E-commerce-Enabled Warehouse

E-commerce in the United States is expected to generate over $4 billion in sales by 2020. Is your e-commerce warehouse and fulfillment center ready to handle that kind of growth? Many warehouses still need to be optimized for the e-commerce generation. With that in mind, here’s what you need to know about managing, optimizing and making your warehouse more efficient.

How to Manage an E-Commerce Warehouse

   

While a traditional warehouse typically involves processes for storing, picking and packing products, an e-commerce warehouse can do much more. In an e-commerce warehouse, the space often doubles as an online store and fulfillment center, where inventory is received and managed, orders are completed and returns are processed.

Managing an e-commerce warehouse successfully relies on organization. Fast-moving product should be stored in areas quickest and easiest to access. If you have products commonly purchased in bundles, it’s wise to keep those products close together, which allows for convenient cluster picking. Stock similar items together, much like in a grocery store, but keep them separated to avoid mixing SKUs.

Follow these tips to manage your warehouse efficiently:

  • Process inbound stock quickly.
  • Maintain strict quality control measures.
  • Keep the warehouse safe and well lit.
  • Provide ongoing training and support for your workers.
  • Use the right technology, such as IT-enabled systems and distributed order management (DOM) systems.
  • Reevaluate storage processes periodically and adjust as needed.
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E-Commerce Fulfillment Center Best Practices

Running an efficient e-commerce fulfillment center begins by taking warehouse flow into consideration with the overall layout. First, the receiving bay should be in a place where received inventory can be transferred to storage smoothly. Vehicle and foot traffic patterns should be defined clearly with signs throughout the warehouse to avoid accidents.

Pay careful attention to picking because if it isn’t efficient, this step can throw the entire operation into turmoil. Avoid mixing SKUs. Position the packing area close to the shipping area to minimize mistakes, and offer multiple shipping options instead of just one. This will provide customers with better options and also help speed the pace at which shipments leave the warehouse.

Make Your Warehouse as Efficient as E-Commerce

In today’s age of on-demand shopping, consumers have come to expect fast and reliable shipping, often within two days or less. If your e-commerce warehouse and fulfillment center isn’t optimized, there is no way it can deliver the results expected by today’s online shoppers, which would ultimately damage your company’s reputation and potential for revenue.

E-commerce has grown more popular every year, thanks to trends in mobile shopping and drop shipping, so it’s important for warehouse owners to have practices that support e-commerce customers. This means tenants can find the services necessary for success.

Learn More

If your current warehouse is not optimized for the e-commerce generation, visit our build-to-suit solutions, and learn how we manage the entire process to deliver a facility tailored for a customer’s specific needs.