Operational warehouse fulfilment

Addressing Warehouse Fulfilment Challenges

The COVID-19 pandemic reshaped warehouse fulfilment and how we conduct commerce, pushing ecommerce and online shopping to new heights. As the world sheltered in place and physical stores faced temporary closures, digital platforms became the lifeline connecting consumers to the products they needed. This sudden surge in online shopping created a tidal wave of challenges for fulfilment hubs and warehouses. They were thrust into a high-pressure environment where meeting the soaring demand for goods was paramount, all while navigating the intricate web of logistical complexities.

Now, as we find ourselves navigating the post-pandemic world, it’s more crucial than ever for businesses to reflect upon the trials and tribulations faced during this trying period. It is incumbent upon them to adapt to the ever-evolving landscape of ecommerce fulfilment services, armed with the lessons learned and the knowledge gained during those tumultuous times.

In this blog, we embark on a comprehensive exploration of the key challenges that defined the warehouse fulfilment sector during the COVID-19 pandemic. Furthermore, we delve into the realm of effective solutions, aiming to provide valuable insights that can be harnessed to optimise warehouse fulfilment operations in the modern era. Join us on this journey as we uncover the strategies and innovations that will shape the future of fulfilment services in a world forever altered by the COVID-19 pandemic.

1. Increased Ecommerce Demand

The pandemic accelerated the shift to online shopping, leading to an exponential increase in ecommerce orders. Warehouses that were traditionally handling retail store replenishment found themselves dealing with individual customer orders, necessitating a revamp of fulfilment processes. To cater to this surge in demand, businesses should consider leveraging advanced technologies like warehouse management systems (WMS) and automation to streamline operations and increase efficiency.

The surge in online shopping and ecommerce during the pandemic exposed the need for businesses to adapt quickly to the changing landscape of fulfilment. To address the challenge of increased ecommerce demand, warehouses can:

2. Inventory Management and Forecasting

Effective inventory management is vital for successful warehouse fulfilment. The pandemic led to unpredictable fluctuations in demand, making accurate inventory forecasting a significant challenge. To tackle this, businesses can adopt data-driven approaches and implement artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms that analyse historical sales data and market trends to make more accurate predictions. This ensures optimised stock levels, reducing the risk of overstocking or stockouts.

The unpredictability of consumer demand during the pandemic highlighted the importance of accurate inventory management and forecasting. To tackle this challenge:

Implement Warehouse Management Systems (WMS)

A robust WMS helps manage inventory, order processing, and shipping, streamlining warehouse operations and improving efficiency. It enables real-time tracking of inventory levels and order status, reducing the risk of stockouts and enhancing customer satisfaction.

Embrace Automation

Automation technologies, such as conveyor systems, robotic pickers, and automated guided vehicles (AGVs), can expedite order fulfilment processes. By automating repetitive tasks, warehouses can increase productivity and reduce reliance on manual labour.

Utilise Data Analytics and AI

Businesses can leverage historical sales data and market trends, using AI algorithms to make more accurate demand forecasts. This data-driven approach enables warehouses to optimise inventory levels, reduce holding costs, and minimise the risk of overstocking or stockouts.

Implement Just-in-Time (JIT) Inventory

JIT inventory management ensures that products are ordered and delivered only when needed. This approach minimises storage costs and frees up warehouse space while maintaining a lean inventory.

3. warehouse fulfilment Labour Shortages

The pandemic also brought forth challenges concerning labour shortages and safety concerns in fulfilment warehouses. Social distancing protocols and health guidelines impacted the workforce’s productivity, and businesses had to implement safety measures to protect their employees. To address labour shortages and safety concerns, investing in robotic automation and collaborative robots (cobots) can help augment the existing workforce, reduce human contact, and enhance overall warehouse productivity.

The pandemic brought to light the importance of ensuring the safety and well-being of warehouse workers. To address labour shortages and safety concerns:

4. Integrating Omnichannel warehouse Fulfilment

With the convergence of online and offline shopping experiences, businesses are embracing omnichannel fulfilment to provide customers with a seamless shopping journey. This integration poses challenges in terms of inventory visibility and order accuracy. Adopting an omnichannel WMS can help centralise inventory data, enabling real-time tracking and order processing across various channels.

The convergence of online and offline shopping experiences requires businesses to adopt omnichannel fulfilment strategies. To address this integration challenge:

Implement Safety Measures

A robust WMS helps manage inventory, order processing, and shipping, streamlining warehouse operations and improving efficiency. It enables real-time tracking of inventory levels and order status, reducing the risk of stockouts and enhancing customer satisfaction.

Centralise Inventory Data

An omnichannel WMS centralises inventory data across various sales channels, providing real-time visibility into stock levels and order status. This ensures accurate inventory allocation and minimises the risk of overselling.

5. Last-Mile warehouse fulfilment

The focus on ecommerce fulfilment has placed immense pressure on last-mile delivery, where products are shipped from the fulfilment warehouse to the customer’s doorstep. Meeting customer expectations for speedy delivery has become a top priority for businesses. Employing multiple fulfilment hubs in strategic locations can reduce delivery times, while partnering with reliable shipping carriers can improve last-mile delivery efficiency.

The emphasis on fast and reliable last-mile delivery has become a significant challenge for fulfilment operations. To optimise last-mile delivery:

6. Sustainable warehouse Fulfilment Practices

In the post-pandemic era, consumers are increasingly conscious of sustainability and eco-friendly practices. Warehouses and fulfilment centres must strive to reduce their carbon footprint and implement green initiatives. Optimising delivery routes, using eco-friendly packaging materials, and investing in renewable energy sources are some ways businesses can demonstrate their commitment to sustainability.

As environmental awareness increases, customers expect businesses to adopt sustainable fulfilment practices. To address sustainability challenges:

Establish Multiple Fulfilment Hubs

Strategically located fulfilment hubs can reduce delivery distances and time, enabling faster deliveries to customers across different regions.

Collaborate with Reliable Shipping Carriers

Partnering with reputable shipping carriers that offer reliable and efficient last-mile delivery services enhances customer satisfaction and helps meet delivery expectations.

Optimise Delivery Routes

Route optimisation reduces fuel consumption and carbon emissions, contributing to eco-friendly last-mile delivery.

Use Eco-Friendly Packaging Materials

Switching to biodegradable or recyclable packaging materials minimises environmental impact and resonates positively with environmentally conscious consumers.


In this new world after the pandemic, warehouse fulfilment centres face both problems and chances. To do better, businesses can use fancy technologies, robots, and information to work faster and meet the needs of online shopping, which is always changing.

A big problem during the pandemic was not having enough workers and keeping them safe. Now, businesses need to be responsible and care about the environment. This can help them look good and make customers happy because many people want companies to be kind to the Earth.

Online shopping is getting even bigger, so businesses must change to keep up. They need to be quick to change their plans to make customers happy.

It’s important to know that working with a good fulfilment service provider can help a lot. These experts can help businesses grow and give customers great experiences in this new world after the pandemic. So, by being smart and working with the right people, businesses can do well in the online shopping world.

Remember, a reliable fulfilment service provider can be a valuable ally in navigating these challenges. By partnering with experts in the field, businesses can leverage their expertise and resources to scale up operations and provide exceptional customer experiences in the ever-changing post-pandemic world.

Omni Fulfilment Solutions