Warehouse management systems (WMS) have been the underlying magic that enables the next-day and same-day deliveries, of which we have become so fond. Within warehouse management, robotic process automation (RPA) has become the lifeline for warehousing, retail, and e-commerce industries to enable speed, efficiency, repeatability, concurrency, and scalability within their ERPs.
This warehousing speed and efficiency are the business proposal and promise behind the consumerism drive within our mega sales events.
We are entering the holiday season, as we sip our Pumpkin Spice Lattes and prepare for Halloween and Thanksgiving, we muster through another popularized shopping season. In recent history, we have seen the mega sales events within these shopping seasons generate record-breaking sales.
Black Friday and Cyber Monday, annual sales events occurring late November, have ballooned in profits due to faster restocking and same-day deliveries. Cyber Monday, in 2020, delivered $10.8 billion in sales in a single day. The Singles Day event in China (and across Southeast Asia), generates stellar numbers year on year, all powered through impeccable and standardized lead times through warehouses right up to the consumer’s doorstep.
So, where do smart warehouses fit into this and how do they impact the entire supply chain management?
Faster lead times and higher-order volume processing with intelligent WMS
Impulse buying. Retailers have utilized the formula for decades to upsell their fast-moving merchandise. The items you see laid out next to the cash register are the ones you don’t think about too much and grab on impulse.
E-commerce has now upscaled the concept of impulse and merged it with the convenience of single-point purchasing (anywhere) so that people have a higher average cart value with more repeat purchases and lower cart abandonment.
But all this, essentially the inherent consumer psychology behind impulse buying, is faster deliveries. The turnaround time from order placement to complete order fulfillment should be minimal. This is where an intelligent WMS with efficient RPA has its major, and decisive, impact.
What is Robotic Process Automation (RPA)?
RPA is essentially bots built on software that automates repeatable processes leveraging application programming interfaces (API) and reinforced machine learning + artificial intelligence. This helps connect transactional processes and operations while eliminating delays and errors.
Intelligent WMS with RPA helps merge the best of software and hardware (Material handling equipment – MHE) like RFID guns, robotic forklifts, automated pickers/sorters, etc. Each order which is pulled into the system is tracked right from the time it is inbound to the warehouse, through its unloading, sorting, placement, picking, staging, and final loading and shipping.
Crave InfoTech is a top-league player in this WMS + RPA solution with cWarehouse, a product that pools the best of software, hardware, and internal warehouse route planning. Crave helps enable at least a 30-40% reduction in overall lead times with a significant rise in order volume handling capacity and total daily order fulfillment (shipping).
Crave InfoTech has partnered with SAP, Zebra, and HERE Technologies to combine them in a truly end-to-end solution for warehouse management – cWarehouse.
Faster lead times + agility + higher order volume processing gives enterprises the power to promise next-day or same-day delivery to their consumers. It also gives the necessary scalability to accommodate the high demand of the holiday season without any stockouts or backlogs.
How do WMS and RPA shape the present and future of e-commerce and retail?
WMS, as a market, is set to grow at a CAGR of 16.1% between 2020 and 2025 to reach $5.1 billion. WMS, strengthened by RPA, in turn, will enable a $1 trillion e-commerce market (by 2025).
Imagine having total visibility, traceability, agility, and concurrence on the warehouse floor. cWarehouse’s easy-to-handle UI, robust workmanship, and faster time-to-value will get your enterprise ready and poised to take this holiday season’s Cyber Monday, Black Friday, and Singles Day by storm.
Every order once logged and pulled into the system would track its history and chart its future path with 100% efficiency. The entire warehouse is connected and real-time synced with a central system. Every package from unloading to storage will have a unique location (three-dimensional) identification.
Human or robotic sorting + placing will follow an exact route plan mapped within their handheld (in case of human sorters) systems. This cuts down the order processing time considerably and optimizes the floor space for operations and storage.
Further, the picking and staging are also optimized through similar routing for faster turnarounds. The picker gets the exact 3D location of the package and the shortest route to the same within their mobile devices.
The pickers can use their RFID guns to scan the package at all points of handling from inbound to outbound. This means that package/order status is always ‘live’ in the system. This optimization enabled through cWarehouse, helps with proper palletization, staging, and loading of the packages. This, in turn, results in higher capacity utilization within the trucks and (further) higher order fulfillment.
All directly and indirectly connected warehouse processes are digitized, optimized, and standardized with cWarehouse. It’s not the future, it’s just the starting point of your future.
Your consumers won’t be waiting for their packages this holiday season, so why are you? Get on board with cWarehouse now. Just get in touch with us here.