Central Warehousing and Omni channel logistics strategy : A case study of baby products provider and clothing retailer
Abstract: Background: Retailing industry has been growing all around the world tremendously. We will see a remarkable change and improvement in clothing and baby products retailing industries in Sweden. Previously, companies either try to sell through traditional brick and mortar physical stores or online. But since the last decade, to become successful company in new global world, companies realize the fact that they need to combine the strategy of selling through different channels. In plain words the integration of these channels is referred as an omni-channel. Combining the different selling strategies and offering through different mode of channels raises the need for enhanced performance management throughout the supply chain. Within supply chain, warehouse is a crucial element and due to shift in strategies it is the most affected section. An efficient warehouse design is become essential in order to get performance and cost-effective benefits. Purpose: The purpose of this study is to analyze the impacts of having omni channel strategy on warehouse management. How it affects the overall working of warehousing, and influence their planning, need for improvement, integration and optimization. Further, challenges that a central warehouse faces in accordance to meet new demands and needs, raised due to omni channel strategy e.g. buy anything from anywhere at any time, could be explored along with their possible solutions. Method: An exploratory study is conducted, with qualitative case study methodology. Primary data with semi-structured interviews were considered to be main data collection method. Conclusion: The author has founded challenges that central warehouse faces during its operational activities. Challenges that are identified in central warehouse operational activities with reference to omni channel logistics strategy are human errors, additional work, large and mix pallets, barcoding, ERP and WMS low level integrated systems, unsuitable warehouse design, incompatible picking gears, ineffective automated packing machine and shipping. But these problems can be solved by having optimal integrated ERP system, RFID technology, new improved information technology, improved warehouse layout design and using advanced picking gears.
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