Warehouse Management Systems: Improving B2B Customer Service

  • By Matthew Davis
  • Feb 26, 2024
  • Customer Engagement
  • Inventory Secrets
Warehouse Management Systems

If you operate a B2B business, customer service is a strategic cornerstone, not just a cost center.

This is why a warehouse management system (WMS) is crucial. Warehouse management tools automate fulfillment and messaging. They keep your B2B customers informed, and ultimately, enable your business to build trust and loyalty.

Think about it like this:

Your customers rely on you for the wholesale products they sell. And their customers expect the shelves to be stocked and their orders to be fulfilled fast. Automating customer service tasks in your WMS updates them every step of the way.

Interested in how it works? Keep reading to learn how warehouse management systems automate inventory tasks and fulfillment, helping you provide better B2B customer service.

Challenges Faced by B2B Warehouses

B2B (business-to-business) warehouses help with the smooth functioning and streamlining of B2B operations. Hence, they play a critical role in the supply chain as it serves as:

  • First POC for inventory and storage
  • Plays an active role in distribution
  • Responsible for order fulfillment

In other words, a B2B warehouse sets the stage for commerce. Inefficiencies at the warehouse level, affect the entire supply chain. And this causes a cascade of issues faced by the in-house sales and support team, all the way down to retail customers.

Unfortunately, B2B warehouses face several challenges that can impact their efficiency. These are some of the most common challenges faced by B2B warehouses.

1. Rising Operational Costs

Controlling operating expenses is time consuming. Warehouse managers need to balance labor, maintenance, utilities, and technology costs, to name a few.

Because it’s so time-consuming, this makes it even more challenging to deliver quality service. It’s a never-ending task. As a result, service suffers, as managers have to make due with fewer resources.

2. Demand for Faster Shipping and Delivery

The market expects fast shipping: Same-day service, overnight shipping, and two-day options have become the expectation. But that’s not just on the consumer side anymore.

B2B customers (often retailers) expect it too, as they seek to keep up with online shopping demand. Automation is a necessity for meeting tight delivery deadlines, while maintaining accuracy.

3. Inventory Management

B2B warehouses frequently handle 1000s of SKUs. And all of the inventory tasks are time consuming: Maintaining and tracking stock levels, managing inventory accuracy, and timely replenishment.

A warehouse management system offers a solution.

4. Order Fulfillment

For B2B warehouses, it is crucial to have accurate and timely order fulfillment. This includes:

  • Timely order picking
  • Accurate and quality packing
  • Reducing or eliminating shipping errors
  • On-time shipping and delivery

One of the biggest challenges of B2B warehouses is to ensure order fulfillment accuracy, and technology is often the tool that makes this possible.

5. Supply Chain Visibility

Lack of real-time visibility can disrupt the entire supply chain. B2B warehouses may need real-time inventory visibility to avoid difficulties. Supply chain visibility depends on various channel partners, such as manufacturers, courier companies, delivery agents, etc.

Understanding B2B Warehouse Management Systems

B2B warehouse management systems (WMS) are essential in streamlining the warehouse’s operations. These software solutions are designed to manage and control warehouse operations, ensuring accuracy, efficiency, and supply chain visibility.

Here’s a detailed guide to a B2B warehouse management system and how it works:

What is a B2B Warehouse Management System (WMS)?

B2B warehouse management tools manage and control warehouse operations for businesses. They ensure smooth B2B transactions and higher efficiency.

A WMS acts as a centralized platform to handle various warehouse tasks, track inventory, process orders, supply chain visibility, and much more.

Key Features of an Efficient Warehouse Management System

Here are a few key features that you should look for:

1. Inventory Tracking and Management

Your warehouse staff will be unable to quickly accommodate customers if the foundational aspects of your warehouse management aren’t in place. Properly tracking your warehouse inventory is the cornerstone of this foundation. Using an SKU system, your warehouse management software will monitor the stock levels of all items and pinpoint the exact location of each item within your warehouse facility.

2. Real-time Product Visibility

The tracking system will also show you which items are in transit from manufacturers and to your business customers. When your customers call the warehouse to learn the ETAs of recent orders or to report that an expected order has not arrived, your warehouse workers must be able to access all information associated with those orders.

3. Storage Allocation

Your warehouse workflow could get congested if you don’t maximize and fully utilize your shelf space. Often, visualizing how to pack and store goods on your own won’t result in getting the most storage space out of every aisle in your warehouse.

Considering the following suggestions, you can increase the volume of goods per square foot of shelf space.

  • Extend your racking-up vertically
  • Install a mezzanine above all floor-level processes
  • Reduce aisle width in the racking area
  • Add half-pallet storage locations
  • Store certain products in trailers for short-term or seasonal needs, and most importantly
  • Leverage your warehouse management system software for directed put-away.

Remember, your warehouse and inventory management software must accurately reflect your warehouse floor and workflow, no matter how complex it becomes as you grow.

4. Receiving and Stowing

Receiving and stowing refers to your incoming inventory that must be recorded and shelved adequately at your warehouse. Your warehouse management and inventory software must reflect the real-world flow of items that come and go.

To accurately record incoming inventory, the software must be able to track freight as it comes in from trucks across your loading docks. Whatever happens in real life must be reflected within the software, including discrepancies.

Suppose a worker discovers that a package of incoming goods has fewer units than expected. In that case, the worker must be able to alert you on the spot and update the entire system quickly without fanfare, so that you can immediately contact any of your customers who could be affected.

5. Picking and Packing

Your warehouse management software must assist your workers with the two most often-used core functions within the supply chain: picking and packing. First, the networked software must be capable of generating pick lists for your workers.

Using a pick list, the worker will know the exact location of each item within the warehouse and retrieve all items for the order quickly and efficiently. This should encompass zone picking, wave picking, and batch picking.

The order items, once collected, will correlate to the packing slip and be ready for shipment. The packer, who receives the order items and packing slip, will securely box the order, weigh it, and affix a shipping label to the package.

Throughout this process, the warehouse management and inventory software will guide through the tasks, alert on shortages, trigger reordering, and provide real-time inventory and order updates that affect the workflow of the other employees and departments.

6. Shipping Documentation and Order Fulfillment

Shipping orders to your customers may not be as simple as it sounds. The shipping terms could vary widely depending on your contractual relationships with each customer.

Are you covering the cost of shipping? Or are you using your carriers and then billing your customers for the charges?

Perhaps you’ve arranged to split the cost of shipping with your customers. No matter how complex your shipping terms are, and even if you have different terms for customers, your warehouse management software must handle them. Your workers must be able to see all relevant and appropriate information within the system so that accounting errors do not occur.

No matter the terms, as part of your customer service courtesy, once an order ships, your warehouse management system should automatically send out an electronic confirmation to the customer or an in-store or curbside pickup reminder that includes shipment tracking information.

7. Logistic Management and Integration

Eliminate warehouse inefficiencies by utilizing fulfillment logistics settings within the inventory software. You want warehouse and inventory software that is both customizable and pre-structured with an intuitive interface.

This way, your workers can speed through inputting and updating the management system as they track and fulfill orders.

8. Reporting And Analytics

Providing fast, effective, and satisfactory customer service will require accurate, instantly accessible reporting. Setting different access levels for your staff may be appropriate, but your warehouse management software should be customizable in this way.

Depending on which employees you grant access to, your warehouse reports will let the viewer review and track inventory at all locations.

Reporting will cover four main categories. These are transfer reports, purchasing reports, receiving reports, and other warehouse reports.

The available reports should be as complex as your business. For your internal operations, the reports should also include inventory forecasting so that you can foresee and pre-plan your inventory to meet the needs of your business customers.

With the software, you can also review your employees’ productivity and specific details, such as who has completed safety training and who is licensed and certified.

9. Barcode Scanning and RFID Integration

To improve your warehouse’s efficiency, tracking the movement of all the goods is essential. Integrating RFID tags and barcodes is the most effective way to do this.

RFID and barcodes can give complete information about the product – inventory count, placements, location, real-time data, etc.

This makes inventory barcode scanners and RFID integration extremely important as it helps reduce manual data entry errors.

10. Integration With Point-of-Sale (POS) System

POS integration has proven to be a vital tool for businesses. POS records customers’ data, their preferences, purchases, etc.

Fusing the POS data with warehouse data will ensure a much better selection of goods and services. It will give an idea of purchasing patterns and product reviews, thus affecting the restocking of goods.

Moreover, integrating your retail POS software with the warehouse management system can help personalize the product offerings and improve the customer experience.

Deep Dives into Key Benefits of WMS for B2B

Warehouse management system benefits outline the importance of an efficient WMS and how it can help simplify B2B operations:

1. Enhanced Order Fulfillment for B2B Complexity:

Wondering how to simplify the order fulfillment complexity? Here are some sure-shot ways:

Batch picking optimization:

Manage numerous orders effectively by selecting products for several orders simultaneously. Thus, boosting output, reducing time, and increasing efficiency. It helps with:

  • Faster order fulfillment
  • Reduced labor costs
  • Minimized order errors

Pallet and container management:

Pallet and container management helps increase the storage capacity, expedites the handling procedure, and enhances the picking process. A few of the advantages are:

  • Improves warehouse space utilization and optimization
  • Reduces product handling and relocation costs
  • Enhances order accuracy

2. Streamlined Inventory Management for B2B Visibility

Streamlining the process and having complete visibility of the product movement is crucial. Here are some ways to do this:

Serialized item tracking

This helps track various products using distinct serial numbers. A few of the advantages are:

  • Enhanced traceability
  • Improved accuracy in managing high-value or regulated products
  • Complete transparency

Advanced forecasting and replenishment

Demand prediction, inventory optimization, and replenishment process automation are achieved by leveraging data analytics and historical trends. It helps with:

3. Cost & Resource Optimization Tailored for B2B

Warehouse management software helps reduce costs and optimizes productivity. Here’s how:

Reduced warehouse space needs

Effective warehouse layouts and optimum storage reduce storage costs. Here are some of the benefits:

  • Lower warehouse costs
  • Increased storage capacity
  • Improved operational efficiency

Labor cost savings

Implementing automation, robotics, and efficient workflows to reduce manual labor requirements. The benefits are:

  • Lower labor costs
  • Increased order fulfillment speed
  • Reduced errors

4. B2B E-commerce Integration for Frictionless Operations

Integration is an essential tool to help grow business operations. It reduces manual jobs, thus giving more time and energy towards expansion. Here’s how integration can help:

Real-time customer visibility

WMS ensures that our customers have access to up-to-date information regarding their orders. This includes the status of their orders, inventory levels, and shipment tracking details. A few of the benefits are:

  • Improved customer satisfaction
  • Increased transparency
  • Enhanced communication

Seamless data flow

Integrating B2B e-commerce platforms with warehouse systems is advisable to ensure real-time data synchronization. It benefits with:

  • Accurate and up-to-date inventory information
  • Reduced order processing time
  • Improved order accuracy

Warehouse Management System Benefits

Futureproofing with Technology

The future of B2B warehouse management systems (WMS) is set for significant change due to technological advances. Moreover, the evolving business requirements also factor in the future of WMS integration with the latest technology.

Here are some key aspects of the future of WMS in the B2B sector:

1. Integration of Advanced Technologies

WMS can leverage emerging technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML), and Internet of Things (IoT). AI and ML algorithms are well-known to automate manual tasks, enhance decision-making processes, provide predictive analysis, and optimize workflows for better inventory management.

2. RFID and Blockchain

WMS will provide real-time visibility into inventory movements, order statuses, and overall warehouse performance. It will also utilize technologies like RFID and blockchain to offer advanced traceability features, ensuring end-to-end transparency in the supply chain.

3. Cloud-Based Solutions

Cloud-based warehouse management system (WMS) solutions are becoming increasingly popular due to their scalability, flexibility, and accessibility. Cloud technology makes it easier to integrate with other systems, enables remote access, and ensures seamless operations.

4. Automation and Robotics

Automation and robotics in warehouses are expected to increase in the future. Autonomous mobile robots, robotic picking systems, and automated guided vehicles will become more critical in making order fulfillment processes more efficient, reducing labor costs, and improving overall efficiency.

5. Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR)

AR and VR technologies are set to revolutionize B2B warehouses. With their ability to provide visual cues and instructions, these technologies will significantly enhance order-picking accuracy, reduce training time, and increase workforce productivity.

How Does FTx POS and FTx Warehouse Effectively Help Your Business

Strong B2B customer service is critical to the health and longevity of your warehouse. FTx Warehouse can accurately track your inventory and automate your daily warehouse operations.

Our premium software solutions will give you complete control over your inventory, provide location picking, and equip your workers with the ability to look up and modify item information right from the warehouse floor.

With EDI support built into our software, you can electronically accept orders through the file system or FTP, send out invoices electronically to customers, and mass-print your EDI orders for easy and efficient picking.

Our Warehouse Prime features also include:

  • Price Lists – Price lists are assigned to account groups for easy assignment to customer accounts.
  • Tax – Our software supports tax percentage pricing.
  • Margin % – Our software also supports margin percentage pricing.
  • Add / Discount – Enables you to add and discount your base prices by dollar and the percentage values.
  • Location Picking – Pick up to 10 location levels per item.
  • Pick Sheets – Our pick sheets and handheld wireless device allow you to pick orders efficiently and eliminate unnecessary trips around the warehouse floor.
  • EDI Support – Enables you to accept orders electronically, send invoices online, and mass-print, all via file system or FTP.
  • Inventory – Review the historical value of your inventory, daily inventory snapshots, and run real-time reports.

If you would like to learn more and get started with FTx Warehouse, you can contact us anytime.


WMS forecasting uses historical data and algorithms to accurately:

  • Predict demand
  • Optimize inventory levels
  • Minimize excess inventory costs
  • Ensure timely customer demand fulfillment

Yes. Modern warehouse management systems (WMS) efficiently handle complex B2B orders and can:

  • Organize inventory
  • Track components
  • Streamline order fulfillment processes
  • Ensuring accurate and timely delivery of multiple items

Warehouse Management System (WMS) can improve delivery time and customer satisfaction by:

  • Improving warehouse operations
  • Providing real-time inventory visibility
  • Streamlining and managing end-to-end order processing
    • This leads to faster order fulfillment and improved delivery times, thus increasing customer satisfaction.

Yes, it may be a bit expensive, but the benefits outweigh the costs. WMS offers streamlined operations and works more efficiently than manually managing the warehouse.

The perfect WMS for a B2B business depends on its specific operational needs. Many B2B companies benefit from cloud-based WMS platforms that offer flexibility, integration capabilities, and industry-specific features.

Yes. WMS implementation in B2B warehouses can lead to significant cost savings. It reduces manual labor, automates processes, optimizes workflows, and improves inventory accuracy, enabling companies to allocate resources more efficiently.

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Business Experts & Contributors

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Danielle is a content writer at FTx POS. She specializes in writing about all-in-one, cutting-edge POS and business solutions that can help companies stand out. In addition to her passions for reading and writing, she also enjoys crafts and watching documentaries.

Danielle Dixon

Content Writer
A New Solution Coming To FasTrax

Matthew Davis is a content marketing specialist for FTx POS. With experience in marketing, brick-and-mortar retail, and ecommerce, Matthew enjoys writing about strategies and technology retailers can use to grow. Previously, he managed retail operations for a sports/entertainment facility and worked in marketing consulting.

Matthew Davis

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