What is Warehouse Optimisation?
Optimisation can be applied to a variety of operational steps like receiving, picking, packing, loading, shipping, replenishing, inventory management and back-office procedures. It generally refers to streamlining existing processes by increasing efficiency, speed, reliability and accuracy.
Industry trends like same-day delivery, customized goods, and omni-channel logistics are driving companies to invest in state-of-the-art supply chain and warehouse management technology. Companies are challenged with finding innovative solutions to effectively manage complex supply chains while simultaneously reducing operational expenses. These trends are briefly discussed below.
Same Day Delivery
In today’s fast-paced world, paper-based processes are simply not keeping up with consumers’ delivery expectations. The continued growth of e-commerce, largely attributed by shrinking the time between order and delivery, is highly impacting already over-stretched supply chains. Same day delivery is the final frontier, consumers are happy to pay a premium to receive their goods on the same day and companies are pressure with meetings their needs.
Optimizing operations through the implementation of a robust Warehouse Management System can significantly reduce picking time, product touches, minimize travel paths, optimize picking and execution, ultimately shrinking cycle times and allowing for faster order turnaround and shipping. It also prevents common human-error related inaccuracies.
Customized goods also illustrate how customers are becoming the centre of production. The goal is to change offerings just enough to appeal to local markets, but not so much that the brand is no longer recognizable. This can have a huge impact in a company’s warehousing and logistics. These products may never get stored; they could travel straight from the factory to the customer. Individualized production can reduce the need for warehouse space, while increasing the logistics’ complexity.
Supply chain localization is a trend which sees companies blueprinting their operations with customization as the end goal. Typically, a company will have both globalized and localized strategies operating simultaneously to appeal to a wider customer base and achieve higher growth. Sophisticated data analysis can provide retailers with a deep insight into local customer preferences and buying behaviour allowing them to tailor their standard processes and operations to appeal to local markets. Supply chain technology helps with managing complex delivery schedules quickly and efficiently.
An omnichannel retail strategy utilizes multiple channels and platforms (such as a physical store, online, mobile etc.). But using selling offerings through various channels is not enough, customers must be able to concurrently and interchangeably transact, interact, and engage across all channels. From the retailers’ perspective, omni-channel logistics can achieve an increase in customer base and loyalty as well as improve profitability. But fulfilling this omni-channel experience for customers is putting an uncomfortable strain on many retailers.
Sophisticated supply chain solutions can address the challenges and opportunities presented by this new retail environment. Finding a WMS that integrates with other supply chain technology (EDI systems, eCommerce storefronts, ERP systems, etc.) is paramount to delivering positive customer experiences regardless of where they interact with the brand.
Cost x ROI
Warehouse automation comes at a – usually high – cost. However, this technology can dramatically improve productivity, shrink order turnaround windows, and maximize throughput and capacity ultimately slashing operating costs.
iWMS Australasia utilizes HighJump technology, a solution that can be scaled and tailored to meet any business needs. The core software architecture can be easily adapted in a fraction of the time of conventional systems, and at a fraction of the cost! And because all changes are external to the core software, upgrades and support are not compromised. This guarantees low total cost of system ownership.