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Hytrol Conveyor Company, Inc. Omni-Channel – A New Kind of Speed
Omni-Channel - A New Kind Of Speed
Consumer expectation has always been the driving force of the supply chain. And with the ever-evolving world of e-commerce and the smartphone, that expectation has rapidly shifted. Consumers want their shopping experience to be seamless between stores and devices, and that’s where omni-channel fulfillment comes into play.
So, what is omni-channel? Macy’s President of Logistics and Operations, Peter Longo, put it simply. “Omni-channel is the complete integration of promotion, packaging, merchandising and pricing to create an unified experience, in-store and online.” Easier said than done, right? When most people think of this business model, they often assume they must incur huge operational and equipment costs. There is also the assumption that implementing these principles may create disruption throughout the facility due to the need to completely reconfigure the layout.

I’m not Amazon. How can this strategy work for me? There are several ways to incorporate omni-channel principles into your business without experiencing a substantial capital expense. Below are several options:

  • Gradual growth driven investment: Steadily incorporate omni-channel principles over a period of time based on revenue.

  • Area reconfiguration: Use existing equipment to process orders more efficiently for e-commerce expansion.

  • Utilization of your current facility: Use current inventory for in-store and e-commerce needs.

  • Scalable conventional: Add on to current facility to accommodate multi-channel requirements.

Do I need a warehouse control system? There are many benefits of incorporating a warehouse control system (WCS) into your facility. A WCS synchronizes labor and equipment to increase productivity, which enables the quick decisions necessary to meet tight deadlines. It allows you to make adjustments to labor and wave management on the go, while building flexibility into your system to accommodate both store and e-commerce demands. Other benefits of a WCS include the ability to assign a UPC code to any of multiple orders, wave buffers to de-couple picking from packing and shipping, and the ability to deal with emergency or cut-off orders.

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