In the December 2018 issue of Social Selling News, Director of Marketing for a2b Fulfillment, Bryce McCuin, discusses the struggle to deliver goods in an Amazon World. Below is an excerpt of the article:
“There is no competing with Amazon,” states Bryce McCuin, director of marketing at a2b Fulfillment. That sobering thought nonetheless finds supply chain management (SCM) professionals in the direct selling channel sprinting to keep up with customer demands that seem to grow more demanding every day.
Fulfilling the perfect order with the most efficient use of resources and low-cost strategies is a balancing act for many organizations. Advancements in technology, e-commerce, globalization, and higher customer expectations are changing the rules all across the logistics and supply chain ecosystem.
“Getting orders out quickly with an incredible speed is now standard,” says McCuin. “It’s important for operations to be set up to move quickly but also to provide great service.”
Orders that are delivered quickly and accurately mean fewer customers canceling or returning shipments, and by doing so, companies can boost customer satisfaction. The bar is high: Best practice standards include a 48-hour dock-to-stock rate, 99 percent inventory and order accuracy, same-day fulfillment, and a 48-hour window for returns processing.
As in almost every field today, supply chain success depends on integrating technological platforms and using data to continually improve. “One of the most impactful things we’ve seen is the ability to use business intelligence in order to provide real data to our clients,” McCuin says. “They can see exactly how much inventory is available and where their shipments are going.” Business intelligence tools also offer the ability to see sales data and make projections, and pull information specific to the account for more visibility.
McCuin adds that the fundamentals of the business are still crucial and having a good order management and warehouse system in place is foundational. Learning from challenges and staying proactive are keys to remaining effective.
“There are always going to be learning curves because there are always new trends,” says McCuin. “Looking at new ways to automate is definitely going to be a trend we are going to continue to see whether that happens through robotics or other systems.”
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