Retailers may be feeling a little less anxious after consumers’ somewhat lukewarm reception to Amazon’s Australian launch in December last year, but make no mistake – Amazon is just getting started.
What a significant year 2017 has been for the retail industry. If you listen carefully, you can almost simultaneously hear the racing of hearts and long deep sighs as we near the end of yet another financial year.
Capacity planning is not the most glamourous part of logistics, but it’s becoming an increasingly critical component for businesses looking to compete in a landscape filled with Amazon’s and Alibaba’s. There is some good news though. We don’t all need gigantic, technologically leading distribution centres to be at the head of the game like some of the world's most recognisable brands have. In steps capacity planning.
One of the most challenging and time-consuming hurdles businesses face in the digital era, is making sure that logistical processes - including transportation, distribution, and picking and packing of items – are as efficient as possible.
There’s never been a more dire need for optimising, automating, integrating and managing logistical flow. eCommerce growth in 2017 has grown to AU$32 billion, and with the long awaited launch of Amazon in Australia, is only set to grow more.
Even a small margin of error for a small business can result in high month-to-month costs that mean the difference between success and failure. Surprisingly, in spite of the lost productivity and increased costs associated with manual warehouses, they are still the most common order fulfilment strategy.
Common emotions associated with the world’s most successful furniture retailer may be: 1). Frustration - that bookshelf has far more intricate parts than initially anticipated, or 2). Nostalgia - those Swedish meatballs, mashed potato and fruit jelly were actually pretty tasty.
Many warehouses today are spending significant amounts of time sorting products and scanning barcodes before they are shipped off to customers. But as customer expectations for fast delivery continue to grow, warehouses are playing a game of seconds when it comes to having the most efficient distribution centre in the industry.
Globalisation and the rise in eCommerce has left many businesses with complex supply chains and warehouses.
By 2020, there will be 50 billion devices connected to the internet. But we don’t have to wait til then to witness all the fruits of the Internet of Things. A combination of cheap sensors, powerful data processing and machine learning are already starting to create a network of interconnected devices to make everyday life easier for the user.