Q&A: Should You Consider a Retail WMS Solution for NetSuite?

While many people associate WMS systems with the management of warehouse and shop floor activities, there are several other key areas where this powerful technology can quickly deliver value and boost efficiency. Let's take retail, for example. RF-SMART's Retail Inventory Management solution enables NetSuite customers like MDen to gain full visibility and control over their retail operations. 

This Q&A is part of our YouTube series, Q&A with RF-SMART. This series focuses on industry tips, best practices, and RF-SMART company culture. To receive notifications about new videos, you can subscribe to our YouTube channel.

MDen is a family-owned business that is proud to be the official merchandise retailer of the University of Michigan’s Athletics Department. They operate 5 retail locations, including their 30,000 square foot flagship store in heart of the University’s campus. They also manage an online store, and when sporting events are up and running, they have up to 12 additional pop-up locations.

We spoke to Brian Hilger, MDen’s Director of Marketing, about their experience of using RF-SMART’s WMS solution for NetSuite across their retail business.

Q: Why did MDen choose NetSuite and RF-SMART?

"Our legacy system was heading towards becoming unsupported software. The concern of not having support available when something goes wrong was a major factor. The system was also very tough to train employees on. At the time, we were also picking by paper, meaning there was no validation up-front to confirm the worker had picked the right item. We experienced a lot of mis-picks, mis-shipments, and it led to a lot of re-stocking.

When we were going through our NetSuite implementation, we didn’t initially have WMS on our minds. It wasn’t until our NetSuite consultant came on site that we realized it was something we really needed to consider – so much so, that they immediately recommended RF-SMART to us."

Q: How is MDen using RF-SMART for retail?

"We work with a lot of small vendors, and a lot of the time inventory doesn’t necessarily come in pre-priced or tagged. We therefore use the Price Check functionality that comes with RF-SMART on our handheld devices - as well as through NetSuite. Barcode printing is also huge for us; it gives us the ability to tag products when they come in.

We only had one inventory location in our legacy system. By moving to NetSuite and RF-SMART, we now have multi-location inventory; our employees love the ability to see what inventory is in different locations. Should a customer come in and see that something is out of stock, they can track it down for them – that is huge for our staff.

The other two big things for us are Inventory Transfers and Transfer Orders. We move inventory around when we’re trying to get things from store-to-store for customers, or when things are coming back to our warehouse; inventory transferring is a huge help there. One thing that we added on is the ability to create a Transfer Order on the fly, which is important for our store managers. If they see they are in need or some merchandise or are out of stock, they can create a Transfer Order using a mobile handheld device - our warehouse gets that immediately and they can send the inventory straight to them."

Q: What are the benefits of using a WMS for Retail?

"There are a lot of moving pieces in retail - you can’t do business to the depth that we do without having a robust warehouse management system. While we did previously have some scanning capabilities, it wasn’t a nice, cohesive system. RF-SMART really affords us the ability to move effectively and efficiently while giving us full visibility across our business."

Got questions for us?

We've got answers. If you are a NetSuite retail customer, find out how you can reduce your costs and improve efficiency across your operations with RF-SMART. Book a demo or speak to our NetSuite team today.

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