This white paper, the second installment in a series of AS/RS materials from Intelligrated, outlines how workflow adjustments and shuttle technology can increase efficiency for high-volume e-commerce fulfillment operations.
By Rick Graff
April 18, 2017
E-commerce and the transformation of distribution and fulfillment operations E-commerce continues its prolific rise.
The U.S. has experienced 26 straight quarters with year-over-year e-commerce sales growth at or near 15 percent.
This offers great opportunity but also real challenges – chief among which is meeting customer expectations through every step of the purchasing cycle. In e-commerce, fulfillment operations provide much of the customer experience, assuming responsibility for order accuracy, timely shipment and ultimately, customer satisfaction.
With brands competing on customer experience, the race to deliver merchandise when and how customers desire is key to defending and growing market share.
But efficiently serving increasingly high volumes of e-commerce orders is no simple task. Rather than the larger pallet load orders many distribution centers were originally designed to handle for retail replenishment, the direct-to-consumer orders of e-commerce require handling larger volumes of smaller-size orders.
As e-commerce continues to grow, these orders make up larger proportions of the fulfillment workload, challenging operations with diminishing returns and decreasing efficiency as existing fulfillment methodologies aim to keep up with performance requirements.
For omnichannel operations serving both retail replenishment and direct-to-consumer orders, this means adapting established fulfillment processes and infrastructure to meet service level demands across both channels efficiently and profitably.
Goods-to-operator order fulfillment offers a solution that applies the right mix of equipment, processes and workflow adjustment to handle high volumes of direct to-consumer orders with greater speed and accuracy.