Why an ERP with Built-In WMS Functionality Is Essential for Direct-to-Consumer Shipping

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Aptean Apprise ERP, Direct-to-Consumer, ERP WMS, ecommerce

 

The future of retail growth will revolve around direct-to-consumer (DTC) relationships according to the Interactive Advertising Bureau study, The Rise of the 21st Century Brand Economy. The recent coronavirus pandemic has only exasperated this idea.

But let’s go back a bit and start at the beginning.

For many consumer goods importers and distributors, their direct-to-consumer volume comes from selling their products through retailer websites like Amazon or Walmart, though some do have end-consumer websites as well. With DTC, consumer goods companies don’t ship their products to Amazon or Walmart. Instead, they ship directly to the end-consumer.

DTC means that consumer goods importers and distributors are shipping their products directly to customers rather than a third-party retailer. This requires different warehouse processes to fulfill, pack and ship orders.

It used to be more comfortable and more straightforward to manage a warehouse before DTC shipping and fulfillment. Consumer goods importers just had to ship and fulfill orders to retailers, often using full cartons or pallets, but with DTC it’s more complicated. Picking and shipping a single piece per order requires more robust technology.

Additionally, amid the coronavirus pandemic, DTC has become more popular than ever before. Fewer customers are willing to leave their homes to go pick up products and goods, so they order online for home delivery. And they want them delivered as quickly as possible. If you’re a consumer goods importer or distributor who deals with DTC, managing all these new orders is undoubtedly top of mind.

Ideally, you’d have an enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution to help you manage all your DTC orders and fulfillment requirements. And with an ERP, you can manage departments and processes, but, frankly, most ERP solutions don’t offer the kind of functionality and operational visibility necessary for effective warehouse management.

This is precisely why, without the right ERP, you would need to purchase an additional solution specific for warehouse management. While you want these two complementary solutions to be able to talk with each other and share data and information seamlessly, the integration process can be costly and time-consuming.

To be clear, an ERP is an excellent tool to grant you the visibility and analytics you need to run an effective business. Still, an ERP with a built-in warehouse management system (WMS) can make managing the complexity of your business that much easier.

Whether you operate from your own warehouse or utilize a third-party logistics space, a WMS built into an ERP will enable real-time visibility and help you manage your most demanding receiving, putaway and picking tasks for maximum supply chain performance.

An ERP with built-in warehouse management functionality helps speed receiving and optimize space management with directed putaway capabilities; count products during the unloading process at the receiving dock using handheld devices; and picking and packing efficiencies can be maximized with integrated pre-pack and cartonization rules. Moreover, your company can easily manage and validate returns and reorders with lot and serial tracking.

If you’re looking for an ERP solution with built-in WMS capabilities to help you manage all of these processes, many consumer goods businesses have turned to Apprise. Apprise ERP is flexible enough to enable picking according to your business’s rules. Our built-in warehouse management capabilities let wave picking be defined by product, order type and size, customer, shipper, fleet route, and many other options.

Apprise ERP also helps increase picking efficiency when picking a small number of products for a large number of orders by giving you the flexibility to stage orders during the pick demand process. And our integrated WMS is built to include all the tools you need to manage your complex operations today and in the future; our technology scales as your business grows.

If you’d like to master the art of DTC and learn more about how Apprise ERP can serve you and your consumer goods enterprise, reach out to us; we’d love to talk.