Boost Apparel Order Fulfillment with a Shipping and Warehouse Management System
  • Kelly Horton
March 27, 2024
Posted by Kelly Horton

In the world of rapidly-growing apparel, textile, and footwear companies, meeting customer demands and delivering an enjoyable user experience from shopping cart to delivery is paramount to keep customers returning. On top of exceeding customer expectations, B2B and B2C companies must closely manage labor and operating costs to keep prices down, ensure they get the best shipping rates, and optimize inventory handling for maximum throughput. 

This is where a fulfillment management solution comes into play. Apparel companies that leverage a fulfillment management solution, such as a Transportation Management Solution (TMS) - or advanced shipping solution - and Warehouse Management Solution (WMS), can automate your workflows and streamline your operation for maximum throughput and productivity.

Key Benefits of a Shipping and WMS Solution for Apparel Retailers

Key benefits of a shipping and WMS solution include the ability to:

  • Maintain accurate inventory counts for high-volume SKUs and unlimited size, style, and color variations
  • Deliver fast, flexible, accurate shipping rates in your cart for every order
  • Streamline processes across your shopping cart, warehouse and fulfillment
  • Support omnichannel customer demands in one system
  • Support complex retail or EDI compliance requirements in one place

Streamlined Operations 

Your customers want fast, flexible, and accurate rates for their shopping carts at checkout. Your warehouse employees need minimal processing times, automated transactions, and real-time inventory updates. Modern shipping and WMS solutions offer workflow automations to optimize order fulfillment and improve packaging processes and operations. 

For example, ShipHawk’s advanced shipping solution uses proprietary packing and shipping algorithms to automate order fulfillment and deliver a better shipping experience. Shippers can eliminate manual quoting in separate systems and access all of your carriers in one place to get rates, book shipments and manage your orders, reducing errors and avoiding duplicate entry.

Smart Packing™, or cartonization, selects the right box or pallet for every order, calculates final packed weights and dimensions, and accurately determines packing and shipping rates in real-time. That means every order is shipped from the right warehouse, packed in the right box, using the best carrier and optimal service.

By automating their entire warehouse and shipping operation, ShipHawk customer, La Sportiva was able to ship orders 50% faster, in spite of significant sales growth.

Cost Reduction

Shipping and WMS solutions help eliminate disparate technology systems, excess transportation costs, and increase throughput with the same or less headcount. By leveraging advanced algorithms and data analytics, shippers can identify cost-saving opportunities, negotiate better rates with carriers, and stop overspending on shipping charges or excess packing materials. Additionally, a WMS enables efficient space utilization within warehouses, reducing storage costs and minimizing inventory holding expenses. Automating detailed workflows minimizes time to complete an order and ultimately cuts down on labor costs. Some of they key automations offered by ShipHawk WMS include:

  • Intuitive receiving and directed-putaway
  • Effortless cross-docking
  • Continuous wave optimization
  • Adaptive omni-channel picking
  • Dynamic and responsive scan-pack

Enhanced Visibility and Transparency

With an integrated fulfillment management solution, shippers gain greater visibility and transparency across their supply chain. Retailers can track the movement of goods from the manufacturer to the warehouse and finally to the store shelves. Real-time tracking capabilities enable proactive management of shipments, allowing retailers to address any potential delays or issues promptly. This enhanced visibility also fosters better communication with suppliers, carriers, and customers, leading to improved collaboration and customer satisfaction.

Springfield Leather recently shared their success after implementing ShipHawk. “The order fulfillment process is automated, immediate and anyone on our team can do it,” said Anthony Williams, Digital Media Coordinator at Springfield Leather. “One of the cool things with ShipHawk is that within seconds, we have real-time reporting on what’s been put into the system.” You can read their full case study here.

Inventory Optimization

Effective inventory management is critical for apparel businesses to meet consumer demand while minimizing stockouts and overstock situations. Warehouse Management Systems provide tools for inventory tracking, demand forecasting, and replenishment planning. By maintaining optimal inventory levels and reducing excess inventory, retailers can improve cash flow, minimize carrying costs, and enhance overall profitability.

Improved Customer Service

Timely deliveries and accurate order fulfillment are essential for delivering a superior customer experience. Transportation and warehouse management solutions enable apparel businesses to fulfill orders faster, reduce lead times, and provide accurate shipment tracking information to customers. By consistently meeting delivery deadlines and ensuring product availability, retailers build customer loyalty and drive repeat business.

Scalability and Flexibility

As apparel companies grow and expand operations, scalability and flexibility become critical considerations. Your shipping solution and WMS need to be adaptable to the evolving needs of retailers, supporting growth without significant disruptions. These solutions offer scalability to accommodate increased order volumes, expanded product lines, and new distribution channels. Additionally, cloud-based deployment options provide the flexibility to access and manage logistics operations anywhere, at any time. ShipHawk connects to your existing systems by directly integrating with your ERP, allows custom business logic to meet your needs, and remains functional even if your ERP experiences downtime.

Blueprints of a Successful Fulfillment Management Tool

By leveraging these advanced technologies, apparel companies can optimize their supply chain, streamline operations, and stay ahead in today's competitive retail landscape. Embracing a fulfillment management solution is not just a strategic choice; it's necessary for apparel and textile stores looking to thrive in the digital age. Before evaluating a shipping or WMS solution, download the TMS Buyers' Guide or WMS Buyers' Guide as a reference to help find the right solution to meet your needs.

For more information on how ShipHawk Fulfillment Management solutions can help apparel, textile, and footwear businesses streamline their operations, contact us today.

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