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Warehouse Efficiencies During Covid Are Critical

Warehouse Efficiencies During Covid Are Critical

With the global rise of Covid cases and social distancing mandates again, or in some cases as extreme as lockdowns, many companies are planning for this next surge in eCommerce dependency. 

The first few months of global lockdowns in 2020 when some businesses were left holding excess inventory they couldn’t ship and others were at a standstill because the shipments were not coming in, have led businesses to adjust to challenges and make less lean-business focused decisions.  

The “logistical imbalance” as it’s called, has seen the cost of shipping containers climb five-fold and take an additional week to two weeks to deliver to businesses. If they have the ability, many businesses now have additional inventory on hand with the longer shipping times to ensure they have product to sell at peak times this fall and winter.  

This constant growth over the last two years has also left business owners with little to no other option than to upgrade manual processes to more efficient automated processes. Automation of processes ensures the business keeps up with the ever-increasing volume and makes profit. It also ensures employees can pick, pack and ship faster, at much higher volumes and with fewer errors in packing or shipping.

As your business approaches the upcoming holiday season, is your warehouse prepared for the challenges ahead?

Ongoing Social Distancing:  Safety of employees is a key concern of most businesses and it now looks like workers spaced out, sanitization stations throughout, one-way traffic aisles and area wipe downs to help ensure the safety of employees as Covid cases may rise in your area.

Increasing Use of Automation Software: Gaining popularity in recent years, Covid has helped to escalate the priority of simplifying through automation.  Warehouses are coping with additional inventory on hand with longer and less reliable shipping timeframes, as well as increased orders with more online shopping than ever.  

Increasing Warehouse Capacity: With inventory shortages and sporadic global lockdowns, most businesses are choosing to keep excess inventory on hand to meet the increased need and requires additional space.  In addition to inventory, social distancing requires that employees are spread out and common areas like packing and shipping provide enough space for everyone to work safely.

Relying on 3PL Distribution Networks and Decentralizing Warehouses: With so many challenges around the transportation of products, many businesses are looking to leverage the existing distribution networks of 3PLs. Many are automated and efficient, allowing businesses an additional alternative for growth.

Another option some are considering is more local or decentralized warehouses, preventing operations from halting completely if one warehouse has an outbreak.  This also could benefit shipping time to consumers with ever-increasing USPS and other carrier delivery times. 

Simplify with OPAL’s 4-in-1 Software Solution
EDI | Order Management |Warehouse Management | Shipping

OPAL is the innovative solution to simplify your business fulfillment needs in today’s rapidly transforming retail world 

Implementing OPAL software into your businesses’ warehouse is proven to increase productivity by as much as 50%, significantly improving your chances for keeping up with the ever-increases demand for eCommerce products and this upcoming holiday season. 

OPAL is the innovative solution to simplify your business fulfillment needs in today’s rapidly transforming retail world.  To learn more, click here!

Click here to book your customized demo today.  We are here to support you through this time of change and are here to help you innovate and thrive!

Excelling With a Hybrid Workforce

Excelling With a Hybrid Workforce

Running a business in an era of labor shortages where employees are willing to quit instead of giving up working from home is challenging.  

Employees have grown to appreciate the many perks and flexibility that come with remote work – no commute, reduced Covid exposure, accessibility to family or pets, and reductions in cost of child care and gas bills. According to Bloomberg, a recent survey showed that 49% of people polled would consider quitting if their employers were not flexible about remote work.  That puts a lot of pressure on employers to remain competitive, especially during a time with labor shortages.

As a small business, you may relate to the 77% of professionals who believe they’re equally if not more effective when remote, and that 86% of employers plan to continue remote work in some form or fashion after the pandemic ends. 

A Hybrid Work Environment Approach

The eCommerce business model is unique and has a somewhat hybrid approach already. In this Covid- era, most eCommerce businesses have had to work on balancing incredible growth with scaling back employees in the office or warehouse to minimize exposure and risk of them getting sick.

Some employees can work from home for the majority of the process, whether its accounting or marketing with website updates, or sales positions.  This comes with the added benefit of limiting exposure to Covid for your teams and possibly still abiding by state mandates where there’s staff limitations in offices – also possible with this next wave of pandemic shutdowns.  

However, when it comes time to pick, pack and ship – a team member will need to be present in your warehouse or facility.  How you choose to structure it will hopefully help you to keep your team safe with reduced exposure and provide some level of flexibility so that you can retain your top talent.

A Comprehensive Software Approach in a Hybrid Work Environment

A critical component to success with balancing the hybrid approach, with some remote and others present in the office or warehouse, is a comprehensive software solution that optimizes processes and syncs everything efficiently – reducing the friction, complexity and errors that occur because not everyone is working in close proximity to one another.

Self-Driving Automation
One, self-driving, automated software solution for your EDI, order management, warehouse management and shipping processes allows your employees to be synced, efficient and working together, even when they’re apart.  It also reduces costs by consolidating multiple software packages into one, as well as driving labor costs down to fulfill growing order volumes immediately without ever again having to hire and train new staff.

Pick, Pack & Ship
Pick, pack and ship still requires someone to be present in the warehouse.  However, optimized pick, pack and shipping processes increases warehouse productivity, enabling you to increase the number of shipments per day and meet those ever shorter delivery deadlines that your retailers are asking of you.  

Strengthening Relationships

One self-driving automated software solution also proves to your retailers that your eCommerce business is accurate and efficient so they come to view you are a trusted supplier on their platform.  

As retailers continue to pursue new avenues of reaching consumers online, automation allows your business to grow with them and be ready to go for various opportunities like live branding that require automatically updated and accurate inventory levels, as well as consistent shipping on time to customers. 

Simplify with OPAL’s 4-in-1 Software Solution
EDI | Order Management | Warehouse Management | Shipping

OPAL is the innovative solution to simplify your small to mid-sized to enterprise business fulfillment needs in today’s rapidly transforming retail world. 

With OPAL, automating your order processing will allow you to not only reach additional customers to sell more product, but prosper well through this labor shortage.

To learn more about how OPAL can help your business simplify your order processing, click here!

Click here to book your customized demo today.  We are here to support you through this time of change and are here to help you innovate and thrive!