Ever since Amazon launched Prime, the expectation of getting items from device to the home in a flash has only increased, says Eric Carter, Solutions Architect at Indigo Software.

E-commerce is so convenient, but waiting a whole day for the order to come can be a drag and that’s why q-commerce is such a fast growing trend. From a logistics and distribution perspective q-commerce is really interesting, because as the name suggests it is all about being the fastest. The typical q-commerce ordering and delivery cycle is hyper local and completed in under one hour.

Whereas in the past, the online winners were the companies that offered the best prices, now the success factors for generating maximum sales have changed. It is the business capable of delivering the quickest – without compromising on quality and pricing – that will win. The entire transaction depends on the speed of delivery, which brings the warehouse and logistics operation right into the centre stage. Without the right processes and automation technology in place to support each transaction, q-commerce is not only impossible from a time perspective, it also becomes commercially unviable in the long term.

A WMS can drive q-commerce success

To be successful in the q-commerce sector, warehouses need to be highly technology and data driven. They need highly efficient operational processes to maximise cost efficiencies, like voice directed picking and putaway. They need real-time inventory management to be sure they can deliver against incoming orders and tightly integrated fulfilment and dispatching. These are core features offered by best of breed warehouse management system (WMS) software.

Investing in a WMS has been proven to completely transform warehouse operations and typically delivers a full return on investment in under a year. This is because a WMS will help to optimise your warehouse operations and improve efficiency – by improving stock accuracy and On Time In Full (OTIF) performance, streamlining the returns process and generally ensuring much greater agility to respond to changing customer demands.

Supply chain experts are highlighting that although it is convenient for the customer, q-commerce creates higher costs and logistical challenges for operators. Real-time inventory management, clear data insights and WMS driven warehouses will help to increase operating efficiencies and keep the extra costs to a minimum, whilst also meeting customer expectations.

Author: Eric Carter is a supply chain expert and solutions architect at Indigo Software, where he helps e-commerce companies streamline their warehouse processes with technology. www.indigo.co.uk

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