit from your employees’ fast, efficient service.
4. More Efficient Returns System
No matter how careful you are about filling orders and getting them to customers quickly, there will be some returns. The return rate could be as high as 20% for some companies.
You need to have a plan for handling reverse logistics to make the experience positive for your customers. If the returns are handled efficiently, customers will likely buy again from your business.
Warehouse Management Solutions to Improve Customer Service
What types of warehouse management solutions can you put in place to improve your company’s customer service? Consider using one (or more) of the following to help your team achieve this goal:
- A Warehouse Management System
If you don’t have a warehouse management system (WMS), now is the time to add one to your business. It has modules to help you manage your warehouse and logistics functions, such as inventory management, order fulfillment, and asset management.
If you choose a cloud-based WMS, you and your team can access data from a desktop computer and a mobile device. You can monitor your warehouse from anywhere you can get online.
- Mobile Workstations
Walking back and forth in the warehouse wastes time, increases worker fatigue, and potentially slows order picking time. Use mobile workstations to reduce the number of steps your warehouse team has to take during the day. They can be placed strategically on the warehouse floor to minimize the time spent moving through the warehouse.
Barcodes mean you can throw away your paper and pencil. It is much more efficient to scan items in the warehouse. The data is immediately uploaded to your WMS in real-time. You can track exactly how much stock you have on hand and its location.
Scanco WMS Advanced Allows Your Company to Pick and Ship Confidently
Scanco Warehouse optimizes and mobilizes your picking and shipping functions. Scanco WMS Advanced includes directed order picking, multi-bin functionality, inventory adjustments, pack list printing, and more.
To learn more about Scanco WMS Advanced or our other warehouse management solutions, contact us online or call (330) 645-9959 to make an appointment with a Scanco Solutions Expert to take the next step today.