Team meeting to learn more about OPAL from experts.


Order and Warehouse Management 101 – Life with OPAL

Order and Warehouse Management 101 – Life with OPAL

Are your order management and warehouse management processes preventing you from growing?  Do you constantly feel the need to hire more people to keep up with your consumer demands and shipping needs? 

Many small to mid-sized businesses learn the importance of a solid warehouse operations foundation too late into the game because they have grown organically and have not planned or pursued other options to simplify their processes and grow with better efficiencies. 

Software solutions can impact your business drastically when seeking to streamline your order management and warehouse management needs — so that you can continue to grow your business with little to no additional costs.  If you’re shipping a minimum of 50 orders per day, you’re most likely ready for a software solution that can automate and streamline your processes, while also saving you money with free EDI and reductions in labor costs.

Why Implement a Software Solution?

Automation can seem like a daunting task when your business is growing at a challenging rate for your team to manage. What if you could increase your capacity to keep up with your customer orders without having to hire and train new staff? 

Your business would not only reach additional customers, but you would build trust and prove dependability with your many sales channels.

Simplify with OPAL’s 4-in-1 Software Solution 

EDI | Order Management |Warehouse Management | Shipping

OPAL is the innovative solution to simplify your small to mid-sized business fulfillment needs in today’s rapidly transforming retail world.  

OPAL is the only touchless, self-driving drop ship and order fulfillment software solution in the market today, working 24×7 even when there’s no one in the office.  It processes your orders and gets them ready for when your warehouse personnel arrive in the morning and optimizes the pick, pack and ship process to increase warehouse productivity by 25%+.

To learn more about how OPAL can reduce your need for multiple software packages and simplify your order processing and fulfillment needs, click here. We welcome the discussion to show how simplifying and streamlining your software solutions with OPAL will help you grow more cost efficiently!

Click here to book your customized demo today.  We are here to support you through this time of change and are here to help you innovate and thrive!

Are You Ready for the Changes Ahead?

Are You Ready for the Changes Ahead?

Are you ready for the changes ahead?

Whether you are stretched thin and busy with shipping products to those shopping at home with this shelter-in-place, or business is slow and you are in need of preparation for the increased demand of the coming months, are you ready for the changes ahead?

Covid-19 changed everything overnight, and only businesses who innovate will survive and thrive. Now is the time to re-evaluate your business and see if you are prepared for the expected adjustments forced by cities sheltering-in-place, with few brick and mortar establishments considered as essential and open. Brick and mortal sales are far from healthy, while Covid-19 has caused eCommerce sales to explode.  

Are you ready for the rapid transition to large quantities of small-parcel drop ship orders?  Small and large eCommerce businesses must evolve to keep up with consumer demands.  With this overnight shift, it can be difficult to ramp up so quickly, keep relationships strong with your retailers and meet their growing requirements surrounding compliance, as well as timely and accurate inventory reporting needs to avoid overselling and underselling and on-time shipments to customers. 

Social distancing may have limited your business’s ability to hire and train new staff needed to expand with this ever-increasing demand for more shipped products.  Working from home and reducing the number of touch points is essential to stop the spread of this deadly virus, and this could potentially be detrimental to your business if processes are manual and require workers for every step.

Simplify with OPAL’s 4 in 1 Software Solution 

EDI | Order Management |Warehouse Management | Shipping

OPAL is the only touchless, self-driving drop ship and order fulfillment software solution in the market today, working 24×7 even when there’s no one in the office.  It processes your orders and makes them ready for picking, packing and shipping when warehouse personnel arrive in the morning.  It also optimizes the pick, pack and ship process to increase warehouse productivity by 25%+.

OPAL automates receiving orders from retailers and e-tailers, manages all EDI transactions, processes and invoices orders through a supplier’s ERP and accounting system, and creates shipping labels and custom-branded 3rd party packing slips per any retailer’s or e-tailer’s requirements.  Once shipped, it sends back tracking information and invoices to the retailer or e-tailer, as well as tracking packages and sending inventory updates.

Consumer demands for accurate and timely shipments will only increase over the coming months and your business should plan ahead to be prepared to keep up with this demand.

 

Click here to book your customized demo today.  We are here to support you through this time of change and are here to help you innovate and thrive!

A Supplier’s Experience: Touchless Order Processing

A Supplier’s Experience: Touchless Order Processing

A Supplier’s Experience – Touchless Order Processing

Yes, OPAL processes your drop ship orders in 5-8 seconds, 24×7, with 100% EDI compliance and zero EDI document costs across all of the retailers that you’re working with. 

So what does this REALLY mean to an e-commerce business?  Joe Miller, CEO of REACHbarrier, a company that provides an easy, affordable way for homeowners to save on energy costs by reducing their energy consumption experienced this common problem:

“We have products that sell for $11-$15 and were unable to sell them on-line due to the order processing cost. With OPAL we were able to lower our order processing cost to $.50 cents or less an order, opening up a whole new sales avenue to us. In addition, it used to take two people to process 100 orders per day. Now, we process thousands of orders daily during peak periods.”

In addition, have you ever thought about how many EDI documents you’re paying for per order?  Well, for a simple drop ship order you are going to need at least five, and the average order file size is 1KC (one thousand characters).  Each one costs $.06+ cents to send or receive.  That may not seem like a lot, but here’s what Victoria Bouldin, Vice President of Primetime Petz experienced:

“We sell our pet gates to the top 20 retailers in the market and were paying $1,100 per month in EDI charges. With OPAL all of that is gone.  The other thing that we really like about OPAL is that it has taken all of the errors out of our order processing.  Everything is accurate and everything ships on time.  It’s enabled me to focus on growing the business without having to worry about managing order processing.”

So, yes, OPAL will process your drop ship orders in 5-8 seconds, 24×7, with 100% EDI compliance and zero EDI document costs.  It is the only self-driving drop ship and order fulfillment software solution in the market today.

 

An Amazon Supplier Case Study

An Amazon Supplier Case Study

An Amazon Supplier Case Study

The labor associated with managing all of the moving parts associated with drop shipping for Amazon, plus the potential cost (if used) of EDI document set-up, translation and transmission seriously impacts the profitability on shipping just one or two items.  If the price per item is reasonably high it’s not so bad, but low cost items often lose money and need to be made up from the sale of higher priced items.

Below is an example of one real supplier that found themselves in exactly this situation before discovering OPAL.  

Here were the steps they went through to ship an $8.95 order through Amazon (fortunately, they were making up the difference on other product lines):

  • Log into the Amazon Portal
  • Click on each order and print it
  • Manually enter that data from the printout into the ERP system
  • Print a Picking Ticket
  • Put products into USPS packaging 
  • Log into the USPS website and re-enter that name and address – AGAIN – and print out the label
  • Go back into the ERP “Shipping Data Entry” and create an invoice
  • Manually type in the tracking number from the postal web site into the ERP
  • Print out an Invoice / Packing List for shipment
  • Go back to the Amazon Portal and re-enter the tracking number – AGAIN – for payment.

All of this took about 10 minutes per order.  This is the cost computed:

  • Order Total: $8.95
  • Minus Cost per Item: $1.57
  • Equals Gross Profit: $7.38
  • Minus Order Processing Labor: $3.67 (10 minutes per order @ $22.00/hr. + benefits)
  • Minus Materials $  .58
  • Minus Amazon Commission (15%): $1.34
  • Profit Before Overhead $1.79

After subtracting all other Overhead Costs, it was determined that nearly $3.00 was being lost per order.  

This is an extreme example, but using an approach that is configured to each individual company’s process, OPAL enabled this company to have an adequate margin – even on this item – by implementing a self-driving, touchless order process that eliminated the $3.67 labor cost per order, PLUS provided the necessary communication with Amazon at no cost, communicated with their shipping carriers and processed each order in less than 8 seconds 24 hours a day, including creating invoices in their ERP.  All they needed to manage was Pick, Pack and Shipment.

Creating a Win-Win Relationship with Retailers

Creating a Win-Win Relationship with Retailers

Creating a Win-Win Relationship with Retailers

When everything goes well, your retailer wins AND your business wins.

You already know the advantages retailers get out of working with you as a Drop Ship Vendor (DSV), but it’s also important to note that poor performing suppliers cost retailers billions of dollars each year.  If you want to be a valued supplier to a retailer, it’s important to make this relationship work efficiently.

Remember that retailers can opt to have as many suppliers as they desire and they don’t have to limit themselves to only one brand.   When you, as a supplier, make money for your retailers they will value your relationship more highly and provide you with the opportunity for even more sales volume.  

When you don’t, the opposite is true and it will be reflected in your Supplier Scorecard and subsequent penalties.

There are essential metrics where your performance is measured and where decisions are made regarding how, or if, they will work with you in the future.  These include:

  1. The number of Back Orders you experience – do you provide them with accurate item inventory so that orders aren’t placed by the retail channel when an item is out of stock.
  2. The number of orders you accurately fulfill within the customer delivery date – do you provide on time order processing and trigger an Advanced Ship Notice (ASN) to your retail channel.
  3. Compliance errors – do you consistently comply with all necessary transactions (Acknowledgement, Confirmation, ASN, Invoices, etc.), PO pricing, packaging, labeling and shipping documentation to minimize order issues and rework (cost) for the retailer.

So, how to you create a win-win with retailers?

Well, the first way is to be compliant with a retailer’s business processes.  This compliance makes you valuable to a retailer by reducing their expenses surrounding order issues and rework.

The second way is to have the ability to scale your business, delivering more on-time orders each day and the handling of peak periods without having to hire additional personnel. 

And lastly, you must maximize your warehouse’s efficiency, dramatically increasing the number of shipments that can be made each day and their accuracy.  

The bottom line is that OPAL addresses all of this for you and more, giving you the means to create a win-win relationship.  Recommended by major retailers to their suppliers, it combines all of your order processing and warehouse management activities into one AUTONOMOUS software platform – NO Warehouse Management System, NO Shipping Software, NO Retailer Portals and NO EDI companies or document charges.

eCommerce Business Planning for 2020

eCommerce Business Planning for 2020

The busy season is over for a large percentage of retailers.  It’s time to take stock of what worked and what didn’t for you as a supplier.  For example:   

  • Did you have to hire temporary employees?   If yes, how many did you need and at what cost?
  • Were you able to process orders in time to meet the customer’s delivery date?
  • Was your warehouse able to keep up and meet the customer’s delivery date?
  • Was your inventory accurate or did you suffer with backorders?
  • Was the cost of EDI documents extremely high?

If the answer is “yes” to any of these, then you need to be aware that OPAL addresses all of these things efficiently and inexpensively.   

  1. There is no need to hire for peak periods.  OPAL provides touchless order processing, meaning orders are retrieved, inventory checked, packaging calculated, and all shipping documentation is ready for batching and printing by the warehouse in seconds.
  2. Orders are processed without human intervention and ready for pick, pack and shipment.  OPAL processes orders 24×7 without human intervention, eliminating order processing bottlenecks.  The only human intervention required is for the 3%-5% of exceptions that will always occur.  
  3. Time and motion are minimized in the warehouse and shipment of orders is accurate.  OPAL provides the tools to pick in a sequence that minimizes the number of steps a picker must take, enables packers to have sufficient packing material in the area before beginning to pack, having master group items kitted in advance for packing, having shipping labels and documents pre-printed based on dimension and weight and sales order scanning for shipment and inventory accuracy.   
  4. Inventory is accurately maintained and reported to your retail sales channels.  OPAL tracks inventory, back orders, reorder levels, your suppliers and lead time – then computes inventory and sends it frequently and accurately to all of your retail channels.  All without overstating inventory to low volume retailers and understating it to high volume retailers.
  5. EDI costs are gone.  OPAL takes advantage of the direct EDI links provided by retailers and e-tailers enabling you to process an order with $0 cost for EDI documents.  OPAL downloads POs (Document 850) from retailers and e-tailers, sends back Acknowledgements (Document 997), ASNs (Document 856), Invoices (Document 810) and Product Inventory (Document 846) with no EDI charges and is 100% compliant with each retailer.

Sound “too good to be true”? If you missed expectations in 2019 or were simply struggling to keep up by throwing more labor resources at the problem, check out OPAL.  It may be the answer and it costs nothing to find out.