When Microsoft Speakmagazine asked me to define this holiday season for retailers, I offered two words: “cautious optimism.” You can read this article in October’s issue of Speak, or inpart 1 and part 2 of an exclusive preview I published here last month.
The key for retailers is to toe that line between caution and optimism. Too cautious, and we risk missing the ride when the final holiday wave comes crashing through. Too optimistic, and we risk spending all of Q1 desperately trying to unload and recoup.
In a follow-up article to Speak, ‘Leaning Up Your Warehouse,’ I discuss how Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems can automate warehouse management. My hope with this article is that it can help retailers relax at the end of the day and count sheep, rather than spend every free moment counting inventory.
You can read this full article later this month by subscribing to Speak via the form to the right. Below, read an exclusive preview:
Here’s some good news for you: based on improved sales performance in July and August 2010, retailers can look forward to a more profitable holiday season. As they gear up for peak selling months, retailers need to combine common sense with technological innovation so that they can realize higher margins. Here’s a glimpse into essential best practices for maximizing operational efficiencies and reducing waste.
- Automate Your Actions:
Minimize the handling and movements of goods by taking full advantage of mobile devices and process automation. Warehouse staff can use barcode scanning devices and let the Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system tell them where to put the goods. For example, if the goods coming in are high volume, the system can alert staff to put them closer to the convenient location so that an order can be easily picked. Result? Goods are available when and where they should be, without chaotic, last-minute rushes to meet customer demands.
- Ride the wave:
Automated, wave-based picking means goods aren’t moved multiple times within the same location, reducing the risk of damaged goods and wasted time or effort. By aligning inventory requirements with customer demand, you can maintain lower stock levels and take quick action to replenish or add goods, so that you don’t carry overstocks or confront unexpected stock outages.
Read this article in its entirety when its published later this month by subscribing for free to Microsoft Speak Magazine, via the form to the right.
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