Opting to outsource you warehousing and logistics needs can be a smart decision. Leveraging the resources and expertise of a third-party logistics company can be a significant strategic advantage. However, like with any major business decision, making the best choice is important. Here are a few things you need consider when choosing a third-party logistics partner.
Consumer demands are evolving like never before; and developing technology is meeting, and fueling these demands. The ability to search, shop, buy from anywhere means that businesses need to be more agile than ever. One key position in every supply chain is the warehouse, and it is within these walls that the solution to new and expanded consumer demands can be found.
Online retail is still a new and challenging sector with increasing competition. A third party logistics provider can be a valuable asset and resource to any e-commerce outlet. Below are four benefits that a 3PL can provide for online retailers.
According to a recent Econsultancy survey, businesses have more tools, resources, and access than ever before to engage with their consumers to improve and track the customer experience. At the same time, consumers have more power and choices to leverage prices, services, options, and communicate with and about your brand. Both sides of these tangible technologies are creating specific new challenges in terms of order fulfillment and inventory management; placing a greater importance on the organization and structure of e-commerce distribution center operations.
“Going Green” is no longer just a catchy slogan for a pie-in-the-sky ideal of taking environmentally safe actions, for many businesses, and specifically supply chains, it offers a chance to meet strategic initiatives. While “green” was originally meant to signify Earth friendly decisions, the platforms and implementations that promote a sustainable supply chain have revealed another type of green, the type that looks good on your bottom line. Managing sustainability has become a major priority for CEO’s across all industries. Aligning sustainable efforts with organizational goals is increasing cost savings and efficiencies, all while helping the environment.
It’s hard to predict how a movie will end after only seeing the first 30 minutes. And a baseball game can change with the swing of a bat, no matter how the first three innings go. However, with decades of data and trends, analyzing a year’s first quarter retail sales can provide some valuable insight to the state of the economy.
Small businesses are an integral piece to the communities they serve. They offer a familiar face, a local product, jobs, and personalized service that are often lost with large corporations. However, in this new age of e-commerce, your favorite neighborhood store can reach far beyond its community and the confines of its brick-and-mortar walls.
To say that the way we do business has changed in the past few years would be an understatement. The truth is, businesses across the board and across the globe have transitioned with technology to meet new consumer buying habits and demands. The emergence of smartphones, tablets and cloud-based, subscription-driven programming (Netflix, HBOGo, Hulu, etc.) is forcing a shift for networks and cable providers. Spotify and Pandora are also disrupting the music recording industry. The truth is consumers are less concerned with owning an item as long as they have access to it. They are willing to pay a smaller fee and forego the tangible good (CD, DVD, etc.). This now even extends to retail outlets that are now operating in ways that weren’t even conceived 15 years ago. This is opening new opportunities for businesses to gain advantages on the retail fulfillment side as well.
Innovation continues to drive many of the new advancements that we enjoy today. In the past few decades alone, we have progressed from pagers to cell phones and now to smart phones, we have more computing power in our pockets than NASA did when they put a man on the moon. Speaking of which, we put a man on the moon, now we have companies designing and testing retrievable rockets and making strides on a manned mission to Mars. It is the constant motive to innovate that has led to the groundbreaking developments. The same is true for business as it is in life, commercial innovations will lead to major operational breakthroughs. What better place to begin than with your fulfillment center? There are a number of strategies that can be implemented in the heart of your supply chain that will result in lower costs, higher efficiency and more accuracy. A recent article from Multichannel Merchant outlines 6 ways to innovate your fulfillment practices.
Have you ever had a day on the golf course where you are long off the tee, finding every fairway, striking your irons and knocking down pins; but when you step on the green everything changes? Whether it’s the yips, misreading the break, or just plain bad luck, your putter won’t let you take that final step toward a birdie, or even a par on the scorecard. Your supply chain could be feeling a similar frustration when it comes to last mile delivery.