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Omnichannel retail is the new “Gold Standard” for the industry. On the surface, an omnichannel approach gives consumers the ability to blend their online and physical experience into one. For supply chains, the impact of omnichannel is more significant. Supply chain technology requires integration for omnichannel success , and the entire system relies on data. Consumer spending patterns show an increase in e-commerce purchases, but the peak holiday shopping season of 2018 suggests that retailers must not undervalue brick-and-mortar capabilities. The only way to truly stay successful and competitive is to embrace retail warehouse automation. Why Have Retailers Forgone Warehouse Automation? Retail warehouse automation should be the standard, but it is the exception for many retailers that have not yet implemented automated technologies. Traditional warehouses needed to perform customary fulfillment and e-commerce fulfillment in tandem. History shows warehouses that typically increase automation capabilities, such as implementing smart conveyors, automatic storage and retrieval systems, and voice-assisted technologies, tend to implement both a WMS and warehouse control system. Combined, the systems allow for the use of modern technologies to plan and act on information. Unfortunately, this represents the investment in terms of IT capability versus maintaining the status quo. As a result, retailers forgo warehouse automation . Retail Warehouse Automation Is Crucial to Creating Seamless Omnichannel Experiences Some retailers can operate without retail warehouse automation capabilities, but they may experience intense competition from big-box retailers and Amazon. At the same time, the demand for more e-commerce fulfillment and a seamless omnichannel experience pushed retailers that did forgo warehouse automation to the breaking point. Therefore, a warehouse execution system (WES) was created, allowing companies to leverage innovative technology without upgrading both WMS and the WCS. However, even this advancement was still unable to meet the demand. Lulls and peaks in the picking […]
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