Modern warehousing must keep up with eCommerce

warehousing must keep up with eCommerceWarehouses: where dreams become reality … or turn into nightmares

E-commerce is no longer considered a fad, and the online race for capturing the biggest share of the customer’s wallet has left many a traditional retailer trailing behind.

What’s left them behind is not the technology that makes online shopping possible, but the offline movement of ordered goods that are still largely managed by processes that were put in place when physical stores were the only option available to customers.

It is during this offline chain of events that buyers can either be impressed into becoming loyal customers, or put off to such an extent that they lose all faith in a supplier.

So much effort can be spent on developing a slick online shop that makes browsing virtual products easy on a device that fits comfortably in the palm of our hand, that it’s easy to forget that the promises made on the online platform need to be kept by those working offline with physical products stored in and distributed from huge warehouses.

Irrespective of how advanced the ordering technology used by customers is, a warehouse still runs on basic principles of receiving, sorting, and storing goods until it is time to pick a certain amount of goods from a shelf, pack it as per the customers’ order, and direct it to the correct delivery vehicle.

To keep up with the orders flowing in from multiple platforms that are never closed for business, warehouses need some form of system driving it. The technology can be as complex as an entire warehouse run entirely by automated machines, or as simple as a system telling the people in the warehouse where items must be stored.

Many of these systems are however still paper based, which is not reflective of the advances made in technologies allowing customers to easily place orders.

The main reason that many warehouses keep their operations paper based is to avoid the problems that have been reported with implementing a Warehouse Management System (WMS). The biggest challenge to implementing any warehouse management systems is the realtime nature of a warehouse; if a system isn’t running properly, it has a realtime, real life impact. If the system can’t tell where the goods need to move, everything is standing still.

We have seen WMS implementations so disconnected from the way the business is actually operated, that staff members refuse to use the system and revert back to their paper based ways of getting things done. This is not only a significant waste of a significant investment by the company, but does nothing to decrease the risk or increase the competitiveness that the WMS implementation was intended to address.

Nebraska Warehouse uses 3Plink by the Camelot 3PL Software company as its warehouse management system (WMS) E-Technology.

E-Technology Features include:

  • Automatic E-mailing of customized reports and documents
  • Real time inventory (no batch posting)
  • Pick by FIFO, LIFO, code date, location, lot number, or any other logic
  • Inventory level and SKU level flexibility
  • Barcode capability
  • EDI via Flat file, CSV, XML or EDI standards
  • FTP
  • Secured 24/7 Access to your inventory via website

With all of the new and emerging technology our major breakthrough is the way we answer the phone when you call – A PERSON! Yes, we actually do utilize the uncommon and cutting edge practice of friendly, courteous people to answer the phones so you don't have to travel through cyberspace to talk to someone here.