According to recent reports, the Indian warehouse market reached a value of INR 676 billion in 2020 and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 9.10% from 2021- to 2026. The Indian warehousing scenario is going through an unprecedented change with a massive influx of D2C brands followed by the enormous volume of online shoppers, ultimately leading to a surge in on-demand and end-to-end fulfilment centres.
The new-age facilities are well equipped with WMS, including a complete suite of demand forecasting engines, replenishment cycles, SKU placements to simplify inventory management, logistic operations, etc.
The warehouses in India are evolving from being just a place for storing goods to tech-enabled storage facilities. However, this development is at a nascent stage and needs rigorous upgrades.
One major challenge is that 90% of this space in the country falls under the unorganized sector leading to handling losses and higher inventory costs. This primarily affects the D2C sellers with relatively smaller ticket sizes and thin margins.
There is also a lack of a well-trained workforce and a lower level of mechanization, which negatively impacts the operations and turnaround time, ultimately compromising the brand’s objective of a better customer experience. Therefore, technology enhancement and labour skill development are also required.
Tech-equipped fulfilment centres can resolve the prevailing challenge and help businesses enhance customer experience and generate higher revenue.
These three major warehousing solutions are directly impacting D2C brands and helping their business grow:
Customized fulfilment facilities
D2C brands are looking for customized fulfilment options that can be implemented using intelligent warehousing management systems (WMS) backed by advanced technology for better stock management and faster delivery time.
Customization in pallet outflow and inflow for orders, automated machinery for sorting orders, personalized packaging, bulk order organizing, refrigeration capabilities, etc., are in huge demand as it saves manual work. Other facilities such as labelling, assigning serial numbers, and checking items in and out of the warehouse can all be done much faster with custom-built automation.
Quick delivery of shipments
Sellers today are dedicated to providing the highest level of customer satisfaction to stay competitive in the market. Competent warehousing networks near the end-consumers can facilitate quick deliveries while cutting down shipment costs, which also increase their profit margins. A streamlined fulfillment facility can help deliver products quickly, speed up the RTO process, and minimize costs. Smart inventory storing management aids in speeding up the process to achieve the turnaround time (TAT) for order delivery.
Cost-effective reverse logistics
A significant concern for the D2C sellers is costeffective reverse logistics. Whenever an order is either returned or not delivered successfully, there is a cost involved in its return which sellers must bear. This is both time-consuming and involves monetary loss. The package must be inward, checked for quality, and re-stocked for sale if a return for the same has been initiated. Reducing RTO time without compromising the business’s profitability is essential for sellers. Therefore, the alignment of transportation, planning, returns management, and warehouse optimization is vital.
Tech-enabled warehousing is the backbone of the supply chain ecosystem and is a crucial driver of success for D2C brands. As a brand grows, logistics operations can quickly become tricky, leading to cost escalations and erosion of profits. The sellers need streamlined end-to-end management of packages to reduce costs and speed up TAT while increasing profits and customer satisfaction. Smart warehousing solutions, like Pickrr Plus Fulfilment facilities, aim to improve all facets of a business, from inventory management to customer service and everything in between. They also tackle problems pertaining to overstocks, damaged inventory, lost track of orders, delayed shipments, etc. D2C brands can quickly solve these problems with intelligent warehousing solutions being used at the facilities without paying a gigantic amount.
The future of warehousing will keep focusing on being more innovative, faster, and sustainable.
This article has been authored by Gaurav Mangla, CEO & Co-founder, Pickrr Technologies.