• Data Collection
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3 Ways Mobile Data Collection Can Support Omnichannel Fulfillment

Written by Elias Schoelmann
December 14, 2017

Retailers and the logistics managers supporting merchants are in a difficult position. Omnichannel fulfillment strategies are increasingly necessary in the sector, but the cost and complexity of supporting such tactics can be overwhelming. It’s time for change.

According to Multichannel Merchant, the cost of supporting a wide range of retail channels has historically been so great that many businesses have opted to stick to a single-channel approach. However, brands can no longer get by with such a strategy since consumers are dictating more flexibility and adaptability. As such, organizations need to develop strategies to centralize their operations across multiple channels and create a truly omnichannel experience.

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Logistic Viewpoints echoed this sentiment, and pointed out that companies embracing omnichannel experiences must not only invest in new technologies and infrastructure, they also need to get creative in order to deal with nuanced concerns in the sector, such as handling deliveries in densely populated urban centers with many multi-household units.

Mobile data collection technologies can be invaluable in helping retailers ramp up their omnichannel fulfillment strategies. Three of the most prominent ways they achieve this goal include:

1. Eliminate Data Gaps

Many inventory management systems can track items in the warehouse but may provide limited visibility in other areas of the supply chain. An end-to-end mobile data collection strategy can incorporate inventory check-ins at every phase of the supply chain and integrate with ERP systems to allow for full transparency into shipping. This includes barcode scanning in the field or at remote facilities.

2. Reduce Error

Omnichannel fulfillment is increasingly a requirement for today’s businesses.

The complexity of an omnichannel environment often leads to more interdependencies within a warehouse. An incorrect cycle count doesn’t just mess with a shipment to a store, but can also cause problems for online and mobile shoppers. In many cases, a small human error can cause cascading problems when trying to fulfill orders.

Mobile data collection tools simultaneously eliminate human data input and allow for real-time information updates across the entire fulfillment ecosystem. The result is fewer errors and lower costs.

3. Coordinate Operations Over Multiple Facilities

An omnichannel retail strategy often incorporates either multiple warehouses or separate lines of operations within a facility to handle different order types. Delivery requirements vary massively for retail stores compared to individual consumers. With advanced mobile data collection and ERP integration systems in place, organizations can break down some of the barriers between these teams and coordinate operations with greater precision by reducing process and workflow complexity.

Omnichannel fulfillment is increasingly a requirement for today’s businesses, and RFgen offers the mobile data collection systems organizations need to get ahead.