Amazon Union Push Gets New Vote in Alabama

| Mike O'Brien

The National Labor Relations Board has ordered a new election to determine if Amazon fulfillment center workers in Bessemer, AL can organize as members of a union for collective bargaining, which would be a first in the United States and set off a warehouse labor chain reaction.

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Human Warehouse Picking Still Has It All Over Robots

| Gabe Grifoni

It’s often joked that robots will soon replace humans, down to the most menial, everyday tasks. But many robotics companies are in an actual arms race to replace human labor, particularly in the supply chain. Yet it’s often still too costly to implement, leaving humans as the most efficient, effective method for warehouse picking.

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Amazon Workers in Staten Island Withdraw Union Petition

| Mike O'Brien

Workers at an Amazon fulfillment center on Staten Island, NY have withdrawn their petition to form a union, two weeks before a meeting before the National Labor Relations Board to determine if sufficient interest existed to proceed with unionization, the NLRB told the Associated Press.

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Inventory Management Gets Trickier As Forces Collide

| Mike O'Brien

Given massive, lingering supply chain roadblocks, carrier capacity limits and labor shortages, inventory management has gotten trickier for retailers, especially as the critical Q4 approaches. This special report from Multichannel Merchant looks at ways retailers are rethinking their inventory approach to buffer against shocks.

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Improving Ecommerce Fulfillment Productivity, Decreasing Labor Costs

| Brian Barry

In calculating ecommerce fulfillment cost per order, labor generally makes up more than 50% of the total. As labor costs continue to increase, overall fulfillment center productivity in many companies has remained flat. What are you doing to manage your labor and reduce costs? Here are five tactics companies should consider.

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USPS Tests New Local Delivery Service in Texas

| Mike O'Brien

While UPS buys its way into last mile and on-demand delivery with Roadie, the U.S. Postal Service is piloting a same/next-day delivery service in Texas, geared toward local business-to-consumer orders that companies bring to a local USPS office to get a discounted rate. Experts questioned its value and market relevance.

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Update: CA Gov. Signs Bill Targeting Amazon Labor Practices

| Mike O'Brien

Update, Sept. 24: California Gov. Gavin Newsome on Thursday signed a bill that targets labor practices in ecommerce warehouses, including banning the enforcement of performance quotas that impinge on basic worker’s rights like restroom and lunch breaks. Amazon, not named in the bill, is clearly targeted by lawmakers.

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Assessing Your Dock-to-Stock Efficiency

| Brian Barry

Dock-to-stock time is a KPI measuring the time from receipt on your dock to a pickable or bulk reserve location. The process involves aspects of purchase order writing, inbound transportation, receiving, staging, inspection and put away. Here’s eight steps to help you assess your processes, identify problems and lay out an action plan.

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Ecommerce Operations Summit 2021: It’s Here!

| Mike O'Brien

Hard to believe it, but it’s here! Ecommerce Operations Summit 2021 is kicking off this Tuesday, Aug. 17 at the Gaylord Opryland in Nashville, and we have lots of great things on tap for you as we regather in person as a community of ecommerce/DTC operations and fulfillment professionals.

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A 3PL-to-Insourcing Switch: 10 Considerations

| Brian Barry

Merchants that utilize third-party fulfillment (3PL) services sometimes consider transitioning back to internal fulfillment operations. Sometimes it’s to control costs, while others have had a bad experience with 3PLs and now only trust themselves with their operations. Here are 10 factors to consider if you’re looking to insource.