The pandemic has been a catalyst for change, way beyond our expectations. Ecommerce has been propelled to new heights, with online order volumes swamping conventional fulfilment centres. Now, as a second wave sweeps the country, are businesses ready for the predicted mega-peaks of a Covid Christmas?
Leading into the Christmas period, most ecommerce operations take on additional staff to match demand, but a shortage of available labour, exacerbated by Brexit and a diminishing pool of migrant workers – coupled with the constraints imposed by social distancing requirements – has created a ‘perfect storm’ for ecommerce businesses.
Many retailers with a busy online channel will need to ask themselves the question: Is a conventional, heavily manual approach to preparing orders for dispatch still fit for purpose?
Fulfilling an ecommerce order has always been thought of as an inherently labour intensive activity, involving large teams of pickers and packers. But in the packing area advanced fit-to-size automated packaging technology is transforming operational performance, overcoming many of the obstacles presented by the Covid crisis and providing businesses with significant gains on sustainability, cost reduction, and customer experience.