Article

Wave or waveless fulfillment? Only Order Streaming Gives you Both

By Adam Kline,
Wave or waveless fulfillment? Only Order Streaming gives you both

The growth of omnichannel shopping and fulfillment has created a new mission for companies to get closer to the customer. For example, one home improvement retailer recently announced a $1.2 billion supply chain investment that includes 170 new distribution centers to speed fulfillment and lower distribution costs by getting physically closer to the customer.

But for most retailers, it’s simply not realistic to build separate wholesale/retail and e-commerce hubs in every location. That’s why a WMS solution that can execute both wave and waveless fulfillment, simultaneously, under the same roof is essential. We call it Order Streaming.

Gain new levels of flexibility

Generally, retail and wholesale orders are executed through waves, while online orders are fulfilled through waveless processes to ensure that they meet promised delivery timelines. By utilizing a new, common work release engine, Order Streaming enables both at once, in a single facility, making your warehouse more efficient, cost-effective, and adaptive.

When a rush retail order comes in, Order Streaming slots it in to be fulfilled wavelessly to meet your SLAs. If you have a flood of e-commerce orders for the same product, the solution will group them together and recommend a full-case pull from reserve – essentially a mini-wave – saving your team valuable time. By taking a holistic view of work and inventory, this technology is opportunistic in finding ways to increase efficiency and service levels.

Set the pace of change

From a human perspective, executing wave and waveless orders is also not identical. DC managers and workers, many of whom are used to traditional fulfillment, need time to learn how to implement new processes.

Manhattan’s WMS with Order Streaming allows you to adapt at your own pace – you can set the controls to begin with only a small percentage of waveless fulfillment if you want– and then evaluate the transition at various checkpoints. As your workforce gets more familiar with the new workflows, you can then increase your waveless capacity to meet your growing business needs.

This type of WMS futureproofs your business. Today, a given distribution center may lean more heavily toward retail or e-commerce. But over time, your business needs and demand mix may change. Manhattan’s WMS with Order Streaming allows you to readjust, scale up or down, and still remain in the same warehouse. No need to outsource e-commerce fulfillment. No need to build separate facilities. Regardless of the situation, your WMS is agile enough to shift with demand.

Advanced technology for an omnichannel world

As omnichannel commerce continues to grow and your fulfillment strategy becomes more complex, you need to have the technology in place that can keep up. Order Streaming’s flexibility, enabling simultaneous wave and waveless fulfillment from the same DC is the answer.

Not only does it optimize efficiency and service levels, it also helps manage both short-term change for your team and the long-term evolution of your business. In other words, a WMS with Order Streaming is intelligent, adaptable and optimal. Just like you.

Next blog, we’ll explore the latest labor trends and how they’re sparking greater investment in warehouse automation.

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