In recent months, the explosion of e-commerce has not only changed the purchasing habits of customers but has also posed new challenges for companies: the latter are in fact called to adapt to a market that requires new organization and management models, even in terms of logistics. But are companies ready to face this new "normal"? What tools can they count on to offer efficient services to increasingly demanding customers? What systems respond best to the needs of the just in time approach in logistics? This was discussed in the online event “E-commerce logistics” organized on Thursday, 30 September by Logistica Efficiente. At the event, the Ferretto Group presented the advantages offered by its Vertimag automatic vertical storage system to the e-commerce sector. To do this, it chose to explain how the transition to automation enabled Deima to change its logistics towards greater speed, efficiency and accuracy.
The rapid growth of e-commerce
The lockdown imposed by the Covid-19 emergency influenced the purchasing behavior of consumers in an important and lasting way. Changes that usually take years occurred in just a few weeks. People have shifted a significant portion of their offline shopping budget to online shopping and have begun to rely on the internet even for products they would previously have purchased in brick-and-mortar stores. It is not, however, merely an increase in numbers, because the shopping process itself has changed. An endless variety of choices, the speed of delivery, and the immediate availability of products guaranteed by e-commerce have translated into an exponential increase in consumer expectations.
Ever more demanding customers? Efficiency must also be well rooted in the warehouse
Today, 7 out of 10 consumers say they are more likely to shop elsewhere if they cannot quickly find the products they are looking for on a retailer's website or if free shipping and returns are not provided. These conditions consequently affect the organizational aspects of companies which in the next 24 months must focus on specific warehouse management improvement objectives.
In particular, companies need to improve:
Immediate availability, reasonable prices, and quick deliveries have become some of the main demands of consumers in this new normal in purchasing. For companies, this translates, among other things, into increased variability in the type of goods in stock as well as in their quantity, size and format. How to respond to the demand for increasingly just-in-time logistics? A solution is offered by automatic storage and handling systems, capable of guaranteeing flexibility, accuracy, and efficiency in the management of stock and product flows.
Vertimag, automation at the service of e-commerce
An automated solution that meets the needs of companies in the e-commerce sector is the new Vertimag automatic vertical storage system. Thanks to its characteristics and flexibility, the system ensures concrete advantages, precisely in view of the new market demands:
Vertimag was at the center of the case history with which the Ferretto Group illustrated how an automatic solution can help an e-commerce company. Deima is a company specialized in logistics management, order preparation, and distribution in Italy and abroad of many product categories: from cosmetics to clothing to household appliances. The company manages the supply chain of top brands: it organizes orders of products up through shipment to the points of sale and manages the online shop, sending the goods purchased directly to the end customer.
A change of course: the transition to automation
The growth of e-commerce and new consumer purchasing behaviors have led more and more brands from various sectors to turn to Deima with the aim of achieving high quality standards in logistics services: fast and accurate shipments, minimization of errors, as well as proper storage of products. In order to support growth prospects and offer more efficient and complete services, Deima decided to upgrade its logistics structure, shifting from the manual order preparation paradigm based on traditional shelving to one based on the automated management of products.
These were Deima's objectives:
The Ferretto Group supported Deima in this critical change of direction with a project that led to the reorganization of space and the installation of four Vertimag anti-seismic vertical storage systems. Overall, the system has a footprint of just 69 square meters but a storage capacity of 867 square meters. The systems are equipped with a total of 204 trays and an Ergotech bay each which guarantees perfect ergonomics for the operator during picking and placing activities. Through the management software developed entirely in-house by the Ferretto Group, the storage systems communicate with the company’s ERP, ensuring accurate inventory control in real time.
To facilitate picking operations, Deima also chose to integrate the storage systems with:
The concrete advantages of automation
Thanks to the Vertimag automatic vertical storage systems, Deima has reorganized the storage of goods in an orderly and traceable manner, making handling activities faster and safer. The transition to automation has enabled the company to achieve the desired results and, in particular, to: