WES for Success: Preparing Your Operations for Success in an Ecommerce World

WES for Success: Preparing Your Operations for Success in an Ecommerce World

Ensuring your fulfillment center overcomes ecommerce challenges starts with an effective pick, pack, and ship strategy, supported by a robust warehouse execution system that enables continuous processing.

Q. What’s the first step in ensuring your fulfillment center can overcome ecommerce fulfillment challenges?

A. Implement an effective pick, pack, and ship strategy for your business that maximizes your throughput and operating efficiency. Deploying an effective warehouse execution system, like COFE® (VARGO®’s WES), can allow you to operate in a continuous/waveless processing mode, thereby allowing you to meet prioritization demands necessary in ecommerce fulfillment operations and maintain the highest level of operational efficiency possible.

Q. What should be considered when utilizing emerging technologies to streamline fulfillment processes?

A. Leverage technology and automation where appropriate. Evaluate the benefits and ROI of deploying automation technologies such as robotics, AMRs, conveyance, automated sorting systems, AS/RS, etc., to streamline fulfillment processes and reduce labor. VARGO® as a systems integrator (SI), assists our clients in determining the appropriate level and selection of automation based on the right process for the desired operation.

Q. How important is flexibility when implementing automation at a client fulfillment center?

A. Take into consideration scalability and redundancy. To achieve ultimate success, ecommerce operations need to be able to adapt to changing demands and business requirements. The solution needs to have built-in flexibility to adapt to these changes.

Q. What is the basis of empowering fulfillment and preparing for fulfillment success?

A. At VARGO®, we live by and design with a simple motto—People, Process, Technology and in that order.

  • People: Solutions need to be simple to use and have some degree of “self-healing” for error correction. This not only speeds up user and management training, but can help alleviate, or significantly shorten, exception handling time.
  • Process: Focus on current and future business requirements, what is being asked of the supply chain, and develop the best process that meets the needs of the operation.
  • Technology: In today’s world, essentially every process can be automated in some way but that doesn’t mean it has to or should be. Letting the process be the guiding factor allows us to interject automation where it makes sense or where there is a compelling ROI for doing such.
Q. What are best practices in measuring the success of fulfillment solutions?

A. Track the operational key performance indicators (KPIs) under your control such as order accuracy, fulfillment cycle time, direct labor cost, units per hour (by functional area and facility), etc. These data points will help identify areas for improvement and enable data-driven decisions to further optimize fulfillment operations.