How automated storage systems and vertical lift machines improve lead times.
The Covid19 pandemic has increased the click and collect online shopping exponentially.
Consumers are becoming increasingly used to shopping online and picking up their purchases at the store.
There are many reasons why this purchasing method is increasing in importance:
- The possibility to see and touch the products before taking them home
- Savings on shipping costs
- The possibility to return the product immediately
Companies will have to adapt to this new demand with a new warehouse management system.
CLICK AND COLLECT
The integration of the physical and virtual (web and mobile) distribution networks has become a necessity rather than a choice for many companies in order to succeed.
More and more sectors are turning to e-commerce and digitalization to improve delivery time.
Often delivery in 1 day, or even within a few hours, is something that consumers expect when they buy any kind of good and/or service.
E.G. With Amazon, the public is used to receiving products ordered online the following day, sometimes even on the same day.
Amazon use robotics and artificial intelligence that makes it possible to assemble and prepare a shipment within 5 minutes.
Speed has proven to be the key to success, as well as the aspect on which companies must focus.
Specifically, we speak of a decrease in lead time, or the time between production and delivery.
Automated Warehouse Systems
A Click and Collect strategy results in clear benefits for both consumers and retailers
When offering click and collect companies must store ever-increasing volumes of products which must then be packed specifically to meet the demand from online customers.
As a result, it has become important to have advanced and automated systems for inventory and warehouse management.
Certainly, automation systems have become extremely important:
- Automatic vertical storage systems (vertical lift machines) could represent the first step towards an increasingly automated warehouse.
These large vertical systems enable the storage of up to 90,000 kg of goods, saving up to 90% of the footprint usually needed by a traditional storage system.
- Automatic vertical storage systems are provided with a WMS that connects them to the company’s ERP to keep track of the stock and the related handling operations, providing an overview of the warehouse situation at all times.
- Reducing lead times: By knowing the exact position of the goods, warehouse personnel no longer need to spend time looking for goods and checking their actual availability.
- Preventing out of stock situations: A greater quantity of goods can be stored inside automatic vertical storage systems
By connecting the WMS to the e-commerce management system, it is possible to prevent customers from ordering out of stock products.
Since click and collect orders are placed online while the products are picked up offline, companies must have an automated system that integrates online and offline activities and is able to keep track of every single item stored and any related event in real time to remain competitive and keep their customers happy!