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.
It’s important for our business to invest renewable energy technologies and sustainability in all aspects of our logistics business. Importantly, when using road transport, we plan each journey to establish the most efficient route so that we can reduce the number of miles traveled and avoid empty trucks on the road. Taylor has implemented a Green Logistics program for several years; by doing so, our team reduces fossil fuel consumption and carbon emissions by:
Until electric and other more sustainable vehicle options, route optimization is one of the best ways to reduce the environmental impact of transportation and distribution. Artificial intelligence can work with GPS devices to optimize local, national, and global shipping routes. Advanced analytics update routes in real-time, to take account of congestion and other issues.
Simplifying Supply Chain Processes
Supply chains can be improved through significant changes, but it’s more common to see results through small, iterative improvements. Useful analytics and reporting combine with machine learning to continually improve processes throughout the supply chain. Every change that reduces waste speeds up delivery or enhances quality makes an incremental improvement to sustainability.
Monitoring Existing Environmental Risks
Climate change and other environmental factors already impact many supply chains. Issues such as wildfires in California, rising sea levels, water scarcity, and lower agricultural yields have a profound impact on the efficiency, quality, and speed of the supply chain. Supply chain technology helps to predict these risks and allows supply chain managers to mitigate their impact and put contingency plans in place.
According to the National Retail Federation (NRF), more than 185 million people are expected to shop over the five-day Thanksgiving weekend. This time can be a stressful time for retailers and the transportation industry, and the days between Black Friday and Cyber Monday are typically the peak period of the rush. Massive volumes of e-commerce purchases are putting more and more pressure on business and logistics managers each year. Whether your business manages your supply chain in-house or uses a 3PL partner, supply chain planning in peak seasons like this requires the use of supply chain industry best practices.
The Origin of Black Friday
The term “Black Friday” was first associated with financial crisis and shopping sales. Jim Fisk and Jay Gould, two wall street financiers, bought a significant amount of US gold in the hope of the overall price soaring and turned to be able to sell it for massive profits. On Friday, September 24, 1869, in what became referred to as “Black Friday,” the US gold marked Crash and Fisk, and Gould’s actions left Wall Street barons bankrupt. In the later years, the post-thanksgiving period became associated with the name.
Although this is the origin story, there is one black Friday tale that also attributes to its name. When stores recorded their accounting details, they noted profits in black and losses in red. The story goes that many shops were “in the red” throughout most of the year. Still, they later “went into the black” the day after Thanksgiving when shoppers bought a significant amount of discounted merchandise for the holiday presents.
Supply Chain Best Practices for Holiday Shopping
Use your 3PL’s Value- Added Services
Black Friday and Cyber Monday are the times of year that your third party logistics provider will become an extra benefit to your business. Using value-added services such as kitting and packaging to prepare high-demand items ready to go, and kit pre-package many of them in preparation for holiday shoppers. A 3PL can typically also provide temporary storage overflow inventory for the peak seasons.
Take Care of Your Employees.
The holiday season is the worse time to lose employees. Due to to the high-stress environment of a warehouse or fulfillment center and the longer holiday hours, this time of year is at high-risk for employee turnover. This is not a time to slack on your promise to company culture. Try and keep the work environment as light as possible and maintain open communication by having conversations with employees to make sure they feel appreciated during such a critical time for logistics.
Peak season is not the time of year when your system can go down; all systems must be running up to speed. During the Black Friday/Cyber Monday period, your order management, distribution, allocation, replenishment, and financial systems will be subject to a level of transactional activity that can be many orders of magnitude higher than ever before.
Employee training throughout the year is critical so that they can jump into whatever role might be the most in-demand during the holiday peak season. Not only does routine training empower your workforce, but it also improves team morale.
Focus on Customer Experience
While optimizing supply chain efficiency with standardized processes and automation, supply chain professionals should focus on the customer experience. Customers gain trust in businesses that can handle the busiest of shopping days.
Statistics/ Trends According to NRF
People ages 18-24, 88% t say they are likely to shop and particularly enjoy the social aspect. Similarly, 84% of those ages 25-34 plan to shop. That compares with 69% of holiday shoppers overall.
Of those planning to shop, there is an almost even split of people who plan to start their shopping in-store 47% compared with those who plan to start online 41%. Those under 25 are even more likely to say they expect to start shopping in-store 52%.
The top reasons consumers are planning to shop include:
65% The deals are too good to pass up
22% It’s when they like to start their holiday shopping
Kitting is a standard value-added service offered by most third-party logistics companies. However, kitting is most commonly used in the e-commerce space; therefore, those outside the industry most likely are unfamiliar with kitting. Our team created this guide to help you better understand fulfillment kitting services, best practices, and how it applies to your supply chain.
What is kitting?
Defined, kitting is a service that combines various single items into one unit for sale, such as a subscription box containing multiple items. It is a beneficial eCommerce merchandising tool because it enables e-retailers to do more with the items in their inventory. Elaborate kits can include up to 20 different products, with the capabilities of a great warehouse management system it can accurately manage your inventory, as products morph from units to kits. Here are some different types of products that are typically kitted and assembled:
Subscription Box Programs
Benefits of Kitting?
Kitting services provide companies with many benefits such as a reduced number of purchase orders, decreased management costs, better utilization of space, and more rapid response to customer orders. The following items are additional benefits to kitting fulfillment services:
You can’t detour around the numbers — our nation is facing a significant truck driver shortage. Worries about future shipping capacity have driven beyond the desks of industry experts and into the minds of supply chain professionals everywhere. Due to this problem, dispatcher-driver relationships are becoming increasingly difficult, but what can be done to address this? Our experts came up with several tips to help out your fleet communication.
Know Your Drivers
Getting to know your drivers is the key to maintaining a great relationship. With the high stress of a dispatcher, phone ringings, tons of emails all needing your attention, it’s hard to stay calm. However, if you calmly help the driver when they need you, they will respect you and help you out in return.
Transparency is vital when communicating with your drivers. No matter the situation, drivers appreciate it if you are forthcoming about the situation. Avoiding the main point will take up drivers’ time. Drivers will understand and respect your honesty about finding a mutually beneficial solution. Not only is it essential to be transparent with the drivers but also your colleagues. Sharing experiences can help problem solve and can prevent undesired situations from occurring.
Don’t Rush Your Decisions
Problems are likely to occur in the transportation world; it’s essential to draw solutions that will ensure a good outcome. Drivers and customers expect answers promptly; don’t rush your decisions; instead, weigh out the pros and cons of each option.
It’s crucial to plan your driver’s start times and routes before each day. Not only is the driver’s schedule key, but make sure to plan for various weather conditions is also essential.
Change in consumer habits can lead to disruption, and if a company hasn’t planned, they could suffer a potential loss in sales. Let’s begin by unwrapping a few key variables for planning your supply chain for the busy holiday season.
At Taylor, it is our mission to exceed customer expectations by diligently working harder, smarter and longer than any logistics company while ethically serving our employees, our carrier base, the environment, and the motoring public. As a service provider, our most crucial goal is to provide the highest level of service for our customers and our customer’s customers. With thousands of other logistics company in a very competitive industry, customer service is the nucleus for how we conduct our business.
The foundation for excellent customer service is relationships. One of the most valuable relationships as a third party logistics company is the relationship we build with our carrier base. Without a go-to contact base comprised of best in class carriers, it would be impossible to meet delivery schedules, keep up with customers volume, and stick to rate benchmarks. We also leverage our transportation management system (TMS) to optimize carrier loads and reduce costs across truckload and less than truckload.
Carrier relationships are not only important on the brokerage side, but it is also crucial at our distribution centers. Our warehouse managers use data to improve loading dock visibility, coordinate live and staged trailers, and manage docking time to enhance the efficiency of our carriers and shippers.
Another essential aspect of developing a successful carrier relationship is communication and feedback. Open discussion based on facts builds trust, integrity, and respect. Understanding and respecting the value that each party brings to the relationship makes the relationship grow even stronger. In a great partnership, carriers will have the opportunity to run their business more smoothly, and shippers will have the power of data to achieve higher levels of efficiency in their operations all while reducing costs.
Working in a warehouse at times can be repetitive, demanding,
and labor-intensive. How do you keep warehouse staff engaged
and motivated in such an environment? One of the most important resources is a
motivated team. How staff are treated and how they value the company has direct
impact on our overall success and competitive advantage. With our warehouse
team being such a critical part of the company Operations Manager Randy Newman
in Bellevue, Nebraska came up with a creative and innovative way to keep our
love a little friendly competition? Internal rivalry is an effective way to
ignite motivation as well as boost performance and productivity. To avoid
stress and hostility, great managers must know effective ways to help
competition benefit the workplace. Randy has successfully implemented a friendly
competition that has our warehouse staff excited and motivated for work each
day. He came up with a monthly awards system that are given out to warehouse
staff. Awards such as monthly picking winner, receiving winner, putaway winner,
loading winner, and most improved. These awards are based off
of three different criteria accuracy, efficiency, and teamwork. It’s not all
about who gets the job done fist but who does it with these three things in
mind. It’s human nature to thrive on success. We simply love it when we meet a
target because it’s proof of our hard work and achievements. All awards are
complete with bragging rights along with a WWE style belt that can be worn for the
shift or simply held for a picture to be added to our warehouse board.
Since the implementation of Randy’s award system, we have had a great response from both warehouse staff and management. Healthy contest has made the team stronger than ever. Even though the awards are given out individually it’s teamwork that makes them possible. All in all, the awards have encouraged team members to use the competition as an opportunity for personal growth, to learn from each month’s winners, and to be more motivated. It’s creative ideas like Randy’s that are what makes Taylor’s workplace an environment for all to succeed.