This holiday season is expected to see an estimated $730 billion spent. If that number sent you and your fulfillment team into a panic keep reading. The following are some of the signs which indicate it is time to automate your warehouse fulfillment processes.
1. Increasing Error Rates
Wrong items shipped, damaged goods, missing paperwork and other customer claims lead to chargebacks and returns. As order numbers rise it is inevitable that mistakes will also rise. By automating your end of line processes an organization can eliminate costly errors and mistakes.
2. Facility Optimization
If you look at the warehouse and you immediately want to take a u-turn out of there, there’s your sign. A properly implemented warehouse management system, combined with optimized site processes and layouts can lead to higher throughputs from the same warehouse space. There are many solutions that not only slash error rates but also save you space. As we like to say, “Sacrificing space is not a solution.”
3. Customers Expected Their Items Yesterday
The average customer expects their order to be on their doorstep within 2-3 days and at most within a week. With same-day shipping options popping up it’s no wonder why customer expectations are high. Faster shipping, lack of labor resources and space availability, are major factors that affect your bottom line. A satisfied customer can mean good reviews, recurring revenue, and brand loyalty. Informing your customer of an expected wait time, allowing for tracking as well as getting their order right all plays into a great customer experience.
4. Inventory Management
Products being out of stock can happen for several different factors. For instance, it could be due to the improper planning and forecasting of orders. If you see that the inventory in your warehouse is continuously lacking in comparison to an adequate amount of inventory, it is a sure sign of automating your warehouse. This will provide reports to better plan your inventory, preventing the out of stock red flag. Thus, ensuring that the customers will get the product requested, without waiting for a longer duration.
5. Slow Picking Methods
Incorrectly named aisles, shelves, and bays can make your pickers go crazy and get lost within the warehouse, only to end up picking incorrect products. Even a paper pick list can make the process slower, causing delays. A simple barcode system can be a great first step to automating your system. Not only will your pickers be double-checking themselves by scanning the SKU’s but you will also have an accurate report to reference your inventory count.
Automating can be a large undertaking for organizations. Finding an experienced and trusted automation company to partner with is a great first step for guidance and knowledge. From a simple end of line fulfillment system like our Automated Manifest Processing System (AMPS) or a more complex solution like Robotic Mixed Case Palletizing and Depalletizing, CCS offers a wide variety of options to solve your fulfillment faux pas.