Warehousing has come a long way from paper and pencil inventory counts that took weeks or months to rectify.
Today’s distribution warehouse is a tech-powered machine that’s constantly working to move orders faster. Demand for eCommerce fulfillment is increasing dramatically, the public spoke last year on Black Friday by spending more than five billion dollars with eCommerce retailers on that day alone.
There’s no sign that the train is slowing down, warehousing and distribution centers need to be at the very top of their games in order to remain competitive in the current environment by keeping up with the most recent best practices for eCommerce.
eCommerce Best Practices for Warehouses
Getting back to basics this year can help you do more with your eCommerce-powered warehouse.
Here are some of the most important best practices you need to be incorporating into your daily operations:
- Pick multiple orders at once. This might seem obvious, but many eCommerce fulfillment centers are still picking one order at a time. In order to be as efficient as possible, you’ve got to pick more orders at once. Choose a large cart, at least five foot by two foot with two to three shelves, so you can maximize each trip to the pick floor.
- Use software to create a more agile supply chain. Shipping inventory from multiple facilities creates a complicated picture for you, but it can speed up delivery times for your customers, which is a pretty good thing overall. However, you’re going to need some really good warehouse management software to keep the books balanced, so don’t skimp or try to do this by hand.
- Automate as much as possible. You don’t have to buy an army of picking robots, but it can’t hurt. Automation can be as simple as having a machine automatically print a label when a connected bar code scanner has scanned the last item in an order. Automate the small things and let your human workers handle the things that only humans can do to increase your warehouse efficiency.
Warehouses that are powered by eCommerce are at a delicate tipping point right now. They’ve got to stay ahead of the game, root out inefficiency in their processes and have a better overall picture of where inventory is and where it’s headed at any given time.
A good 3rd party logistics company can help if you’re outgrowing your warehouse and need help with the overflow, or to transition completely in order to increase shipping speeds and customer happiness.