Beverage warehouses face pressure from distributors who need to turn over inventory to avoid profit loss. If your warehouse struggles to keep up with beverage distribution, try these strategies for monitoring and order management improvement.

Invest in Efficient Software

Order management software will increase efficiencies across the system through forecasting, real-time reporting, labor planning, load planning, automation, rules-based workflow, and more. You'll have an easier time changing the way orders are processed when you have software that meets your needs. If you are still relying on legacy logistics software, it’s probably time to evaluate and upgrade.

Automate to Reduce Shortages

With order management software, you can automate many parts of the beverage fulfillment process to reduce shortages and delays in order management. Automate receiving, replenishment, and accounting to have enough product on hand to meet customer needs.

Segment Your Warehouse

If your workers have to search for popular SKUs, they'll take longer to fulfill orders. Review sales data and separate the most popular beverages from the slower-moving items. Creating a corresponding floor plan where pickers can quickly access the most popular items will save time when fulfilling each order.

Use Reporting to Improve Transportation

Software with accurate forecasting tools lets you review trends in customer demand and apply those statistics to future inventory decisions. When you understand trends in customer orders, you can optimize your delivery routes while accounting for customer pre-orders, sales history, and sales forecasts. By using forecasting data to plan truck loading and transportation, you can curate smarter delivery routes to curb spending on transportation. This is an essential consideration as rates in shipping are trending upward, with substantial increases just this year from popular carriers such as UPS, FedEx and even the USPS. Planning ahead based on forecasting data streamlines the work of loading orders onto the truck. Your warehouse will save on labor and transportation costs, while keeping your customers satisfied.

Bolster visibility and transparency

Many players in the beverage industry promise to deliver SKUs by a set date, then have to scramble  to make it happen. More attention has been paid to persuading a customer to place an order than to making sure the order can be fulfilled in a timely manner. Now, customers are increasingly expecting the “Amazon-level” experience; there’s an expectation of delivery speed and the ability to track their shipment in real-time. Increasing efficiencies around order visibility, forecasting, and reporting will ensure the inventory is there when the order is received.

Increasing transparency in the order and fulfillment process, as well as visibility of inventory, will build trust in your customers and decrease mishaps in order management. You can bet you’re your competitors are investing in process efficiencies, as implementations of advanced WMS software and automation are rapidly increasing. If you haven't modernized your order management, you risk losing customers to distributors who have a robust order management system in place.

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