How Automation Leads to Faster Fulfillment in the E-Commerce Age

Cimcorp in the News: In his article in Food Logistics, Derek Rickard of Cimcorp explains how warehouse automation provides the speed businesses need to meet the modern demands of order fulfillment. 

Think back to 1995, a year of milestones for the burgeoning World Wide Web.

The release of Windows 95 finally made browsing the internet easy; the auction-style website now known as eBay launched; and the newly founded Amazon.com made history selling its very first book online.

Fast forward to today, and e-commerce has exploded. Today, you can have nearly any item imaginable arrive on your doorstep within 24-48 hours.

As a result, consumers have grown to expect that same level of service everywhere, demanding convenience, variety, and most importantly, speed. Consumer goods companies are feeling the pressure of this trend, dubbed the “Amazon Effect.”

When speed is truly a need 

In some cases, delivery speed is more than just a perk to entice customers—it’s a real necessity.

Fast fulfillment is critical in industries such as fresh food distribution. Grocers and retailers need to get perishable items (like produce, eggs, meats and baked goods) to store shelves as fast as possible, so they remain fresh and safe for consumption. It’s more than a matter of convenience; it’s a matter of health and safety.

And, in times of public crisis—like the global Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic—disrupted supply chains and panic buying mean out-of-stocks and empty shelves. In such situations, suppliers of essentials like food, toiletries and medicine need to ensure goods are rapidly restocked and available to customers that desperately need them.      

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