This is part two in a two-part series. You can read part one here.
The year 2017 promises to be an exciting year for everyone, but especially businesses who have a 3rd party fulfillment partner or who are looking to partner with one. In part one of this two-part series, we talked about the state of the industry moving forward, but we’ve got even more great news for you in this second installment.
Pick, Pack and Ship Technology Gets a Futuristic Make-Over
Although there’s still going to be ample application of bar code scanning and shopping cart integration in the warehouse of 2017, the pick floor is going to be faster and more dependable due to leaps in available technology. Tools like pick to voice, which allows the picker to take instructions from an interactive computerized voice system, can increase pick efficiency by 35 percent and virtually eliminate errors entirely. Combining voice prompting and bar code scanners, pick to voice is just one of many wearables moving into the warehouse.
Advances in software packages are also going to become big game changers. With improved warehouse routing and intelligent pick orders, new software platforms will make pick, pack and ship faster and more efficient, even when coupled with older picking technology. Between new software and hardware tools, there’s no more excuse for picking errors, a refreshing change that your customers will appreciate and that will save you money in returns.
Warehouse and Fulfillment Jobs on the Uptick
Warehousing and fulfillment jobs are seeing massive gains as 3rd party logistics companies expand and retail businesses build larger fulfillment arms. For example, another giant fulfillment operation is slated to begin construction in North Las Vegas, Nevada, by the summer of 2017. This facility is expected to exceed 800,000 square feet and employ 1,000 people. A similar facility is projected to open by 2019 in Jacksonville, Florida. It’ll employ 1,500 fulfillment experts.
Another major retailer is opening a 937,000 square foot facility in Plainfield, Illinois, this coming summer. The facility is exclusively charged with handling the corporation’s eCommerce fulfillment needs with 900 new employees expected to staff it. Their goal is to have the facility fully operational and in place to service online visitors for the 2017 shopping season.
It’s an exciting time to be involved in the fulfillment industry. From new technology to lots of new jobs and so much potential growth into the future, customer care is only going to get better as orders become more accurate, less expensive and faster to fulfill.