We're an ecommerce brand and we have a huge amount of stock + orders every month. Our fulfilment is outsourced to a 3rd party warehouse. The problem we have is that our stock levels on Shopify and the stock present at the warehouse is never synced properly.
Often, we send out products that are not Shopify orders for example sending out samples, PR gifts, products for photography and marketing related stuff, products for testing etc. Also, whenever a return comes into the warehouse, it isn't added back into the inventory immediately. We have to wait for the end of the month when the warehouse submits the return reports and only then does it get added back. All this causes a lot of discrepancies in our stock levels at the warehouse and on Shopify.
Is there a barcoding system or any other solution to this so that all stock is the same?
Looking forward to hearing from you.
Edit: One thing to note is that we have 10,000+ items in our warehouse already that are not barcoded. If we do get a barcoding solution for this, will we first have to barcode each existing item?
Hey @storeandmore it's definitely a point of concern for a lot of companies using a 3PL. In this circumstance, you will be reliant on the 3PL to provide inventory accuracy in a web portal offered. If this isn't the case, you should consider talking with the 3PL about what they may offer, and try to get them to switch to something, or switch your 3PL entirely.
One thing to note, many 3PLs and the integrations they provide will not provide a level of accuracy and sync like you may expect. The problem exists because Shopify deducts inventory when the item is sold, whereas a system will not deduct the inventory until after which point the item has shipped from the warehouse.
If you are using a 3PL, you may consider searching for a Shopify app they may provide, or ask which system they are using, and see if they might offer an app.
Many companies that face this challenge eventually move to a larger 3PL with the necessary software to handle this, or they move fulfillment in-house so full control can be managed through their own system. Moving in-house can save a lot of costs and headaches in the longer term. For companies that might choose to switch over, you should consider SKUSavvy, as it will handle all the warehouse tasks, inventory, pick pack ship, and provide real-time internal warehouse data so you are always up to date. I'm one of the founders, and we created it as part of our own frustrations with other platforms out there, and not agreeing with what 3PL providers were offering.