Stitch’s ‘Feature of the Month’ is here! In this monthly series, we highlight an operational or logistical challenge one of our customers or prospective customers are facing, and share details into how Stitch’s inventory management software can help to solve these common challenges.
This month’s feature highlight? Implementing Multiple Warehouses.
Challenge: Implementing Multiple Warehouses
As brands expand and grow, they may want additional warehouses or 3PLs to streamline operations, make customers happier, and explore new market opportunities. However, adding warehouses can be challenging; this is due to the fact that visibility into their inventory can be non-existent, and the move to multiple warehouses can take a significant amount of time.
When brands add warehouses or 3PLs–a 3PL being an outsourced warehouse-–it can take several months to implement the additional warehouse, and the process is often prone to error due to customer service issues, inventory count, and general visibility into what inventory is where. Adding a warehouse or 3PL can also cause allocation issues since inventory needs to be accounted for at each site. When doing so, brands tend to spend countless hours in communication with the warehouse staff and with their customers in order to reconcile late, missed, and lost orders during the transition. In these situations, brands are dealing with various routing rules, they are logging into disparate systems, and their operations team may not have visibility into their inventory at any given location.
As the holiday season approaches, not having visibility into inventory results in countless backorders and unhappy customers. Even when brands successfully implement additional warehouses, the purchasing team can still have a difficult time keeping track of product due to misaligned systems. Additionally, brands who tend to experience inventory issues nonetheless are charged by their 3PL if an item is out-of-stock upon picking it out in the warehouse.
Stitch Solution: A quick and seamless transition
Because Stitch has direct and native integrations with select 3PLs, we give brands the opportunity to control their relationship with their fulfillment solution. This allows brands to add proprietary warehouses into Stitch quickly and simply, and gives brands the ability to improve operational efficiency while gaining control and visibility into their inventory. Adding a 3PL helps brands expand, enter new markets, and reduce shipping time. As a result, this increases customer satisfaction and drives repeat business. Stitch supports brands through automating manual tasks such as splitting, routing, and releasing orders all in one place, giving your team control and visibility into each process.
When adding a 3PL into Stitch, brands are able to allocate inventory to the proper location. This allows the operations team to be flexible by planning for committed stock across wholesale and direct-to-consumer channels so they can keep track of inventory in real-time. The 3PL is held accountable through Stitch since Stitch is able to track the allocated units that each 3PL has at any given time. Stitch communicates directly with your brand, and allows your brand to send only essential information on orders ready to be fulfilled.
Additionally, multiple warehouses or 3PLs allow for reduced labor costs, and decreased warehousing space. This improves efficiency, and allows your brand to control when orders ship based upon channel-specific fulfillment rules. Brands also have the option to set up order hold periods to fight fraud, and to accept customer changes which allows for edits prior to fulfillment. Once the order is shipped, Stitch also automatically sends shipment notifications to customers for fully or partially fulfilled items.
Expanding to multiple warehouses is an integral part of expanding your brand, allowing your operations team to explore new markets, reduce shipping costs, and make customers happier. Stitch allows brands to do so while maintaining visibility and control into inventory and reducing time-consuming tasks.
Check out how THINX quickly introduced a new international warehouse to their workflow in a matter of weeks through Stitch in order to explore a new market opportunity.
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