Visibility is the key omnichannel warehousing dynamic today

Visibility in omnichannel warehousing warehousing

You will be hard pressed to succeed in building a modern omnichannel retail operation without good warehousing visibility – that is, complete, accurate and real-time knwolege of your inventory levels at all points along your supply chain. You need to know, at a moment’s notice, how much has been sold, is awaiting stocking, or is actually on hand. You need this level of visibility to make sure fast moving SKUs are always available, but slower SKUs are not overstocked.

 

How can this kind of warehousing dynamic work for me?

Improved warehousing visibility allows you to engage in inventory sharing between sales and distribution channels, without which efficient omnichannel retail is all but impossible. It allows your supply chain managers to set more efficient ordering preferences and policies. It is also vital to avoid the kind of seasonal stocking problems we all found out onmichannel distribution is vulnerable to last Christmas.

Good visibility of your suppliers’ inventory even allows you to treat their inventory as your own, without the danger of someone else buying it up first (the ‘endless aisle’ method).

How to achieve warehousing visibility

The best way to start building real, accurate visibility of your inventory across multiple channels is to integrate your warehousing management software with the point-of-sale systems for all of your retail channels. If you combine that with decent inventory management and control systems, you should also see improvements in the accuracy, throughput, and overall productivity of your pick and pack operations.

There are of course fundamental differences between single online orders and store restocking orders, and they will require different treatment within the warehouse. ‘Slotting’, for example is a method of assigning particular SKUs to a particular location to make large, regular orders faster to handle. With proper warehousing visibility, slotting can be used to improve the efficient use of space within your facility, reduce handling time (and consequent damage) and reduce mis-picking.

Inventory management and control systems can further improve restocking accuracy, and help contribute to the warehousing visibility you need to compete in the omnichannel commerce world.

 

 


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