Fulfillment & Third Party Logistics Blog

Creating a Sustainable Supply Chain

Conserving energy, protecting the environment and embracing a “green” outlook on business are all popular and important initiatives spanning all sectors.  The need to trim costs and reduce your footprint on the planet is a goal of every business and is directly tied to supply chain management.  In fact, a PricewaterhouseCoopers’ survey in 2013 showed that over 66% of supply chain executives are focused on increasing sustainability initiatives in the coming years.  So as the clocks wind back and the temperatures drop this time of year, you should also take a hard look at the sustainability of your supply chain.  Greenbiz.com recently released an article highlighting three steps to bring higher sustainability to your organization.  Read more here.  

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Holiday Fulfillment and Shopping: 10 Interesting Facts

There’s a nip in the air, pumpkin flavored everything and the sun is setting a little sooner.  When these three things occur at once, it won’t be long until the turkey leftovers are gone and 12 reindeer trot across your roof.  It is time for the busiest shopping season of the year.  Whether you stock up in July, take notes of subtle hints throughout the year or ransack the pharmacy gift aisle on December 24th, this is the time where more people are shopping and more money is being spent than any other time of the year.  In fact, Forrester Research is predicting a record $89 billion will be spent online alone this holiday season.  If the web is going to be that busy, imagine what the malls will look like.  Here are 10 interesting facts and statistics about holiday shopping that can help you navigate from finding that perfect gift to placing it under the tree.

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Holiday E-Commerce Shopping Predictions

The jack-o-lanterns have been replaced by pilgrims, turkeys and cornucopias. That can only mean one thing; the holidays, like it or not, have arrived.  And while this season provides all sorts of holiday magic, it also requires fighting parking lots, long lines and scouring empty shelves; or at least it used to.  More people than ever before will be shopping from their laptops, tablets and phones this year.  In fact, according to Forrester Research, consumers are expected to spend $89 billion online this holiday season, a 13% increase over 2013.  For more on this potentially record breaking shopping season, check out this article from Mashable.

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Barrett Distribution Centers Wins the 2014 Green Supply Chain Award

Franklin, MA- November 12, 2014- Barrett Distribution Centers has been honored by Supply & Demand Chain Executive as a recipient in their 7th Annual Green Supply Chain Awards.  The 2014 Green Supply Chain Awards recognize companies that are making sustainability a core part of their supply chain strategy. 

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Furniture Fulfillment: Answering the Online Call

The Fall Classic has concluded.  America’s past time pinnacle moment was a suspenseful seven game series and it delayed your full focus from football for an extra week or so.  We recently set our clocks back an hour as well.  So as the sun sets a little earlier in the day and your weekends are spent surveying the action on the gridiron, your couch is going to get a lot busier.  With that being said, the lumpy center cushion, the salsa stain on the armrest and that growing tear on the side are all becoming more noticeable.  So as winter approaches, family and friends begin to visit for the holidays and big games, it may be time for an upgrade in the sofa department.  Much like the new jacket and TV you recently ordered, looking online for furniture is an enticing option. 

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B2B E-Commerce: Strategic Changes for Growth

Building a business is similar to working out.  Increasing revenue, expanding profit margins and lowering costs parallels the goals of increasing strength, improving health and shedding pounds.  The key to both of these endeavors is repetition.  In the growing sector of business to business e-commerce, repeat business, or customer loyalty, provides a tremendous opportunity.  A study by Forrester Research shows that while returning buyers only account for 27% of an e-commerce customer base, they contribute 41% of total revenues.  Just as sticking to a fitness regimen with return visits to the gym will yield the results you’re striving for, creating an e-commerce platform and operation that keeps customers coming back can differentiate your business.  Here are three strategic tips to keep your B2B e-commerce operation growing and your customers returning.

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Streamlining Crowdfunding Fulfillment

Social media has revolutionized the way we communicate.  E-commerce has forever changed the way we shop.  The proliferation of these convenient and engaging technologies is also creating a ripple in the way that money is raised, campaigns are funded and capital is generated.  Through platforms like Kickstarter, crowdfunding can be an option for small startups and large, established businesses alike.  However once the money has been raised, fulfillment can become a major obstacle.  Multichannel Merchant recently released 3 tips to address logistical challenges with crowdfunded orders.  Click here to read more.

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10 Supply Chain Predictions Put to the Test

People make predictions every day.  We predict the weather, political elections, sporting events and industry trends.  It is an exercise that helps us to plan for an otherwise uncertain future.  However, rarely do we hear the follow up from the people who make the predictions.  The weatherman does not apologize for every prediction he gets wrong (which is most of the time!).  Sportscasters do not apologize to bettors for not predicting an upset.  However, the good folks at Tompkins International made some bold predictions three years ago and are following up with the results.  Check out the “Top 10 Supply Chain Predictions” that Tompkins made in 2011 and see if they have a crystal ball!

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Focusing on the Healthcare Supply Chain

The days of going to see the doctor when you feel under the weather, getting a check-up, paying your co-pay and picking up your prescription are long gone.  This change in your medical experience is being spurred by an overhaul of our healthcare system.  With everything changing, from the way doctors, hospitals and clinics are being reimbursed to a focus on preventative measures, a change is needed in the way that we manage medical practices.  A key component of this transition will be developing a focus on the supply chain within our healthcare system.

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Holiday Season Fulfillment: A Time to Hire, A Chance to Retain

With the holidays right around the corner, shops, stores, malls and boutiques are about to ramp up their hiring.  With long lines for your local mall Santa Claus, a premium on parking spots and a shopping list a mile long, these additional employees will have their work cut out for them.  The importance of a good training program cannot be overstated as each new hire plays an equal part in ensuring the continuity of your supply chain.  It is likely that every product you ship this year will have been handled by a new hire at some point.  Amazon recently announced it will be hiring 80,000 seasonal employees.  This time of the year provides a great opportunity for fulfillment centers to expand their talent pool.  To read more, click here.

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3 Trends Changing the Logistics Industry

As things change, at some point in time there are trends that help us forecast how point A will lead to point B.  In football, critical head and neck injuries have led to a drastic change in how the game is played.  This major transition in the game didn’t happen overnight, or even over a handful of seasons.  As players’ began suffering these injuries, more tests were performed, followed by curtailing the plays that led to these injuries.  Over a span of 10 years, trends emerged that led to new ways of coaching and a shift in the style of play.  Much like the game of football, the fulfillment and distribution industry is adapting to a changing landscape based on trends that simply cannot be ignored.  

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Mitigating Supply Chain Risk: 4 Strategic Tips

Everyone has likely heard the saying “You’ve got to spend money to make money”.  Whether it is investing in research and development or devoting capital to inventory, the ideal result for every dollar spent is to generate a positive return.  While the direct path of spending towards products and services can be analyzed, tracked and determined, there are other avenues that don’t get as much attention, but are capable of producing a much greater financial benefit.

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