In the modern age, we have information wherever and whenever we want it, and even sometimes when we don’t want it. We’re able to watch planes travel online in real-time, know the news as it happens, and track packages we order as they come from around the world. This real-time reporting has made a significant impact on the way supply chains work. Depending on the system a fulfillment or warehousing partner uses, retailers can have access to very specific information just as they need it.
- Immediate Knowledge: As soon as a fulfillment partner processes an order, the retailer can see it, as long as the fulfillment partner is using a system that keeps information up to date in real-time, like an RF scanner and EDI. Retailers can access a number of different reports, like units being moved per hour, cycle counts, and can even be assured that the right items are going to the right people.
- Supply Chain Transparency: With real-time reporting, there’s far less worry that a link in the supply chain will break at any time. If it does go awry, you can find the issue almost immediately. Retailers can see availability for any specific item, or even see in-stock quality issues if any arise.
- Control: Letting a third party take over fulfillment is a big step. You’re essentially handing over the physical handling of your orders and letting a vendor represent you to the public. With real-time reporting, though, control is still in the hands of the retailer. You’re able to see when packages go out in relation to when the orders come in. Reporting lets the retailer keep track of inconsistencies and make certain the fulfillment partner is representing the brand in the best way possible.
- Fixing an Experience: The experience that is provided to the customer through e-commerce can make or break whether the customer orders from you again. If you see a few negative experiences through reports, you have a better opportunity to figure out how to fix them for others in the future. You may not be able to make things better for that customer, but you can make sure that no one else receives that same kind of negative experience.