How to improve warehouse efficiency in the age of ecommerce

Business Computer Projects (BCP) outlines one of the key areas of the warehouse which wholesalers need to focus on so they can meet increasing demands from online customers. 

Ecommerce has become an essential platform for wholesalers that want to increase their sales and improve customer service. However, the convenience of ordering online means customers now expect faster and cheaper fulfilment. This creates a number of challenges in the warehouse where efficiency and productivity are already a problem.

Firstly, ecommerce is changing the types of orders which customers make. They can now order just single items or individual SKUs across a variety of product ranges, instead of traditional bulk orders. Secondly, it gives customers the freedom to buy what they need, when they need it, so the volume of these small and single item orders is increasing.

Managing a warehouse to meet these changing order patterns can be problematic because picking small orders is time consuming and inefficient. Combined with ongoing labour shortages across the sector, it means maintaining the high levels of service demanded by customers is becoming difficult.

The key area of the warehouse that wholesalers need to focus on to overcome these problems is the picking process. “Warehouse staff need to have a picking method that helps them process the different types of orders that ecommerce brings in the most efficient way” says Chris Pass, Sales Executive at BCP.

He continues: “It is no longer enough to have a paper-based Warehouse Management System where a lot of time is wasted on administrative tasks.” Instead, BCP recommends a Voice or Radio Frequency (RF) WMS which provides greater wall-to-wall visibility; from goods received through to picking, replenishing and stock taking. Both voice and RF automate many of these procedures and give picking staff real time instructions. This means they don’t have to interrupt their work to visit the office and it reduces the time spent on stock discrepancies.

Accord WMS designed by BCP is a scalable solution which has been proven to increase efficiency and productivity for wholesalers across the UK. It includes industry specific functionality such as ‘Product life and Batch Control’ and ‘Order Batching’ which food and drink wholesalers need in today’s highly regulated and competitive sector.

BCP has been delivering supply chain solutions to food and drink wholesalers for over 40 years. They have extensive experience of implementing both Voice and RF warehouse systems and were recently chosen to streamline Harro Foods warehouse operations in London. To find out more about why they and others chose BCP, please visit https://www.bcpsoftware.com/category/news/