ORDER FULFILLMENT: WHAT IS IT?
Order fulfillment process is at the heart of any distribution center. It starts when an order placed by a customer enters the distribution center and ends once the order is ready for shipment. Order fulfillment is achieved in several ways, from manual picking of individual items in the warehouse, to automated sorters that provide throughputs upwards of 20,000 items/hour. It is paramount as it impacts every aspect of the fulfillment center. Operational efficiency and order accuracy are critical, because they have a big impact on customer experience. Therefore, the process must take place quickly and reliably, to decrease the time between the purchase order and the receipt of goods as much as possible, in order to increase and improve orders’ workflow.
During peak seasons, order fulfillment triggers many processes and requires buffer areas with dimensions based on forecasts and predictions. Huge amounts of data have to be processed to keep up with the various automated data capture processes (storing, picking, inventory, etc).
3PLs are requested to manage the retailer logistic operations in a seamless way as if directly managed by the retailer itself. Datalogic rugged mobile and handheld devices are the right solution for this need.
WHY INVENTORY MANAGEMENT IS SO IMPORTANT?
Inventory management is used to identify which and how much stocks to order and at what time. A record is kept from purchase to the sale of goods. Effective management ensures that there is enough stock to meet customer orders and to alert in real time of a shortage.
One measurement of good inventory management is inventory turnover. It reflects how often stock is sold in a period. A company does not want more stock than sales. Poor inventory turnover can lead to deadstock, or unsold ones.
Inventory management is vital to the health of a business because it ensures there is rarely too much or too little stock on hand, limiting the risk of stockouts and inaccurate records. The standardized nature of barcodes allows providers to eliminate the human error inherent in manual inventory counting and picking processes.
BARCODE SCANNERS FOR ORDER FULFILLMENT ARE NECESSARY?
For anyone involved in large-scale, high-volume order fulfillment, barcodes are indispensable. Barcode scanning technologies are key in logistics for overall inventory management, fulfillment, and shipping process. They help prevent human error in warehouse management system and intralogistics operations. Handwritten documents and keying have a couple percentage points of error, whereas barcode scanning is definitely more accurate and reliable.
With automated barcode order fulfillment solutions, warehouses can meet the growing demands of e-commerce fulfillment. Barcode scanners for order fulfillment solutions are also essential in the delivery phase, during which the shipping labels are read and consequently the goods are identified according to the information contained in labels. When vendors ship their products to retailers, these products need to be tracked throughout the supply chain. Devices that scan barcodes can belong to three different order fulfillment solutions systems, i.e., fully automatic (robots, sortes, etc.), semi-automatic (e.g., hands-free devices) or manual (picking physically performed by the operator).
WHAT ARE THE DATALOGIC DEVICES FOR ORDER FULFILLMENT SOLUTIONS?
Datalogic offers many devices for barcode order fulfillment solutions. We can mention three of the main ones.
- Matrix 320 Series. Great performance, easy to install and setup, for a seamless operation in hands-free mode. The 360° feedback via LED makes very easy to get feedback even in light and noisy environment. Fantastic reading performance, like the whole Matrix line.
- AV Series. The perfect choice for automated fulfillment operations. The 9MP CMOS sensor is perfectly fitting all the applications needs, both on induction lines and main sorters. 3 different focusing systems and the capability to read barcode at reduced gap boost enormously the productivity of your DC.
- PowerScan 9600. The ideal choice for manual fulfillment: great ergonomics thanks to the perfect mechanical balancing, superior reading performance with added value features like the proprietary Star-Radio wireless connectivity and the capability to take color pictures and then store the images.