Fulfillment & Third Party Logistics Blog

E-Commerce Purchase Taxation Looking Less Likely

Over a year ago, a bill was drafted to neutralize one of the many advantages that e-commerce retailers have over traditional, brick-and-mortar outlets.  As part of the Marketplace Fairness Act, states would be given the authority to make online retailers collect sales tax at the time of purchase.  With fears that voters would look at this new law as a tax increase, however indirect, the likelihood of it being passed seems to be dwindling.  Logistics Management has more on what could, or could not be, a key issue for e-commerce retailers and shoppers.  Click here to read.

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Toy Fulfillment: 3 Supply Chain Strategies

This year over 59% of holiday shoppers will be purchasing toys.  With the average consumer expected to spend about $800, this is a substantial time of the year for toy manufacturers and retailers.  The pressures of keeping costs low while responding to greater delivery demands and options are amplified during the holidays, but need to be addressed year round.  Poor fulfillment can quickly ruin a birthday or special occasion.  To prevent your toys and your brand from being synonymous with disappointment, optimizing your fulfillment operations and supply chain is imperative.  Here are 3 strategic tips that can keep your supply chain lean, fulfillment accurate and inventory efficient.

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October’s Economic Trends Point to a Busy Holiday Season

Past results do not predict future performance.  However, historical data often provides insights into future trends, especially when that historical data is recent and robust.  Hitting a bucket of 100 balls before a round of golf can tell you a lot about the next four hours; economic indicators do the same thing. 

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Automotive Part Fulfillment: Lower Picking Costs and Increase Profits

The most labor intensive and costly responsibility in your distribution center is order fulfillment, specifically manual fulfillment.  According to Martin Murray’s “Order Picking in the Warehouse”, the cost of order picking can be as much as 55% of a warehouse’s total operating cost.  Furthermore, manual fulfillment can consume 65% of an employee’s time.  Recognizing the stress this puts on your bottom line can lead to making some new investments and changes to relieve the costs that go into this key element.  Here are three areas on which to focus:

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Holiday Supply Chain Scalability

Did you know that for most retailers, 40% of annual sales occur during November and December?  As a retailer, a three-fold increase in volume can create major stress on your supply chain.  Having a plan in place to handle the volume is crucial.  Here are 3 strategic tips to meet the holiday’s demands within your supply chain.

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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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