F. Curtis Barry & Company Blog

Don't Count Out Big Retail in the Omnichannel Rise

Amazon opened its first brick and mortar campus store at Perdue University last week. It is also reportedly in talks with retailers like Radio Shack to give it a more omnichannel presence. One online publication declared this move would be “another nail in the coffin for malls.” Really? That’s a pretty big leap!

My bet is on big retail and big-box stores, not Amazon. Walmart, Macy’s and Kohl’s, to name a few, recognize that the new wave of omnichannel retailing is a “do or die” proposition. If you read retail companies’ annual reports, you get an inkling of how high they see the stakes, their investments in omnichannel retail and their use of social networking.

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Topics: Omnichannel Retail

Multiple DCs May Be Best Way to Reduce Shipping Costs and Transit Times

Some days I feel we’re caught between the proverbial “rock and a hard place”.  Carriers regularly as clockwork increase their charges.  The competition is absorbing more of the shipping costs, if not giving away “free shipping”.  The customers are expecting more from every business.  Customers have that point, click and deliver mentality.  It’s not going to end.  Consider hiring an advisor or consultant that has this experience to help you. The cost of shipping and the time to get the package to the customer affects many customer’s decisions to buy from your business.  As these trends continue, multiple distribution centers may be the only way to control and reduce these problems.

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Topics: Reduce Shipping Costs, reduce tranist times, fulfillment strategies

The 2 Cent Refund Check - What's the Real Cost?

As God is my judge, this is a true story.  An example I challenge the reader to find in their business and eradicate.

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Topics: systems assessment, assessing your system

Operations Assessment: Getting Ready for Holiday 2015

You’ve barely finished shipping Fall and Holiday, but it’s time to assess your operations performance for 2014 and start planning for peak season 2015.  What are the objectives you and your management team have set for improving operations in 2015?  Here are 8 steps for determining what changes will most benefit your operation.  What are the second tier projects for 2016 consideration?

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Topics: operations assessment, warehouse consultants, fulfillment consultants

Plan for Christmas 2015 - Conduct a Warehouse Assessment Now!

For many multichannel businesses, life doesn’t slow down just because it’s January.  A growing gift card business pushes shipments even after Christmas, and now is when efficiently processing returns is critical.  Now is also the time to be looking at where bottlenecks and other issues occurred in the warehouse in order to make improvements. 

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Topics: warehouse consulting services, warehouse assessment, operations assessment, warehouse audit, evaluating warehouse during peak season

How Well Did You Manage One of Your Company's Largest Assets?

Inventory.  As you assess your company’s 2014 performance, be sure to include an objective evaluation of how well you planned and managed it this year?  Was it anywhere close to being optimal (i.e.  acceptable under or overstock levels)?  Did the management of inventory positively service your customer and gain the sale? 

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Topics: Inventory Management, inventory management system, inventory strategies, inventory liquidation strategies, inventory best practices

Can You Go Another Year Without Addressing Your Systems Cabailities?

For many multichannel retailers, this past holiday season brought about many challenges, the least of which were systems challenges.  The system challenges certainly impact the overall business flow and processes, but more importantly they negatively affect the customer, company productivity and your company’s profitability. 

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Topics: order management systems, order management system, order management solution

How Can We Complement the Skills of Your IT Department?

Since 1983 F. Curtis Barry & Company (FCBCO) has focused on assisting companies with maximizing their internally-developed order management systems through enhancements. We assist with internal development projects, as well as system selection and project manage the implementation of commercially available order management systems when the internal IT staff did not have the bandwidth to do so.  Here are some examples:

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Topics: order management systems, order management system assessment, order management system, order management system implementation

How to Serve Customers Better, Making Omni-channel Retailing Profitable

Customer expectations are dictating changes in how they shop from companies, whether you are a retailer, wholesaler or manufacturer. In turn, retail companies are responding with new strategies to present advertising offers, make the sale, and serve the customer. In addition to shopping in-store, customer orders can come from e-Commerce sites, call centers, in-store kiosks, tablets, smart phones, laptops, etc. The order fulfillment options include shipping customer orders to stores for customer pick-up, shipping orders from stores or fulfillment centers, and drop shipping to customer homes. Providing a convenient shopping experience for an increasingly time-starved customer may be the difference between making a sale or a customer giving the sale to a competitor.

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How Do Your Inventory Turns Compare?

Often times we meet with multichannel companies that don’t have reporting that accurately reflects the inventory turns, or they debate how significant this KPI is, and the need to analyze turns. By taking a financial view of inventory turns, companies can manage the inventory asset even better, which in turn leads to stronger profitability. Larger retail and multichannel businesses manage turns tightly in order to remain competitive and drive profit margins. Companies must bear in mind that on the balance sheet, inventory is typically one of the largest assets.

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