2020 Will Be About the Warehouse Management Experience
Warehouse management technology leader SnapFulfil is predicting a new fulfillment year in 2020 where demand for better user experience will be as important as a company's products and services. It will also see the rise of the robot.
With ever-increasing challenges to getting packages out accurately and on time, feedback from SnapFulfil's customers demonstrates that warehouse managers want and need WMS offerings with simplified user interfaces, allowing them to onboard temporary employees quicker - especially during peak seasons. Additionally, they are willing to invest in a system that allows for multiple licenses so temporary hires can use their systems immediately.
Digitally driven warehouse managers will also need to collect much larger quantities of data throughout the fulfillment process during 2020, so they can create a baseline and systematically track improvements within the warehouse.
According to Chris Anton, Executive VP for SnapFulfil North America, "Our experience tells us that having a WMS that provides easily accessible data to employees is paramount to improving efficiencies warehouse-wide. As businesses modify their processes to meet the challenges of today's e-commerce, a best-of-class WMS allows them to simply track progress and reconfigure changes to achieve the best results and most efficient fulfillment operations."
Anton continued, "Apart from facilitating much more educated decisions, it also eliminates costly, onerous and time-intensive, paper-based processes in the warehouse, giving employees more quality time and flexibility to streamline procedures - creating a more rewarding and fulfilling working environment."
The new year will also see more brands focus on implementing robots into their existing man-to-goods operations, rather than tearing the whole infrastructure down for machines. Investing in an Amazon-style goods-to-person robotics solution is simply too cost prohibitive for most small- to medium-sized businesses.
Solutions such as SnapFulfil's autonomous mobile robot, SnapCart, due to launch in 2020, will fill that gap by introducing a cellular picking model that keeps pickers within a set zone and sends robots to them to retrieve items. Cellular picking considerably reduces an employee's physical strain and helps the warehouse move items from picking to packing much more efficiently and accurately.
Anton said that SnapCart is in the final stage of development: "SnapCart is designed to deliver the most efficient picking methodology available, rather than replace warehouse operatives. "It features an easy-to-use interface, so staff can be trained within minutes, and carts can be added as needed to manage start-up costs and scalability."
SnapCart will cost less than a third of other robotic solutions currently available, and being application led, it has been specifically engineered for the demands of a featureless warehouse environment. At 48 totes, it also will carry more than any other man-to-goods cart on the market.
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