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It must be accepted that the rapid adoption of new technologies is a distinctive feature of the modern age. This calls for a significant reconsideration of existing approaches and also promotes the implementation of new practices that might increase the efficiency of various and vital activities. Additionally, the implementation of new technologies impacts the business world by providing varied possibilities both for customers and for companies. Customers accept these mediated methods toward making purchases, noting new conveniences and new practical uses. In this regard, traditional designs and past approaches are now being reconsidered in the industry.
When discussing the practice of online shopping, its great potential clearly must be noted. Resting on modern innovations, online shopping will continue evolving by the introduction of new challenges and by continually altering many previous approaches. At the moment, great market shifts are already quite clear. Online shopping has become an efficient tool that is now gradually replacing traditional retail stores and shops. For these reasons, the inevitable and radical reorganization of many companies’ structures is happening, based on implementing this new online accessibility and service. Warehouse design and operational decision-making could be considered the first components of significant procedural change. (Richards 2014).
Numerous positive changes are already noticeable. The ability to provide customers with a variety of simple ways to obtain a needed product can be considered one main point of competition among companies (Deloitte 2014). Online shopping implies making a purchase at home, which is why in terms of increased rivalry among businesses, convenience becomes most significant. This introduces the need for the creation of smaller urban logistics warehouses that can provide the needed goods in the shortest period of time (The impact of online shopping on retail property 2013).
Thus, urban facilities obtain a unique significance as the only efficient way to facilitate delivery and to improve business and delivery performance. This statement is evidenced by numerous real-life examples where great companies have refused to turn from the use of national mega sheds toward creating small warehouses located within a short distance of a potential customer (Friedman n.d). Moreover, warehouses placed within any given city demand thoughtful design and specific locational and logistical planning (Deloitte 2014), especially in terms of densely populated or overbuilt districts.
Companies creating this new online shopping experience should consider the peculiarities of the location to guarantee the fastest delivery and also to avoid causing conflict with the regional population. Factors such as traffic capacity, neighbors, and accessibility of potential customers should be analyzed to avoid adding new complications. Therefore, infrastructure and location become the first significant aspects of consideration in warehouse design as companies move toward what is an inevitable alteration in practice.
As mentioned, a link to local networks is one crucial aspect of design and must be given focused targeted attention. While using traditional mega sheds, companies do not have to consider the peculiarities of local traffic; however, the creation of small urban warehouses obviously introduces a significant and increased demand for the quality of access to a certain site. However, there is a tendency toward using alternative modes of transport which could provide new opportunities and help to avoid delays caused by traffic accidents or road congestion.
Rail, air, and sea transport might increase the speed of international shipments and even promote the enhancement of a company’s image. That is why considering new, streamlined ways of delivery and means of transport should be acknowledged as one more change agent introduced by the evolution of the online shopping phenomenon.
With a shift of priorities toward online shopping, warehouse flexibility also becomes an important issue, certainly affecting a project’s development and ultimate success. Any small urban warehouse should be able to meet the challenges and also cope with potential volatility which might result from the nature of online shopping and from increased customer demand. The fact that there are no physical containers or goods also emphasizes the need for flexibility and for the ability to provide needed products to customers in a short period of time.
Nevertheless, things like operational decision making are also reconsidered in terms of this new approach. Mitigating factors could be related to the wide use of various innovations to improve overall performance and to avoid human-generated mistakes (The impact of online shopping on the UK’s warehouses 2016). Technology solutions might vary from robotic stock picking to the usage of new, specialized software which might enable workers to maximize space availability through much more effective staff deployment (Deloitte 2014). Furthermore, the majority of new urban warehouses are often characterized by a high level of automation, which can make for significant performance improvements and further improve the company’s image by reducing delivery delays of a certain product.
Altogether, the increased popularity of online shopping has triggered a significant reconsideration of traditional approaches to warehouse design and operational decision making. These days, creative new approaches are put in place in accordance with challenges introduced by the process and character of e-commerce.
According to credible statistics, the warehousing industry shows stable development and income (Andreoli, Goodchild, & Vitasek 2010). Additionally, warehouses and numerous distribution centers have become an integral part of the modern business world, as most any supply chain now includes these very components. Furthermore, with the ongoing development of new kinds of commerce, including e-commerce, the future of these facilities seems clear.
They are expected to increase in number over the next five years, providing numerous opportunities for economic growth (Harps 2013). An analysis of the logistics executives of numerous companies, including manufacturers, retailers, and distributors demonstrates a clear tendency toward an increased demand for services provided by this new concept in the warehousing industry (United Nations 2002).
Significant economic growth in certain areas could be considered another important aspect that has resulted from the blistering-fast development of the e-commerce industry. The numerous possibilities provided by these facilities have become a major concern of the modern age. The fact is that warehouses could perform various tasks and contribute to the development of a certain region. Warehousing labor is less expensive than any manufacturing labor, and varied possibilities exist to perform some light manufacturing activities and to further guarantee the economic development of the region.
Since this kind of industry can support local economic growth, it can also be seen as beneficial in other areas, because of the trend toward constant improvement across various business and community platforms. Finally, dramatic changes to the environment in which warehouses operate give rise to numerous concerns related to further improvement and increased efficiency. For these reasons, the positive impact of this industry on local economies becomes clear, and there are several factors that prove it.
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First, smart, modern customers can be characterized by a very high level of expectation. They expect perfect performance combined with a high quality of products and services. In this regard, most modern companies tend to organize their functions in accordance with new patterns that will guarantee an increased level of efficiency and an improved ability to meet existing customers’ higher and more specific demands.
New methods might also necessitate the creation of numerous small, local warehouses that can provide access to necessary goods and also in turn improve a company’s overall image and marketability. Moreover, the introduction of new facilities could have a very positive impact on the development of a regional economy, since any new warehouse implementation would in turn demand a certain set of workers who would then be sourced from the local population.
The installation of new workplaces may thus trigger economic development and then improve the state of the community; additionally, to guarantee efficient functioning, any new warehouse should mind crucial points such as the peculiarities of the local network, as well as issues like car traffic and congestion. To guarantee momentum and development, a company must integrate into the local environment and initiate substantial improvements toward creating a strong foundation for stability. That is why a shift in priority toward the creation of numerous small warehouses could stimulate economic gain in various regions and contribute to further change in any given segment by creating additional facilities in other regions.
Finally, due to modern tendencies and a significant reconsideration of traditional approaches, a warehouse is no longer a separate, autonomous unit, but rather an integral part of any business supply chain. This results in the increased importance of that facility to local economies. By performing a number of new functions, the warehouse also promotes the improvement of local infrastructure and affects tendencies toward the implementation of innovative practices. This can be considered one of the most important aspects of the modern warehousing industry.
A number of significant changes in the structure and organization of warehouses have meant an increase in their importance in terms of local economies. Today they are an important part of the regional supply chain and promote infrastructure evolution, as well as improvements in community and communication. Furthermore, the tendency toward continuous improvement across broad categories demonstrates the great practical use of this given practice and the potential positive outcomes. For these reasons, the creation of local warehouses and alteration of the existing warehousing industry should be supported, so as to guarantee economic development and to better and more thoroughly meet modern business and commerce challenges.
The modern manager must recognize that increased customer demand and higher expectations can mean the emergence of new challenges related to the quality of provided services or manufactured goods. The fact is that the demand for higher quality goods can be considered one main trend of any cohesive society (Blanchard 2013). Great competition and outstanding rivalries can thus result in the need to attract more customers and move past the goods glut. All of this impacts modern approaches to quality and affects the rise of reverse logistics, which are used to deliver unacceptable goods back to the manufacturer. However, as one crucial component of the modern business world, the reverse material flow can certainly pose numerous challenges to warehouse managers.
There are several concerns that result from the increased importance of reverse logistics. Clearly, the procedure implies the delivery of a certain material back to the manufacturer. Various reasons could initiate this complex procedure; however, the process is always similar and yet still demands numerous points of consideration. First, the shipment should be organized to deliver the goods back to the warehouse and/or to the manufacturer.
At this stage, a manager should accept the return and consider which facilities could be used to guarantee the most efficient path for the entire corresponding procedure. The necessity for storage is one challenge that appears early on. Accepting the tendency toward increased reverse material flow means that a number of returns might be in play. To that end, a manager must be able to organize storage means and areas to collect cargo, as well as guarantee the safekeeping of products. Under these conditions, the creation of an efficient distribution system becomes imperative to guaranteeing efficient function and warehouse operation.
A manager should be able to handle a large number of goods and materials inflow, and to provide appropriate storage for these goods; therefore, increased reverse material flow increases the complexity of any given task and contributes to a warehouse’s importance.
Furthermore, an efficient manager should be able to multi-task and outline the most efficient solutions to performance improvements. Today’s demand for quality and speed affects the definition and development of any manager’s multi-tasking abilities, which are a crucial skill for the modern executive and for handling modern warehouse operations. A specialist should be able to respond to numerous challenges and to provide efficient solutions; however, in terms of the significance of reverse logistics, a manager’s task becomes even more complicated, as he or she must be prepared to work simultaneously with a number of returns.
Under these stringent conditions, warehouse operations managers must demonstrate outstanding accuracy and efficiency across a variety of demanding job tasks, since any mistake could lead to the collapse of the entire system or at least significantly decrease the efficiency of a particular warehouse. In the case of a congested operation, for example, a potential downfall of any modern warehouse, the increased demand for quality products can in turn reflect a higher number of goods in return flow. This particular set of circumstances reveals the complexity of modern challenges, as well as the need for outstanding performance in order to guarantee the stability of a warehouse (Fernie & Sparks n.d).
It is also necessary to consider the further distribution of materials and to organize their storage in accordance with distribution factors. The movement of various products depends on existing demand and existing need; for this reason, warehouse operations imply the subsequent sale of goods and their future delivery. Still, the increased number of returns can add complications to tasks that must be performed alongside other significant and specialized processes.
The modern warehousing industry is now shifting, moving swiftly through the stages of the significant and remarkable change that is triggered and motivated by new demands for quality goods and services. That is why a large number of returns can pose numerous fresh challenges to warehouse operations, whose managers must consider delivery, storage, and distribution of certain goods.
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Deloitte 2014, The shed of the future. E-commerce: its impact on warehouses. Web.
Fernie, J & Sparks, L n.d., Retail logistics: changes and challenges. Web.
Friedman, A n.d., How Online Shopping Affects Warehouse Space Needs. Web.
Harps, L 2013, Warehousing: The Evolution Continues. Web.
Richards, G 2014, Warehouse management, CILT & Kogan Page, London, UK.
The impact of online shopping on retail property. 2013. Web.
United Nations 2002, Commercial Development of Regional Ports as Logistics Centres. Web.