Technology is innovating the retail industry, which means simplified order fulfillment. That’s the good news. The bad news is that we can expect multiple changes to the supply-chain process, and some fulfillment companies just aren’t ready!
The retail industry isn’t going anywhere just yet, but don’t expect it to look the way that it does now. Today’s retail environments have endured a variety of changes, beginning with the growing importance of online shopping and ecommerce. And we don’t expect this trend to slow down any time soon considering that more and more people are purchasing goods on the internet each day. But it’s not just the act of shopping that’s changing.
This blog discusses the latest innovations logistics professionals will likely face in 2020.
New Fulfillment Center Trends
As we start to close the door on 2019, we anticipate supply chain management (SCM) to be vastly different. You won’t necessarily have to change your business model, but many order fulfillment services will need to make some major adjustments if they want to stay ahead of the curve. Here are some of the trends that you’ll be able to take advantage of next year:
Less Retail Experience, More Automation
SCM procedures can be extremely tedious. Shipping products to stores is a timely process, but it’s not a perfect one. There is a ton of ground to cover from managing inventory to pick and packing, distribution, and beyond. One slip-up in the supply chain process is like a jammed cog in a well-oiled machine. This not only derails the shipment, but it halts the beginning of your shelf life.
Shoppers would rather just surf a website and have the item shipped directly to their own front door. This demand shifts the focus to automated technology. Automation tools are going to play a massive role in the fulfillment process as they will streamline delivery initiatives, shipments, and returns.
More Fulfillment Practice
There’s still plenty of raw materials to go around, which means product availability won’t be much of an issue. But if you’re going to be responsible for processing an influx of orders, you’re going to need plenty of space. With that, it would be safe to assume that several warehouses will start to pop up around the United States. Many retailers will either open their own fulfillment centers or outsource responsibilities to a major warehouse. And with the pace that Amazon and eBay are revolutionizing the online retail market, more and more fulfillment bases will need to be planted.
Unless you have your own warehousing operation, it’s best to partner with a full-service professional with enough fulfillment space and transportation resources like FW Logistics.
Lower Shipping Costs
More orders processed means more shipments. As the frequency of shipments increase, so will your cost savings over time. Fulfillment providers work with postal services and negotiate shipments so your distribution doesn’t cost a fortune. But before you forget to make adjustments to your budget at the turn of the year, make sure to brush up on the shipping rates issued by the United States Postal Service (USPS).
Faster, More Efficient Deliveries
Innovative technology is continually being developed to streamline the entire supply chain process. New inventory management software will make it easier to organize products stored within a warehouse. And to help with the material handling of products, there are a number of machines that can significantly speed up each business process. Whether it’s picking, packing, and shipping, or a cross-docking machine for those heavy transports, you’ll have plenty of resources to simplify every aspect of your operation.
An Immersive Online Shopping Experience
Online shopping is growing with the dramatic improvements in website development. Web developers are building interactive features that make the act of shopping more personable. Image recognition is a growing trend that is expected to skyrocket across ecommerce platforms come 2020. This user-friendly application is added to the latest online shopping outlets to give purchasers a close view of what the product looks like. It works similar to the sound discovery app, Shazam. By opening your image-recognition app, you’ll be able to snap a picture of a product, and in seconds, you’ll get product listings from retailers and wholesalers.
Call FW Logistics to Simplify the Order Fulfillment Process
When it comes to supply chain services, our team is always ahead of the curve. We are always up to date on the latest trends in the fulfillment industry and adopt the most innovative solutions to make your operations run smoothly. Learn more about what’s in store for 2020 and schedule a free consultation with our team to make your fulfillment process as seamless as possible.