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How to Optimize Retail Spaces with Picking Carts for Micro-Fulfillment

Micro-fulfillment is growing in popularity, and mobile picking carts play a critical role in streamlining operations and creating happy customers.

How to Optimize Retail Spaces with Picking Carts for Micro-Fulfillment

Defined by smaller fulfillment facilities close to consumers, micro-fulfillment is rapidly growing in popularity as the need for lightning-quick deliveries reshapes the retail industry. Associate professor of supply chain management at Rutgers Business School, Rudolph Leuschner, explains, “Micro-fulfillment focuses on the last mile… It blends traditional technology and automation with in-store picking, and it has the goal of getting items closer to consumers for speedy delivery or pickup.”[1] 

As the Amazon Effect strengthens its hold on consumer shopping expectations, adopting and streamlining micro-fulfillment will become essential for retailers to stay relevant. But, establishing a micro-fulfillment center can be easier said than done, and the speed at which one is set up is critical. Opening a micro-fulfillment center can require an additional lease or tie up additional storage space in a building for the sole purpose of fulfillment.

61% of consumers want an even faster delivery option - within 1-3 hours and 23% are willing to pay a premium for the delivery service. - Temando

Extra costs must be weighed in advance in a thin-margined industry like retail. However, retailers must consider that customers are willing to pay a premium for faster delivery, and micro-fulfillment can be a huge revenue driver. It also creates a business case for purchasing cost-cutting tools like mobile picking carts to optimize micro-fulfillment processes for speed and efficiency.

3 Ways Mobile Picking Carts Streamline Retail Micro-Fulfillment

1. Condense Inventory to Reduce Picker Travel Time

The easier the access to inventory, the more tasks a worker can accomplish in a given shift. A mobile order picking cart like SpeedCartt is specifically designed to organize inventory throughout the fulfillment process. When paired with a high-density storage solution like SpeedCell, the two solutions will reduce travel time and increase productivity for pickers. This dynamic duo saves space and travel time, which allows workers to pick more orders at once.

Order Picker Using SpeedCartt Mobile Picking Cart for Fulfillment

Less walking around the facility makes for a more pleasant work environment, improves picks-per-hour, and overall order accuracy.

2. Leverage Mobile Carts to Empower Pickers to Fulfill Multiple Orders at Once

In retail, picking one order at a time isn’t always the best use of a worker's time. When a worker goes to fulfill orders, they’re looking to pull the inventory for multiple orders at once, which requires strategic organization to keep SKUs for different orders separate until they reach the packing stations.

Sorting Inventory in Mobile Order Picking Cart

Mobile picking carts allow workers to hold large quantities of inventory and then sort SKUs into individual orders, which greatly impacts productivity.

3. Store and Organize Inventory On the Go to Improve Order Accuracy

Few things damage a customer experience worse than waiting for an order to arrive, only to have the wrong items delivered. Picking carts can help tackle this problem. They provide an organized way to pick and sort items throughout the fulfillment process.

Picking Inventory from Mobile Order Picking Cart

High-density storage carts like SpeedCartt have separate compartments that pickers can use to sort inventory as they pick, resulting in a streamlined and accurate picking and packing process.

Speed Up Micro-Fulfillment with UNEX Picking Carts

Mobile picking carts by UNEX address common retail storage pain points such as SKU proliferation, seasonal demands, and regular restocking headaches by being a cost-effective solution that can be immediately implemented and used to adapt to current buyer behaviors.

Looking to increase productivity and accuracy in your micro-fulfillment center? Learn more about our warehouse picking cart solution, SpeedCartt, and download our Quickstart Guide to Micro-fulfillment.

Explore the basics of Micro-fulfillment in our FREE Quickstart Guide.