Demands of consumers are expanding, and the capabilities within an eCommerce WMS and OMS will provide supply chains with more data and ways to connect to consumers for more efficient fulfilment. Supply chain leaders that wish to stay competitive need to understand the challenges of eCommerce fulfillment, and the necessary steps to guarantee eCommerce WMS success, such as cloud-based WMS implementation.
Using a legacy WMS exacerbates the difficulties of managing ecommerce growth and fulfilment in the warehouse and economy, such as in Saudi Arabia. Traditional systems were built on the principles of business-to-business order fulfillment, and while shipping direct-to-consumer has been around for decades, it is nothing compared to the onus of managing the rise in ecommerce demand that is happening now.
The inability to scale warehouse operations means supply chains are limited in their ability to augment productivity during peak shopping seasons. History reveals growth patterns accelerate after each peak season, so it is impractical to stay competitive with the major e-commerce players without a scalable solution.
This is because older platforms were often designed as standalone systems, and even if they were integrated with other supply chain systems, integration took months, if not years, to complete and implement. Unfortunately, the evolution of warehouse management and customer demand in retail requires changes to software use and application at a rate faster than manual upgrades.
These are outdated - today’s pulsing retail supply chain bends in on itself to fulfill an endless array of orders from all possible channels and locations, not to mention the complexities of managing returns.
This is a massive disadvantage to legacy systems. Insight gives us access to all levels of data, the ability to analyse and understand how actions in the warehouse affect profitability. In the age of e-commerce, gaining insight commands data analytics, and helps to define success.
A WMS by itself does not lead to improvements in the warehouse operation or customer retention. Even the best systems have limitations, and they rely on data to generate insights.
Companies that follow these steps can prepare their organisations to implement the full functionality of an e-commerce-driven WMS, but many lack the infrastructure or diverse experience required, which makes a professional partner preferable for ensuring both a successful transition and implementation.
There are a number of popular tools and products available, and you should be using the most prominent of these in your day-to-day operations, integrated for improved performance.
An excellent partner is optimal to not only offer you these technologies, but maximise their functioning:
Aisle mapping and labeling of bins or slots are crucial to leveraging automated technologies, especially robotics. More importantly, this information is vital to understand put-away and picking processes, which are the basis for using a WMS. Removing manual processes not only saves on human error, inventory problems, and time, but ultimately saves money.
In high-volume, high-labour cost distribution centres, picking is either performed or aided by using material handling equipment like put-to-light, automated storage and retrieval systems (ASRS), and goods-to-man. Your warehouse can benefit from near-perfect picking rates with the inclusion of automated picking elements into your warehouse. There are a variety of different tools within this grouping, (like voice automated picking and pick-to-light) but remember: your WMS is designed to streamline your warehouse operations.
People and robots are constants in the DC and both will play major roles going forward. The key to better productivity lies in helping them work together. Unlike WCS, advanced WMS technology – with a vendor-agnostic WES built in – takes a holistic view of operations to bring labor and automation together, and then uses machine learning to maximise efficiency.
The Internet of Things is the overarching concept (not an individual item) that informs how you control all the moving parts of your warehouse, helping your warehouse to reduce risk and avoid mistakes or accidents that can create losses in the supply chain by early detection. Data coming from shipping conveyances, vehicles, and the products themselves can be combined to reduce theft, counterfeiting, diversion, and spoilage.
Whether automated or manual, the IoT system synchronises all of your data in an easy-to-access network, helping to optimise your inventory control (with double the impact if integrated with an automated inventory control platform), labour planning, and customer experience (through streamlined processes and improved turnaround time.
Omnichannel software allows retailers and consumer goods manufacturers to break down the silos within their organisation, providing them with the tools to manage, monitor and optimise cross-channel order management.
Omnichannel software provides a global real-time view of inventory, order status and stock location, meaning it can track orders placed online, in-store, via catalog or through a call center seamlessly.
By using a platform that integrates information from multiple channels, it gives you real-time responsiveness when fulfilling orders.
There is no one-size-fits-all approach to ecommerce WMS implementation, so it is crucial for your warehouses and supply chain networks to have the technologies and foundation in place to facilitate the full scope of modern WMS functions.
Your partner should:
Contact Supply Chain Junction for a consultation. We offer health checks, implementation support, and staff training amongst many of our other resources to ensure your omnichannel retail ecommerce warehouse success in Saudi Arabia.