Solutions for Online Grocery & Pharma: Unlocking Fulfillment Operational Challenges Amidst Lockdown


Home > Blog > Solutions for Online Grocery & Pharma: Unlocking Fulfillment Operational Challenges Amidst Lockdown

The nationwide lockdown has forced thousands of people to depend on the services of eGrocery providers like BigBasket, Grofers, Milkbasket etc., and ePharma platforms such as Netmeds, Medlife, 1mg etc. for the fulfilment of their groceries, essential demands, pharmaceuticals and medical supplements. This surge in demand has caused a turmoil in the operations of these eGrocery and ePharma platforms causing sites or apps crashes, delayed/ cancelled deliveries and more such issues. 

People have been asked to stay back, not go out unless really necessary and only for purchasing either staples or medicines for them, but the real problem is to maintain social distancing in this situation and the obvious constraint of stocks. Closed borders, restricted travel have all added fuel to the disruption and fulfilment of orders even to the stores, let alone to people’s homes. 

Keeping all the issues of the public in focus, the government of India, Ministry of Home Affairs announced that eCommerce operations will continue to function with the delivery of essential goods and medicines will be done on a priority basis.

Supply chain operations from manufacturing, warehousing, to delivery, of essential items will continue to function while maintaining strict guidelines of sanitation and social distancing. To ensure enough manpower for the completion of all these tasks, employees of all such supply chain facilities will be provided with special e-passes and cards for smooth movement across all state borders and within localities. 

Increased Demands bring Magnified Issues: Unicommerce’s Solutions enable better processing in these times

As the demands surged, management of entire supply chain operations took a drastic hit and grocery or pharma providers have been struggling ever since. The major issues faced by online providers include supply chain management, ensuring last-mile deliveries and restricting delayed delivered or cancelled orders. 

Apart from this, most online Grocery and Pharma platforms requested time in order to regain stocks in their warehouses to further proceed with order delivery in various parts of the nation. Looking upon the major challenges faced in these industries, Unicommerce has been working on the go to provide support to our clients and through that to the consumers to not be in a situation of disrupted supplies. 

Unicommerce’s solutions have been designed to meet the needs of all our clients in managing their order and inventory, keeping track of deliveries and ensuring smooth flow of operations throughout the order cycle. 

Listed below are the major areas of support that we have been providing our clients dealing in essential products to ensure timely delivery of supplies all around the nation. 

Read: How Dubai-based Vidiwell achieved 230% sales order growth in 7 months while implementing seamless shipping to 5+ countries in the Middle East

Manage High Surge in Demand with Stock Prioritization

Panic buying among consumers and unclear provisions of supply caused a severe surge in demands and brands providing online delivery of medicines and groceries saw sudden disruption of services. In an interview with one of the leading media houses, a spokesperson from the Big basket team said that “We need a little more time to get items back in stock as all our stocks ran out quickly following the lockdown announcement.” Also, in another article by Financial Express, CEO Grofers, as well as CEO Milkbasket, shared the same concerns of 100% surge in demands and the issues of stock management to fulfil large number of orders.

In these times, our ePharma and eGrocery clients have extensively been using our order management system & inventory management software to swiftly manage their entire surge in demand and to maintain inventory accuracy and visibility by prioritizing which orders to deliver first to avoid SLA breaches, enabling quick order processing across channels, restricting any halts in service and reducing the effects of any disruption caused in fulfilment

Stock freshness remains the top priority of ePharma and eGrocery businesses, and Unicommerce’s batching solution helps the FMCG and Pharma industry to track, allocate, return or liquidate inventory frequently with uniquely traceable parameters like expiry date, mfg date, cost of purchase, vendor batch number etc. further enabling fulfilment of orders through different picking strategies such as FIFO, FEFO etc. ensuring accurate delivery of products

To help companies with the disrupted yet rapidly increased demands of staples, caused by the announcement of a complete lockdown in the country, stock audits in warehouses through our solutions such as Cycle Count can help brands reconcile all inventory.

Restrict Operational Glitches Through Warehouse Automation

In order to process orders and fulfil deliveries, stock in warehouses play the most important role and currently the stocks have an uncertainty of being available in these warehouses as most of them are either stuck in transportation or not yet manufactured. All of these cause operational glitches. 

Unicommerce’s warehouse management system helps automate entire warehouse processes from picking, packing, dispatch to how goods are received from the suppliers in the warehouse.

Our clients who use our WMS have always had the ease to know well before about any shortages in stock, a regular cycle of rotation of orders based on their shelf lives and much more.

Here’s a glimpse of our success stories: How Unicommerce strengthened GNC India’s business operations across multiple sales channels boosting 100% fulfillment rate

Enable & Track Last-mile Deliveries 

Delivery of orders right to the last mile and on time is what these platforms are struggling to manage in these times. Real-time delivery status makes the whole process much more efficient and in these times when the orders keep shooting up and customers are anxious enough to receive their order, it becomes much more important to keep track and ensure deliveries are made to the farthest extent and faster.

To make sure you are able to get through the challenge of managing your delivery, Unicommerce gives you the opportunity to check and be updated on the real-time status of your deliveries sent through 30+ global logistics providers. This gives you the assurance of delivery being made on time and that of your customers being fully satisfied.

Make Offline Inventory available through Omnichannel Solution

This lockdown has brought us to a state of being completely cut off from the outside world and in these times offline outlets may not see customers walking in their doors for quite some time. For businesses that are not present online and have been managing only through offline channels, the road to profit may be longer than those with an online presence. Once you go omnichannel, the horizon to reach your consumers widens to a great extent.

Our omnichannel solution brings offline inventory into a centralised inventory pool and enables the retail and eCommerce operations to help brands sell across multiple channels. All the retail points receive accurate stock information and automated inventory updates to further plan their selling strategies.

The major challenges for the ePharma and eGrocery platforms can precisely be managed with the help of numerous solutions offered by Unicommmerce. Ensuring uninterrupted services amid the Coronavirus lockdown should not only be taken into account for business purposes but as a service to the entire nation. In one of his interactions, PM Shri Narendra Modi emphasised on the need of technology-driven solutions as the future of eCommerce operations and also as a huge support in such times when we all are forced to lock ourselves inside our homes and only through technology and highly advanced solutions can we continue to thrive.