E-Commerce, like the online revolution of the 1990s, has radically changed the way items are sold and delivered to customers all over the world in the twenty-first century. Supply chains have been compelled to become more flexible and adaptable as a result of the shift in paradigm from offline to online, which has resulted in very complicated difficulties in warehouses and distribution hubs. Eventually, all e-commerce enterprises realised that the warehouses would be the final frontier to be conquered. Inventory Control for E-Commerce Automation will prove to be a big game-changer in the way warehouses work, as it aids in smooth operations, future scalability, and flexibility. When the dust settles, companies that understand automation, transition early, and negotiate it with ease will be the ones left standing.
Automation, robotics, artificial intelligence, and machine learning will revolutionise the fulfilment process. Because ecommerce is such a massive market, knowing when to automate, as well as where to automate and how much to automate, is crucial. When answering these questions, take a look at the workflow to identify labor-intensive procedures and find the sweet spots that will provide the best return on investment. Automation for the sake of automation is not the best approach. Let’s take a look at some of the functions in an e-commerce business that can be automated to increase productivity.
1. Inventory Control
The financials of a corporation are inextricably linked to inventory management. Because of the enormous number of SKUs handled in each e-commerce warehouse, inventory control is critical. Accurate inventory will provide you with a bird’s-eye view of the potential earnings from each storage location. You may also ensure that you are never understocked or overstocked with effective automated inventory tracking, lowering operational expenses and increasing efficiency.
2. Demand & Sortation by Season
Because they sell a wide range of products, e-commerce businesses are subject to seasonal demand swings. E-commerce Automation solutions allow companies to foresee demand patterns and scale up and down warehousing operations virtually instantly, which is impossible in a manual system. Furthermore, with mobile robots and sorting robots, sorting deliveries becomes considerably easier and more cost-effective.
3. Returns Processing
Returns management is a vital aspect of every ecommerce business. This necessitates the integration of tracking, replenishing, storage, and retrieval functions. For data integration across all sub-tasks, efficient software solutions must be adopted, which should ultimately result in improved customer experience and satisfaction.
One of the most significant advantages of using an e-commerce platform is that you can order one item or 100 items from a large selection of products. On the one hand, this flexibility improves customer retention, but also makes Order Picking, the process of gathering these things in a warehouse, extremely difficult. Order picking processes benefit greatly from automation because it eliminates non-value added activities such as walking and looking for things, while also increasing the precision of picking operations through improved software. Goods-To-Person The throughput of automated systems can reach 1200 picks per hour, which is a 1000 percent improvement over human systems.
Due to the growth in demand that we are seeing, one of the challenges that ecommerce businesses frequently experience is that warehouse capacity gets filled by the time it becomes operational. Pallet ASRS, Mini-Load systems, and carton shuttle systems are examples of automation solutions that allow you to take use of the warehouse’s height. This shifts the paradigm by allowing greater area to expand within the same warehouse, allowing any participant to simply scale up in an existing warehouse by utilising the height rather than having to find new warehouses to accommodate different scales of operations.
Customers’ reactions to new technology and their willingness to accept new ways of interacting with ecommerce businesses will have a significant impact on companies’ ability to not only be price centric but also velocity centric (How fast can you deliver). A winning approach with the correct balance of automation that helps e-commerce enterprises achieve great customer happiness and business value should be able to help them deliver immense customer satisfaction and business value.