Micro-fulfillment centers have many benefits and offer close access to customers.
The growth of click and collect, BOPIS, curbside pick up, and the supply chain disruptions caused by the pandemic are creating a shift from large, centralized distribution centers to small micro-fulfillment centers. Many micro-fulfillment centers (MFCs) help where there is limited warehouse space availability within the urban population. MFCs consist of using either a dark store or a small warehouse building near their local shoppers to bring down costs and faster delivery. The typical MFC size can range as small as 3,000 Sq ft. to 20,000 sq. ft depending on what inventory the MFC is storing.
Micro-fulfillment centers allow retailers and grocers to have an advantage over their competitors who don’t have one implemented. They help retailers achieve their branding goals, satisfy promises to the customer, and elevate their capabilities.
They help lower the last-mile delivery cost and reduce delivery time. Shoppers will research who can deliver the product faster before they make their final purchase. Using a dedicated MFC keeps pickers separate from the store’s floor space, which allows for a greater flow of foot traffic through the store and increases the store’s productivity. The cost of transporting goods and reduced delivery time due to implementing a micro-fulfillment center closer to their local shoppers decreases the overhead cost.
Many micro-fulfillment centers can deploy quickly, and one size does not fit all. They also require a lower initial investment. Implementing an MFC can take as little as weeks to a few months. They may need certain picking carts, tugger carts, or automation to help fulfill and pick orders. MFCs can hold various size items from grocery goods to high volume requested items depending on the purpose of implementing the MFCs.
When grocers and retailers implement a micro-fulfillment center, they need to consider what inventory will be stored in the warehouse. They will need to look at the space required for inventory, staging, shipping, and carts. Smart planning and implementation are crucial to maintaining a profitable micro-fulfillment center.
Contact our team to help you integrate carts into your micro-fulfillment to help your stores thrive in a changing retail environment.