Software is a big part of your fulfillment process. Choosing the wrong software provider can leave you with backed up orders and sleepless nights, so it is important to take your time and properly vet software providers before making a decision.
Understanding the Unique Needs of Your Warehouse
Before you start looking for a software provider, you need to take stock of your own business. Break out a notebook and write down how your warehouse works and what you will need the software to do. There are several functions you may want your new software to cover:
- Allow you to view invoices 24/7
- Keep you up to date on returns
- Offer you shopping cart integration
- Create detailed reports
- Forecast inventory
- Send inventory alerts
- View current and previous orders
- Enable you to create new orders manually, if you choose
- Search and edit orders as needed
- Allow you to view detailed inventory reports
- Allow you to view your fulfillment dashboard on multiple devices
- Store your data online in a cloud
- Automatically back up your data online throughout the day
Now that you know what you want software to do for you, you want to make sure that your software provider can deliver. Get examples of specifically how the potential software will address these issues. Software providers will be more than happy to show you demos of their software, and some may even let you try out a free trial. It is important to see how the software works, firsthand, to know how well it will fit in with your particular needs and work style.
Taking Care of Problems and Changes
So, after trying out a few types of software you may narrow it down to a few you really like. You’re not done. Now you need to see how well the software providers can help you if you have any problems. Find out the kind of customer service offered. For example, see if they offer online chat, phone service and email support. Next, ask them how quickly they will respond to requests, since in the warehouse, problems dictate immediate answers. If they cannot give you a timeframe, they may have poor customer service.
Also, upgrades to software keep your business on top of technological advances. Investigate how quickly the software provider will be able to implement new changes in the future or if this is even a possibility.
Once you have covered all of these steps, you will be able to choose the best software provider for your company, making your warehouse fulfillment operation run much more smoothly.