Wholesale distributors need flexible inventory management tools to handle all of the products and parts coming in and going out of their warehouses. You will find a number of useful tips on how to keep up with the logistical challenges that are inherent to a growing business in the articles below.
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Let’s go into a bit more depth on the subject of wholesale distribution and how Fishbowl Warehouse can help with it. It is a big topic that involves many individual pieces of hardware, software, strategies, and employees to make it all work. So we are going to go through many of these bits and pieces to ensure that you have the right tools and knowledge to excel at wholesale distribution.
We will discuss three main topics concerning wholesale distribution:
- Warehouse management
- Order fulfillment
- E-commerce integration
Warehouse management is a big part of wholesale distribution. After all, you need to have products in order to sell them. Most businesses prefer to hold them in a warehouse or even in multiple warehouses, depending on the size and scope of their operations.
Managing a warehouse involves maintaining an ideal equilibrium of items in the warehouse to keep your carrying costs down while also avoiding shortages. Carrying costs are the expenses incurred by holding items in a warehouse. If, for example, you have too many items in your warehouse, your carrying costs will increase because you might have to find extra space to store items that you actually need even as you hold onto items that you do not necessarily need so much of.
If you have multiple warehouses, it is a good idea to always have a firm grasp of how many items are in each warehouse. You can use Fishbowl Warehouse to do this by setting up location groups (which are essentially warehouses or retail locations) and locations within each location group (which can include such things as areas, aisles, shelves, bins, etc.). When your stock of a certain item gets low at one warehouse, you can transfer some from another warehouse to make up for the shortage until you are able to reorder more. And you can plan for things like that in the future to avoid the same situation.
This is really just scratching the surface of Fishbowl Warehouse’s warehouse management capabilities. It can also help you generate a multitude of reports to help you restructure your warehouse to maximize efficiency in the receiving process and also help warehouse workers pick items off the shelves even faster by grouping goods that are often sold together close by each other in the warehouse.
A warehouse management solution like Fishbowl Warehouse allows you to see the entire warehouse management process. This includes the following processes:
- Creating and managing vendors to monitor their performance over time.
- Setting up reorder points on every single item in your warehouse to keep them properly stocked and avoid both stockouts and overstocks.
- Generating pick orders to help warehouse workers quickly pick parts off the shelves to fulfill orders.
- Packing items into the appropriate containers to be shipped to customers and generating packing lists.
- Integrating with many shippers and shipping solutions, including UPS, FedEx, United States Postal Service, DHL, OnTrac, ShipWorks, and ShipStation, to help with the shipping process.
- Receiving items into the warehouse and reconciling orders that don’t match up with what was expected.
- Using transfer orders to efficiently move items between warehouses if there is a shortage in one and a surplus in another.
Order fulfillment isn’t a purely brick and mortar affair anymore. A lot of sales are made online, so it is essential to keep track of those sales and make sure they get fulfilled as quickly as possible. You need an inventory management solution that integrates with all of your e-commerce accounts and keeps them all in perfect synchronization.
Fishbowl Warehouse integrates with a huge variety of e-commerce platforms, including:
- Zen Cart
Plus, Fishbowl Warehouse offers a plugin called Fishbowl Commerce, which allows the Fishbowl Warehouse file to connect with every one of your e-commerce accounts. This is an important feature because it helps you avoid a lot of problems that can come from trying to do all of this manually.
When sales come in from each e-commerce platform, they get transferred to Fishbowl Warehouse, which updates the available inventory quantities in the system and begins the order fulfillment process. Not only that, but Fishbowl Warehouse automatically pushes out the updated quantities that are available to be sold to every e-commerce platform, not just the one that the sale was made on. That way, you don’t have to spend time updating each individual e-commerce platform. It is done for you. In fact, it is done much faster than you could do it manually, taking just a few minutes to handle a job that would take an individual much longer to perform.
If you make many sales in a single day via e-commerce websites, you can see how this automated system could come in handy. For example, if your quantities are updated quickly, you run less of a risk of double selling the same items. You do not want to promise the same product to two different customers on two different platforms. With Fishbowl automatically updating your inventory quantities, you are much less likely to run into this problem.
WHOLESALE DISTRIBUTION WITH FISHBOWL WAREHOUSE
Fishbowl Warehouse is an ideal solution for wholesale distribution. It offers advanced features that help you to:
- Track thousands of parts in a single warehouse or across multiple warehouses.
- Set up automatic reorder points to maintain equilibrium and keep carrying costs low.
- Quickly fulfill orders with the help of barcode scanners and other equipment and software.
- Integrate with carriers and shipping solutions to get products out the door fast.
- Integrate with a variety of e-commerce websites and platforms to automatically update every one when online sales are received.
- And much more.
Get a free trial of Fishbowl today to see how it can help your wholesale distribution run even smoother!