Do You Understand Where You’re Losing Money on Shipping & Handling?

This title of this blog might sound naïve considering S&H’s high cost to direct-to-customer businesses and the time companies spend on discussing it. Let me give you two examples to show you maybe there is additional homework companies need to do before changing policies.

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Are Online Marketplaces Preying on Your Business?

In the past four weeks, I have presented at three conferences: MCM’s Operations Summit, Lett Direct’s Symposium and the Ability Commerce Symposium. While they had widely differing agendas in operations and marketing and systems, the attendees had one common strategic concern: How do we compete with online marketplaces in terms of breadth and price, time-to-customer, and free shipping? 

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How to Use Benchmarking to Improve Your Company’s Performance

At the heart of process improvement is benchmarking and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs).  Lord Kelvin, the British scientist said, “You can’t improve something you haven’t measured”.  Here are 5 things to consider in using benchmarking in your business to improve productivity, reduce cost and increase customer service.

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9 Mistakes to Avoid in Selecting Your Next ERP

Studies show that more than 50% of all ERP and OMS systems are not installed on time and within budget. A significant number of companies spend 8 to 12 months after go live adapting to the new system. What are some of the mistakes that lead to these outcomes? We all operate from our experiences. Many companies and key management have not selected an ERP or OMS before; or in a long time. Here are 9 mistakes to avoid to increase your chances of success.

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5 Ways Your Competitors Are Looking to Beat You This Season

Your competition isn't waiting for you to get caught up, in fact, they want to quickly gain a 5-multichannel-strategies.jpgcompetitive advantage over you this season.  Amazon and other large retailers keep making gains which puts more pressure on everyone else.  Customers buying habits are changing, and so are their expectations.  These five strategies are ones that we have seen clients become hyper-focused on most recently.  Don't let the competition pass you by, find out what others are working on to remain competitive. 

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7 Ways Outsourcing Call Center Services Can Help You Operate More Profitability

For many companies, staffing and managing an internal call center can be a challenging and costlyoutsourcing-call-center-companies.jpg part of direct to customer businesses (as much as 3% of net sales and more).  An alternative is outsourcing call center services in full, or some portion of your activities to qualified outsource call centers to support your growing business.  Please understand, most of our clients are invested in internal call centers.   However, we think there are cost effective and customer centric ways to use outsourcing.  But it’s important to perform the right level of due diligence to determine if using outsource call centers is the right choice for your business. 

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Warehouse Management System Benefits For Today's Operations

The supply chain has changed dramatically over the last 10 years in so many ways that it can be hard for some to keep up with.  Increases in freight and transportation have made these costs higher than distribution center labor in many businesses. The cost and quality of labor throughout your supply chain can be challenging.  One way to get ahead of this constantly changing landscape is using robust Warehouse Management Systems (WMS).  Whether you running an ecommerce site, retail chain  or are a manufacturer or distributor, these systems can bring increased controls to labor, inventory and transportation. 

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It’s All About Merchandise, Value Price and E-Commerce

Brick & mortar retailing had a disappointing year and holiday season.  We are witnessing a sea retail-shopping-holiday-results.jpgchange in consumer buying which we can learn from.  Shift to e-commerce and specialty store sales weighing heavily on department store results. First, let’s take stock of the announcements made in the past few weeks.

Hudson Bay Co., the Canadian department store giant which owns Saks Fifth Avenue and Lord & Taylor, suffered its worst stock decline in a year because of dismal holiday results. Same store sales declined 0.7% and lower than expected sales are projected through fiscal year ending Jan 2017. 

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Third Party Warehousing - How to Get the Most Out of Your Relationship

In assisting multichannel companies with deciding on whether to use third party warehousing, third party logistics (3PL) or contact center solutions, we have found that many companies have been able to grow their businesses profitably by outsourcing.  Our blog post, 10 Ways Companies Can Profit from Ecommerce Fulfillment Services, shows how many of our clients use third party warehousing advantageously. 

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5 Reasons Why Request for Proposals Are Crucial to Your ERP System Search and Selection

 Last week we sent a Request for Information (RFI) for budgetary pricing to three ERP system vendors that we felt best fit our client’s business. We laid out the schedule for how the client expected the system selection to proceed. This list of tasks included sending a Request for Proposal (RFP), analyzing the responses and on-site demonstrations of the software. For some context, the client has sales of $13 million and a budget of $500,000 to implement.

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