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omnichannel success

What Does an Evolved Distribution Center Established for Omnichannel Success Look Like?

Omnichannel success is a broad topic. Success depends on the ability of your organization to fill orders correctly, avoid unnecessary expenses such as excess inventory, meet customer expectations, and much more. It is essential to understand that distribution centers will always play a vital role in omnichannel success. Unfortunately, the distribution center of your father or mother would not work with today’s world and demands. As a result, retailers need to understand what an evolved distribution center does to empower omnichannel success.

Challenges of Managing Omnichannel Distribution Centers

Significant challenges exist in managing omnichannel distribution centers. By their nature, omnichannel distribution centers are involved in sending shipments to stores, smaller warehouses, order fulfillment centers, and even brick-and-mortar locations. The problem is exacerbated by the need to ship the product directly to consumers. Meanwhile, tapping into new shipping models, including drop shipping and cross docking, can present other issues, requiring more insight and visibility into available inventory. Fortunately, such improvement should lower the overall activity levels in your facility by avoiding unnecessary processes and putting away inventory and picking it for future orders. Additional challenges of managing omnichannel distribution centers include:

  • Disparate systems do not enable omnichannel success.
  • Vast distances between omnichannel distribution centers and customers.
  • Inability to track and apply data for use in both e-commerce and brick-and-mortar fulfillment.
  • Costs of implementing new technology and software.
  • Rapidly scaling order fulfillment.
  • Poor access to and ability to retain talent.

Evolved Distribution Centers Enable Omnichannel Capabilities

An evolved distribution center uses modern technology to streamline operations, including automated order picking, voice-directed systems, big data analytics, and robotics, according to Roberto Michel of Logistics Management. The basic premise of the distribution center remains, but shippers are reshaping distribution center networks to serve smaller facilities and perform both distribution center and order fulfillment tasks in a single location. As a result, the traditional technologies listed above must evolve to handle orders of any size and demand which creates additional needs for more productive labor management, automated labeling and packaging, optimized dock management and more. With omnichannel distribution center fulfillment growing at a rate of at least 3 percent per year, notes Michel, the time to start thinking about new technologies and processes to achieve omnichannel success is here.

How to Achieve an Evolved Distribution Center and Omnichannel Success  

Developing omnichannel success through improved distribution center
activities can be complicated. According to Karen
Kroll of Inbound Logistics
, shippers should follow these steps to evolve
their distribution centers:

  • Deploy an advanced warehouse management system.
  • Track consumer data.
  • Gain end-to-end supply chain network visibility.
  • Use the latest technologies, including drones and wearables, to improve efficiency.
  • Implement robotic systems where possible.
  • Take advantage of more vertical space.
  • Consider the location of your distribution centers and warehouses.

Extend Omnichannel Success
With the Right Distribution Center Strategy

The days of maintaining fewer than five distribution centers for national supply chain success are over. Today, more companies must face the prospect of implementing new supply chain technologies in existing distribution centers and leveraging all available resources to fill the increasing demands of e-commerce orders. At the same time, merely offering a seamless shopping experience is not enough to gain a competitive advantage. This is a result of the Amazon effect, and it is continuing to reshape how retailers approach supply chain functions. Thus, companies should look to extend customer service levels in omnichannel success with faster order fulfillment, fewer costs, and lower product price points, characteristics that are only possible through robust and efficient supply chain management. Learn more by visiting Veridian online today.

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