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Posts Tagged ‘fulfillment’

A Guide to Current Trends in Industrial Warehousing

With a whopping 74% of supply chain leaders increasing their technology investments in 2023, it’s clear the global landscape is changing. Experts predict the industrial warehousing industry will mirror this trend as well.

If you plan to join the innovation investment wave, it’s wise to know where to put your money. Understanding current trends in industrial warehousing leads to smarter investments, giving you an edge in a competitive market. Keep reading to discover these trends and more.

Automation in Industrial Warehousing

For those in the industrial warehousing sector, embracing automation opens the door to many advantages. It boosts your operations, raises productivity, and streamlines product assembly.

A single robot can replace the work of several human employees. This leads to:

  • Faster task completion
  • Minimal mistakes
  • More precise work
  • Higher product quality 

An intriguing advantage of automation is the potential for cost savings. Labor is a major expense in warehouse operations, but automation shrinks these costs. By making a one-off investment in mechanization, you can replace recurring manual labor expenses.

The predictability that comes with automation is a plus. Automated systems function reliably. This lessens the risk of unexpected halts.

These systems offer real-time data about every operation. With this information, you can make informed decisions and forecasts.

Automation is powerful enough to speed up your business growth. It empowers your business to adapt to market fluctuations faster.

Automation even helps support workplace safety. By handling physically daunting tasks, the risk of work-related accidents drops.

Warehouse Management Systems (WMS)

Business warehousing operations can benefit from WMS technology. These systems help record each stocked item. Their accuracy lets businesses quickly locate products in the warehouse, ensuring swift recovery.

WMS maintains a precise inventory count. This minimizes stock shortages and overstocking. So, inventory can meet demand without wasting valuable capital.

Another vital feature of WMS is its tracking ability. It offers transparency across the entire supply chain.

You’ll always be up to date on product movements. This comprehensive tracking streamlines order fulfillment.

It automates picklists, oversees packing and shipping, and ensures accurate dispatch of items. Plus, WMS can integrate with various shipping carriers, compare rates, and select the most cost-effective options.

Be a part of the trends in warehousing and gain an edge by using WMS. Imagine knowing how much inventory you have and where every item is. You won’t have to panic about mishandled or lost products ever again.

Sustainable Warehousing

In today’s environmentally aware market, sustainable warehousing is a necessity. That’s why warehousing sectors are prioritizing green practices.

Sustainable warehousing involves techniques that lower environmental effects. This includes using eco-friendly materials in warehouse construction, such as recycled insulation and siding.

The choice of energy sources is crucial in sustainable warehousing. Many warehouses use renewable energy sources like solar panels and wind turbines.

This reduces carbon emissions. It also presents an opportunity for lower utility bills.

Inside the warehouse, space optimization contributes to the sustainability agenda. Modern companies are using high-density storage systems.

Additionally, the introduction of a robust WMS indirectly supports sustainability. By ensuring inventory accuracy, WMS helps reduce overproduction.

Fast Shipping

The rise of online shopping has caused a ripple effect, massively increasing the need for warehousing services. As e-commerce thrives, customers expect fast delivery. 

Advanced logistics centers are critical to quick delivery. They specialize in managing and moving inventory. An order is on its way promptly after being placed.

Leaders in the e-commerce space, such as Amazon with its Prime service, promise order arrivals in a day or two. This elevated customer expectations industry-wide.

To stay competitive, businesses are investing in new ways to speed up their supply chain. They’re adopting:

  • Advanced management technologies
  • Logistics partnerships
  • AI-driven optimization
  • Last-mile delivery
  • On-demand delivery
  • Cross-training

In the competitive arena of e-commerce, delivering orders at lightning speed can be the edge a business needs. Brands known for their swift and reliable shipping are more likely to earn customer trust and repeat purchases.

Multi-Channel Fulfillment

Multi-channel fulfillment refers to smooth coordination across different platforms. This applies to:

  • Order processing
  • Inventory management
  • Shipping 

The platforms include online marketplaces, e-commerce websites, and physical stores. Adopting this approach allows businesses to enhance customer satisfaction and increase sales.

Integration of sales channels is at the heart of multi-channel fulfillment. It requires keeping inventory data consistent to avoid overselling. You can use order management systems (OMS) to centralize orders from all channels.

Technology is essential for effective multi-channel fulfillment. Data analytics allows you to understand customer behavior and manage stock levels better. 

Inventory management is also critical. Companies use a single inventory system to distribute products across various channels.

Businesses collaborate with logistics providers for real-time tracking and delivery updates. They offer flexible options like in-store pickup and same-day delivery.

As for returns, companies permit returns through any channel. They deal with returns effectively, whether that means restocking, selling off, or recycling returned items.

Customer relationship management (CRM) systems monitor customer interactions across channels to improve service. 

Warehouse Regulatory Compliance 

Warehouse regulations are constantly changing. Businesses need to be aware of these shifts to remain compliant.

Risks are plentiful. As such, safety is of paramount importance in a warehouse setting.

Adhering to OSHA guidelines through routine checks is crucial. These rules ensure critical measures are met, such as:

  • Safe material storage
  • Correct equipment use
  • Adequate lighting
  • Appropriate gear

Environmental standards are also key. Warehouses must handle waste, limit environmental threats, and pursue eco-friendly practices to meet these regulations.

When storing sensitive products like food, medicine, or hazardous substances, specific regulations come into play. Warehouses handling such items need to follow set procedures that guarantee the integrity of these products. Abide by the standards of authorities such as the FDA or EPA.

Warehousing Solutions for This Year and Beyond

Industrial warehousing is transforming. Innovative solutions like automation and warehouse management systems are becoming an industry standard.

Steps towards sustainability and fast shipping are becoming vital for customer satisfaction. Likewise, multi-channel fulfillment and regulatory compliance are crucial trends to watch.

At Shield Works Precision Manufacturing Co., we offer robust warehousing solutions backed by 19 years of experience in China. Contact us today and let’s leverage our cutting-edge technology to secure your lead in the marketplace.

The Ultimate Guide to 3PL Inventory Management

Is your business growing too quickly? While your business growing fast might seem like a good thing, you could be left with burnt-out employees, frustrated supply chain partners, and disgruntled customers.

To avoid these problems, you need a solution that works. 3PL inventory management can help you meet your growth expectations.

Third-party warehouses entail a lot of different services. Keep reading to learn more.

What Is 3PL Inventory Management?

Inventory can sit in a warehouse and keep your company’s cash tied up. Businesses need to fulfill product demand without overstocking warehouses.

3PL inventory management helps you identify what products you need to order and when. They can monitor the inventory you order from when they are purchased to when they are sold to customers.

3PL software can also help with digital inventory management systems so that you can keep an eye on inventory levels as well.

How Do 3PL Inventory Management Solutions Work?

A 3PL inventory management system involves integrated software solutions designed to manage operations, including:

  • Inventory control
  • Order fulfillment
  • Shipment
  • Invoicing
  • Reporting

The software is data functional by providing your business with the analytics tools you need to optimize operations and improve your customer service.

Let’s dive deeper into the key functions of inventory management systems:

Inventory Control

A 3PL software solution will include data on stock levels, goods tracking, and reordering capabilities. These features ensure that your products are efficiently distributed.

Because your stock levels remain in a good place, you won’t be overstocking which will save you money.

Order Fulfillment

manual order fulfillment process is almost unheard of these days. If you can afford 3PL warehouse management and software, say goodbye to manual operations.

A 3PL system automates the order fulfillment process from beginning to end. It includes functionalities like automated packing and barcode scanning as well.


For businesses, the most important step in warehouse management might be reporting. A 3PL system provides real-time insights into your inventory performance so that you can identify and address issues.

Customer service levels, delivery time, and product availability are just some of the things you can track.


If you already use accounting, ERP, or e-commerce software solutions, a 3PL warehouse management system can integrate into them. This eliminates the need for manual entry and makes it easy to continue using other software programs.

With an integrated system, you’ll improve how accurate your data is across the board.

3PL Inventory Management Best Practices

Managing inventory should not be a lackadaisical process. If you choose 3PL inventory management services, it’s important to follow best practices for operational efficiency. Best practices include:

  • Automated replenishment
  • Accurate forecasting
  • Effective warehouse layout
  • Real-time inventory tracking

Automated replenishment can help with optimal inventory levels to minimize the risk of excess inventory and stockouts. Accurate forecasting also helps with inventory levels by reducing holding costs and improving order fulfillment.

Don’t underestimate the effects of an efficient warehouse layout either. A great layout improves overall warehouse operations by reducing handling time and picking efficiency.

Real-time inventory tracking uses barcode scanning to ensure optimal inventory turnover by preventing stockouts and overstock situations.

Benefits of a 3PL Warehouse

Business management is a time-consuming process so don’t add the stress of inventory management to your to-do list as well. 3PLs can take on the responsibilities of cycle counts, inventory reporting, labeling, and more.

In addition to these services, there are major benefits you can experience when you work with a 3PL warehouse:

Speed and Accuracy

Consumers demand speed and accuracy from the businesses they buy from. Hiring a 3PL warehouse that specializes in these processes can help a growing business that doesn’t have the infrastructure needed to take on these operations.

This type of warehouse will use 3PL software and technology to manage inventory, automate routine tasks, and provide your business with visibility into the process. All of these things drive value and efficiency.

Regulatory Navigation

Another reason to hire third-party warehouses is for regulatory navigation. If your business products are controlled by various rules and regulations, your warehousing needs to accommodate them.

For example, some products that have regulations regarding storage are:

Without the right accommodations, the inventory and your business will be in jeopardy.

Industry Expertise

A 3PL will offer an array of expertise because of their years of industry experience. They can combine several warehousing services under one roof.

A great 3PL service will be able to:

  • Negotiate lower shipping rates
  • Manage materials
  • Increase picking and packing efficiency

Although these are things you might think you can do on your own, it is more cost-effective to hire 3PL services. You save even more money if you outsource your 3PL warehousing to China.

B2B and B2C Management

A 3PL system should be able to manage B2B and B2C products through multi-channel distribution.

With a system like this in place, you won’t face duplicates of inventory that could throw your supply and counting cycle off track.

Not only will this save your business money, but you can lower your warehouse footprint. The days of needing to account for inventory surprises will be over.

Custom Solutions

A great 3PL warehouse recognizes that all businesses are different and require custom solutions to succeed. When you choose a 3PL service, make sure they provide all of the services you need.

Your agreement could combine cross docking, dryage, transportation, warehousing, etc.

An integrated and customizable approach enables your warehouse to pull any strings necessary to efficiently move your products to the right location.

Is 3PL Inventory Management Right for Your Business?

3PL inventory management is a great option for growing businesses that want to prevent overstocking and low inventory levels.

Choosing a reputable and experienced 3PL warehouse in China is essential to the success of third-party involvement.

Our British-owned and managed company, Shield Works, offers a wide range of services, including 3PL inventory management in China. With 19 years of China-based manufacturing experience, we’re equipped to help businesses like yours.

Contact the pros at Shield Works today to get started.