Modern Retail

AUTOMATION – NEW DECADE. NEW EXPECTATIONS.

As the e-commerce industry has grown, so have customer expectations. Today customers are placing orders more frequently, in fewer quantities, later in the day and expecting delivery faster than ever before. Customers now consider 2-day delivery slow with next-day and even same-day delivery becoming the standard.

Shoppers in the year 2020 think globally, demand personalisation, desire immediate results and request return refunds without a second thought. Although it doesn’t have to be, it’s difficult for many companies to keep up with this momentum. Often, we see those that are just launching their e-commerce sales channel or considering expanding struggling with intralogistics.

Internally, companies are suffering from obstacles including warehouse space, accuracy, labour problems and theft. Externally, consumer loyalty may be impacted as a result of delivering incorrect orders, letting down shipping expectations and not having the capabilities to manage personalisation or global shipping.

When B2B warehouses can’t deliver as promised, chaos is the result. Suppliers are left looking foolish and without the goods they need. Construction crews without materials…hospitals without supplies…car dealers without prime shopping week inventory: multiple layers of supplier disappointment and revenue impact can occur. On the B2C side, what’s worse than ordering a birthday gift online to have it arrive late and in the wrong colour? It is guaranteed that person will be telling all of their friends about the poor experience – and the retailer’s name!

According to Statista, the global e-commerce market is expected to grow by 8.9 percent annually until 2023. How does your business fit into this growth and will your warehouse operations help you reach your goals? Is your e-commerce channel just starting to grow? Are you out of warehouse space with your current set-up? Have there been some bumps along the way?

According to Mark Dunaway, Kardex Remstar’s North American President Finance and Administration, “Over the next 5-10 years, the industry is going to see more automation with advanced capabilities, and with a much heavier reliance on automation and robotics. In fact, we think it will begin to grow even faster than demand for storage and retrieval equipment has. The idea of a “dark building,” where robotics and automation run autonomously 24/7, is definitely making headway.” As companies transition to automated warehouse systems, the intralogistics industry will also change and grow. It’s important to research and evaluate the best solution and find a reliable intralogistics partner.”

Chocolate World, is a Belgium based chocolate mould manufacturer with customers in more than 110 countries who had a need to optimise their warehouse logistics. With the installation of two LR 35 Vertical Buffer Modules and Power Pick Global, they have changed their process and are now delivering: same-day dispatch for orders placed by 3 pm, they can manage up to 500 orders and store 2,736 customised boxes per day.  Another benefit is that their employees now have the tools to guarantee precise inventory overview and storage locations as well as the ability to train personnel without the need for intense employee training.

If you’re seeking modular, flexible and scalable warehouse automation which increases productivity, optimises warehouse space and saves you a whole lot of headaches, then look to automation for the future of your warehouse logistics.

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Debra Wilkins

Debra Wilkins

Debra Wilkins is the Marketing Manager for Kardex Remstar, a global developer of automated storage and retrieval solutions. Kardex currently services more than 20,000 installations across the nation, and are helping retailers to optimise their storage and picking through automation. With more than 30 years’ experience and an early member of the UK Women in IT Steering Committee, Debra is a seasoned veteran in understanding and relaying the benefits of technology, with articles in many computing magazines, such as Network Computing. She is also a fully qualified counsellor and as such has spoken at conferences on how automation is not only inevitable, but also is changing the way businesses and society interact with each other.