E-Commerce to Fulfillment Efficiencies
Efficiency. It's one of those words that either helps your business thrive or holds your business back. All too often, it's the latter of the two. So how do you correct this situation, or improve on your current one?
The key indicators of an efficient system are:
1. Shopping cart integration to fulfillment center
2. Accounting program integration to fulfillment center
3. Barcodes on products
If you are selling via any shopping cart on your website, there should be no reason for anyone in your organization to enter orders manually. The only order entry should be from your customer. The rest of the process should all be automatic and flow seamlessly from your shopping cart to your accounting program and your fulfillment center. Here at Verde, we have integrations with the most popular shopping carts available (Shopify, Magento, Big Commerce, Volusion, UltraCart, UberCart, FoxyCart). Setting up the integration allows your customers to do your data entry for you, and allows your time to be freed up for promoting your brand, website and products. That is efficiency.
If you only sell direct to retailers, or if that is the other component of your business model, most accounting programs have an API integration capability built in. This API (same as the shopping carts) allows data to flow in and out of systems, such as inventory levels, sales orders, etc. Verde has an integration set up with the most popular accounting program on the market, QuickBooks. Through the integration, sales orders can be pushed into our system whenever you want. You can manage the flow. Once the orders are pushed in, inventory is adjusted and both systems are updated. The order entry is only done once. That is efficient.
The final component of business efficiency is often overlooked with smaller companies. Barcodes. A barcode doesn't have to be complicated, as it's really quite a simple process once you understand the reasoning. A barcode does nothing for you sitting in an office. Instead, where a barcode becomes an efficient business partner for you is in the warehousing and fulfillment process. A) When your inventory is received at your fulfillment center; B) When your inventory is counted; C) When your products are picked and packed...THIS is when having a barcode on your product is priceless. Each of these processes go much more smooth, quick and efficient when you have barcodes. Without them, you end up paying more in labor for manual counting and mistakes will happen. That is a reality.
If you do not have any retailers that require you to have a UPC or EAN number on your products, then simply converting your SKU #'s into a barcode works great. This is something that we at Verde offer to our clients if it is not done ahead of time. That is part of the service we provide. It is, of course, always less expensive to have done at the point of manufacture.
Overall, you can increase your business efficiencies dramatically by doing any of these three things. Set your business up now for success and be able to spend more time selling your products and promoting your brand!