On-demand e-commerce wants speedy fulfillment and delivery – as well as lightning-fast returns or exchanges for those items sent incorrectly, poorly, or that just don’t satisfy. The “I wanted it yesterday” consumerist mentality will only continue to rise. While speed and precision of fulfillment continues to pick up the pace, the question to ask yourself is whether you’ll be ready to keep up. Tech giants like Zebra are already turning their attention to the future of warehousing, considering the challenges that are likely to emerge.
Zebra has already identified the pathways to modernization that will keep warehouses ahead of the game (or at least on top of it) and the technology that will be required.
THE CHALLENGES WAREHOUSES WILL FACE
While the demand for more and faster grows, warehouses will face a variety of challenges if they aren’t prepared with the most cutting-edge and available technology. Using old and overused hardware with outdated operating systems is going to result in downtime that will interrupt the speed and precision at which orders get out the door. If multiple devices are being used for one job, workers will be wasting time, again slowing down fulfillment. Efficiency would be increased by replacing multiple devices with one that can perform all the required actions. And if the technology in-hand doesn’t provide real-time visibility, errors are inevitable. All of these will leave the warehouse backlogged in order fulfillment, mistakes being made, and customers unhappy.
THE PATHWAYS TO MODERNIZATION
What your warehouse will need to consider are the effective pathways to modernization. Zebra has identified six which will better prepare you for the future of order fulfillment in this increasingly intense e-commerce age: 1) equip workers with modern mobile technology; 2) improve staff management and communications; 3) get advanced inventory and storage capabilities; 4) upgrade inbound handling operations; 5) streamline order-picking processes; and 6) turn around outbound performance. You can read more about these pathways here.
THE TECHNOLOGY TO GET YOU THERE
The pathway that Zebra can support you in is the first one: equipping your workers with modern mobile technology, including printers, mountable and mobile computers, and scanners. Zebra printers like the ZT600 series do more than just print. They are smart, durable, adaptable and made for warehousing. ZT600 printers give printing industrial strength and industry-lead intelligence.
Need to get rid of the outdated vehicle-mounted computers you’re using that make it hard to see or difficult to mount displays? Try the VC80x Android™ mounted computers that boosts productivity by giving drivers better visibility. They are ultra-rugged and reliable. The MC9300 Android™ mobile computers also help sidestep outdated operating systems that are slowing down workers and capturing data inefficiently. These Androids™ will turn green screens into friendly ones, add 48 minutes more to each day, increase scanning abilities, and deliver the familiarity of the Android™ operating system.
Lastly, creating an unstoppable scanning fleet by going with Zebra’s 3600 series of scanners. These are the toughest and smartest scanners, built to crush deadlines the first time and every time after. They can scan virtually any type of barcode in any condition. Zebra’s cutting-edge technology will put you on the front line ready to face the faster e-commerce age that is coming. Get your warehouse ready for the future.
Start identifying the challenges you predict you’ll face in the coming e-commerce age; it’s not too early to start preparing for the future.
Consider the pathways you have already begun to create or those you need to implement. Determine the technology you will need and the budget it will require. Start to replace or upgrade your fleets and hardware. Contact us – we can assist in setting you up with the technology you’ll need to be ready for the future (and to put you ahead of your competition today).