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June 8, 2021

Increased Speed of Order Picking

As online grocery orders continue to rise, so does the need for retailers to lower their fulfillment costs and increase speed. For many, simply sending workers through their aisles with carts and product lists isn’t going to cut it in the coming years.

The industry has seen some recent examples of grocers leveling up their online fulfillment operations. Whole Foods opened a dark store in Brooklyn last year while United Supermarkets recently talked up the benefits of applying automation to store-level picking — noting the move more than doubled its picking speed.

The process of shoppers ordering groceries online to be picked up later, also known as Click & Collect, gives grocers the opportunity to look deeper at how they manage operations. The most common method of online fulfillment, often handled by contract workers, involves picking orders from store aisles just as a typical customer would. The advantage is a low cost for retailers, but the disadvantage is inefficiency for higher volumes.

“Manual labor is the key factor driving the losses of in-store picking,” said Steve Hornyak, Fabric’s Chief Commercial Officer. Hornyak was quoted in the e-zine Supply Chain Drive. “Every order end to end takes about 1 hour of labor to pick, consolidate, stage, and prepare for delivery. That alone would be about [$5 to $15] of direct costs per order, and that’s not factoring in other labor costs such as added store replenishment, management overhead, increased supply chain costs, etc.”

With Click & Collect being standard at most grocery stores today, consumers expect quality service and fast pickup. According to a survey by Fabric, 92% of consumers said they prefer to have their online grocery orders fulfilled on the same day, while 33% said they want their order ready in two hours or less.

And with online sales set to rise to as much as $250 billion within five years, grocers realize they have to make order fulfillment profitable and more efficient. But how?

The solution is simpler than you may think.

The key to speed in order picking lies at the source of many of the inefficiencies: the product display. When employees fulfill online grocery orders, they don’t have time to sift through disorganized shelves trying to find the correct item. Often, packages are misplaced or at the back of the shelf, producing false out-of-stocks, slowing down fulfillment and cutting into already narrow margins.

Grocers have long appreciated the performance of pusher display systems, which use an internal spring mechanism to automatically move products to the front of the shelf and keep products organized. The function of pusher display systems is ideal for grocers looking to make the Click & Collect order fulfillment more efficient by reducing time and hassle from order picking – getting products to customers faster while saving you money.

Because pusher display systems automatically condition shelves, labor can be reassigned to fulfillment, which trims overhead and keeps orders moving out the door. Faster product selection and more efficient use of labor make these systems the perfect partner in this Click & Collect era.

Retail Space Solutions has developed a full line of SpaceGrid® pusher display systems – designed to cover every area from the perimeter to the center store, keeping products front-faced and ready to go all day long. Each of these pusher systems is built from rugged ABS plastic and can stand up to everything from the high traffic in the bagged produce aisle to the extreme cold in frozen.

Streamline your online grocery fulfillment process with Retail Space Solutions, the pusher systems for quicker picking.

For more information on pusher display systems from Retail Space Solutions, visit www.retailspacesolutions.com or call 1-800-279-5291.