At the heart of everything omnichannel is inventory. The customer needs to be able to get the merchandise they want, when they want it, and through their channel of choice. There has to be inventory visibility across channels, so stores, warehouses and distribution centers can see real-time inventory levels as part of the order fulfillment process. And finally, in order to actually fulfill orders in a timely and efficient manner, inventory needs to be shared across channels.
There's a glaring gap in today's omnichannel world. Or perhaps it's best described as a blind spot. In either case, as manufacturers, retailers and 3PLs invest millions of dollars to provide a truly seamless, fully integrated buying experience, many continue to overlook the significant costs and complexities of the "final mile" between DC and the consumer's front porch.
Supply chain execution convergence is a hot topic these days. The need for end-to-end visibility and solutions that proactively enable planning and the ability to react to the unavoidable disruptions is paramount. Organizations need to evaluate their overall supply chain approach and to consider how supply chain execution convergence can get them to the next level.
This past June, the largest overnight delivery carriers, FedEx and UPS, announced that they would apply dimensional weight pricing to all shipments, effective January 2015. It is expected that shipping costs will increase 20 percent to 30 percent and affect over 70 percent of all shipments. What shippers are truly affected by the new pricing model? What can be done to avoid the cost increase?
You're trying to do everything right to lure in online shoppers: You offer free shipping. Customers can return merchandise to a retail location. You even offer free returns through the mail. But this freedom for the customer can mean a lot of headaches and cost for you.
Today's consumer is more informed than ever about the products they are buying. This includes product attributes and information, advantages, limitations, and competitive pricing, among others. The notion of the informed consumer has also taken on a new meaning lately. Namely, consumers care where the products come from, and how it is made.
Three stages are commonly used to categorize an organization's maturity in their use of business intelligence and analytics technologies: Descriptive, or what happened in the past? Predictive, or what will (probably) happen in the future? Prescriptive, or what should we do to change the future?
The definition of transportation management systems (TMS) continues to evolve. In the early days of TMS solutions, the primary goal was to manage truck-based freight. Over time, point solutions were developed to support particular modes for particular industries such as ocean and airfreight.