Until recently, the order fulfillment process has been over-burdened by inefficiencies that cost billions in wasted time, money, and manpower. Thankfully, as technology for order fulfillment advance, capabilities evolve, decision making becomes more efficient, and the customer experience improves.
Progressive fulfillment providers understand this cycle of technological improvements and the value that it provides to their customers. We did the math, and the most significant advances in order fulfillment are coming from the integration of new technology.
Technologies Driving Order Fulfillment
New technology currently driving order fulfillment demonstrates a concentrated effort on behalf of 3PL’s, E-retailers, and supply chain industry leaders to drive down fulfillment costs and improve the overall client experience.
Warehousing and fulfillment centers are under immense pressure to capitalize on the meteoric rise of e-commerce. Demand for faster delivery have led to numerous breakthroughs in logistics technology, but logistics is not the only area of the supply chain where improvements can be made.
The majority of the e-commerce process happens within fulfillment centers, where improvements to accuracy, speed, and efficiency are valued beyond all others.
Automation technology is advancing as fast as order fulfillment processes can be streamlined, automated, and improved, which is to say very fast. This is good news for warehouses and fulfillment centers who are under immense pressure to capitalize on the meteoric growth of e-commerce.
Technological advancements in order management have automated systems that record and consolidate orders from multiple sources in one place, thereby enabling fulfillment centers to:
- Support product offers and promotions
- Manage payment processing and continuity
- Perform customer service activities
- Enable better management of the overall customer relationship
Don’t forget about the recent advances in warehouse technology which have enabled fulfillment centers to orchestrate all activities associated with the warehousing and distribution process, from managing inventory, and pick/pack functions, to streamlining workflows to maximize efficiencies.
If current labor trends continue, labor is going to become harder to find. Faced with a dire lack of skilled and unskilled labor, fulfillment centers are turning augmented reality technology to improve the speed, skill, and efficiencies of their current employees.
Wearable AI devices like smart glasses are now in use by companies like DHL, who utilize the technology to help shop floor pickers determine where to place goods in a cart.
Data Technology & Artificial Intelligence
Data is all the rage in 2019, and improvements to data technology have enabled fulfillment centers to collect valuable data and apply its insights to decision-making processes across the supply chain.
Fulfillment centers now utilize advanced analytics platforms, logic-based technology, and electronic data interchange (EDI) to realize their potential for process improvement. In fact, the use of data has expanded to the integration of artificial intelligence into the order fulfillment process.
Powered by AI, these warehouse robotic systems boost the efficiency of pick/pack operations by selecting the most efficient picking routes and eliminating unnecessary routes through the warehouse.
If trends are to be believed, advances in fulfillment technology for order processing will continue to expand the boundaries of speed and efficiency in the warehouse to drive order fulfillment for years to come.
Flowspace can help you save on fulfillment costs as we work with many warehouses that use technology for order fulfillment. Get started with a free quote today!