10 Supply Chain Strategies for eCommerce Businesses

The Chinese military strategist, Sun Tzu said, “Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat.”  

How does this apply to modern day fulfillment and Supply Chain?  Many fulfillment centers spend much of their time implementing reactive tactics without ever thinking through the strategy of what they are trying to achieve. The terms tactic and strategy are often confused and incorrectly used interchangeably.

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10 Tips to Manage Labor More Effectively in Your Supply Chain Logistics

Even with technology advancements and headlines alluding to robot-operated warehouses, most fulfillment centers and warehouses rely on manual labor. In fact, only the largest companies employ and justify advanced automation. Despite the cost prohibitiveness of automation for many companies, manual labor is not cheap, either.

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Warehouse Inventory Management During an E-Commerce Warehouse Relocation

The biggest challenge you’ll face in relocating a warehouse is disruption to your business. If you are fully invested in inventory at an existing 3PL or your internal facility, how will you transfer inventory to start up the new facility without having to shut down for days or even weeks?

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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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Using 3PL Solutions for a Successful Peak Season

Getting the most from your third party logistics (3PL) provider this peak season starts with your forecasting accuracy. In order for you to get the most from 3PL solutions, you need to have established measurable service levels that are agreed to by both parties as part of your agreement. Establishing these service levels, and having the 3PL vendor meet them requires that you supply realistic forecasts for calls and order volumes by day, by week a month in advance so that the vendor can plan staffing accordingly.

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Three Things You Can Do Before This Holiday Season

I was talking to a client and he confessed that time had slipped away from them in implementing a full warehouse assessment.  As he and I were creatively thinking what he can do in the couple months before this Holiday Season, here are three things everyone can do to improve Holiday season productivity.

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Warehouse Improvements to Implement Before Holiday Season

Believe it or not, there is still a window of opportunity to make sure you are ready for this Holiday Season. Just think back to last year's peak season for a moment. Can you and your business afford to have Round 2 (and for some of you it may be Round 10 or 12) of the issues that you faced in past peak seasons? You may have completed a brief post Holiday Season review of what worked and what needs to change in your operations. Dust off that document and review with management the outlined issues that occurred last year and the ones that still need to be addressed. This should be done before any other areas are assessed and tackled.

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Conducting Warehouse Assessment During Holiday Season

Industry Question: I have been trying to get permission from my boss to get some outside help in conducting a warehouse assessment of my fulfillment operation. I really to make sure I am prepared for the “Christmas Crush”. Last year was almost a train wreck, and I am very worried about this coming season. Last week I received approval to hire a consultant for the warehouse assessment, but it’s already the beginning of November. I wanted to do this back in July. Is it too late to do the warehouse assessment? What should I do?

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Developing a Warehouse Move Plan

Recently we had to assist a company that was in the midst of a warehouse move, but had failed to properly plan. The facility and location was selected, and the new warehouse facility is located roughly 825 miles from their current DC. Along the way, they reaslized they had forgotten about many aspects.   What seems like a simple concept or moving from one facility to another can become a daunting task in a hurry. 

Another Idea: Read Key Warehouse Layout and Design Principles 

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Returns Processing - Handle Returns With Care

Analyze this: In deciding whether to shop direct or retail, 81% of consumers state that “ease of returns” as an important to their decision, according to a past survey by Harris Interactive for Newgistics. The numbers are even more telling after a return is made - 95% of customers are likely to shop with an online merchant again if the return process is convenient. What that says to marketers is that even if a customer returns a purchase, the experience can still be a positive one in terms of instilling loyalty.

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