Not only should a supply chain be able to stay transparent to itself—informing employees on its progress—but it should be able to demonstrate to clients its awareness and how it tracks product. This is especially the case for 3PL providers whose companies survive on accuracy and transparency.
Shipping is a big industry. There are millions of packages that are transferred across the world every day. Some of these packages contain items that are fragile, time-sensitive, or even potentially harmful if handled incorrectly. Unfortunately, when you handle such a large volume of packages, sometimes items get broken, miscounted or lost all together. To protect them, retailers have the option to file a claim to make up for the loss, but these claims have a big effect on distribution for a number of different reasons.
There’s a lot of good to be had from omni-channel distribution, but it also comes with a lot of challenges. As businesses move to make the customer experience seamless across the storefront, web, and mobile apps, many are learning that there’s a lot more that goes into a satisfying customer experience than they may have thought. Fulfilling orders based on location is a great idea, and gets the item to a customer more quickly, but fulfillment like that requires a lot of logistics. There are pros and cons to omni-channel distribution, but there are ways to make the most of it.
Made famous by Wal-Mart, an Electronic Data Interchange (EDI), uses proprietary or public channels among participating members, to exchange documentation and ultimately increase the speed of the supply chain process between participating members. An EDI uses electronic files, instead of printed documents to reduce the time it takes to move information from vendor to vendor or department to department.
Along the entire length of the supply chain there grows a common threat: a severe shortage of talent. A shortage that couldn’t be any more poorly timed. Globalization, market uncertainty, shifting demographic patterns, and the emergence of supply chain as a strategic business function are some of the factors that are driving the demand and the subsequent skills shortfall.
- Streamline your operations and improve visibility
- Maximize efficiency and flexibility
- Cut costs
- Maximize supply chain security
- Reduce your carbon footprint
MKM Retail Distribution & Fulfillment invites you to join us from January 21-24, 2013 at McCormick Place South by attending ProMat 2013. Register online today for complimentary admission to the show and educational conference.
VISIT US IN BOOTH # 4812
Schedule a meeting time with our booth staff and we will give you a $25 Visa Gift Card
To overcome these barriers and still cost effectively service the customer, Mark suggests that many retailers will regionalize their distribution networks. While this can have great advantages in reducing time in transit and shipping costs of orders, it may also drive up other logistics costs related to inventory allocation, storage, and transportation.
What have you found to be the most viable option for providing free shipping while reducing time in transit? Please post your thoughts here or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I look forward to hearing from you!