Micro Fulfillment Centers: The Way of The Future
Micro fulfillment centers were always the way of the future; Covid-19 only accelerated the demand. The uptick in ecommerce orders created a drastically over-saturated supply chain and retailers have had to get creative with how they’re fulfilling orders considering the current market. This is where micro-fulfillment centers come in, an innovative way to keep customers happy as we enter a new age of ecommerce.
Due to the pandemic, many brands with physical stores are finding new ways to utilize their space. Some are converting them into “dark stores” while other retail stores are splitting their space into two separate areas: one designated for shopping and one for micro fulfillment. Brands are also repurposing office space and mall stores. But what about brands with only a digital presence that want to be closer to their customers? That’s when partnering with a warehouse or 3-PL makes the most sense.
Working with a 3-PL’s micro fulfillment center has many benefits, including, of course, faster shipping times and lower last-mile-delivery costs. Brands are able to pay only for the storage they’re using and accommodate inventory depending on localized demand. Onboarding a brand at Project Verte’s micro fulfillment center is simple and straightforward. Our technology allows us to integrate through the Verte Unified Commerce AI platform, which enables a broader management of inventory planning and distribution and is specifically designed for low SKU/low velocity operations. There are no particular constraints on products, though heavy or machine-operated items are not a good fit for these types of centers.
Moreover, micro fulfillment centers have many social and environmental impacts, too. Having accessible pick-up means a significant reduction in carbon footprint; no need for products to be delivered to customers via trucks, when delivery people can use bikes or even drones. Packaging also becomes more sustainable; with more localized distribution, comes a reduction in multi-layering. Furthermore, there is a local impact, too. Dormant stores become active and local retailers’ bottom lines are improved.
So what does the boom in ecommerce say about micro fulfillment centers? In essence, they are here to stay. As Project Verte’s CPO Padhu Raman says, “They’re more economical to operate with the repurposing of existing facilities. Moreover, local delivery can optimize costs and savings by 3-4x times overall with a centralized returns and pickup center. Micro fulfillment centers blend convenience with experience and support different strategies for an online retailer: buy online, pickup in-store, with localized returns.”
Interested in partnering with our micro fulfillment center? Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
About Padhu Raman, Project Verte’s CPO:
Padhu is responsible for driving the technology, digital supply chain and operations strategy, innovation, robotics, and development vision implementation. He’s a supply chain product specialist and technologist with expertise in transforming business operations and introducing innovative, optimized, and scalable products and solutions across multiple verticals. He brings in more than 20+ years of experience in designing, implementing, and delivering market-leading solutions in the marketplace, robotics, and supply chain automation space.