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3 Ways to Automate your Warehouse for High-Volume Order Fulfillment

When it comes to high-volume DTC operations, it pays to think ahead. Ecommerce is continuously expanding, and consumer trends indicate a permanent shift towards online shopping. For fulfillment operations, that means more orders than ever. 

In this blog, we’ll help you understand:

  1. 3 Keys to Warehouse Automation
    • Intelligent Automation
    • Robotics
    • Order Routing
  2. Automation Take-Aways

According to Statistica:  

    • The WMS market will increase from $2.8B in 2021 to $6.1B in 2025
    • The global ecommerce market will increase from $5T in 2020 to $7.4T in 2025
    • The global parcel volume will increase from 158 billion in 2021 to 240 billion in 2025

The implications these predictions have for B2B, B2C/DTC businesses are clear: warehouses and fulfillment operations need to prepare now, and automation is the key. Once considered a competitive advantage, the implementation of automation and robotics is now an imperative for success. 

The good news is that there are many types of automation, and many can be tailored to match your business’s specific fulfillment needs. Let’s talk through the three keys to automation, and how they can optimize your high-volume DTC fulfillment in the days and years ahead. 

3 Keys to Warehouse Automation

Intelligent automation, robotics, and smart order routing are three vital avenues for optimizing and scaling fulfillment operations. 

Intelligent Automation focuses on using software to boost the accuracy and efficiency of warehouse processes. It uses intelligent, customizable algorithms as part of a warehouse management system (WMS) to allow you to do things like automate shipping box suggestions, carrier rate shopping rules, and order batching for smoother picking and packing processes

In an era where warehouse management can make or break customer satisfaction, intelligent automation ensures you have cloud-based, anywhere access to your warehouses, optimized inbound and outbound operations, and the ability to tailor automation rules to match your unique fulfillment needs.

Devices Comparing warehouse inventory system

Transform your warehouse to a DTC fulfillment center

Robotics are capable of assisting with a variety of warehouse processes. With a WMS acting as the “brains” of the robots, they can assist with inventory processes like receiving, picking and packing, transfers, and putaway. It takes multiple organizations working together, and a collaboration between warehouse robotics and a WMS system, but the effect robots have on productivity, labor costs, warehouse safety, and fulfillment accuracy make them one of the best ways to safely scale operations. 

Regardless of your desired robot type, or how many you choose to start with, it’s critical that you take the time to help your warehouse staff get comfortable working with and around robotics. This includes conducting training sessions and simulations at each physical location to confirm the robots are working as planned. 

Order Routing is particularly good for businesses with multiple fulfillment centers. It allows you to improve both your top and bottom lines by routing orders from your online ecommerce channels to the best fulfillment center location. This promotes better customer satisfaction (orders are accurate and on time), helps you expand your network without sacrificing consistency, and cuts operational cost with a data-driven approach! 

A good order routing system will be able to process orders based on: current inventory levels at each of your warehouse locations, distance from the consumer who placed the order, SKU (Order fulfillment between multiple warehouses), and shipping method/desired delivery date. This data-driven approach means your inventory will be automatically balanced, and your fulfillment network will be seamlessly connected for optimized order fulfillment. 

This blog is part of Logiwa’s 15-minute QuickTake webinar series. To view the recording of “3 Keys to Warehouse Automation”, or any of our previous QuickTake sessions, visit: Logiwa Resource Page

Automation Take-Aways

Automation can feel like a lot to handle, but you do not need to do it all at once. As you explore your options and weigh them with the goals of your business, keep the following in mind: 

    • Software should include automation that lets you customize workflows to fit your operations and be scalable to support your growth.
    • Robotics is not the future – it’s the present. The when is now, the why is volume/efficiency, and the how is through WMS brain power.
    • It’s better to rely on data-driven intelligent software, rather than individual ecommerce stores and guesswork when overseeing order fulfillment.  

To learn more about Logiwa’s cloud-based fulfillment platform and automation capabilities, schedule a demo.

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