[.blue]Expert comment:[.blue] Technology is a powerful tool in overcoming fulfilment challenges

June 8, 2023

min read

In today's rapidly evolving eCommerce landscape, order fulfilment has emerged as a critical battleground for online businesses striving to win the lion's share of the consumer wallet.  

You could argue that Amazon upended consumer expectations around eCommerce when it made same-day and next-day delivery the industry standard with its renowned Prime service. In the wake of this, the need for more efficient and seamless fulfilment operations has never been greater, with businesses under increasing pressure to adapt if they are to retain customers and stay competitive. Fortunately, technology is a powerful tool in helping operation teams overcome the challenges of fulfilment, optimise the entire process, and deliver exceptional customer experiences that drive repeat business.

One area where technology shines is in streamlining inventory management. This is particularly true for eCommerce enterprises that are often grappling with the complexities of handling vast amounts of inventory across various regions, warehouses, and sales channels. Gone are the days of manual inventory tracking and guesswork. The latest systems provide businesses with real-time visibility into stock levels, facilitating improved demand forecasting and reordering from suppliers, so that the right products are available at the right time to minimise the risk of delays and stockouts. This remarkable transformation not only saves costs, but also ensures businesses can consistently meet customer demands with unparalleled efficiency.  

Another area in which technology has a profound impact is order processing, which typically involves picking, packing, and shipping. The eCommerce world operates at lightning speed and, therefore, demands swift and accurate fulfilment. Warehouse management systems (WMS) and order management systems (OMS) are the driving force behind this logistical element of managing an online business, automating manual processes, minimising human errors, and dramatically reducing fulfilment times. Businesses utilising WMS typically reduce their labour costs by 20-30% or more by increasing productivity. Improvements in fulfilment processes not only boost customer satisfaction, but also provide businesses with a competitive edge in a crowded sector.  

The true game-changer in eCommerce fulfilment lies in automated technology. Traditional warehousing practices that traditionally placed a major drain on operational resources have been revolutionised by technologies such as robotics, automated guided vehicles (AGVs), and conveyor systems. These innovations eliminate the need for manual intervention in tasks such as picking, packing, and sorting, leading to exponential gains in operational efficiency. Research by the Aberdeen Group found that automated warehouses are 76% more likely to boost inventory accuracy to 99% or higher. They are also 36% more likely to reduce labour costs at an annual 3% average and 40% more likely to consistently ship within one day of an order being placed.  

Advanced data analytics tools also provide businesses with invaluable insights into customer behaviour, demand patterns, and operational performance. By leveraging this information in real-time, merchants can personalise their offerings, optimise pricing strategies, and accurately forecast inventory needs. According to McKinsey, businesses leveraging data analytics are 23 times more likely to outperform competitors in customer acquisition and 19 times more likely to achieve above-average profitability compared to laggards. This highlights the immense value of technology in enabling eCommerce brands to make data-driven decisions that ultimately lead to enhanced customer satisfaction and long-term growth.  

The transformative power of technology in streamlining eCommerce fulfilment operations cannot be overstated. Increased efficiency, reduced costs, and improved customer satisfaction are just some of the many benefits that await companies who invest in a technologically advanced fulfilment solution. Rather than focusing on ensuring orders are processed and delivered to your customers on time, you can devote more time and energy to developing exciting new products, promoting your brand, and nurturing stronger customer relationships. Technology is what enables us at Zendbox to help the brands we work with fulfil their business goals and exceed their growth potential.  

Contact us to discover how we can help you grow your business with our award-winning eCommerce fulfilment solution.  

Alex Borg
Director of Operations at Zendbox

Alex is responsible for overseeing the day-to-day operations at Zendbox, ensuring accurate and timely order processing, picking, packing, and shipping. He collaborates closely with other teams across the business to meet customer expectations and achieve stringent service level agreements (SLAs).

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