Retailers, we’re entering uncharted territory in ecommerce fulfillment. Consumers today have higher expectations for their customer experience than ever, and it’s up to you to meet them. How can you stay ahead of the curve and keep your customers happy?
In previous blog posts we have talked about the complexities of serving retail store distribution and direct to consumer fulfillment from the same distribution center. While it may sound ideal from an inventory perspective the complexities of facility design and system implementation are plentiful. However, supply chains are evolving to better serve the demands of our multi-channel world, as covered by this article in Supply Chain Quarterly.
The implementation of this starts with integrating store and online systems so that you can determine whether or not all items the customer would like can be filled at the local store.
The second part of this is managing a process that will alert in store associates to a new order and determining the best way to manage the order releases to meet customer expectations yet still perform the work efficiently. Then, the order needs to be picked (from either open stock or back-room) and prepared for customer pick-up. Lastly, the merchandise needs to be accounted for as sold (order fulfilled).
What are your thoughts about allowing customers to order online and pick-up their order at the store within hours?
Retail Chains - OfficeMax launches in-store pickup of online orders - Internet Retailer
Looking for additional resoruces or have questions about MKM Distribution? Please email Kharlow@mkm-logistics.com or call (317) 334-7900.
"Get ready to say goodbye to the supply chain as we know it"
By Mitch Mac Donald
Shipping from stores can have benefits when all forces align, but what is the impact of subpar performance? The likelihood of a delayed shipment from the store is far greater than from a DC, and not by the fault of the associates. For example, merchandise is frequently moved by shoppers, shoplifting will cause inaccurate inventory, negotiating later parcel pick-up will be more difficult at the store level, and shipping systems need to be installed and integrated at the store level. What is in place at the store to (1) help the associate locate misplaced merchandise (2) Notify customers - in a timely manner - that the item they ordered is not available (3) process order as filled in the system, deduct it from store inventory, notify customer an order has shipped and (4) ensure shipping materials are adequately stocked at each store?
To add to that when making in-store merchandise available online, a customer could order 5 different items and receive shipments from up to 5 different locations. What business rules can be systematically implemented to reduce or eliminate these occurrences?
Another advancement in the rush to provide same day delivery for customers.