The current boom is for a large network of smaller micro-fulfilment centres strategically located in population-dense urban and suburban areas – much closer to consumers - so that e-commerce businesses can quickly and consistently deliver on customer experience promises, which is now essential to compete.
But what makes their new rapid, highly responsive and personalised delivery services especially seamless and affordable is a WMS that can quickly and efficiently handle complex multi-site roll outs.
SnapFulfil managing director, Tony Dobson, explains: “A cloud-based and architecturally robust WMS system like ours has flexibility built in and can meet the changing needs of the modern e-commerce market without being time consuming (it can be deployable in just 45 days) and expensive to set in motion, or difficult to reconfigure.
“It’s not only intuitive, but engineered to scale in line with the ebbs and flows of online retailing, so avoiding the need for expensive system upgrades. Moreover, it uses rich functionality and real time management software to help e-retailers optimise inventory, space and labour across all these fulfilment centres.
“Multi-site flexibility is obviously key and something the majority of our competitors can’t offer, but SnapFulfil’s other strength lies in the reliable data trail that is gathered to create a single customer profile. This means understanding each buying journey from start to end and beyond, which is crucial if you are going to adopt a micro-warehousing strategy.”
Whilst the close proximity of micro-fulfilment centres to end consumers helps facilitate Amazon-style service levels, their smaller size allows companies to more closely manage and analyse inventory trends and adapt to meet market fluctuations.
Powered by automated material handling solutions and best-of-breed WMS technology, these fulfilment hot spots also provide the optimum way to maximise order and delivery efficiencies, while utilising a minimal amount of square footage.
Thanks to the accelerating rise of micro-fulfilment, the short distance local run or ‘last-mile delivery’ headaches, which have historically proven to be one of logistics’ biggest pain points, could soon be a thing of the past too.