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What level of automation is best?

28 November 2021

Whether you are scoping out your digital transformation, or already onboard with full-blown e-commerce, the new White Paper from Caljan will provide insight into how you can improve your B2C shipping process, says Derek Wright.

DURING THE Corona pandemic, lock-downs and restrictions prevented people from shopping on the high street. Eager to provide shoppers with an alternative to bricks & mortar outlets, many retailers have brought forward their strategies for moving online and ramped up their investment programs.

To keep customers happy – and buying –  it is essential that the their purchase experience is positive. The online buying process must be intuitive and smooth. No bugs and no confusion. The items ordered must appear at their home, or collection point, on the expected date. The packaging must be intact. Return documentation and labels must be included, so the customers can make the final selection in the privacy of their homes. In short, consumers want their shopping spree to take place on their terms.

For your business to be happy, all this must be achieved within budget, which means handling loose-loaded cargo efficiently to reduce the cost per parcel.

Although automation is often perceived as being the way forward. To get a reasonable ROI on your investment, it is imperative that you know where and how to automate to benefit your business.

If you automate all parts of the operations, you might risk higher service costs and a greater total cost of ownership. Advanced and sophisticated automation results in more skilled labour needing to service it. These are the types of factors you must consider when identifying your needs and which parts of your fulfilment centre should remain manual and which parts should be automated.

Where to set in with automation will depend on your specific set up. You may want to increase efficiency in your inbound handling, e.g. when emptying containers. Your challenge could be achieving the result with fewer hands, as young people choose further education or opt for careers in more illustrious industries. You may have space limitations. Perhaps the facility is designed only to handle pallets, which hinders a streamlined process when packaging and despatching parcels — and loading them onto vehicles. 

To get a reasonable ROI on your investment, it is imperative that you know where and how to automate to benefit your business.

The new White Paper from Caljan, entitled How to handle shipping in a warehouse facility focuses on becoming flexible and efficient, whilst providing a good working environment.

With e-commerce set to grow post-pandemic, the focus on solving these problems is becoming even more pertinent – and the need to maintain a cost-effective operation will only continue to grow.

Derek Wright, managing director, Caljan

Download the free White Paper How to handle shipping in a warehouse facility at Caljan.com/wp-hss