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Inventory Management for eCommerce

Inventory Management for eCommerce

Why Optimised Inventory Management Improves eCommerce Competitiveness.

An efficient supply chain is critical to eCommerce businesses, which means knowing exactly where goods are in their journey from manufacturing, through warehousing, to point of sale. The aim of inventory management for eCommerce is to ensure that the required products are available, where they are needed, in order to ship successfully to customers.

What is Inventory Management for eCommerce?

There are 3 different stages of inventory management:

  • Goods In. This is the first step in eCommerce fulfilment. Product is delivered to a warehouse where it is checked for damage, logged, and barcoded.
  • Storage. eCommerce inventory is stored until required or transferred – a process called cross-docking – to transport for immediate shipment to the customer.
  • Shipping. Inventory is carefully monitored and controlled at every stage of fulfilment. Goods are picked to fulfil orders, packed and shipped to customers.

Efficient inventory management guarantees that eCommerce brands know what inventory they have and its location. This visibility ensures that the right level of stock is held, order fulfilment is reliable, and turnaround times for shipping are minimised.

Optimised Inventory Management Goals

eCommerce businesses that prioritise inventory management are aspiring to highly desirable goals which maximise their competitiveness:

  • Efficient Stock Management. Overstocking is a drag on revenue, especially if the items are slow to sell. Knowing exactly what your inventory holding is, allows brands to order only when necessary; a practice that saves on storage and unnecessary spend.
  • Accurate Order Fulfilment. Customers don’t like purchasing goods, and then being told that the product is no longer available. Optimised inventory management avoids this scenario by providing an accurate overview of available stock in real time.
  • Excellent Customer Service. Efficient inventory management underpins prompt, accurate fulfilment, and shipping of orders, which delights customers and builds brand loyalty.

Successful Inventory Management for eCommerce – Key Features

1. Tracking Inventory

2. Order Fulfilment

3. Transfer of Inventory

4. Data Analytics and Reporting

5. Shipping

1. Tracking Inventory

Once goods are barcoded at the ‘goods in’ stage, they can be tracked through every step of the supply chain. eCommerce businesses know, therefore, how many SKUs are held, where they are held, and in what quantity.

Order Management

2. Order Management

Knowing your inventory, in real time, facilitates efficient custom pricing and accurate quotes. Orders can be tracked, which provides critical information for customers expecting a delivery, and generates accurate information in response to queries. It’s also a foundation to returns management, and cost-effective reverse logistics

3. Transfer of Inventory

This describes the process of moving items from one part of the distribution channel to another. An example of this would be increasing inventory levels at a location that is experiencing high demand, in order to guarantee an efficient fulfilment process.

4. Data Analytics and Reporting

At every stage of the supply chain, inventory management software produces data which can help eCommerce businesses to improve their processes. It’s possible to see patterns and forecast when and where future demand and sales will occur.

5. Shipping

Optimised inventory management for eCommerce minimises the risk of customers receiving damaged or incorrect goods. The shipping process is consistently fast and accurate, which improves customer experience, and leads to repeat sales.


How a 3pl Can Help With Inventory Management

An established third-party logistics partner will have inventory management software at the centre of their warehousing and order fulfilment operations. Prolog Fulfilment, for example, recognises the centrality of accurate inventory data to every stage of the processes we carry out; it helps us to increase our storage efficiency, manage frictionless returns for customers, and fulfil customer orders promptly.

Ready to Optimise Your Inventory Management?

For an eCommerce brand that’s ready to scale, optimised inventory management is integral to growth, and an experienced and well-resourced 3pl can help you to achieve it. At Prolog we utilise a blend of innovative tech and highly motivated employees in order to provide clients with a system that ultimately improves their competitive edge.

Prolog has an established fulfilment centre in Nottinghamshire, right in the heart of the UK. We consistently invest in innovative new technologies in order to keep abreast of new developments in eCommerce fulfilment, and our inventory management system drives our fulfilment efficiency.

If you would like to take a look at our fulfilment centre, meet our 3pl team, and talk through what it is you require from a 3pl partner, do get in touch. Then, if Prolog feels like the right partner for your business, we can proceed at your pace to work with you in making the switch happen seamlessly.

Would you like to find out what makes us different? Call Prolog Fulfilment today on 01623 724000 to speak to a fulfilment expert.

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