E-Commerce Is Changing Warehouse Processes

Are you keeping up with the evolving world of e-commerce?

Warehouses have been a crucial component for retailers, manufacturers, suppliers and many other types of businesses for decades. As a place to store and ship inventory, however, they’re highly susceptible to changes in productivity, efficiency and overall operations. Due to the growth of e-commerce over the last few years, warehouse processes and solutions need to change to adapt to increasingly diverse order profiles and order volumes

What is E-Commerce?

E-commerce, also known as electronic commerce or internet commerce, refers to the buying and selling of goods or services using the internet, and the transfer of money and data to execute these transactions. E-commerce is often used to refer to the sale of physical products online, but it can also describe any kind of commercial transaction that is facilitated through the internet.

Increasingly, distribution centres are confronted with the challenge of adapting to a world dominated by e-commerce. From juggling direct-to-consumer shipping and case fulfilment for retail replenishment to updating order picking protocols and fulfilling multiple SKU orders, it can be challenging to keep up with all of the operational and infrastructural demands introduced by e-commerce.

How can you ensure your warehouse processes and order management are ready for the strains introduced to your supply chain from multiple order profiles and variability to order volume?

For businesses to thrive in the world of e-commerce, warehouses need to reflect this shift in complexity for orders. There are many technology-based solutions for omnichannel fulfilment. As you search for the best one to meet your needs, keep in mind that the most effective systems will have the ability to adapt to whatever profile or process best suits your business not just today, but for many years down the line.

Warehouse management software systems have been supporting logistics operations for over 40 years but historically, they were designed to move pallets in and out of a warehouse. The fabric of online retail and e-commerce warehousing has changed dramatically with the rise of e-commerce but not all WMS’ have kept up. The latest cloud WMS Solution ensure you keep pace with the evolving world of e-commerce.

How are warehouses responding to the changing world of e-commerce?

Innovative storage and shipping:

People are placing orders instantly, and expect faster shipping times, thanks to high levels of competition forcing better and better shipping offers. Warehouses now store more diverse ranges of products, complicating the problem; so, in response, many institutions have developed innovative new systems that make storage and shipping seamless.

Amazon, for example, has debuted a “chaotic” storage system, where new items are placed on any available shelving space to save time; the result is a floor layout that makes no logical sense but can be followed using technological tracking systems. Today, this chaotic mode of storage is frequently described as one of the best, most efficient ways to approach warehouse inventory management.

Staff Training:

Warehouses have also stepped up their training efforts, attempting to get employees up to speed faster and keep them moving. Overall, warehouses are more efficient these days, thanks to better technology and more innovative storage procedures. But, in order to realise that efficiency, workers must follow protocols. These new hires at warehouses need to be trained quickly, so they can avoid disrupting the best practices and procedures that have already been established.

State of the Art Software:

Warehouse technology has advanced enormously, almost keeping pace with developments in the e-commerce arena. There are tons of inventory-management software systems available, from basic barcoding systems, to advanced, real-time data-streaming systems that connect everything (from initial supply to shipment) in one place.

A warehouse management system (WMS) is software and processes that allow organisations to control and administer warehouse operations from the time goods or materials enter a warehouse until they move out. Operations in a warehouse include inventory management, picking processes and auditing.

Many warehouse workers now use tablets and other portable devices throughout the day to connect the real world with the digital one, and supervisors can easily access inventory data (often in real time) whenever they log in. Some types of software can even produce sales projections and form intuitive conclusions about what certain data patterns mean.

Improved Tracking Capabilities:

Everything in warehouses has become more trackable, thanks in part to advancing technology. For the most part, every product that comes in moves around or goes out, and is tracked instantly with a single scan or the push of a button. At any given time, almost anyone in the organisation can find out where a specific product is — with pinpoint accuracy.

This improved tracking makes it easier to avoid any product loss, which in turn keeps warehouses more efficient and enables the provision of more information to partners, suppliers and end customers.

Better Supplier Relationships:

Suppliers keep warehouses full of the products they need to continue operations, so good supply relationships are essential. Today’s warehousing technology makes it easier than ever to run things smoothly. Assuming some degree of technological compatibility, warehouses can instantly update suppliers about their needs and the status of various orders, and vice versa. This open, immediate communication streamlines the process, leading to fewer errors and demanding less human attention overall.

Technology in the warehouse is a key factor to ensure you keep pace with the evolving world of e-commerce. Ensure your WMS is operating at full potential. Other factor to consider are, warehouse floor plan redesigns, clustered orders for transport to packing stations, and better labour management.

About us:

Speak to one of our team to understand how Clarus’ WMS system can cost effectively support best practice warehouse management processes, better customer service and highly efficient working for a range of warehouse operations with pay per month options and no IT infrastructure needed.

Our platform can scale from a one user, small depot system to a 100’s of user distribution centre operation. The Clarus WMS platform will cost effectively scale with your business based on demand.

Clarus WMS is a UK based supplier of warehouse management solutions with a wealth of industry experience in third party logistics, wholesale / retail distribution, online fulfillment and manufacturing warehousing.