How warehouses keep delivering Christmas
Our shopping habits have been revolutionised since the dawn of online shopping in the mid 1990s – there’s almost nothing you can’t buy online, and all at the touch of a button. But whereas shopping has become simpler for the consumer, for retailers, this has meant a real shift towards e-commerce even for bricks and mortar stores, and with it, the need to streamline and perfect their warehouse and stock management, and order fulfilment capabilities. Meeting demand is crucial at busy shopping times, such as Black Friday and Christmas, through to the January sales. With Amazon leading the way in terms of order-to-delivery timescales, with one of the most advanced fulfillment networks in the world, the pressure is on! However effortless it may seem to place an order and wait for it to be delivered, a complex range of processes take place behind the scenes to make sure that customers are kept happy. Warehouse roles such as Warehouse Operatives, Machine Operatives, Forklift Drivers, Parcel Sorters and Pickers and Packers are an integral cog in the smooth running of businesses that rely on dynamic and efficient warehouses. Many companies often take on extra seasonal staff around busy times in order to make sure that the warehouse keeps up with the fast-moving pace of festive manufacture and retail. Quest are able to offer a range of temporary and permanent roles throughout the year, with flexible and fixed roles in locations across the country. With vacancies at industry leaders such as Amazon and John Lewis, and also across a range of sectors, you’re bound to find your perfect Warehouse role.
So how do Warehouses keep delivering Christmas?
Just as Santa’s workshop is kept ticking over year-round by his busy elves, the same is true of all warehouses! They rely on dependable and trustworthy workers, a dynamic working environment and teamwork - the goal for fulfilment and distribution centres is to fulfil orders as quickly and efficiently as possible, with a smooth and accurate system in place to ensure customers are kept happy and more likely to return. A highly optimised warehouse is a fundamental part of a successful large retail business, especially in such a fast-paced industry. Once an order is received, many warehouses use automatically generated packing lists which work with the warehouse inventory to make sure that it is picked and packed as efficiently and accurately as possible. Warehouses generally use a range of strategies to enable efficient order picking, from zone or batch picking to automated picking. The order is then weighed, packaged and labelled, before being shipped to the customer.
Warehouse roles range from receiving/sorting parcels and stock deliveries and moving stock around the warehouse, to carefully but quickly picking and packing orders ready to ship out to customers, and loading/unloading delivery vehicles. Roles such as Warehouse Operative and Forklift Driver are important to keep stock moving, and can lead to a dynamic and varied career. Management and logistic roles are also an important part of successful supply chain management. Anticipating and meeting demand, making sure that output is of a consistently high standard and cost effective, as well as making sure that goods are in the right place at the right time is vital. Roles such as Warehouse Manager and Quality Engineer can lead to an exciting and rewarding career.
Many warehouses ship direct to consumers as part of a retail business, however a large number of warehouses also supply to other businesses, forming part of a chain of production. For example, a production line creating and supplying Christmas crackers to retailers may need to buy in all of the separate elements from manufacturers, storing them in a warehouse ready for use. Once the final box of crackers is created, they will be packaged and sent out to retailers, who in turn will utilise their own warehouses in order to store their products before they are sent out once an order is received. Any breakdown in the supply chain can have a huge knock-on effect - from affecting the stock an online shop can list on their storefront, to empty shop shelves - which is why the job of warehouse workers is so important, especially when it comes to preparing for peak shopping times such as Christmas!