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How To: Improving Efficiency and Customer Satisfaction

WarehouseWe all know that Linnworks is a Business Automation package, and we're focussed on helping your business work more efficiently. With Linnworks, your staff can focus on getting orders to customers quickly, and minimising overheads in terms of paperwork and repetitive tasks.

One of the key advantages Linnworks can bring is making Picking, Packing and Despatch faster. This means you can get more orders out in less time, and with the same staff. It can also help you minimise mistakes - Mispicks, mispacks, missed order dispatch notifications, all these things can affect your metrics on the sales channels, and your reviews and reputation with the customers. The happier a customer is, the more likely he will:

  1. Order from you again
  2. Order from you regularly
  3. Review you well so other people are happy to use you
  4. Recommend you personally to their friends.

Efficiency comes from reducing repetitive tasks, and eliminating potential for human error. Linnworks already helps do this by allowing you to consolidate your order processing into one interface, with inventory mapping allowing you to coordinate your stock availability across channels. This means that as long as your stock levels are accurate, your available stock levels online will also be. Don't forget regular Stock Counts, and to use our scrapping functionality to track breakages and damaged stock.

When Orders are processed in Linnworks, as long as you haven't disabled it, Linnworks will notify the channel automatically on the next sync. This removes a possible delay that could affect your seller ratings (late dispatch). You must remember, however, to only mark orders as processed in Linnworks. If you mark an order as dispatched on the channel, it will NOT notify Linnworks. If you then mark it as dispatched in Linnworks, the channel will generally allow the later notification to overwrite the early, possibly leading to warnings from the selling channel or marketplace. Linnworks can also notify the channel of the Tracking number, if it is added to the order. This is done automatically if you use the Shipping Integration functionality.

Shipping

ShippingBy integrating your shipping with Linnworks, you can save more time, and reduce possible mistakes or delays. We integrate with a large number of shipping providers, and are constantly looking at new options.With your shipping integrated into Linnworks, you can automate which methods are assigned to orders, either using Shipping mapping to directly map a shipping method from the selling channel to a postal service in Linnworks, or by commissioning a script to apply more complex rules, including the ability to split orders to ensure items are sent by the appropriate method. This saves staff from needing to manually assess and assign postal methods.

When you are processing an order, you can quickly produce your documentation from within Linnworks, and can use printing conditions to ensure that the correct Invoice template is used, especially valuable if you trade under different names in different markets, and happens transparently, avoiding mistakes and customer queries. You can embed labels into the invoice for some shipping methods, or simply print them on a separate printer. where the shipping method is tracked, we get the tracking information from the provider, and put it directly into the order. This reduces transcription errors, and of course allows the Tracking number to be automatically added the order on the channel when processed.

Picking and Packing Lists

PickingPicking lists can save a large amount of time when retrieving stock from the warehouse. Assuming you have setup BinRack locations for your Inventory items, then when you print a Picking list for a number of orders together, Linnworks can compile a list of the items needed to fulfil all those orders, and then order it by the BinRack. This means the person picking from that list can work from one side of the warehouse to the other, without having to double back on themselves to look for items.

A Packing List for the same items helps to ensure that everything is in the right package before you add Invoices and shipping labels. Bot reports can be printed with only a couple of clicks, or via our Batch Pilot functionality in concert with other actions.

Barcodes

A useful tool is the humble USB barcode scanner. Available relatively cheaply, and generally requiring no drivers, they are a truly 'Plug and Play' device. When coupled with Linnworks, they can enable quicker lookup of items or orders. The key is to use the documentation and barcoding features in Linnworks with the scanner.

In the template designer, you can easily add a barcode for a given value in a table, such as Order Number, SKU or the Item barcode field for picking lists, packing lists etc.

Processing Orders

You can add the 'Order Id' field in your invoice template with a barcode as a separate item. If you add a new 'Labels and Variables' item into the template, and double click it to edit it, you can select the 'nOrderId' tag to be included. You can then click on 'Barcode' to enable that feature, and 'OK' to apply the changes. You will then see a dummy order ID, usually '1001', with a barcode above it. You can then scan that in to look up an order in the 'Open Order' screen, and the 'Despatch Console', ensuring that the order you are processing is the order you are holding the invoice for. Order numbers can also be included in the Picking List, as mentioned above.

Item Barcodes can also be used before marking an order as complete, to ensure the customer receives all their items, or Simply to look it up and confirm a detail.

Inventory items and management

Linnworks has a label designer accessible via the 'My Inventory' screen and Inventory Item details. This means you can label your stock with a barcoded SKU to make it easier to look items up. These labels can also be printed when you book an item into stock.

Purchase Orders

If you want to book an item into stock from a Purchase order, the system can search not just against the Barcode, but the SKU. This means that you can quickly look up an item, see if there are any Purchase orders or Channel Orders waiting for that item, and not only book the stock in, but mark the appropriate purchase order to show those items have been delivered. This can use the barcode of the item, or a stock item label with a SKU, as mentioned in 'Inventory Items'.

As you can see, there are lots of different things you can do, some small, some large, to save time in the process of fulfilling your orders, make things more efficicient, and remove the possibility of error.

Topics: Linnworks News, Linnworks 'How To'

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