Micro-fulfillment in town to adapt to omnichannel
27 January 2022
27 January 2022
Sales in e-commerce is accelerating, and needs are piling up. Consumers want to be delivered quickly, sometimes on orders for small items. Among retailers, the concept of micro-fulfillment is starting to create some interest as a way to meet the high demand.
To meet the need for immediacy that consumers feel today, since it has become natural for them to go directly to the drive-through or to the relay point rather than wait for their home delivery, mass retailers are organizing themselves differently and adapting their logistics.
- Speed up the delivery of orders,
- Reduce logistics costs.
Large merchandise management sites on the outskirts and close to urban areas are no longer sufficient. Even if they have become closer and closer to the customer over the years, the warehouse must now be close to the consumer to ensure last mile delivery.
The logistical problem arises when goods have to be stored in small urban spaces, which are therefore multiplied.
The micro-fulfillment center is a small order preparation site located in an urban area. Integrated into the local point of sale or completely independent, they allow the preparation of orders for small items, which the consumer wishes to pick up within the day or even within the hour.
- The micro-fulfillment center is a warehouse that covers a maximum of 2,500 square meters, while traditional warehouses cover hundreds of square meters.
These small warehouses want to cover about 30 kilometers each and, obviously, do not have the entire catalog of the company.
Like traditional warehouses, the micro-fulfillment center is equipped and automated (robots depending on the picking and preparation method, conveyors, shuttles, etc.) to meet the need: drive, home or relay point delivery, Click&Collect, etc.
The micro-fulfillment center speeds up delivery and gets on all fronts of omnichannel by getting closer to the consumer. It's also easier to manage returns, since the warehouse that ships is right next to the customer. Thus, not only the first-mile experience, but also the last-mile experience is optimized.
However, as its name suggests, the micro-fulfillment center cannot store the entire company catalog. It is therefore necessary to choose the right merchandise to store, so as to maintain a certain diversity in its references.
The micro-fulfillment center appears to be a decisive innovation for the retail and food sector.
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