Ecommerce: How the Food & Beverage Industry Can Benefit by Using WMS SOLOCHAIN for Efficient Warehouse Management
Published on 18 May 2022
The speed at which F&B organizations have moved to working in the digital world has increased exponentially, and consumption habits in the sector have undergone a similarly seismic shift.
The way the food & beverage industry has embraced ecommerce is a sign of this same transformation. According to the Shopify report “The Future of Commerce”, the ecommerce market is expected to grow by almost $11 trillion between 2021 and 2025. The shift to online sales by businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic was the catalyst that turbocharged the digitization of commerce, and global ecommerce sales are predicted to reach $5 trillion by the end of 2022, and $6 trillion by 2024.
For the food & beverage sector, similar growth is anticipated. In the US, online grocery sales before the pandemic were about 3% of the market. That figure reached 8% during 2020, and is expected to hit 20.5%, around $263 billion, by 2026.
Ensuring the competitiveness of organizations
This paradigm shift forces companies to be increasingly agile and efficient in managing their operations and supply chains in order to meet the growing demands of consumers, as well as to survive and thrive in an increasingly competitive business ecosystem.
The key to positioning companies at the forefront of a competitive market lies in adopting and leveraging innovative software and technology that allows organizations to optimize their operations management and ensure maximum efficiency. And it is here that Warehouse Management Systems (WMS) such as SOLOCHAIN come to the fore.
Yakima Chief Hops (YCH) is an excellent example of how a food & beverage company can benefit from SOLOCHAIN. A 100% grower-owned network of family hop farms, they provide a vital link between growers and brewers, offering premium products and uncompromising service to allow both ends of the supply chain to prosper. As a multi-site agricultural processing and distribution company with 59 concurrent users for its warehouses, the model comes with challenges, which SOLOCHAIN has been able to solve.
By implementing SOLOCHAIN, YCH were able to optimize data entry using QR codes, improving efficiencies by around 35% and realizing a net gain of 83,861 cartons that did not have to be transferred before shipping. This has improved shipping lead times by multiple days, improving brew times, customer satisfaction, and workplace environment.
At a time when ecommerce is expanding, and delivery times are getting shorter, rigorous, comprehensive, and efficient management of warehouses is absolutely vital, as is responding quickly and effectively without delays or failures to customer requests. And this is exactly where a WMS excels. These systems allow total control of warehousing operations through automated processes, from the moment goods enter until they are finally dispatched.
For example, Cameron’s Speciality Coffee moved from solely paper-based processes to SOLOCHAIN WMS, which allowed them to manage every step of the transformation process in the WMS+MES. All existing processes were streamlined, waste was reduced significantly, and warehouse maintenance and overall efficiency were optimized. Cameron’s Coffee experienced an increase of about 50% in total sales, and an increase of around 200% in eCommerce sales since the implementation of SOLOCHAIN all with a minimal increase in labor costs.
Among the main advantages of these systems are the following:
More efficient inventory management: By automating processes, SOLOCHAIN ensures a more efficient management of inventory, as well as optimizing all available storage space.
Real-time data acquisition: A WMS gives an organization the operational visibility and the ability to know and understand all essential information about inventory in real time.
Monitoring of logistics performance (KPIs): In addition to providing increased visibility, SOLOCHAIN enables the monitoring of the logistical performance of a variety of warehouse activities. By using specific modules and formatting data for analysis and reporting, a WMS can help managers to identify potential inefficiencies and lead to improvements that can be implemented to ensure more efficient and productive warehouse management.
Ease of integration, configuration, and usability: SOLOCHAIN can be seamlessly integrated with many existing systems. WMS systems are intuitive and easy to use, ensuring that warehouse management teams can adopt them with minimal friction.
Reduction in errors: By facilitating automation, SOLOCHAIN ensures that the probability of errors is reduced significantly, and contributes to the optimization of resources allocated to warehouse management by freeing up employees to work where they are most effective.
In this way, Warehouse Management Systems are becoming an increasingly indispensable tool for food & beverage organizations to manage their warehouses more effectively, reducing costs and errors, ensuring greater speed in the execution of operations, and ultimately guaranteeing a better customer service.
Tools like this are essential for F&B companies that wish to navigate the new business environment in which we exist, in which ecommerce is playing an increasingly catalytic role in transforming business models and value chains for companies. Incorporating SOLOCHAIN, and other technologies, will be a critical factor for success and increased competitiveness for organizations in the post-pandemic context.
Generix Group North America provides a series of solutions within our Supply Chain Hub product suite to create efficiencies across an entire supply chain. Our solutions are in use around the world and our experience is second-to-none. We invite you to contact us to learn more.