Leveraging tech for Ecommerce success
Over the course of the pandemic, the swift move to e-commerce had customers demanding deliveries faster than ever. However, handling, distributing, and shipping for e-commerce is a complicated, labour-intensive process that entails many different requirements than B2B. Companies had to learn to adjust quickly.
To help scale and ensure longterm viability, big-name brands and large retailers such as Walmart, Nike and Home Depot, securing the right warehouse tools is essential. TuSimple, Manhattan Associates Inc., and Locus Robotics are some of the tech companies providing solutions that help increase efficiencies.
We dive into some of the solutions.
Locus Robotics, a warehouse robotics company, has been working with large retailers and has helped to improve inventory accuracy up to 95%, provide socially distanced solutions to pickers and aid up to 2,400 picks every hour by deploying an additional 4,000 robots to warehouses.
Leveraging the IoT LocusBots removes the need for human interaction and enables companies to share supply chain information. AI and big data deliver actionable insights for informed decision making.
Using ‘special technology’, Manhattan Associates Inc., a supply-chain software company, was able to supply PVH, an apparel company with greater visibility. Showing product location across the fulfilment route, from warehouses to mini fulfilment centres, to in-store, the PVH sales team was able to track changes in requirements and monitor against current location data.
TuSimple’s autonomous trucks are helping to ease labour constraints in the trucking industry. As their vehicles can be used to deliver inventory from warehouse to warehouse without being bound to federal limits on driving time, their autonomous systems have the potential to lower costs for long-haul trucking and increase efficiency.
Grupo Espinosa: 70 years of constant evolution
Founded in 1952, Grupo Espinosa has been relentlessly supporting the publishing industry with producing more than 100 million copies every year – whether its books, magazines, catalogues or single-order custom prints. No project is big or small for Grupo Espinosa, as the facility can scale up on demand and their turnaround times are highly competitive. Grupo Espinosa works with on-demand digital press or offset press, in paperback with glued softcover binding, PUR softcover binding, stitched paperback binding, binder’s board, hardcover, saddle stitched, Spiral or Wire-O. Equipped with the experience needed for a product to leave the plant ready for distribution, Grupo Espinosa delivers anywhere inside or outside Mexico. Traditionally starting off as a black and white printing press, Grupo Espinosa has experienced transformation first hand – from colour to digital offset printing. Currently, Grupo Espinosa is also looking at making capital investments into audio books to match with the increasing demand.
So how did a seemingly local operation in Latin America become a world-renowned printing facility trusted by hundreds of clients? As Rogelio Tirado, CFO of Grupo Espinosa for the last six years says “It all comes down to our market experience and our dedication to quality”. With nearly 70 years behind them, and located in Mexico City, Grupo Espinosa has two major locations – one spanning 75,000 square metres and the other about 45,000 square metres. Both locations are controlled by a single ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) system ensuring speed, consistency and quality of work. Tirado says this isn’t their only competitive advantage. He adds “Our competitive advantage is the relationship we have with customers and the trust they put in us with their intellectual property”. Speaking of trust, global publishing giant Macmillan Education exclusively partners with Grupo Espinosa for their Latin America operations, as part of Macmillan’s decentralized hub strategy. Having a facility that offered the full spectrum of service – from storing digital content to printing and distributing – was one of the major requirements for Macmillan, and Grupo Espinosa was recognized as the leading printing hub for providing this 360 infrastructure. Another factor that has led to success for Grupo Espinosa is the absolute focus on quality and time. The staff are committed to providing the best quality in the best possible time, without causing wastage of resources. Sustainability is a huge factor playing into Grupo Espinosa’s operations, and they’ve created a healthy environment with the sustainable use of paper and energy resources as well as keeping their employees – most of them associated with the organisation for over 10 years – happy. He adds, “In order to be truly successful, you need to be good to the environment, employees, suppliers, and your customers. But most importantly, you need to be sustainable, you need to have proper working conditions, pay proper salaries, proper prices for paper, source the paper from sustainable sources, pay your taxes, basically be a good global corporate citizen and that's probably one of the biggest achievements that we have.”