Among the myriad of changes brought on by last year’s health crisis, the increase in e-commerce transactions has continued to reshape supply chains throughout the post-pandemic landscape. Accounting for over a fifth of sales in the grocery industry alone, e-commerce remains as one of the top preferred transactions due to its convenience and speed. However, between workforce shortages and snowballing last-mile costs, supply chains have yet to successfully meet high customer demands continuously. As a matter of fact, researchers from the National Retail Federation show that over 40% of businesses still cite fast fulfillment as their top concern. To meet demands without overspending, businesses are now combining warehouse technologies in the retail landscape through micro fulfillment centers (MFC’s).
Leveraging maximized automation solutions, MFC’s concentrate high-demand inventory within one section of the storefront for quick seamless picking. Leading warehouse devices such as long-range scanners and ultra-rugged handheld computers are then employed to safeguard fulfillment efficiency as orders are received. This ultimately results in:
- Higher order accuracy – Modernized scanning capabilities similar to Zebra’s intelligent PRZM scanning engines eliminate the need to manually verify orders by ensuring more successful first-time scans. Applications like SimulScan can further enhance this process by capturing multiple barcodes at once in one trigger pull.
- Lower labor costs – Automated solutions have been proven to diminish operational costs since they streamline vital workflows through one platform. For example, Zebra’s enterprise tablets secure unbroken communication channels, enterprise data capture, and user-friendly visibility into cycle counts and incoming orders all on one touchscreen interface.
- Faster contactless services – Services like click-and collect, curbside pickup, and buy-online-pickup-in-store are only expected to keep thriving. That means store associates may now share in the same challenges that often plague warehouses struggling to stay ahead of incoming orders without compromising accuracy. To further protect communication channels within the workforce, Zebra’s Workforce Connect transforms handheld devices into 2-way radios, thus eliminating the need for additional devices while adding a dependable layer of teamwork and workflow visibility.
Are your operations suitable for micro fulfillment?
This is the question many large-scale businesses have begun to ask themselves, and while the answer may be different for everyone, one thing is sure: automation continues to hold the key to business success in the modern market. Start the modernization journey by assessing workflows with a specialized optimization team to see how you can leverage purpose-built technologies to establish greater customer satisfaction without overburdening the workforce.
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