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Finding the Right Automation for Grocery Ecommerce: 3 Proven Technologies

September 15, 2021
By now, we all know the headache that is the world of grocery ecommerce. Between a global pandemic, supply chain issues, product shortages and changing consumer demands, many grocers are scrambling to make the best decision for their customers and their bottom line. The industry transitioning from “how a grocer is going to automate the instore fulfillment process?” to “how are they going to optimize the whole process, including last mile delivery?” Brick Meets Click data showed that online grocery sales for pickup or delivery were $6.6 billion in April of this year. That’s down from the $7.1 billion in grocery e-commerce sales in March of this year, but up from $5.3 billion in April 2020. Reducing the labor spend for filling orders in the store is the first step; what follows is a strategy that can help reduce the overall cost of getting orders into the hands of customers, regardless of the hand-off location. Being a high-volume and low-margin industry, grocers need microfulfillment automation and technologies that are proven, scalable, dense, fast AND have a quick, high return on investment, like these:

Automated Empty Case Delivery via Robots and Overhead Monorail

August 18, 2021
In many distribution centers, timely order fulfillment relies on operators having access to empty boxes so that they can quickly complete their picks. This is often completed by building a box and then delivering it to the operator within the pick module. The question is – “What is the best way to get the box from the box erector to the operator?”

The Challenges of Grocery Ecommerce

August 11, 2021
There’s no question that online grocery ordering is here to stay. Access to fresh produce, milk, eggs, toilet paper and many more grocery items isn’t changing. However, the process by which those products get delivered to the consumer from distribution centers – that is being re-envisioned to meet changing consumer demands. And, with that come new challenges, technologies and strategies. Let’s first look back at history.

Richelieu Streamlines Order Fulfillment for Improved Customer Experience

August 05, 2021
Serving more than 80,000 customers in both Canada and the United States, Richelieu aimed to increase customer satisfaction with faster, reliable order fulfillment. As an international importer, distributor and manufacturer of specialty hardware, Richelieu manages over 110,000 SKUs. In addition to a faster and more streamlined order fulfillment approach, Richelieu was able to consolidate external storage by leveraging their Montreal facility. They looked to Bastian Solutions to advise and implement the right combination of automation technology to add to Richelieu’s facility longevity and implement a system that helps them reliably maintain strong customer service.

Adaptación de las estrategias de fabricación para el procesamiento de pedidos directos al consumidor

August 03, 2021
Internet, desde su adopción en la década de 1990, es un lugar extraordinario que continuamente abre nuevas puertas y genera nuevas oportunidades. Los modelos de negocio siguen adaptándose a nuestra nueva realidad conectada. Los consumidores ascienden cada vez más en la cadena de suministro. Los minoristas fueron los primeros en percibir esta tendencia, ya que a los clientes les encanta eliminar las tiendas físicas de su actividad diaria y comprar directamente al almacén a través del mostrador digital. Esto ha conducido al desarrollo y el dominio de los modelos de distribución omnicanal, que ofrecen diversas mercancías y marcas a través de una sola empresa. Deben competir con minoristas exclusivamente online como Amazon. Esto ha significado un cambio trascendental para el centro de distribución.
Posted in Bastian Mexico

5 Considerations for Retail E-Fulfillment Polybag Packing Automation

July 28, 2021
Bag or box? They aren’t the only packing options, but they are certainly the most prevalent when it comes to retail fulfillment. With ecommerce activity on the rise, planning for and designing DC efficiency around single order pick and pack operations is a necessary shift to remaining competitive in the retail industry. Not only does this factor into meeting consumers’ quick turnaround expectations but also in keeping costs low. When it comes to packing and shipping, you can make efficiencies in larger factors such as operations and system design but also in smaller details like the size of the parcel. Shipping fast and cost efficiently is a balancing act that starts in warehouse or distribution center design. Whether you are working with polybags, boxes or both, appropriate automation sizing and integration with surrounding equipment has immediate and lasting impacts.

Leveraging 3 Common Put Wall Drawbacks for Improved Order Fulfillment

July 21, 2021
Put walls aren’t new but their many operational benefits continue to stand out and help drive distribution center efficiencies, despite some common drawbacks. For companies with high order commonality and batch picking, put walls can easily have a dramatic impact to picking labor. Put walls are simply shelving units with several cubbies of the same or varying sizes, dependent on the orders being processed. Modern units have light indicators at the front and back of the wall to help direct operators to pick and put items.

Rethinking DC Packing Automation for E-fulfillment

June 16, 2021
Pick, pack and ship is fairly straightforward but with increasing pressures to process orders faster and faster, these tasks can give your company a competitive edge. When I’m looking at a customer’s distribution center, there are certain indicators I look for to try to find improvement opportunities. For a company that processes ecommerce orders, pick totes are at the top of that list. While they’re sometimes necessary, they’re often a red flag for underlying operational inefficiencies. However, these inefficiencies are easily remedied through a combination of process flow updates and new automation. These projects often have a fantastic ROI, paying back the initial investment in one to two years. To top it off, they’re easy choices for our customers to implement.

4 Steps for Evaluating and Deciding on DC Automation

May 26, 2021
If your distribution center has grown in both SKUs and order volume or your typical order has shifted from retail to more ecommerce sales resulting in larger requests for smaller orders; it’s possible your picking productivity isn’t where it should be. You might also be struggling to find the labor to push orders out the door quickly and meet your service level agreements. These are just some of challenges that companies, both large and small, around the globe are facing as they adapt to market changes and shift fulfillment operations to cater to the latest ecommerce demands.

How COVID-19 Will Permanently Change your Omni-Channel Supply Chain

March 19, 2020
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to force unprecedented shut downs, will the resulting changes to supply chains be temporary anomalies or permanent changes?
Posted in Industry News

Delivering Best Buy's Supply Chain Transformation

March 03, 2020
Learn how we helped Best Buy overhaul its omnichannel operations and supply chain network to stay competitive against Amazon.
Posted in System Automation

The "Final 50 Feet" of Ecommerce Delivery: Trends, Challenges, and Technology

February 13, 2020
While the “last mile” has long been a focus for retailers and carriers, one particularly challenging element is the “final 50 feet” of urban parcel delivery.
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