There are several marketplaces for eCommerce sellers, but one of the largest in the game is Shopify. Why has Shopify snowballed? Its bulletproof no-code design allows sellers to set up a store, sell, accept payment, manage inventory, showcase product pages, and connect with partners.
Are you using Shopify and looking to transition your fulfillment to a third-party logistics provider? Yes, it might sound a bit intimidating, but we promise it’s easier than you think! Your Shopify inventory dashboard will match your logistics partner WMS inventory, returns will be seamless, and you can focus on your core business by leaving the logistics to a 3PL (cough, cough, Taylor).
Shopify x 3PL Partner
Just like Shopify, your 3PL is here to help your business grow. A logistics partner can help with fulfillment management, inventory control/ planning, transportation, and excellent parcel shipping rates. Utilizing outsourced logistics, you’ll have more time to launch new products, make some TikToks, expand your brand, and focus on your business goals.
Find a 3PL Who Loves a Shopify Integration
A solid 3PL will have a Shopify integration widget that enables sellers to manage their Shopify storefront, design, new products, sales, etc. but connect it to a 3PL to handle fulfillment and shipping. In addition, the integration will allow sellers to see real-time inventory info within the Shopify dashboard. So selling out products will never be an issue; it will also help you forecast future demand.
Here’s how it works, when orders are placed through Shopify, it will go straight into the 3PLs warehouse management system. Making order management simple because it’s automated, there’s no need to upload a spreadsheet, download, or even click the mouse. Once you set up the Shopify store and connect via EDI, orders will flow directly to the fulfillment center and will be processed. The advantage of partnering with a logistics company is that you have real people handling your inventory and business. You can call on your personal assigned rep, tech superuser team, operations managers, and even the COO. There’s no call center, no putting in a ticket, no waiting for support.
First things first, let’s define what it means to be nimble.
nim·ble | /?nimb?l/ | adjective
Quick and light in movement or action; agile.
It might not be a term you use in everyday jargon, but hey, it’s a great word, and it translates exceptionally to the eCommerce supply chain world. How? Well, nimbleness relates to how quickly an eCommerce business can adjust to ever-changing expectations in speed and delivery. To maintain customer expectations, stay competitive, and grow, a nimble supply chain must also react promptly to delays, changes, and unexpected consumer patterns.
In this riveting blog post, you will learn how critical it is for your supply chain to be nimble, what it means for your business, plus some strategies and best practices to improve your eCommerce supply chain.
What does it mean to have a nimble supply chain?
Having a nimble supply chain means how quickly and efficiently an eCommerce company can react to consumer trends and market changes. It also relates to the ability to forecast, maintain, and bounce back from unforeseen events. Here are some ways to create a nimble supply chain:
Optimize and improve logistics operations efficiently
Working with an amazing 3PL (cough, cough, Taylor)
Gain visibility into operations and real-time access data
Quickly implement the latest technology and automation
How to meet and exceed market demands
We’ve said market and consumer trends six times by now. But, for a good reason, one of the most significant benefits of having a nimble supply chain is that it enables you to consistently meet customer demand around fast, affordable shipping, despite fluctuations in order volume. To develop supply chain “nimbleness,” a company needs to consider different ways to guarantee customer satisfaction despite possible disruptions or sudden changes in the market. Here are some examples of staying on the cusp of consumer trends by having a nimble supply chain:
Integrating logistics automation and technology
Working with an amazing 3PL (cough, cough, Taylor)
Having a mix of parcel carriers
One essential part of running a successful eCommerce operation is finding ways to optimize logistics costs, including:
Warehousing and storage fees
Shipping + parcel costs
There are several ways you can optimize costs and keep your business nimble from sourcing products closer to home to reduce transportation costs to using an excellent 3PL partner like Taylor.
Get a 3PL partner
Cough, cough Taylor. But in all seriousness operating your own warehouse network, investing in technology, and improving operations is highly time-consuming and costly, and it doesn’t always directly tie to driving revenue. Taylor is a solutions-based third-party logistics provider that offers a full suite of supply chain services like fulfillment, packaging, kitting, FBA/FBM, transportation, drayage, and shipping. Partnering with #TeamTaylor can help you worry less about making your supply chain nimble, so you can focus more time on other initiatives, such as generating sales, product development, and marketing.
Noelle and Chris are chit-chatting on a bunch of different topics on this episode of Taylor Talk. Amazon prep services for FBA, the future of eCommerce, and helping feed the Cincinnati community with an excellent local nonprofit Last Mile Food Rescue. There’s also a new segment called “Corporate Chris,” where Chris breaks down his least favorite corporate email phrases. Want to be on an episode or have a topic you want our team to cover? Email us firstname.lastname@example.org. Listen now here!
Last Mile Food Rescue!
If you’re in the Cincinnati area, please look at the fantastic work Last Mile Food Rescue is doing to help out the community. Have 90 minutes, a car and a drive to make a change? Download our app and sign up to rescue perfectly good food from ending up in landfills and transport it to one of our nonprofit partners that fight food insecurity in our Greater Cincinnati community. Download the Last Mile app on iOS or Android and discover what happens when you go the mile. Last Mile Food Rescue Website.
This award recognizes outstanding executives whose accomplishments leverage supply chains for competitive advantage
Fort Atkinson, WI — March 17, 2021 — Supply & Demand Chain Executive, the only publication covering the entire global supply chain, announces the winners of its 2021 Pros to Know award.
This award recognizes outstanding executives whose accomplishments offer a roadmap for other leaders looking to leverage supply chain for competitive advantage. This year’s list includes individuals and teams from software and service providers, consultancies and academia, trucking and transportation firms, professional development agencies, sourcing and procurement divisions, and more, all who have helped supply chain clients and the supply chain community at large prepare to meet many of today’s—and tomorrow’s—challenges.
“While many companies have struggled to re-gain their footing as a result of COVID-19, this year’s Pros to Know winners stepped up to the plate to deliver innovative solutions and programs in a time of crisis and need. These winners collaborated, optimized, developed, educated and played a critical role in the survival and success of their company amid a global pandemic,” says Marina Mayer, Editor-in-Chief of Supply & Demand Chain Executive and Food Logistics. “I am honored to recognize these individuals and teams, and extend my utmost gratitude to everyone in the supply chain industry for their time, efforts and innovations to keep our nation’s supply chains afloat.”
Go to www.sdcexec.com to view the full list of all 2021 Pros to Know winners.
About Supply & Demand Chain Executive
Supply & Demand Chain Executive is the only supply chain publication covering the entire global supply chain, focusing on trucking, warehousing, packaging, procurement, risk management, professional development and more. Go to www.SDCExec.com.
At Taylor, we know your products have important places to be, like a child’s 5th birthday, signing the papers for a new car, running a marathon, or happy hour. We’re here to help make sure they get there, from getting your products to Whole Foods or Ralphs to creating multipacks so people can enjoy more of your brand. We help brands explode & we go where you need us.
We know it can be challenging to find a logistics partner to handle all of your brand’s needs. While a lot of partners can manage certain aspects, they can’t handle the others. What do we mean by this? Oftentimes you might have to outsource your transportation and shipping needs to one partner while doing your fulfillment and distribution at another. In the end, it can be difficult to have complete supply chain transparency when two or more companies are running your brand’s logistics.
What Is Supply Chain Visibility?
Supply chain visibility is the ability to track raw materials and components from origin suppliers and manufacturers through the organization’s manufacturing facilities to customers. This definition extends to include tracking goods from suppliers through to end customers (B2C or B2B) for retail operations.
How Can We Solve This Problem?
Today’s businesses rely on comprehensive and often multi-layered networks of vendors, suppliers, and customers, resulting in complex supply chains incorporating vast amounts of information from a range of sources. Effectively managing your networks, and therefore visibility is essential for an optimized supply chain. It would help if you had a partner that can handle your products from the ports in New Jersey to Ralphs’ shelves in California and everything in between. The between can be anything from relabeling cases, Amazon FBA/FBM, creating multi-packs of products, and POP in-store displays. Rest assured, you should have fast, efficient, and reliable delivery, as well as outstanding service, for you and your customers.
Look No Further
Taylor has been in business for 170+ years; they have altered their business to better suit customers’ needs throughout their extensive history. There’s a saying that goes, ” I know a thing or two because I’ve seen a thing or two,” and that’s deep-rooted in Taylor. From fortune 500 companies to small businesses and special projects, they’ve seen a lot of things come through their dispatch center, fulfillment warehouses, and brokerage team—no task too big or too small for a team within Taylor to tackle. They are a solutions-based company that prides itself on innovation, safety, and technology. They can cover whatever your needs are, eCommerce, LTL shipping, port-to-door services, SQF food-grade distribution, finding a new logo for your packaging, kitting time studies, and anything else your brand might need help with; they will be the expert, or they will find the expert.
The decision to change your third-party logistics provider (3PL) provider can be a time-sensitive process that requires a lot of consideration and planning. It can be an excellent move that will help grow and push your business forward. We’re covering everything you need to know for a seamless transition!
When is it time to switch?
Are your customers receiving damaged products? If your current provider is messing up orders in any capacity, this can significantly impact your reputation. We absolutely do not want that; it’s time to change!
Think about all that’s changed in the past couple of years; TikTok has taken over; consumers expect one-day delivery, and we can purchase anything from our phones. Can your 3PL keep up with the constant shift? Suppose your fulfillment provider hasn’t improved or expanded their technology, operations, or facilities since you started working with them. In that case, they might not be thinking ahead. It’s time to change!
Has your business significantly grown? It’s critical to find a team that will scale with your business. If your current 3PL can no longer handle the volume, it could be time to switch.
Do you feel like you have a reliable team that understands your specific business needs and will jump through hurdles for your business? You need that person you can text at any time of the day, even though they are in an entirely different time zone—a person who knows the ins-and-outs of your products, your brand, and your mission. A team that can collaborate to solve and issues that might arise. If you don’t have this kind of support system, it might be time to switch.
When should you make a change?
When changing providers, it’s wise to consider the timing of the transition. Many merchants search for a new provider to coincide with starting a new calendar or fiscal year. Ideally, switching during a quiet period operationally is best. It can also be helpful to transition to a new provider before adding a new product line or entering a new market. If your needs truly aren’t being met, then switch now!
At Taylor, we helped hundreds of brands throughout the past challenging year with capacity, resources, expertise, and solutions to better their business. In 2020, we remained agile, kept operations moving with a record volume of orders, and all while keeping our team safe. Specifically, Team Taylor:
Kept all fulfillment centers open and operating safely
There are several advantages companies can receive by outsourcing their supply chain management to a Third-Party Logistics (3PL) provider. As companies begin to grow, they may realize an in-house logistics team will lack the expertise needed to manage complex logistics operations cost-effectively. On the other hand, larger companies can find they don’t have the workforce required to handle a high shipment volume. A Deloitte study shows that 79% of businesses with highly efficient supply chains enjoy more significant than average revenues than others in their industries. Companies with such optimal supply chains have 3x faster cash-to-cash cycles.
Crafty businesses outsource supply chain management to professionals to gain several significant benefits and, thus, position their business for success. A trustworthy third-party logistics provider will take over the trouble of running your supply chain network, allowing you to:
Generate new ideas
Build better products/services
Strengthen customer relationships
Design and develop future strategies
What’s more — outsourcing to the right service provider not only allows you to focus on your core business, but you also enjoy the competitive advantage that comes with hiring supply chain management experts, including their access to resources, capabilities, technologies, skills, and networks. The following are the top advantages of partnering with a 3PL.
A 3PL’s network of transportation providers is a significant resource for any company with freight to move. Searching for proper equipment, insurance, and other qualifications can be a considerable undertaking—however, a 3PL vets their carrier network to include only qualified and reliable service providers. 3PLs can also leverage carrier relationships and volume discounts, which results in lower costs and faster service. Ultimately, choosing a 3PL allows businesses to benefit from capacity they would be hard-pressed to find in-house.
Save Time and Money
Outsourcing logistics saves a considerable amount of time and money for any organization. Using a 3PL can eliminate the necessity to invest in warehouse space, technology, transportation, and staff to execute supply chain processes. 3PLs also save time for their clients by handling day to day functions like booking, billing, and training; leaving companies ample time to focus on their core competencies.
Scalability and Flexibility
A benefit of using a 3PL provider is the ability to scale space, labor, and transportation according to inventory needs. Businesses with seasonal periods can enjoy stress-free transitions between industry ups and downs, having the ability to utilize more space and resources when needed. Using a 3PL provider allows your business to grow into new regions without barriers.
Businesses can have confidence knowing reliable and experienced professionals are meeting their supply chain needs. A 3PL can share vital information tied to regulations, the freight market, and industry insights. A 3PL will often work with the same receiver locations for multiple clients, allowing them to share information on receiving preferences. Understanding customer requirements and communicating them to carriers can make a massive difference in performance.
3PLs have the expertise to help navigate manufacturers through new security regulations and can provide counsel on best practices to improve security policy and procedures. In many cases, 3PLs can manage the implementation of a supply chain security program, from facility and asset security to security monitoring services and training.
Providing All Services Under One Roof
When all your freight, distribution, eCommerce, warehousing, etc. services are managed under one roof, it will save time and money, and probably give you comfort to know that everything is taken care of. Plus, when all logistics are connected, you as a business owner will have more control and better visibility, which means a smoother operation for your business. A solutions-based 3PL will have the labor, resources, infrastructure, and capital deployment to bring all the required services under one roof. Whether you need warehousing, value-added services, customs clearance, international freight forwarding, domestic transportation, or even IT-support, you can rely on a third-party logistics provider to take care of your business.
The value a 3PL provider can bring your business includes better rates, services, expertise, and a vast network of industry partnerships all along the supply chain. Many companies come to this understanding quickly and understand the benefits of outsourcing. Choosing the best 3PL, one that is well suited to your needs, will take a bit of effort upfront but will bring long-term benefits. A 3PL with core competencies that are the right fit will mean a long-term partner interested in generating growth for your business. If you are looking for help managing your logistics and supply chain, we would love to hear from you. Please send us a note to connect about how Taylor Logistics can help your company.
Omnichannel distribution is a multichannel approach taken by companies to give customers a way to purchase and receive orders from several sales channels with one-touch seamless integration. Omnichannel solutions provide seamless integration across all channels to provide a superior customer service experience. For example, giving consumers the flexibility to ship items from e-commerce sites to their homes or stores, which then creates supply chains that have strategic value, improving sales, and encouraging repeat purchases among consumers. Below are three beneficial omnichannel marketplace strategies in distribution and fulfillment.
In the omnichannel sphere, shipments from store locations are sometimes required to protect the quality of the customer experience. But every item that is shipped from a retail location depletes that store’s inventory and places additional strain on brick-and-mortar operations.
Omnichannel success begins by creating a unique view of stock across all stores and distribution centers. To satisfy customer needs, retailers must quickly deliver merchandise to customers—regardless of where those customers make their purchases.
Omnichannel return experiences require retailers to support returns at any location. So, regardless of where the order originated, you need a logistics strategy that allows your customers to return the merchandise at retail locations as well as distribution centers.
Over the past couple of weeks, our operations, IT, and superuser teams have been working vigorously to transition five distribution centers into e-commerce centers. This was a massive undertaking for our team because; e-commerce granted customers can break open cases, which was an entirely new process for us. Unlike a traditional brick in mortar stores that orders everything in cases, e-commerce customers like Amazon order everything in eaches, which means that we had to completely update every item in all five warehouses to handle both eaches and cases. Due to the different variables, our team also had to update all the quantities, volumes, weight, etc. to reflect the each or case. On October 12th, after a bunch of testing from our warehouse management system partner Zethcon our warehouses went live as e-commerce centers.
Systematically with this new change, our team was able to achieve:
Sending the ASNs to all customers no matter in which way they ordered in the UOMs that they want BOLs & packing lists are in the customer ordered UOM.
We are able to send a UPS tracking number with the order number to the customers that placed an order online.
We are able to pick all orders no matter the UOM and have it make sense to the picker.
Not for resale sticker communication to the picker when applicable for parcel orders.
Worldship integration with Zethcon’s WMS Synapse and more.
Our superuser team Scott Dowers & Nina Wilson exceeded all expectations by trial and error testing as well as SOP creation. Without help from their training program, the transition would not have gone so smoothly. Our EDI provider, Pinnacle, was also enormous as we had to re-write every single map. Not to mention, our operations Managers Randy Newman & Shaun Fehr, created packout lines that are running extremely efficiently.
One of our DC’s was able to ship out 175 parcel orders right after the implementation. Another special shout out to Jeffrey Godfrey & Jerod Brewer, who is leading the way for this implementation. Mitchell Blake & Tina Myers are fixing IC issues right on the spot, and with these changes, we see fewer and fewer errors. An outstanding effort from everyone on Team Taylor to get such a significant accomplishment completed across the entire network.
Is it possible to utilize your warehouse space by over 100%? A Taylor warehouse location in Monroe, Ohio has over 13,000 locations, capacity and pallets with nearly 570 staged inventory. This warehouse is solely dedicated to one customer with two different types of products (cans and bags). During the February facility utilization report printed on 2/13 Operations Manager Shaun Fehr found a shocking figure that the space utilization was 101.15%.
How is this possible? Due to the high demand of the customers products it was a high priority for our operations team to figure out how to add more inventory with limited space. They came to the conclusion to put two pallets into locations that would normally just have one pallet. The below chart shows capacity as 13,158 and total palettes as 13,309 with this new configuration we are able to store 151 more pallets of product.
We continue to refine our practices in order to produce seamless and efficient work for our customers. It is important to us to focus on reducing cost and increase service throughout the DC network for our business partners.