This means doing everything from massive shipments to micro-fulfillment, from high velocity to slow movers, ship from anywhere, fulfillment innovation, tailoring for channel and potentially per customer, automated sourcing, dynamic inventory management, creative postponement strategies at each stage, last mile optimization, and more ... and doing it all profitably.
In other words, successfully serving today’s consumer and business customers requires a supply chain that is personalized for each sector, channel and customer’s unique needs and demands, but doing it economically, efficiently and profitably. The variety and specificity of customer demands expand every day. This is not just about product personalization. It is about delivering products in the precise manner desired: at the desired time and place (such as just-in-time delivery to a busy urban construction site); in the desired packaging, prepared and packed in a specific way (such as floor-ready hanging merchandise, customer-specific purpose-built kits for use in an operating room or manufacturing plant, rainbow pallets for store delivery, and so forth); in the desired sequence of delivery (different components arriving as they are needed, in the sequence they are used); at the desired level of component/finished goods assembly (for optimal duty/tariff engineering and/or logistical optimization); with the desired documentation and precise customer- and location-specific labeling; using the right transportation carriers and routes; and offering the desired installation services when and where needed.
The list of dimensions of fulfillment personalization goes on and on, and grows every day.
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