Is Your Warehouse Able to Handle the Prospering World of Ecommerce?
It Is Important that Your Logistics Warehouse Can Keep Up with the Ecommerce Boom
You can’t ignore it: the way we shop is changing. Gone are the days of driving to departments stores, hardware shops, or grocers to get every last item we need. With the power of online shopping, we’re skipping the store and instead, shipping right to our doors.
And we’re doing it a lot. Ecommerce sales increased 16 percent from 2016 to 2017, with same-day delivery sales alone anticipated to reach $3 to $4 billion this year, according to B.I. Intelligence. Ecommerce isn’t just a new way to shop – it’s the new way to shop. That’s why companies need to adapt to the new pressures of high sale volume and consumers’ thirst for rapid delivery.
Warehouse logistics is a critical area for companies to adapt. More ecommerce activity means more items out the door, which means more trucks on the ground, and more drivers to man those trucks. And, because people are buying many different types of smaller packages (i.e., they’re not ordering the same thing in bulk), warehouses need to have many different types of individual items. The demand for same-day delivery and the importance of that “last mile” also requires warehouses to be more strategic about operations.
To keep up with the ecommerce boom, it’s essential that your company’s warehouse logistics stay sophisticated. Here are a few tactics to consider!
As part of your long-term plan, construct warehouses that are closer to your key customer bases. Warehouses situated on the outskirts of towns are becoming a thing of the past, as evidenced by the soaring real estate prices for zoned land right within cities. Localization makes sense because it positions products closer to target customer bases within a region, taking products to doorsteps faster. This saves drive time, gas, and allows logistics teams to be more agile.
- Invest in Strategic Partnerships
Many ecommerce companies don’t manage their own warehouses; or, if they do, they work with a third-party transportation company. These are ecommerce transportation specialists that understand best practices for shipping center delivery. Working with a third-party transportation provider that you trust and that delivers with consistency also decreases your chances of items being turned away.
- Ramp Up Business Vehicle Intelligence
Fleet management is where you can win or lose the ecommerce game, because inefficiencies over time will add up and hinder your bottom line. To better manage fleet operations, consider tools like commercial navigation, which can suggest truck-specific routes based on load and truck size. This ensures drivers don’t accidentally encounter bridges that are too low, or roads that can’t support their weight. It also identifies road closures, correct-side approach, and custom messages to alert drivers as needed. Intelligent systems can also report on average time (to the minute) and fuel efficiency. Your business can use this data to understand where it’s making the most progress and where things can be improved. There are also predictive maintenance tools that help you understand how your trucks are performing, identifying minor issues before they become major ones. The more insight you have into fleet performance, the more you can optimize!
- Re-Evaluate Your Warehouse Management System
Your warehouse management system (WMS) is the backbone of your warehouse logistics. However, the system you have in place may not be able to keep up with the heightened activity and need for detailed tracking that the rise of ecommerce demands. Be sure that the WMS you plan to use offers comprehensive inventory tracking and order fulfillment, as well as a mobile presence so that employees can stay informed on the floor and on the go. The goal is to have a warehouse that’s as digital as possible.
Ecommerce sales will only continue to increase; retail projections estimate 23% year-over-year growth. With this in mind, the name of the game is prioritizing strategic warehouse logistics, so you can best position your company for success!
For more information about shipping and logistics services, contact Econo-Courier today! With 45 years of personal and reliable service, we have the experience to meet your ecommerce company’s unique needs.
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