What are these forces driving the increasing functionality of WCS and its widespread application? Even before the explosion of e-commerce, the nature and complexity of product distribution and order fulfillment had been changing. Pallet shipments were replaced with cases and split-cases; and now eaches are overwhelmingly predominant. Customer requirements for VAS and timely delivery have grown immensely and must be satisfied to remain competitively viable. Management expects continuous improvement to provide higher throughput at quicker speed and with greater accuracy, including 24-hour and even same-day delivery. Finally, competitive pressures to lower prices and further reduce costs make automation a pragmatic alternative to expensive labor.
Because traditional DC's were designed solely for retail store fulfillment, they are now being pushed to their limits to accommodate multi-channel fulfillment processes. The best way to drive automated solutions to handle this ever-increasing complexity "” and still achieve the lowest total cost system and optimum labor balance "” is a powerful and intelligent WCS.
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