When I look at a vendor machine, I see an incredible opportunity to leverage the technology to automate any e-commerce business at least partly. Indeed, if you own an e-commerce store you know some activities can be so time-consuming. Typically, some of those activities start immediately after the customer has clicked on the check-out button on the website.
Activities after the customer checkout:
- Go to the storage.
- Find the product in the right bin.
- Pick up the product.
- Package the product.
- Sort the product.
- Ship the product.
Now Imagine you can automate at least part of the activities by capitalizing on the vendor machine technology associated with a conveyor belt.
- Connect your store with a system build with item bins setup like a vendor machine.
Immediately after a customer checks out, the item loaded in the right bin dropped in the conveyor belt. Thus, eliminating activities 1 and 2.
- Robot assisted packaging.
Actually, technology evolution has made it easier than ever to get access to sophisticated technology at an extremely competitive rate. Indeed, those robots can assist with picking, sorting, and packaging.
Hence, eliminating the need for activity 3,4 and 5. Finally, depending on your financial capabilities you can also automate shipping with specialized robots to load your distribution and shipping vans or trucks.
Normally, a smart move will be to start with an older version then as the business grows to move into newer versions.
Even though the cost of automation might seem higher but the productivity gains are higher. In addition, with a highly automated service even partially there is a need for less human interaction. Consequently, if you automate your e-commerce business it might free some cash flow to offset the cost of automation.
Nonetheless,with smart planning and vision the process don’t have to break your bank. However, automation only makes sense in an environment with high level of inventory turnover and high demand.