When you have a fashion and apparel warehouse, especially if you are in online business, your warehouse management system must fulfill some important requirements. The average number of products in an order is around 2 items per order in online fashion and apparel business. And also returns by the customer is relatively higher than many other industries. Besides, receiving process may be difficult depending on the type of business. I will try to explain some of the main challenges and their solutions for online fashion and apparel industry.
The number of products is higher than any other industry because of the seasonality, color and size options. Your inventory management system must handle a higher number of products without a performance lack. It is better to have an active/inactive option for the products.
Size/Color Variant Management
Usually, different sizes of the same fashion product have different SKU numbers. And this results in human errors when a barcode system is not used. Employees can easily pick the wrong size of the same product and ship it to consumers which cause high return rates and customer complaints. In order to prevent errors, your inventory management system should allow you to assign different barcodes to different size and color variants of the same product.
Returns by Customer
Returns by the customer are relatively higher in fashion and apparel products. Your warehouse management system must have a return station to effectively manage the return process. The system should be able to fetch the order information by scanning order barcode or shipment tracking number. And usually, seeing the shipped products and their photos are valuable when verifying the returns.
Single Item Orders
Single item orders are higher in online fashion and apparel industry and should be managed in a productive way. Order based picking is not suitable and effective for single item orders in fashion and apparel. Instead of using order based picking, batch picking should be used for single item orders. Generally, a picker can pick more than 200 fashion and apparel product in a single trip in the warehouse. By using batch picking, we have seen 50% productivity and improvement in our existing clients.
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