The demands and high expectations of e-commerce fulfillment for modern day consumers often leave logistics managers and their teams scrambling to keep pace with the extreme volume and variety of orders that must be efficiently prepared on a daily basis.
Omni-channel retail provides users with an almost infinite amount of options for when, where and how to place their orders. As a result, distribution centers have been forced to adapt their internal operating systems in order to not only maintain the essentials of their current processes, but also implement new innovative structural designs which allow for the flexibility required to satisfy the demands of e-commerce fulfillment.
The next question logistics specialists must ask themselves is how to identify which systems can help with this high-demand e-commerce consumer society.
Essential Systems for E-commerce Fulfillment
Software Solutions for E-commerce Fulfillment
Warehouse management systems (WMS) provide unsurpassable control over essential operations and inventory handling. Take the stress out of challenging processes and allow this software to calculate optimal slotting organization and maintain real-time inventory data. In addition, a customizable software solution is available specifically for E-Commerce fulfillment. Get an edge over the competition with these innovative tools:
- Automatic selection of receptions.
- Creation of serial numbers for tracking sales units.
- Facilitation of item grouping based on picking lines, product destination and products with incidents.
- Configurable order grouping and separation.
- Notification of picked orders and their extraction.
- Management of incomplete orders due to stock outages or other incidents.
Automated Storage and Retrieval Systems
With the high variability and constant fluctuations in order volume and rates of SKU turnover, warehouse managers see an increasing loss in productivity due to the travel time required for operators to continuously move around the entire facility to manually retrieve products. Because of this, there is a growing demand for the implementation of automated storage and retrieval systems (AS/RS) in order to counteract this negative effect on labor costs.
Not all AS/RS systems are necessarily considered ideal for e-commerce fulfillment, however, some innovative systems exist which have a significant impact on order handling and overall throughput. An automated storage and retrieval system that is used in e-commerce warehouses is the conveyor system for boxes.
Conveyors play a vital role in order fulfillment processes by functioning as the circulatory system of distribution centers. These indispensable transport systems have various components and characteristics which can be designed specifically to meet the needs of your e-commerce facility. Here are some of the benefits conveyor systems have to offer:
- They can be designed for pallets or boxes. Roller and chain conveyors can transport pallets, while roller, belt and band conveyors are ideal for boxes.
- Systems can be designed to form diverse circuits with straight, curved and inclined sections, along with changes in level.
- Conveyors are engineered to endure intense daily work at a high performance level.
What’s the Bottom Line for E-commerce Fulfillment?
Although it’s true that the implementation of AS/RS installations requires a significant initial investment, the benefits these systems provide e-commerce distribution centers have proven to logistics experts that they are well worth the cost. The reduction of labor costs and increased productivity are keys to success when it comes to keeping up with the growing global demands of e-commerce fulfillment.