20 Mar Retail Re-invented
Are unsustainable order fulfillment models having a detrimental impact on the retail logistics sector? We recently attended UK Warehousing Association’s (UKWA) annual conference and it was extremely evident that this could be a reality the sector is facing.
It’s no secret that customer demands often place pressure on retailers and their fulfillment operations, but could shorter delivery times combined with low cost goods and virtually free shipping be to blame for retailers losing more and more profit. With many predicting the high street, as we know it, will disappear in the next 10 years, retailers will need to look at technology-led solutions to remain competitive.
So how can retailers re-invent and adapt to the ‘new world of logistics’?
We predict you will see more partnership announcements, like the one between Marks & Spencer and Ocado cropping up. The ability for major retailers to partner with those that already have an eCommerce platform up and running, will be a game changer for their business models.
For those that already have their own online offering, adopting automation can only serve to improve warehouse capabilities and offset the financial risks associated with cost-free, immediate order fulfillment.
Consider the possibility of being able to fast track items through the warehouse without it being necessary to put them away, pick and pack. If an order comes in and the item, is only just received, automating the systems would allow the product to skip sections of the process and go straight to despatch. As same day and next day delivery are becoming industry standard, internet retailers can address efficiencies like these to ensure that they’re able to keep the delivery costs per item as low as possible.
Automated systems are designed for growth and will undoubtedly provide much more agility and productivity with regards to consumer pressures.