Staying on top of order fulfillment, especially when you’re working at a high volume, is essential for operating a successful business. But you don’t have to leave everything up to your already maxed-out labor — you have options. Automating order fulfillment processes can be an excellent first step into getting your facility running more efficiently. However, you don’t need to stop there. Outsourcing this process can be even more efficient, helping to drive sales, lower costs, and increase the overall profitability of your business. Through third-party logistics, you can take the guesswork out of your order fulfillment process.
What Is Automated Order Fulfillment?
If order fulfillment is how a company gets the purchased goods into the hands of their customers, then automated order fulfillment is the automation of this process. Rather than all aspects being managed by employees who can easily miss a step, automation keeps things from getting skipped.
Technology enables the fulfillment process to be faster and more accurate. While we’re not using robots to fully pick and pack orders, automation helps with a lot of processes that could otherwise take a long time or be more complicated by keeping the human element involved.
How It Works
With automation, inventory can be better managed, and orders can go out much quicker. When an order is placed, that information can be updated in real-time via shopping cart integrations directly to the warehouse. At that point, the order is ready to start. There is no need to call in the order or send paperwork or documentation over to the warehouse — both of which take extra time.
Once the orders are at the warehouse, they can be batched together to make the process of putting orders together easier for the human hands that have to assemble them. Rather than running up and down warehouse aisles, order pickers can follow a pre-established pick path, fulfilling multiple orders back to back with system directed picks. This can help ensure orders go out as quickly as possible, meeting daily shipping time deadlines and requirements.
Our technology also works to automate slotting, which helps warehouses be as organized as possible to maximize space and increase shipping speed for high velocity SKUs. Quick moving products can be placed closer to pack stations and slower moving products or off-season inventory can be moved to higher rack. Organization is a crucial component in making sure orders can be fulfilled efficiently.
How Automated Fulfillment Saves You Time and Money
First and foremost, automating even part of the process increases efficiency. Efficiency in general helps with labor costs because less time is spent sorting and organizing orders. When the orders are all ready to get packed up, and the order is available to the warehouse right away, that helps streamline the process — which ultimately saves time and money.
However, in addition to saving money, automated order fulfillment also helps make you money by reducing customer churn. Since it helps process orders more efficiently, orders are fulfilled faster. This increases customer satisfaction, and satisfied customers are more likely to be returning customers.
Finally, warehouse management technology is expensive. It’s expensive to own, andcan be very expensive to operate as well. You need skilled workers who are aware of how the technology works, and this can involve extensive and expensive training for them. Training also takes workers out of your warehouse, leaving you short staffed for a time.
Outsourcing this automation technology takes the major expense of its operation out of the equation right away. It saves you the time and money it takes to have the trained staff to operate it, too. Because many companies aren’t high enough volume to support all this extra cost, outsourcing automated order fulfillment and utilizing freight brokerage services is a major benefit!
WSI Is About Solutions
Here at WSI, we understand the time and expenses that go into running a business. From owning or leasing a facility, all the costs associated with labor, attending meetings and conferences, maintenance, keeping inventory stocked, and any miscellaneous expenses, running a business can be costly. You don’t need to let the added expense of automation technology drag you down.
By outsourcing automated order fulfillment technology, you are setting up your business for maximum efficiency, allowing you to focus on growing your business, not on the logistics. We will help orders get fulfilled quickly, ensure your warehouse stays organized to maximize storage and space, and help your customers remain satisfied. Through innovation, WSI can help to make your fulfillment dreams come true so that you can focus on your business. Get in touch with us to learn more.
If your looking for more insights on related topics, you might be interested in understanding the benefits of third-party logistics and how it can streamline your operations.