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Supply Chain Management

Inventory Management

Ecommerce JIT Inventory Management in an Era of Supply Chain Disorder

By Supply Chain Management

It was back in the ‘70s when Toyota was one of the first manufacturers to adopt a Just-in Time (JIT) inventory management strategy and the world followed. Back then, the strategy mostly applied to manufacturing by strictly managing the arrival of raw materials just prior to the production process. JIT decreased inventory carrying costs for the manufacturer which drove improved profitability.

Today, JIT applies to all segments of product distribution, including ecommerce, and not just the manufacturing process. JIT is an assumed product management process and is rarely referenced today as a cost savings differentiator.

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Holiday Fulfillment Center

How 3PLs Work Year-Round for the Holiday Season

By Supply Chain Management

Starting in October, national media is focused on the parcel carriers and their efforts towards preparing for the busy holiday-shipping-season. However, we hear very little about the e-commerce fulfillment service providers (3PLs) and how they prepare for their busiest time of the year.

The consumer tends to assume that the e-commerce merchants fulfill their own online orders and have little understanding of how merchants, both large and small, work closely with 3rd party e-commerce order fulfilment service providers. The e-commerce specific 3PL plays a major role in warehousing, processing orders for shipment, and handing off those orders to the parcel carriers.

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The Great E-commerce Fulfillment Center Squeeze

By Supply Chain Management

The pandemic has impacted nearly all parts of the global supply chain and e-commerce fulfillment is not immune to the condition.  Covid-19-driven consumer behavioral change has resulted in staggering e-commerce growth, which in turn, is putting tremendous pressure on e-commerce fulfillment centers (FCs).

The immediate impact has been FC demand almost exceeding capacity. The shortage of FCs is resulting in greater competition for limited capacity, which is driving increased rent. Labor and facility rent are the two most costly components of operating a fulfillment center.

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Putting the ROI in Robotics: Task-Specific Warehouse Automation

By Supply Chain Management

Robotic fulfillment solutions are a hot topic right now. There are numerous YouTube videos out there demonstrating how merchandise racks are autonomously moving about in fulfillment centers, on the backs of tiny robotic transport vehicles. These robots are taking merchandise racks to their human counterparts for individual items to be picked, packed, and shipped.

Large merchants like Amazon would have you thinking that nearly all their fulfillment centers operate with robots that pick, pack, and ship their merchandise orders. However, that is not the case.  Human hands are still picking, packing, and shipping most e-commerce merchandise orders in both large and small fulfillment centers across America.

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The Evolving E-Commerce Value Proposition

By Supply Chain Management

Online merchants, e-marketplaces,  parcel carriers, and technology advancements each impact the e-commerce value proposition. In simple terms, that value proposition is still based on an innovative service offering: one with multiple features and benefits that make e-commerce attractive to the consumer and drive purchasing behavior. Some of the primary components of that value proposition include:

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Micro Fulfillment: The Move to Same-Day and Next-Day Delivery

By Supply Chain Management

Amazon continues to drive change in the e-commerce arena, aggressively growing their next-day, Prime delivery initiative. Today, it is nearly impossible for most e-commerce merchants to offer the combination of free-shipping and next-day delivery to most of the continental US, without compromising profit using costly Express delivery services. However, by 2022, Amazon is on track to support affordable next-day delivery to most US addresses and, today, offers the largest on-demand, same-day delivery network, Amazon Flex, in North America.

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Understanding the Market Conditions Behind Inventory Shortages

By Supply Chain Management

Understanding the current market conditions sets your business up for growth. When market conditions surge in either direction, companies need to make sure they can keep up with trends and remain solvent in an evolving market. Inventory management remains crucial for both traditional and eCommerce businesses amid fluctuations in the economy and supply chains. A careful analysis of supply chain availability helps businesses predict and prevent inventory shortages during periods when supply does not meet the demands of consumers.

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Order Fulfillment Terminology & Fees

By Supply Chain Management

The order fulfillment process includes all of the steps a company takes between receiving a new order and delivering it to the customer. An effective order fulfillment strategy is key to ensuring impeccable client service, which builds a good brand reputation for your e-commerce business. About 38% of online customers say that a negative delivery experience will deter them from shopping at that online store again. To prevent such an adverse outcome for your online business, you must manage and implement key steps in the order fulfillment process. Here are some important order fulfillment terms and related pricing.

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Order Fulfillment: What It Is and Why Getting It Right Is Essential for Your Business

By Shipping, Supply Chain Management
Order fulfillment includes the entire process of receiving, processing, picking, packing and shipping orders to your customers. Without a good order fulfillment strategy in place, customers may never receive their product, or have the wrong items shipped. When either of these occurs, the likelihood of a customer choosing to continue using your company is slim. Understanding the processes and using them correctly for both in-house and e-commerce order fulfillment will help your business retain customers.

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