Top 10 Insights from the Experts: Tackling Time-Consuming Multichannel Tasks
Running a multichannel and multi-fulfillment business includes managing a diverse array of channels, products, and offers. It can be difficult to stay on top of everything. Plus, it can cause simple tasks to become increasingly complex and drain you of precious time. We called in ten experts to share which tasks take the most time when done manually and how to automate these hurdles.
Below our e-commerce experts from across the industry share their best insight on the benefits of automating manual tasks. This is the first post in a series aimed at helping marketplace sellers. Get ready for more great insights to come!
1. Utilize Predefined Templates
“Managing prices, stock, and inventory in one environment together with delivery and replenishment services on a real-time basis. Automating the initial creation of new products on channels like Amazon or Ebay with a predefined template instead of manually creating one template for each new product.” - Pawel Fijak of DataFeedWatch
2. Customize Product Data Management
“StoreAutomator focuses on the listing aspect of multichannel ecommerce. Our clients most of the time want to automate product data management and customization of content based on audience in various marketplaces. For the fulfillment side, sellers consider optimizing cost versus expectation by the customer. Automate fulfillment based on business rules constrained by stock, warehouse location, shipping cost.” - Gary G. of StoreAutomator
3. Sync Inventory Counts
“If everything were still done manually, reconciliation would be one of the most daunting tasks in multi-channel fulfillment. Being able to automatically sync inventory counts across all your sales channels can help optimize inventory allocations, and ensure no mistakes like over-selling or going out of stock unexpectedly.” - Rachel Go of Deliverr
4. Get a Handle on Restocks
“Multichannel multi-fulfillment can get challenging as supply and demand change seasonally and vary widely between channels and geographies. We've seen that handling restocks across different warehouses and for different channels has been the most tedious task merchants need to deal with.” - Sara Du of Alloy Automation
5. Employ Advanced Software
“I would say the order management and inventory allocation side of operations are pivotal. Joseph Francis, Principal Director of Digital Supply Chain Transformation & Communications, Media & Technology over at Accenture, always talks about the importance of automating your operations in the coming years. Unless you are utilizing some sort of OMS that is automating your order workflow and assigning the relevant actions and inventory allocation, then you are not going to even be considered a part of the competition. Here at Skubana, our new and improved automation and inventory allocation logic is more than enough to help support your business needs to help accomplish this necessary task. We at Skubana are looking to not only help your business scale up in this madness that is the 2021 ecommerce playing field but also want to make sure you can do it with ease. So, if you aren't using some sort of automation to accomplish tasks such as assigning the correct shipping providers/3PLs/warehouses to your order or you are going in and manually, one-by-one splitting your orders on a day-to-day basis, then please...give us a call. We are more than happy to help!” - Rodolfo Villarreal of Skubana
6. Proactively Identify Opportunities
“One of the consequences of a multichannel multi-fulfillment setup is the higher storage and carrying costs related to inventory. This represents deployed working capital that can't be reinvested in other growth initiatives, so the biggest risk is being overstocked. Automating the proactive or real-time identification of overstocked SKU's and marking them or for clearance can both reduce costs and free up cash flow.” - Adii Pienaar of Cogsy
7. Process Orders Faster
“Managing multi-warehouse replenishment and generally deciding what to send where and when. Automated order processing eliminates tedious manual work and helps process orders faster. With inefficiencies removed from the order management process, orders are fulfilled faster and more accurately. Turn on screen reader support.” - Tania Manzo of Inventoro
8. Avoid Pricing Blackhole
“When it comes to daily tasks, one of the biggest pain points is tracking prices. Every day you could find new offers for each channel, and the margins and prices are different for each one. It's a black hole to price review for every channel and then to adapt the competitor's offers.” - Carlos Garijo González
9. Automate Fulfillment Integrations
“Manual order processing, inventory management, and shipment tracking are all extremely time-consuming. Automated fulfillment integrations drastically reduce the need for manual processing. Merchants who do > 100 orders per month would benefit greatly from automated fulfillment integrations.” - Samantha Maze of DropStream
10. Avoid Manual Entry Mayhem
“I would say the top three include: 1. Manually routing orders to proper warehouses if a tool is not in place 2. Updating inventory quantities to all the channels, especially if manual, doing so fast enough and efficiently to avoid oversells and errors 3. Listing new products to all of the channels.” - Shannon Sharpe of Skubana
Interested in learning more about how Skubana can help you avoid under and overselling your inventory?
Ashley Brown is the Partner Marketing Manager at Skubana. She’s passionate about people, thinking outside of the box, and ecommerce!