Why is accurate, consistent, and automated EDI for housewares so important?
Well, if your company is a housewares brand or a housewares supplier, you already know the category has unique challenges. Companies typically have multiple SKUs, often with subtle differences in colors or sizes, and varied packing requirements. Distribution is typically wide, with many different retailer relationships. With eCommerce entrenched as a vital part of the business, housewares brands find themselves with even more channels stocking their own web sites and selling through dominant online marketplaces such as Amazon and Wayfair.
It all adds up to a level of complexity that makes housewares a business that requires keen attention to detail, and the seamless exchange of EDI documents is vital to maintain productive, profitable relationships.
Automate EDI for housewares.
There’s one commodity that’s in short supply for most people who work in housewares.
Housewares isn’t an easy category, and the recipe for success is always changing. Consumer tastes change more quickly than ever, and even a color can go from Hot to Not in a matter of weeks. Social media can fuel demand, but it also stokes a restless nature among even your most loyal customers. If your company finds itself with an of-the-moment item, there’s a need to rush into as many retail locations before sentiment changes.
Trying to stay on top of it all is a constant, but necessary, effort for any successful housewares supplier.
So how can you find more time, especially if you’re bootstrapping it and trying to grow a nascent brand? You can start my making your EDI transactions more automated. That’s what the right EDI provider will do for you—turn high-touch, error-prone human tasks into lightning fast transactions performed by robust software.
If you’re still managing EDI like it’s the 1980s, make an upgrade. Get software that automates tasks, and can integrate seamlessly with the system that powers your business—an ERP, accounting software like QuickBooks, WMS, or the platform used by your 3PL provider. The hours you save will give you the time you need to develop new ideas and capitalize in a marketplace that is always evolving.
Error-free direct-to-consumer is critical for housewares.
Even before the coronavirus pandemic created a new Normal, the move towards online shopping and direct-to-consumer drop shipping was underway. With COVID, the change has only accelerated.
It’s no secret that retailers are being forced to reimagine their businesses like they never have before. Reliable suppliers who can handle direct-to-consumer shipping without errors can use this time as an opportunity to build productive relationships.
But direct-to-consumer comes with its own set of challenges. Instead of shipping hundreds of products to one distribution center, companies are being asked to ship single items to residential addresses all over. You’ll want EDI software that makes this task as efficient and error-free as possible. Labels should be automatically generated from order information, and direct connections to major shipping providers will save time on every order.
Report housewares inventory accurately.
The increased emphasis on direct-to-consumer business makes accurate inventory reporting essential. Houseware brands need to be able to deliver as expected, and as needed.
A document that should be a key focus for suppliers of housewares is the Inventory Advice—the EDI 846. Many retailers have very specific compliance requirements related to it. Accuracy is essential—if a consumer makes a purchase that is not fulfilled in a timely fashion, the retailer bears the brunt of the frustration. And that will make them less likely to continue trading with a supplier who drops the ball.
Here at eZCom, we’re laser-focused on helping our customers maintain accurate inventory numbers. Every day, especially during this pandemic, we’re working with our users to ensure EDI 846 compliance. During the recent Retailer Value Chain Federation (RVCF) virtual Fall conference, members of our senior management team discussed inventory transparency in a webinar.
Don’t make housewares harder than it has to be.
Success in the housewares category isn’t easy. If it’s not handled correctly, EDI can be a drain on your time and a serious pain point.
Of course, it’s also a necessary part of your business. But if you choose a responsive EDI provider with a robust software platform and significant housewares experience, you can transform it from a requirement to a true competitive advantage. You’ll be able to spend less time managing it, and gain additional time to focus on staying on top of the latest housewares trends.