The pandemic has changed the way we shop forever, with e-commerce convenience here to stay, but there’s still time to get onboard for the so-called ‘Golden Quarter’ – says the Chief Product & Delivery Officer of WMS technology innovator, SnapFulfil.
Smitha Raphael is convinced that preparations for the 2021 peak season should start even earlier this year, because what the previous record breaking Quarter 4 proved is only forward thinking fulfilment centres that have invested wisely in the software and automation necessary to streamline D2C operations can thrive under such unprecedented levels of demand.
Raphael explains : “The long Black Friday into Cyber Monday weekend at the end of November, hotly followed by Christmas, means the pressure is really on for warehouse operations who will not only have to juggle much higher levels of activity, but also factor in shrinking quality labour availability.
“The demand on fulfilment is going to be off the scale, with many retailers no doubt bringing their Black Friday bargains and Christmas deals forward in order to try and relieve the pressure – but the flip side is technologically advanced WMS, like SnapFulfil, allows warehouse operators to modify their processes seamlessly and quickly meet peak challenges without incurring additional costs.
“Plus, it can be up and running (even remotely) within a matter of weeks to start optimising inventory, space and labour within the facility and establish slicker picking and packing methodology that is underpinned by highly efficient receiving and putaway activity.”
But for every bargain to be bagged, there are also those that want to be returned – and cloud-based SaaS WMS, also offers immense flexibility to handle dynamic return operations as required, as well as easy integration with other company systems to facilitate a holistic reverse logistics operation.
Real time data analysis and the associated process improvements ensures that customer satisfaction goals are met, that workers are performing at the highest levels of efficiency, plus that you maintain compliance across the entire supply chain.
Additionally, the invaluable return data captured can aid everything from future stock planning and product management to supplier evaluation and customer lifecycle management.
Digital transformation is fundamental to survival going forward and as a driver of efficiency and accuracy will further streamline how e-commerce organisations operate this coming peak season, ultimately giving them a tangible competitive edge.
Raphael adds: “Inevitable operational complexity means they can increasingly turn to more robust and flexible software systems, such as SnapFulfil, which benefits from remote digital implementation and easy self-configuration agility for even greater responsiveness, control and savings.”