inventory control leads to happier customers

As 2017 progresses, and retailers are confronted with the uncertainties of the border tax and an ever-shrinking labor market, staying on top of inventory is still a guaranteed way to keep customers happy.

I read recently that one of the major turn-offs for shoppers is when they have spent time online choosing a product, especially if the product requires them to spend time choosing variables, such as a piece of furniture which has fabric, finishes and sizes to consider, only to find when their purchase is added to the cart (or later) the product is not available.

Most of these companies use some type of inventory management system to track products that are in stock, sold out or coming soon, yet accurately representing inventory is still one of the most difficult areas for retailers to stay on top of.

The one size fits all approach offered by many of the inventory control products available still leaves enough friction in the process of managing stock to turn customers away.

xocbox works with many different types of retailers, and we see that all have unique business scenarios that make managing their inventory unique. We work with retailers, suppliers and manufacturers and see the supply chain from both ends of the puzzle. Whether you choose EDI, assistance with supplier feeds or are a manufacturer looking to expand your selling outlets, talk to xocbox to see how we can help you fulfill orders and keep your customers happy.


supply chain for small to medium sized business

shirts
 
 
Supply chain is again one of the hot topics and is predicted to be one of the biggest areas of investment in technology for retailers during 2016.

In fact, the scramble to get ahead by retailers can be seen in the recruitment of new faces to manage the supply chain operation in companies such as Target and Wayfair.

Target announced that they had hired Amazon veteran Arthur Valdez as executive VP and Chief Supply Chain and Logistics officer, while home furnishings etailer, Wayfair LLC, hired Staples veteran, Sharif Sleiman, to lead its supply chain operations (Sleiman has also held managerial positions at Groupon, eBay and Oracle).

At the last ProMat Supply Chain Management show the focus was on supply chain management software, with an emphasis on systems integration, and the ability to fulfill increasingly complex orders.

Many businesses (including some large companies) still rely heavily on manual processes, and according to a report from Supply Chain Insights, managing procurement and supplier relations is still one of the most time consuming tasks they undertake.

Why is supply chain so important to the retailing giants, and how can small and midsized companies compete?

Software integration is integral to an organization’s success. If all the processes required to carry out your business don’t “talk to each other” then a person will have to step in to connect everything together.

A growing number of smaller businesses is now realizing that the investment in technology to solve these problems can greatly improve existing processes, and save valuable time and dollars.

xocbox can help

xocbox offers semi-custom automation solutions for small to mid-sized businesses and has provided EDI solutions to allow communication with suppliers and the electronic placing of website orders for fulfillment, inventory management, and can provide integration with third party products.

A recent project working for a small manufacturer of custom products, allowed orders to be placed via multiple ecommerce platforms and processed through the xocbox management system, and a work-order was then produced from the system to be passed on to the shop floor to make the product.

Previously the work orders had been generated manually, and as the products usually involved more than one trade to complete, had to be generated multiple times by hand. This new process has saved many hours of administrative time, and reduced errors (and frustration).

If you are considering automating a process in your business and are not sure where to begin, contact xocbox to discuss how we may help.


keep the ecommerce platform – change the backend

cloud computing sofwareRecently we have been talking to several ecommerce merchants who have been considering switching their online store to a platform that offers more services, and is less expensive.

The big question they ask is, “how difficult would that be?”.

The simple answer is that migrating products to a new platform is something that can be done.
 
However, changing platforms is not something that should be taken lightly. Most people considering this have had their store for several years or longer, and it is easy to believe that by changing your platform you will receive immediate benefit, that is, sell more products.

Selling more products is definitely not guaranteed, and if you don’t pay special attention to the many details involved (such as, SEO, marketing, 301 redirects to name just a few), you could find yourself selling less.

If you are a mid to large-scale online retailer, you have probably found that as your business has expanded, so too has the complexity of managing all your backend functions.

Many of the functions that are needed to keep your products up to date, and to track orders often evolve into manual processes that take an extraordinary amount of time for you and your staff.

xocbox can work with you to take a look at your store backend processes and find solutions to problems that are taking you away from spending time with your customers.

We specialize in working with Yahoo merchants, and Woocommerce stores, but can offer advice on all types of integration problems regardless of the ecommerce platform.

Please call us for a free consultation at 858-752-3803, or click the contact button below.


EDI and Woocommerce

fulfillment center
 
xocbox offers a fully integrated EDI solution for Woocommerce stores at an affordable price point, and we have been receiving increased interest in EDI and automation of business processes during the first half of 2015.

Whether you are sending or receiving orders, working directly with a fulfillment center or warehouse, or simply need EDI to work with the stringent requirements of a major retailer, xocbox can help you.

Woocommerce is an ecommerce platform that offers flexibility to store owners and web designers alike, and the ability to offer EDI compliant transaction documents with our integrated EDI solution can speed up business processes, and greatly improve efficiency.

If ASN 856, PO 850 and ASCII or X.12 are driving you crazy, contact xobox for more details about EDI and integration solutions for your Woocommerce store.


Amazon robots lead to better fulfillment

image of robotAmazon revealed today that it had deployed 15,000 robots in ten of its fulfillment centers throughout the US. This will allow Amazon to increase the performance of its already super fast fulfillment centers.

After purchasing Kiva Systems Inc, a logistical provider of robot technology, Amazon anticipated it would have approximately 10,000 in centers by 2015. The retail giant estimates that the introduction of robots will not only increase the speed of fulfilling orders, but also eventually reduce operating costs by as much as $450 million.

Amazon is really raising the standard for retailers with super-fast shipping, and super-fast fulfillment. So what can smaller retailers to do attract buyers to their store when confronted with this competition?

Small businesses need to automate as many of their processes as possible to improve the service they offer to shoppers, and also to free up some of the time their associates would otherwise spend on routine tasks.

Retail predictions for 2015 are betting on a customer-centric year, where customer service, customer interaction with products and services and custom items for customers are a high priority. Small and medium sized businesses focusing on personalized products can make a big impression on shoppers with superlative service and the clever use of technology.

Contact xocbox to learn about automating your business processes.