Five Ways to Optimize Your Distribution Center For E-Commerce Fulfillment

The rise of e-commerce and multi-channel fulfillment has caused distribution centers to experience ever-growing numbers of stock-keeping units and more inventory turns, up to an average of nine in 2015. By FORTE Industries

April 10, 2017

Distribution centers (DCs) are experiencing unprecedented growth in stock-keeping units (SKUs) and more inventory turns as a result of demand for e-commerce and multi-channel fulfillment.

The impact is predictable. But DCs with traditionally designed material handling equipment (MHE) and warehouse software struggle to keep up.

It’s no wonder. The average number of SKUs increased by 18 percent in 2015. This year, 38 percent of companies plan to handle even more SKUs.

While DCs typically are designed to handle below-peak throughput, the rise of e-commerce, more frequent promotions and competitive service level agreements are creating more peak periods than ever.

That increase in demand pushes orders from online customers quickly through warehouses - so fast, in fact, that the average number of annual inventory turns topped nine last year.

Today’s challenge has now become how to manage fast-moving inventory with enough precision to meet the expectations for prompt shipment of multiple small orders.

All of these elements have to occur alongside traditional wholesale orders for full cases and pallets.

Cost efficiency still matters, but it’s become a dual challenge for warehouse design: Businesses must capture e-commerce opportunities - and fulfill them at the lowest cost.

Log in to download this paper.
Auto-login on future visits.
Forgot your password? · Not a member? Register today!

What’s Related


Using Automation to Manage Growth in E-commerce Fulfillment
Robotic-based automation solutions enable the flexibility to effectively manage both seasonal and sustained growth.
Three Keys to Improving Warehouse Performance while Maintaining Future Flexibility
As warehouse operators plan for a future that is difficult to predict, building around the pillars of data-driven, flexible and robotics help…
The Future of Production Intralogistics
Technology, such as automated storage and retrieval systems and AGVs, are improving material flow and delivering significant improvements in…
More Resources