The warehouse is essential for your e-commerce success

The success of an e-commerce project is based on many criteria. Every business manager has many questions about the profitability of his project.

The warehouse is essential for  your e-commerce success

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Does my business model hold up? Will my purchasing conditions allow me to generate sufficient margin? How will I develop my visibility in order to promote my site and its offers? These are all relevant questions that business leaders can ask themselves before launching their e-commerce activity.

Often, we find that the management and organization of the warehouse or reserve takes a back seat. And yet, this is an essential point of success in setting up such a project.

The organization of the warehouse at the heart of customer satisfaction

The organization of the warehouse or reserve is a huge topic, as it will depend on the number of products you market online. Organizing and managing 500 products in stock will require the same human and material resources as a stock of more than 20,000 references. And yet the organization of this stock on a more or less large scale will require the same rigor and a certain know-how.

Unfortunately, this step is often neglected and leaves room for many improvisations that affect the quality of your customer service. Because it is the quality of service and the satisfaction of your end customers that is at stake. Our consultations and audits often show a glaring lack of experience. Among the problems frequently encountered: Storage of the warehouse without logic, unaddressed products (no picking address), poorly filled in or even unused order preparation slips.

Human processes and the relationship with your information system

The organization of a logistics warehouse must respond to applied methods and optimized processes. Logistics must be based on an information system that must work in concert with your e-commerce site.

The question then arises of the flow of information between your e-commerce site and your information system which manages the items database, and the logistical aspects (references, EAN, stocks, movements, deposits, etc.).

For larger companies, the e-commerce website will certainly be interfaced with an information system which itself makes it possible to manage the proper coordination of the other services of the company (commercial, accounting, sales administration (ADV), After-sales service This involves measuring the efficiency of your processes between your IS and your e-commerce site.

In order to deal with these inadequate procedures, the end user often implements workarounds. At this stage, we notice many hiccups that do not allow good organization or pollute your logistics processes. If you feel concerned, do not hesitate to consult us. We can guide you in the detection of blocking points, and their resolution.

Internalize or outsource the logistics function?

This question then arises: to internalize or outsource the logistics function? The question is asked. It is difficult at this stage to answer the question straight away, the answer to which depends on many criteria: size of the company, management of a multi-depot stock, number of references in stock, type of product (small or voluminous).

Internalization will therefore involve significant costs related to surface area, equipment (racks, boxes, protections) and labor (order pickers, etc.).

Outsourcing your logistics service may be a solution in some cases, because it overcomes the constraints set out in the previous paragraph. This outsourcing solution also makes it possible to entrust the "supply chain" function to specialists who will thus promote the satisfaction of your customers. We regularly work with specialized partners such as the company STIO whose site is visible at the following address:

How to automate an e-commerce warehouse?

E-commerce warehouses are generally automated. With more and more complex references and orders, made up of a single unit of several references, automatic solutions are the only ones that guarantee the elimination of errors and therefore a reduction in reverse logistics.

Automation has emerged as the most appropriate solution to improve e-commerce logistics. Here are its main advantages:

  • High frequency in product entry and exit cycles.
  • More agility in order management.
  • Error-free management of complex order receipt, storage, picking and shipping processes.
  • Increased safety in the movement of bins and in the work of operators.
  • Optimization of storage space.
  • Maximum flexibility in the organization of stock within the warehouse.
  • Full control of warehouse stocks, key to e-commerce activity.

In contrast, automation also has drawbacks:

  • High initial investment in automated storage systems and software.
  • Obligation to homogenize the unit load in the warehouse.
  • Need for good connectivity in the installation to ensure synchronization of terminals and workstations with the WMS.

While this process has some drawbacks, automating an e-commerce warehouse not only boosts productivity, but also improves service to the end customer. All of this will lead to the end goal: meeting consumer expectations.

Solutions to automate an e-commerce warehouse

The bin has established itself as a standard unit of charge in e-commerce warehouses. Consequently, e-commerce companies have had to adapt their storage systems, material handling equipment and picking processes to these load units, which are more complicated to handle than the traditional pallet.

Nowadays, the market offers several options to automate the extraction and placement of bins on the racks, which can be solutions to accelerate the flow of goods in and out of the warehouse, as well as automated elements that guarantee the efficiency of complex processes such as order picking. Now let's take a look at the most common options:

Stacker cranes for bins or miniloads: automatic bin storage system that includes one or more stacker cranes for the extraction and placement of goods. This solution is ideal for e-commerce warehouses, as order picking meets the “product to human” criteria. Operators remain on a picking station while waiting to automatically receive the goods they need.
Bin conveyors: Due to their size, it is more difficult to move bins with forklifts or pallet trucks than with pallets. It is for this reason that e-commerce companies install bin conveyors between the different areas of the warehouse; thus, they speed up operations such as storage, consolidation or dispatch of orders.
Robotics: this category includes both autonomous mobile robots (AMR), collaborative robots, picking arms, drones or order sorting robots whose objective is to facilitate the work of the operator.
In addition to these fully automated solutions, some e-commerce warehouses opt for semi-automatic methods that improve processes such as picking or the flow of goods. This is the case with pick-to-light and voice picking devices, which guide the operator in the preparation of orders, facilitating his tasks and minimizing the error rate in this operation.

WMS, pillar of e-commerce automation.

Any process of automating a logistics facility would not be coherent without a warehouse management system acting as the brain coordinating the various warehouse operations.

Precisely, the e-commerce sector needs, even more, automated management to meet not only the challenges of the sector, but also those of omnichannel. This trend, which is decisive in explaining new consumption patterns, aims to increase the number of channels in the customer-supplier relationship.

4 things to know about international logistics for e-commerce

4 things to know about international logistics for e-commerce

Do you have an online store and your items are coming from abroad? You will need to make sure you follow certain rules, including customs formalities.

You must therefore study all the laws relating to customs and the compulsory documents to be prepared in advance to avoid unpleasant surprises.

To help you better manage your supply chain, in this rather complex phase, do not hesitate to surround yourself with experts who know the sector and who will be able to guide you in the best way.

Discover the 4 things to know about international logistics, overseas for the management of your e-commerce stock.

1. What is a bonded warehouse

The bonded warehouse is a customs procedure under which third-party goods can be placed under cover of a customs declaration for storage. These goods remain under customs surveillance in the European Union.

The bonded warehouse makes it possible to have a permanent stock of goods in the premises and to sell them as and when.

Duties and taxes are paid only upon exit of the goods at the rate applicable on that date.

This is a significant cash gain. Because the e-merchant benefits from a deferral of payment of customs duties and VAT until the time of the marketing of his products on his merchant site.

The storage period is unlimited.

2. Surround yourself with experts in international logistics

To help you further in the steps related to your international logistics, the e-LOGIK network offers support during your shipments. From import to export, our 2 bonded warehouses located in Rouen and Caen will support you in your logistics.

Our skills as a customs broker and forwarder allow us to better control and optimize your international logistics flows.

Our teams are at your side to advise you on Incoterms *, choice of type of transport (plane, train, boat, etc.), handling of import documents, administrative and customs formalities, choice of insurance.

Choosing the right logistician for your imports is a key point.

The e-LOGIK network optimizes import and export flows according to the specificities of its customers. Bonded warehouses manage your exports and imports in the various European ports.

* Incoterms: is a standardized term used to define the rights and duties of buyers and sellers participating in international and national trade

3. Customs documents and formalities

To simplify your international exchanges, we offer you our Shanghai - Paris expertise. An offer that masters all customs regulations to facilitate the entry of your products into France.

Turnkey, we take care of all the administrative formalities, documents and customs formalities to facilitate your entry through the port of Le Havre.

A specialist interlocutor in partnership with the customs administration, which masters all customs regulations:

-      Customs declaration

- Cooperation and partnership with the customs administration

- Connection to the Conex system

- Mastery of customs regulations

- Declarations of exchange of goods

-      Bonded warehouse

4. Choosing the right e-commerce logistician

Once your products are stored in the bonded warehouse, as soon as an order is placed on your site, you can prepare it and ship it on time to your customers. As soon as your products are stored in our bonded warehouses, no stress, we take care of everything!

Thanks to our know-how in e-commerce logistics, we ensure that your customers' packages are dispatched on time.

And we assure you a follow-up at each stage of the delivery.

You will understand, an e-commerce provider with a bonded warehouse is important. This will help you manage your international logistics.

These 4 tips will allow you to meet your needs and your goals.

And if you want to go further, why not outsource the logistics of your e-commerce to a specialized service provider.