For retailers who have a combined warehouse for their ship-to-store and eCommerce divisions, our founder Jonathan Bellwood shares his insight on the best practice for managing them. For a quick breakdown, see below the video.
Things to consider first:
>> Is it a dusty warehouse?
If yes, you may not want to store open packages at ground level such as in traditional retail warehouses where the pick section below is replenished from bulk above.
>> How dangerous is it?
Having staff walking in the same area that a forklift is being used is the kind of scenario that Health and Safety Officers have nightmares about.
To avoid a dusty and dangerous warehouse, best practice is to divide the warehouse into a retail division for bulk and an eCommerce division for small order picking.
Do I need a multi-site set up with retail orders going to one location and eCommerce orders going to another?
Simply put, no. You can operate on one site for both retail and eCommerce using one single inventory.
Do I replenish from the retail division into the eCommerce division or is it a stock transfer?
Most retailers start out by treating their eCommerce division as another ‘store’ and so do a stock transfer. We do not recommend this! Best practice is to treat the eCommerce division as a separate business unit and to keep that section entirely for individual pick. No bulk allowed. When the stock figures reach a trigger level for replenishment, the eCommerce division can be replenished from the retail division.