The warehouse trolleys manufacturer role in e-commerce

Many high street retailers, like Crew Clothing, Joules and Next, are finding that fewer customers are purchasing from their high street stores. To deal with this challenge they have expanded their online operations. If a company is not currently operating an online shop, there are many systems that need setting up to create a successful online operation.

The website

If a company already has a retail business, they will probably have a domain name and a website. There are plenty of web development companies that will turn the current website into an online shop.

Once an e-commerce site is up and running, people need to find the site. A search engine optimisation (SEO) expert will make the site seen in Google and other search engines. Posters with the website address can be prominently displayed in stores.

Many businesses, as well as selling on their own site, sell through Amazon and eBay as these sites have millions of customers. These operators charge fees, which lowers profit margins, but the high sales volumes can make using them worthwhile.

Storing and picking products

A warehouse that supplies stores requires different systems than one that deals with online orders. An order for hundreds of items is picked and delivered to stores, whereas online orders are for a single item or just a few products. Warehouses that process online orders employ pickers with warehouse trolleys who walk long distances in a day locating items and transporting them to packing stations.

The products sold on e-commerce sites will be similar to the ones sold in the shops. Small to medium items are easy to stock and pack in the warehouse, but if a company sells heavy items like furniture and large household appliances, these will not fit on standard warehouse shelving or be able to be carried on smaller warehouse trolleys. Your warehouse trolley manufacturer will supply specialised trolleys designed to carry heavy or awkward shaped items like sofas and chairs.

Pickers will need a way to pick items for many orders at a time and not get them mixed up. Packers need to be clear about what items are for what order when a trolley full of items arrives at the packing station. For small items, tote boxes on trolleys are the ideal solution with one order allocated to each box.

Picking routes need to be planned carefully so that the distance that pickers with warehouse trolleys have to walk is minimised. One way to reduce picking distances is to store the bestselling items near the packing stations as those are the ones picked most frequently.

If the warehouse was previously used solely to supply retail stores, to cope with the demand for many small orders, more staff may need to be recruited and enough new warehouse trolleys bought for them to use.

One advantage of opening an online operation is that it is a chance to broaden the product line. A physical store is restricted by its size. It has limited shelf space on which to store products. A warehouse can hold much more stock and more efficiently. Shelving can reach the ceiling to store a huge range of items that generate more sales.

Automation

Amazon is well known for a high level of automation in their warehouses, or fulfilment centres as they prefer to call them. They have invested millions in robot technology, including buying a robot manufacturing company. Small to medium retailers usually do not have the budget for automation on this scale.

You can buy motorised warehouse trolleys that follow pickers around, but these are expensive. Most warehouses rely on warehouse trolleys that workers push or pull. More affordable automation is warehouse management software. The best software tracks the whole movement of goods from initial ordering by the company, arriving at the warehouse, being picked, packed, then dispatched. Software can track where delivery vehicles are by linking to the carrier’s parcel tracking system.

Other useful systems guide pickers to item locations where they can be loaded into the warehouse trolleys. These can use audio or light signals to direct workers.

E-commerce is highly competitive and to retain customers orders need to be processed accurately and delivered quickly, Ideally, an order should be delivered to the customer within 24 hours of ordering.

Safety

In a busy warehouse, safety is important. Every warehouse trolley has a maximum load set by the manufacturer and this should not be exceeded. Workers need training in safe lifting practices and safely pushing and pulling loads on trolleys.

Regular breaks need scheduling as overtired workers are more likely to cause accidents. Use trolleys with premium quality casters that make it easier to move them.

Attention to detail

Running a successful e-commerce business requires attention to detail. Every element needs to work together smoothly, from how the website order system works, to the quality of packaging and the equipment used. It is important that warehouse trolleys are made to work well and last a long time. For heavy duty operations, tubular steel trolleys are best. Trolleys can travel several miles in a day, so need strong swivel casters that make them easy to push, pull and steer.

A warehouse trolley manufacturer may also make packing benches, shelves and other warehouse equipment, all made to the same high standard as their trolleys. British manufacturers are able to make trolleys and other equipment in custom sizes and modify trolley designs. For example, laptop or tablet stands can be added to trolleys to enable pickers to view picking list displayed on them. They can work hands-free without needing to hold a clipboard or a tablet.

Expanding a business with an online division is not easy. It takes a lot of organising and the introduction of new warehouse systems, but it is a way of making up for reduced sales in high street shops.

Your warehouse trolley manufacturer takes care of providing top class trolleys that are a vital element in an efficient and organised e-commerce warehouse.

Posted by Katrina
25th August 2019
Retail & Warehousing

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