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Micro-fulfillment: Meeting Customer Demand for Same-day Delivery

Once upon a time, same-day, no wait, no lines, pull up and pick-up was a fairytale-like dream for retailers and grocers looking ahead to tomorrow. Well, tomorrow is here, the dream is now the reality, and speed is no longer an ambitious idea. It’s the consumer expectation. Your customer wants to click it and get it which can be a challenge for smaller to mid-sized operations. Thankfully, micro-fulfillment is making it possible for smaller retailers and grocers to not only compete with the corporate giants, but exceed the customer expectation for convenience, speed, and accuracy. 

Here’s how it works.

Understanding the Consumer Benefit of Micro-fulfilment

Micro-fulfilment refers to the idea of sprinkling smaller warehouses or stockrooms throughout cities as opposed to a single massive warehouse in one location. By utilizing multiple smaller facilities, the product stays closer to the consumer who is making the purchase. In turn, the customer gets:

  • Faster fulfillment
  • Quicker delivery or in-person pickup 
  • Better accuracy
  • Same-day options
  • Fresher produce

Finding Your Micro-fulfilment Solution

If micro-fulfillment is the vehicle driving the future of fulfillment, then automation is the fuel. Automation allows for functional fulfillment in smaller warehouse facilities or smaller spaces by:

  • Reducing labor force 
  • Reducing cost
  • Modularity
  • Increasing scalability
  • Securing inventory
  • Making storage and retrieval easier

The McMurray Stern micro-fulfillment solution puts you at an advantage. We have four different approaches to meet your automated micro-fulfillment needs with each solution offering a different price option, rate, and speed. 

VLM/Vertical Lift Module

Vertical lifts are the ideal storage solution for industrial products, components, and spare parts for all possible environments and industries. Many companies have chosen our lifts to help organize and improve their workflow, thanks to their flexibility, wide range of models available, superior design, and ease of use.


Carousel systems enable highly efficient storage and picking processes in the smallest possible space. Carousels are an outstanding solution for handling small parts along with medium to slow-moving products including pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, electronics components, media, and food items.

Shuttle Systems

The Cuby: a single-level shuttle system is the ideal automated storage and retrieval solution (ASRS) for storage of containers and cartons. The highly efficient system solution can be used in a variety of different industries, enhancing storage efficiency. The shuttles reliably move containers and cartons weighing up to 35 kg.

Flexi Shuttle: Our Flexi Shuttle is an innovative solution for space-optimized storage of cartons, trays, and cubic and conical bins. The modular concept, which combines shuttles, lifts, and a racking system, allows for tailored and highly flexible system concepts with excellent use of space and high levels of technical performance.

Thanks to the universal load handling device with adjustable width, the Flexi Shuttle can adapt to single-, double-, and multiple-deep storage of a broad spectrum of loading units and dimensions, even in frigid cold storage conditions. The rack design has dynamic adjustable storage location sizes. And by omitting permanently allocated storage positions, this design facilitates an optimized shelf occupancy with maximum storage density. This is achieved with a high diversity of loading units and a broad spectrum of transport dimensions.

Pouch Sorters/Carrier for Micro-Fulfillment

The unique feature of our carrier system is its flexibility. One load carrier enables accumulation, buffering, distributing, and sorting of goods. 

Our primary load carrier is a roller adapter on an inner rail. You can connect various secondary load carriers to this adapter manually or as a fully automated system. The secondary load carriers can be clothes hangers, pockets, or sturdy boxes.

The roller adapter and hanging load carriers include an RFID transponder. As a consequence, this conveying system is absolutely reliable. Alternatively, barcodes can also be used. High throughput, low maintenance, and universal usage for goods weighing up to 3 kilograms are the key features of this carrier system.

If you liked this McMurray Stern article, you may also like: 

McMurray Stern Orbiter – Maximizing Warehouse Space and Increasing Efficiency Without Expansion
What You Should Know About Pallet Racks, and 5 Mistakes to Avoid

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Once upon a time, same-day, no wait, no lines, pull up and pick-up was a fairytale-like dream for retailers and grocers looking ahead...