It’s no secret that the face of retail is changing at an accelerated pace. Online shopping has rapidly evolved from a convenience to a necessity. Consumers are demanding fast, flexible order fulfillment, anytime, anywhere. these omnichannel trends put an unprecedented strain on retailers’ worldwide supply chains, not only in terms of increased consumer demand, but execution speed and flexibility.
At our annual user’s conference, FLOW 2020, we hosted a live customer panel: Automation to Accelerate your Omnichannel Journey.
Here’s what 6RS customers on the panel had to say about their omnichannel challenges and how automation has helped facilitate improved fulfillment operations and create a better experience for retail businesses and their customers:
Robert Shields – Bodybuilding.com
“COVID is the Black Swan event that’s prompted all of us to take a deep, granular look into our supply chain strategies. It’s really exposed a lot of vulnerabilities and highlighted the importance of contingency planning, the importance of business agility and supply chain agility. We needed to develop a strong business continuity plan and part of that approach included flexible work arrangements. So with childcare circumstances, emergency sick leave and FCRA, we had a lot of employees that in the drop of a hat were out of office for 12 weeks. We had to come up with some contingency staffing models. In our old model for picking, the training to proficiency would take about three to four weeks. Thankfully with 6 River’s user interfaces, it’s really simplified training and shortened that window from start date to proficient.”
Sid Lakhani – Healing Hands Scrubs
“Everyone’s a consumer now and they’re used to the Amazon style experience. And so even in wholesale, our retail partners want the same type of service and turnaround time. And that was a big reason for moving and bringing in this kind of system. Things take a lot longer than usual at every step of the way, whether it’s just sampling and courier packages to fabric moving between countries and then the final product coming to New Jersey. In order to keep up with that choppy and delayed arrivals of our inventory, there’s been even more pressure on the DC. With more pressure, there’s less time to get the goods out the door and having this automation has certainly helped us to achieve that. Compared to our previous manual picking methods, we needed far less labor to achieve the same results.”
Todd Morley – Pure Fishing
“The most recent estimate is that there’s 10 million new anglers in the United States alone. This typically is the low part of our year and we are still way past peak numbers and still moving forward. When all this started, we were coming off the Chinese new year in February, they added that extra week of shutdown past that. Now that manufacturing in China is back moving, we’re still seeing those issues, but now on the port side, trying to get in through Long Beach, we’re seeing significant delays on those inbounds because all that manufacturing is catching up.
“We are completely eliminating any of the typical pick mods that you would see in a facility of our size. And the reason we’re getting rid of all of that is the flexibility that we get from Chuck allows us [to avoid] those breakdowns that completely shut you down.”