Key drivers for responsive fulfilment services
The world of logistics, like many industries right now, looks vastly different from ‘business as usual’, however the key drivers for a flexible and efficient fulfilment service remain the same and ensuring there is flexibility in operations will allow for changing outside influence and change.
The COVID-19 crisis is likely to impact the logistics sector long into the future, influencing the way we run warehouse and fulfilment operations. Preparing for crisis and risk factors is a common practice when planning, however the impact of COVID – 19 has accelerated the need to adapt and prepare for unprecedented circumstances such as this.
The elevated number of online sales brought on by lockdown is expected to continue as a whole new wave of online customers is born, this has a clear impact on the retail sector with a need to increase capacities.
With this in mind, how can fulfilment service providers work with online retailers in order to adapt quickly and flexibly to this ‘new normal’?
Learning from the shock that 2020 has brought upon the economy, businesses will want to ensure they are resilient but also that they can readily respond to external threats and radical changes.
Staff & Social Distancing
Implementing more automated processes such as picking will allow for human resources to be redistributed to more skill centric tasks. Automation also allows for scaling up during busy periods without the need for an increase in footfall.
Following on from the above, an automated picking process could offer a boost to efficiency and performance. With the aforementioned increase in online sales it is necessary to rethink the way fulfilment performance can be improved upon. AI and robotics is changing the way we can fulfil orders as well as the speed and accuracy at which that can be done, which is essential in a post COVID world.
Retain & Gain
Peak sales periods have increased, we are no longer looking at Christmas and January sales, more peak periods are cropping up both expected and unexpected. To make the most of this it is important to be flexible in order to retain current levels, but also to gain more sales and more output.
Data and analytics can give real insight into what is working and what isn’t. Leading up to, during, and post those periods of increased demand, data will be critical in showing you the weaknesses and strengths of your operations.
Businesses will now be learning to level up, selling larger volumes more frequently, whilst navigating increasing uncertainty of the economic landscape, impacts of social distancing and trialing new ways of working. There will be a new movement in the world of order fulfilment that should encourage longevity and resilience long into the future.