Author: Jeff Ström

How do e-retailers and 3PLs create profitability in Q4?

It's not uncommon for e-retailers and 3PLs to double their staff during Black Friday and the Christmas holidays. Some businesses even seem to be a little proud of it.

But not only is it exhausting for all departments, they also have to see their margins eaten up by new costs, during what should be the most profitable period of the year. Many of the online retailers I've spoken to say that this period is so critical that they wouldn't be able to survive if they missed this time.

How to create profitability

Here are three common bottlenecks (and how to deal with them):

  1. Picking
    In another post, we talked about how picking efficiency is all about data. Questions such as "what are our most frequently picked items?" and "which items tend to be left for a longer period of time?" are important to keep track of. Using data from the WMS system, your skews can be optimized. It is not uncommon for a picking employee to walk (run) 25-30 thousand steps per working day. Our pick-to-light creates high efficiency and less running. Your "high-rollers", the items that are picked most frequently, are strategically placed for optimal flow.

  2. Packaging
    The most skilled packer we at e-motions have ever seen is located in Norway and packs almost 1000 packages in 8 hours. With our cold-seal packing machine, you avoid packaging waste, glue granules and heating elements. You can also use packaging that is 100% recyclable and label and prepare for final sorting. e-motion's packing machine handles more than 4800 packages per shift, or 10 per minute. The pay-off time is never longer than 8 months.

  3. The sorting process
    "To err is human" people often say, and this is certainly the case in the sorting department. An incorrectly sorted package leads to a costly support case and costs you money. A package that happened to go with, for example, Bring instead of Postnord can cost thousands of dollars to get sent to the original address. Let's say that the package also ended up in Norway, where you have to return the package, and your end customer leaves a bad review. The importance of high precision in final sorting cannot be emphasized enough. e-motion's DWS system handles up to 3500 parcels per hour and has an accuracy of 99.99%.Never underestimate the human factor.


Do you want to know more about our automation and how quickly you can calculate an investment? Contact me.

Key Account Manager

Jeff Ström

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