The C-Level suite is filled with anxiety as they continue to watch the consumer change their expectations and other companies lose money on every fulfillment just to remain viable for the consumer!
This is a reality of e-commerce fulfillment as companies spend far more money to deliver products the same day they are ordered, but continue to offer competitive prices. Historically the most expensive fulfillment pick was performed by the buyer in the store as they spent on average 90 minutes to select 37 items in a cart. Now this process has migrated to the warehouse or fulfillment center and to maintain competitive pricing we must drive this pick rate to far greater efficiencies. Of course the pick task is not the only impact to the logistics network, but it’s a critical one.
New technology is rapidly being delivered to the market, but there is sometimes a lack of confidence to execute quickly. Some of these new solutions are offered as Robots as a Service for very low monthly or per pick costs. This completely changes the market and actually forces the end user to perform more analysis and evaluation of all the technology to reduce risk of implementation impacts. Historically the most common solutions were case conveyor with sorters and put walls, but this meant a manual pick process and extended times for fulfillment. These solutions required complex layouts and designs that were highly customized for the facility layout and order requirements.
Next generation solutions have been designed to be much more standardized to allow faster implementation and reduced sales costs. In turn this means the end user has to evaluate each standard to determine the best solution for their requirements.
All of this brings me to the reason for a Blog focused on fulfillment automation. Why should we all learn in a vacuum and wait for a big trade show to share information where best case you see a 20 by 20 booth of the solution? Instead let’s leverage technology to rapidly find the information needed to quickly evaluate solutions for implementation.
The goal of this site is to create constructive collaboration across solution providers, integrators, warehouse management software and operators. Let’s work together to define true next generation and industry 4.0 solutions, which achieve the C-level suite expectations of establishing the new logistics network that enhances profitability instead of reducing it!