This is a much larger question than it looks. Luckily, we simplified the software solutions for you. Software can optimize every aspect of your e-commerce business. It might not all be needed when you start to scale. So let’s see what might benefit you the most to start growing in house.
E-Commerce Software for Warehouses
Your inventory’s warehouse is the central hub of your operation. Therefore, sellers must ensure that the movement & accounting of goods flows as efficiently as possible through the warehouse. A proper Warehouse Management System (WMS) enables the optimization of movements including shipping, receiving, inventory tracking, picking or packing. In addition, a well rounded WMS can integrate with an Order Management Systems. This empowers in-house employees to use one platform for getting orders out the door. Note, A WMS can also be designed or configured for the organization’s specific requirements; for example, an E-Commerce vendor might use a WMS that has different functions than a brick-and-mortar retailer.
E-Commerce Software for Fulfilment Centers
Order management systems are back-end tools that companies can use to monitor inventory and fill orders. These are often the integration tool to connect an eCommerce platform and a WMS, passing along the correct information and helping sales or marketing understand which sales channels generate which orders. Now, many eCommerce platforms have built-in OMS tools, so fewer companies need specific OMS software to pass on order data to warehouses, packing stations, and more.
Software to Scale Your Business
Customer relationship management software focuses on managing your customer-based interactions. While CRMs initially focused on marketing and sales, they now can track customer accounts and order information. For example, a CRM will often provide order details to a WMS. They can also update orders, change shipping requirements, or finalize a return/exchange when the initial item is checked back into the warehouse inventory.
E-Commerce Software for Supply Chain Management
Supply Chain Management (SCM)
Supply chain management tools focus on the nuts-and-bolts activities around fulfillment and supply chains. They’ll track the materials you have on hand, restocking, and the path goods take from manufacturing to the end consumer. SCM tools track a lot of fulfillment data and can help you better understand total costs and turnover times. A SCM can be useful to optimize processes before and during fulfillment to improve your overall fulfillment capabilities. Also, note that sometimes SCM can be used for the title Supply Chain Manager.
Enterprise resource planning (ERP)
Enterprise resource planning tools are large systems that monitor a global supply chain. Typically, large companies with multinational sales efforts use ERPs to manage processes like fulfillment and provide detailed analytics of company-wide operations. What sets them apart is their size and their high levels of customization for each company. In addition, ERPs contain many other platforms as modules or add-ons, including WMS, OMS, SCM, and CRM tools.
Transportation Management Systems (TMS)
Some companies will use transportation management systems in their fulfillment. Generally, these tools support shipments of freight and oversized items, tracking them from a dock to a destination. TMS are useful for procurement and reverse logistics, so manufacturers or 3PL partners are most likely to use them.