How to Digitalize Value-Added Warehouse Services? 
Warehouse Management System Development

How to Digitalize Value-Added Warehouse Services? Warehouse Management System Development

Value-added services (VAS) aim to enhance customers’ experience by making it more efficient and enjoyable. They provide more convenience to the clients, form a good impression encouraging them to return for more. Satisfied customers are likely to become your “brand ambassadors” sharing positive feedback among their friends and spreading a good word. 

In warehousing value-added services may be oriented at 

  • making any interactions with warehouses simple, fast, efficient and straightforward
  • full compliance of the goods that are being packed to shipment requests specifications
  • assuring timely deliveries 
  • decreasing of delivery time and cost
  • simplifying the return procedure
  • bonus system for clients
  • going eco-friendly, and more.

B2B vs B2C warehouse services

There are major differences in operation of B2B and B2C warehouses that must be taken into account during their services digitalization. The automation approach also differs depending on the warehouse size, number of orders processed within a fixed period of time, inventory diversity and properties, etc. 

The table below provides a summarized comparison of B2B and B2C warehousing, possible value-added services and automation implementation. Note that nowadays many warehouses are using a mixed business approach that combines features of both B2B and B2C models.

B2B warehousing

B2C warehousing

Receiving

Service peculiarities. Overseas deliveries, bulk and possibly regular orders, extensive documentation

VAS and automation

  • Suppliers tracking 
  • Suggestions for route optimization
  • Punctuality control and management regarding the time of expected supplier’s arrival and departure
  • Digitalization of document compliance and data exchange processes.

Service peculiarities. Smaller but numerous orders, usually countrywise or international, but rarely transcontinental.

VAS and automation

  • Suppliers tracking 
  • Real-time inventory and space monitoring 
  • Digitalization of data exchange processes

Inventory management

Service peculiarities. Dividing large warehouses into separate zones for structured inventory distribution and possibility of their simultaneous management by different employees. Easier cross docking (reloading the orders to another carrier without their actual stocking in the warehouse, facilitating time and space management) due to the limited number of delivery addresses.

VAS and automation

  • Locate the most frequently demanded items closer to the shipment loading area 
  • Interactive warehouse mapping
  • System for automatic inventory and space management.

Service peculiarities. Varying demand for stocking different quantities of numerous items. Cross docking is harder to implement as there are many small-size orders to be delivered to multiple addresses.   

VAS and automation

  • System for automatic inventory and space management, including real-time in-stock quantity and out-of-stock items reporting and notifications 
  • Integrations with customers’ CRMs for automatic order processing and scheduling to avoid extra stocking and carrying, and reduce the overall services cost.

Picking

Service peculiarities. Complex orders require more time.

VAS and automation.  

  • Portable scanners integrated with the automatic inventory management system
  • Use of robots, automated storage and retrieval system (ASRS)
  • Interactive warehouse mapping
  • Picking routes optimization based on analysis of the collected tracking data and statistics.

Service peculiarities. Numerous small-size personal orders, often coming from a few different channels; multi-order picking to save time; wave picking to get a group of orders ready on time for a particular delivery vehicle.

VAS and automation.

  • Portable scanners integrated with the automatic inventory management system and orders management platform
  • Interactive warehouse mapping
  • Placing bonus product samples.

Packing

Service peculiarities. Bulk orders, a few options of standard packaging regarding the types of products (if they are fragile, liquid, etc.)

VAS and automation

Automatic packaging system.

Service peculiarities. High volume of diverse individual orders packing. Possible brand packaging for different manufacturers.

VAS and automation.

Automated choice of appropriate package type, and optimization of its size to reduce the delivery cost.

Shipping

Service peculiarities. Dedicated transport for shipping; returning customers with a manageable number of addresses; delivery to clients’ warehouses.

VAS and automation

  • Notification with an automatically formed shipment contents list to ensure it’s correct and prevent the return
  • Loyalty programs for long-term  clients.

Service peculiarities. Third-party carriers; numerous usually small-sized shippings to personal addresses; constantly appearing new delivery destinations. 

VAS and automation

  • Notification with an automatically formed shipment contents list to ensure it’s correct and prevent the return 
  • Transportation management system to automatically find the optimal route and carrier for the delivery.

Returns management

Service peculiarities. Due to mostly large orders, return requires considerable logistics resources. Orders often present strategic value for businesses. Any returns result in shipment delays, which may have far-reaching negative consequences, up to business bankruptcy. Losing clients is disastrous for warehouses too.   

VAS and automation

Clear algorithm of return procedure with strictly set time deadlines and money return policy.

Service peculiarities. Returns are easier to manage, as they are usually small, ordered for personal use, and do not present strategic business value.

VAS and automation.   

  • Clear algorithm of return procedure with strictly set time deadlines and money return policy
  • Bonus compensation in case the return was caused by any warehouse malfunction or mistake.

An example of warehouse management system development [case study]

An owner of a few convenience stores saw that selling products online and their delivery could be promising value-added services. Our collaboration resulted in a B2B solution integrating warehouse and delivery services, as well as a marketplace and order management system. 

Apiko's dedicated team developed both a mobile app and a website to perfectly suit the needs of all software users. They have a lot of functionality in common, and you can check it out below.

Admin dashboard

  • Add new users and assign user roles: couriers, warehouse admin, and other employees 
  • Send notifications to a particular user or to groups of users (e.g. all couriers, warehouse employees, etc.)
  • Access employees’ profile information
  • Check couriers’ feedback
  • Create product categories and subcategories (or assign their creation to an employee), e.g. 
    • soft drinks: water, juice, tea, coffee, soda, etc. 
    • alcohol drinks: beer, whiskey, brandy, etc. 
    • groceries: snacks, pastry, fruit, vegetables, meat, etc.
    • children care 
    • products for pets
    • home & office, etc.
  • Create product description: 
    • name 
    • category/ subcategory 
    • price per unit 
    • weight 
    • depth/width/length dimensions
    • quantity in storage (possible to add a few storages if necessary) 
    • possibility to add properties fields to indicate  the information specific for the particular product
  • Edit/ publish/ unpublish (so you can publish it again when it’s in storage)/ delete products
  • Vacancies: publish/ edit/ unpublish
  • Articles: possibility to publish text, tables, pictures, videos, etc., other blog functionality
  • Global search to find any required data within the app

Customer’s profile 

  • Authorization
  • Enter/ edit/ delete the contact details: name, address for delivery, phone number, email (optionally)
  • Pick products within the selected categories, search products
  • Online payment system, and possibility to check “paying with cash” field and to indicate the denomination of the banknote the customer will need change from
  • Indicate the delivery time
  • Leave feedbacks for couriers
  • Leave order-related comments
  • Repeat order functionality - so you don’t have to spend your time choosing the same products if you’d like to order them again, or if you’d like to make similar deliveries to different locations
  • Check orders history 
  • Shipment tracking

Sales orders management system 

  • Integration with a CRM (admin) system to automatically add customer’s contact details, and the date of user’s registration
  • Notifications for warehouse employees about the contents of an incoming purchase request
  • Assign and confirm the courier to deliver the order
  • Cancel the order when currently there are no such items in storage (possibility to indicate the reason of cancelation)
  • Send notifications to the users (e.g. about the courier’s arrival, phone number updating if the courier is not able to connect with the customer, or asking to connect the courier in case the latter cannot find the customer, or any changes or updates the customer should be informed about)
  • Payment information 
  • Orders status: assigned, picked, delivered, canceled
  • User’s order history

Courier’s profile 

  • Notifications about new orders that specify
    • Client’s data
    • The storage to pick up the order from (in case there are a few warehouses)
    • Expected pick-up and delivery time
    • Payment type (card/ cash)
    • In case of payment with cash there is a notification about how much change is needed
  • Real-time messaging with the other app users
  • Orders history  
  • Check the clients’ feedback

Besides the features mentioned above, the website also includes

  • a landing page with the information about the app services 
  • contacts page 
  • jobs opportunities featuring open vacancies and application forms
  • menu with the user’s profile information, messaging tool, in-app and push notifications
  • blog with useful information the customers may be searching for to draw traffic to the website while providing extra value.

The developed software has digitally transformed the convenience stores, drawing more clients and strengthening the positions on the market. It provided the customers with the ability to shop online whenever they have time, and schedule the products delivery to their homes. The warehouse management system is integrated with the ecommerce shop and delivery services, which streamlines the orders processing. 

As the warehouses differ by the purpose they are designed for, size, and implemented business model, the spectrum of the value-added services one may need to digitalize is not limited to those described in this article. The Apiko team would be glad to assist you with discovering and implementing top-notch warehousing software solutions.

Loading Comments
CareerServicesIndustriesPortfolioCompanyBlogContact Us
(ノ◕ヮ◕)ノ*:・゚✧1
Apiko

Get in touch

letter img
location icon
Lasnamae linnaosa, Pae tn 25-47,
Harju maakond, Tallinn, Estonia, 11414
CareersContactsBrand kitGDPR Compliance
IndustriesManufacturingTransportation & logisticsFacility managementFintechHuman capitalB2B solutionsE-learningE-commerce & retailBooking & reservationJob board marketplaceFood marketplace

© 2014 - 2022 Apiko. All rights reserved

clutchgithubfacebooklinkedintwitterdribbble icondribbble