Near Full Employment and Thin Margins Makes E-commerce Warehouse Efficiency Absolutely Essential

The rapid transformation of the logistic industry is driven by some basic principles starting with the customer is always right. In 2017 and beyond the most successful e-commerce companies will provide a seamless connection between the customers’ ordering and receipt of their order.

The rapid transformation and the future of logistics technology for e-commerce rests with two fundamental elements: innovation and expertise. In many cases manufacturers and retailers are using 3PL logistic providers to integrate newer technologies into their service model.

Increasingly warehouses are developing more dynamic relationships throughout their supply chain as a key competitive advantage. New industry standards for innovative logistics in 2017 are established with primary focus on earnings, growth, and customer loyalty.

Logistics and supply chain technologies must provide real-time, totally visible, and accurate data for 24/7 awareness of what is (and is not) in stock and where product is located in the warehouse. Real-time stock tracking prevent confusion about current stock levels ensuring that both customers and warehouse workers are confident about what can be shipped NOW.

Beyond inside the warehouse tracking, customers also want to confirm shipment tracking to improve the consumer experience. Important areas like warehouse technology, customer friendly communication through email and social media provide shoppers more opportunities to re-order. Communicating the status of shipped orders and projected arrival prove helpful and bolster the consumer experience, satisfaction, and drive multiple future order data.

When companies provide updates of the inventories and tracking of shipment movements in the supply chain, the request stock is always accurate. Customers will recall how they were treated by an e-commerce company. The new warehouse logistic technologies, apps on tables, leverage instinctive, graphic data with real-time alerts regarding low quantity or near expiry date inventory.

Never has the world been smaller and with global customers the ability to deliver the product on time worldwide is essential. Customers are global ordering from all seven continents and still expect rapid delivery.

Even the smallest online retailers see strategic necessity in embracing technology warehouse advances. 3PL organizations are making the growth of e-commerce easier for even the smaller e-commerce enterprise to fully take advantage of these new cloud-based applications.

According to Market Share, the official blog for commercial real estate, published by NAIOP, over the last two years, e-commerce logistics real estate was the most active industrial sector in the United States. In fact, it represented 22.5 percent of all big-box leases of 500,000 square feet or more. That is up from 16.1 percent of all big-box transactions from 2010 to 2014, when e-commerce was the third most-active industrial sector.

Large and small warehouses must be stocked and despite the promise of warehouse automation, e-commerce fulfillment and distribution centers create high demand for human workers to replenish inventory. At a time of near full unemployment (4.4% unemployment rate is considered full-employment by the Bureau of Labor Statistics) the demand for e-commerce fulfillment operations labor is greater than ever. When thin margins persist and labor costs are increasing, the urgency for lean and efficient warehouse practices is a simple ROI (return on investment) calculation.