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    July 6, 2017

    How Breaking Down Data Silos Makes eCommerce More Efficient

    If you are a retailer or otherwise sell direct-to-customer, you will want to find ways to fulfill orders quickly, accurately, and efficiently. While there are many processes that must be put in place to achieve this, integrating systems—particularly when it comes to your data—may be the one key you are still missing.

    In fact, one of the biggest business obstacles identified by business experts over the past few years has been silos. Silos are simply teams (or sometimes entire departments) that work in isolation, with little functional access to, or communication with, other groups.

    Departmental silos are seen as a challenge for organizations of all sizes. They spring from a “silo mentality” and are one of the biggest hurdles preventing efficiency, not to mention decision-making and leveraging Big Data.

    Silos are especially deadly in eCommerce. But the silos in eCommerce businesses are less likely to be organizational ones and more likely to be data silos. Real efficiency is attained when data silos are broken down and true integration is achieved.

    Infoplus software is designed with this goal in mind. By facilitating the integration of data from various departments—sales, inventory, warehousing, shipping, accounting, channel partners, and so on—Infoplus software helps businesses cut costs, reduce error, and achieve peak efficiency.

    Specifically, the ease of integration that comes with Infoplus allows you to:

    Supercharge Your Shopping Carts

    Do you use a well-known shopping cart software, such as Shopify, Magento, or WooCommerce? You can use Infoplus to connect all your order sources, syncing quantities in your online sales channels with what’s happening with your physical inventory. Real-time data can help update quantities, eliminating overselling and reducing backorders. Infoplus can also supply tracking so that customers can know what to expect.

    Even if you don’t use these shopping carts, or if you use multiple kinds of sales channels, achieving integration is easy and requires minimal customization.

    Perfect Your Inventory and Logistics

    Knowing your exact inventory levels in real time is important. Infoplus lets you track exactly how much of each item you have, notifying you of Low Stock and Out of Stock situations so you can avoid backorders. You can even set thresholds for automatic reordering.

    Optimize Your Shipping Costs

    The carrier/service-level automation features of Infoplus let you find the most cost-effective packing and shipping options, helping your business save on shipping. You can also identify carriers that make invoicing errors and take steps to remedy these.

    Shipping needs to be accurate as well, so customers are kept happy. All too often, shipping labels can be misapplied, sending the wrong packages to the wrong parts of the country. Only when there is a single, continuous workflow with the appropriate checks can you contain and mitigate such errors. This is exactly what Infoplus provides.

    Generate Useful Market Intelligence

    Shipping records, including destinations, quantities, and purchasing patterns, can provide extensive amounts of marketing intelligence. For example, one can answer questions such as:

    • What regions of the country are generating the most orders?
    • Which items are going to which cities and regions?
    • Which items are frequently purchased together?
    • Is there a seasonality to any items?
    • Which items are growing in sales, reflecting recent trends?
    • Which product lines are not doing well and need to be discontinued?

    Answers to these questions can in turn inform business decisions and help substantiate other forms of marketing research. (For more information, see our post on “How the Right Reports Can Turn Fulfillment into Business Intelligence Gold.”)

    Get Better Reporting

    With Infoplus, reporting becomes more extensive, useful, and fast. With older systems, generating reports is a time-consuming exercise that leaves little room for activities such as reading and analyzing reports, strategizing, and planning for growth. Even when done right, those reports are only a backward-looking snapshot of what has already happened.

    With report-generating with accurate, real-time data, organizations can easily identify small ways to cut costs and boost margins. Many of these improvements might be too small to justify a large labor expense but are perfect for an automated system.

    Know Your True Costs—and Profit

    Knowing the “true” cost of goods sold—including the cost to receive, store, insure, and ship goods and handle returns—is the first step to getting accurate profitability data. Infoplus helps you discover these costs, enabling more accurate profit calculations. You can then isolate cost centers and do something about them.

    Try It and See

    If you would like to see just how Infoplus manages these kinds of integrations, ask for a demo today.

    In the meantime, you can read more in our comprehensive white paper, “5 Exciting Ways Software Integration is Revolutionizing Logistics.” This white paper is absolutely free to download and requires only an email address.

    This post is part of our management value series, which outlines the advantages of Infoplus as seen from a business management perspective. If you would like to see a summary of the series, contact us.

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