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Considering a Move to an Automated Warehouse?

Automation—it’s getting headlines and transforming industries, warehousing among them. But is it right for your e-commerce business? Here are some factors you should consider wether to make the move to an automated warehouse.

WHAT’S YOUR BREAK EVEN?

The biggest risk in moving to a fully automated warehouse is the expense. The up front costs of moving your inventory and setting up a new system can be significant. You also need to take future delivery into account. Will it be more expensive to get goods from your supplier to the new facility? To start, do a worst-case analysis of your break even point. Assume the transition isn’t smooth. Assume sales go down due to unforeseen market forces. How long will it take to recoup your investment and how much will it strain your cash flow?

GET VISIBILITY

If the move makes sense from a cost perspective, start interviewing potential warehouses to see what kind of visibility they can offer. E-commerce is an ever-fluctuating industry, and being able to catch problems or opportunities immediately in your shipping can have a huge impact on your bottom line. Does the warehouse offer real-time reports? Will you get a dedicated fulfillment specialist to be your eyes in the warehouse who is responsive when you call? Can the warehouse integrate their systems with yours so things run smoothly? For automation to live up to its potential, you need to be able to continue tweaking the system in response to changing conditions.

YOUR GOODS

The third factor to consider is the nature of your merchandise. Is personalization important to your customers? If so, it might be difficult to replicate the unboxing experience they’re used to at an automated facility, which could lead to decreased brand loyalty. Do you have a lot of returns and exchanges? Automated warehouses are sometimes better at shipping things out than taking them back. On the other hand, if your competitive advantage is a low price point for customers who aren’t looking for personalization or easy exchanges, automation could be a big help in building scale for your business.

A HYBRID APPROACH

Another thing to consider is a partially automated warehouse. This is how we’re set up at One World Direct. Low touch operations move on a conveyor belt, while high-touch operations (kitting, specialty packaging, etc.) are handled by specialists at our packing stations. This hybrid approach works well for e-commerce companies who need the ability to customize parts of their operation while maximizing efficiency. If you’d like to learn more, just give us a call at 1-866-289-9010. Or drop us a line at sales (at) owd (dot) com. We’d be happy to help you figure out what level of automation is right for you.

Tags: Automated WarehouseWarehouse Automation

Fulfillment Costs

Fulfillment costs are based on three criteria: size, weight and delivery time.

OWD offers five service levels: economy (7-10 days); Standard (5-7 days), 2-Day, Overnight and International.

Starting At

$3.99

Per Unit

FAQs

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International Shipping

The old way to ship internationally

DDU means Delivery Duty Unpaid – where the buyer pays for all of the import fees at delivery.

Unexpected import fees give buyers sticker shock – not good. When they refuse to pay, you’ve lost a sale and must pay to return your product, or abandon it.

DDU is an old idea whose time has passed. For these reasons and more, OWD doesn’t recommend DDU for e-com sellers.

The best way to ship internationally

DDP is an acronym for Delivery Duty Paid. DDP means that the seller pays for all the duties and import fees.

With DDP, your customers won’t be surprised with unexpected customs charges – good!

With OWD’s landed cost calculator, your foreign customers will know exactly what their various VAT, customers and duties will cost. No unhappy surprises.

Ship flat-rate anywhere in the world starting at:

$16.39

One World Direct, B.V.

For large-scale operations needing a full solution in Europe, there’s OWD Europe, based in Amsterdam.

We Make Contact Center EASY

Sell More with Live Agents

The Services

OWD handles phone calls, e-mails and web chat eighteen hours a day from our own state-of-the-art facility.

We’ll handle your inbound sales and customer service contacts.

You get career agents who speak American English and know how to sell.

The Costs

$99 gets you 200 calls, e-mails or chats handled every week.

You get your own phone number and custom e-mail.

We do a lot more. Call for details.

More than a Call Center

Get Virtual Assistants as needed

  • Credit Card declines
  • USPS and FedEx claims
  • Shipper Call Tags
  • Charge Backs & Credits
One World’s contact center in Mobridge, South Dakota.

The Voice of Your Brand

We Make Returns EASY

Returns? Yuck.
One World has a simple solution.

All-Inclusive Returns

OWD’s all-inclusive Returns service provides simplicity and high-end customer service. OWD includes a pre-printed return label as part of your packing slip. Your customer need only drop it in the mail.

What’s included: packaging slip with return label, QC inspection, re-bag, re-tag and return to stock. What’s excluded: postage cost, poly bags and any special packaging.

Base Price

$4.95

Add-On Services

  • Cleaning: (basic wipe down) $0.66
  • Apparel Steaming: $6.55
  • $0.50 for additional units

Call For Quotes

  • Electronics Testing
  • Re-Kitting
  • Refurbish
  • Destruction Certificates
  • Lint Rolling