As Amazon is offering same-day delivery, an expectation is trickling down to smaller businesses to dramatically improve the speed of their e-commerce deliveries.
The key for small-and medium-sized-businesses (SMBs) to speed up their own delivery efforts is to significantly improve their picking and shipping process. Doing this without breaking the bank is a matter of investing in cloud ERP systems.
Here are five ways that cloud ERP helps SMBs speed up their e-commerce deliveries.
- Sophisticated tracking: ERP is great for companies that have a need for sophisticated tracking because you can integrate financial systems with warehouse management systems (WMS). That means when you need to know you have 500 items to ship to a client, the WMS will indicate if you have that amount in stock and put a hold on those items so they’re not shipped to someone else. With this information saved in the cloud, your crews can go back to packing and shipping without worrying whether they need to save any of those items.
- Automation: Cloud ERP systems improve productivity because automation saves time by reducing (or eliminating) manual work. Streamlined process can shave minutes, hours or days off of key actions and workflow processes, saving your company valuable resources.
- Fewer mistakes: With integrated systems, companies can gain productivity, reduce human errorand achieve faster turnaround times since accountants aren’t wasting time updating the same transactions on each and every system. It’s far too easy to log a bill or an invoice in one system, and accidentally flip the numbers in another system. Tracking down mistakes and inconsistencies among the different systems is huge waste of time. This can be eliminated with cloud ERP.
- Faster picking and shipping: If a warehouse worker doesn’t have all the information needed to pick something and must go back to the office for more information, precious time goes down the drain. Or, let’s say a customer wanted version A of the product, but your company accidently shipped version C. To correct the situation, the customer has to return the product and you have to restock it — and all the while, you become less efficient. System automation provides faster turnaround times because you have less potential for error. Pick it, ship it and you’re done.
- Analytics allows you to respond faster to trends: Many companies are drowning in client and sales data. With so much information, it’s hard to figure out what you need to know because there’s so much information. Cloud ERP lets companies identify issues and trends in their industry or company because it’s powerful enough to crunch all those numbers. Quality data is important for companies to be able to make more informed decisions to drive their business. Analytics capabilities also provide visibility into your current business to tease out problems. For example, analytics gives you a window into sales trends to determine what products are shipping less often and why. If you need to make changes, perhaps because there’s a spike in returns on one product, you can determine the reason. That’s the value of analytics.
As one of the largest companies in the world, Amazon will continue to employ practices that speed up business for everyone. But SMBs don’t have to fear this progress. As a small- or medium-sized business, you too can quicken delivery efforts and keep pace with whatever’s next thanks to quality cloud ERP systems.