Stage Stores, which operates 880 small-town department stores under such names as Beall's and Peebles, has learned the value of having products delivered floor ready. Tim Duvic, vice president of distribution, explains how the company educates its suppliers on packaging and preparing orders for fast processing on receipt.
“There are a lot of hands involved in every single order we place, prior to those orders arriving at my DC,” says Duvic, who also manages the company’s Ohio DC. He notes that upstream merchants, vendors and carriers all touch these orders, “so it is really important that they understand how to prepare orders in a way that will allow us to move it through efficiently.” How an order is packaged, he notes, has big impact on how quickly it can be processed. “If it is packaged in a cross-dock manner, we can move it through a lot faster than if we have to open every box and touch every piece.”
Stage Stores spells out in its routing guide how it wants vendors to prepare product so that it is floor ready, he says. This includes having clothes on a hanger and ensuring that both hanging apparel and boxed products are ticketed accurately. “We have to be sure that when we pass something through our facility to the stores, that box contains what the label says.”
The company also has a vendor compliance department that oversees and invests in supplier training. “We are proactive in educating merchants and suppliers on what we need in order to be most successful,” Duvic says. “Every executive on my team has something in their objectives tied to merchant training, so we really have everyone focused on it. There is really not one single thing that we do that makes us successful. It is a combination of all our training efforts throughout the organization that helps us take time and cost out of the supply chain.”