World Class E-Commerce Fulfillment Design Principles (Infographic)

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E-Commerce is the fastest growing avenue for doing business anywhere.  It has been for many years and it will be for many years to come.

It is certainly a challenge to establish the sales, marketing, merchandising and transactional infrastructure to offer an efficient and effective E-Commerce solution to your customers.

At the core of the Supply Chain an enormous challenge is to have a highly competitive and compelling E-Commerce Fulfillment solution.  So what are the key principles that you must have in place to design, construct and deliver a leading E-Commerce Fulfillment solution?

Continue reading “World Class E-Commerce Fulfillment Design Principles (Infographic)”

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Get Ready for Holiday Now … Make It Boring (From A Supply Chain Perspective)!

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The 2016 Holiday season finished recently.  And the 2017 Holiday season may seem far away.  But in the area of E-Commerce Fulfillment it will be here before you know it.  Now is the time to begin implementing the improvements and strategies you need to make this coming Holiday season more successful than last year.

Having gone through the ups and downs and stresses of several Retail Holiday seasons myself, one January I gave this direction to my team.  For the upcoming Holiday our theme was that we were going to have a BORING Holiday season … from a Supply Chain perspective.

Continue reading “Get Ready for Holiday Now … Make It Boring (From A Supply Chain Perspective)!”

What are the Supply Chain Impacts of Amazon’s Whole Foods Acquisition?

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Blog post provided by http://argentus.com.  Argentus is a boutique recruitment firm focused on Supply Chain and Procurement.

Big news out of the grocery retail world as Amazon has announced its acquisition of major organic foods retailer Whole Foods Market – for an eye-popping $13.7 billion sale price that doesn’t look so massive given Amazon’s $136 billion sales volume in 2016.

Analysts across the retail industry are talking about the huge implications of this sale for a retail industry that many say is in the middle of a major meltdown, in part owing to Amazon’s massive growth in the eCommerce space. This foray into the grocery business is a big challenge to companies like Target, Wal-Mart, and others, and also a sign that reports of brick and mortar retail’s demise might be greatly exaggerated.

Continue reading “What are the Supply Chain Impacts of Amazon’s Whole Foods Acquisition?”

E-Commerce Fulfillment (Part 2) – Move The Material To The People, Not The Other Way Around!

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“Here Come The Bots!”

Wow!  This was the headline caption on the presentation I was about to see.  I had just joined the company.  I had just spent the last few years in Retail.  I had done a lot of research on how to improve efficiencies and productivity in Online/E-Commerce Fulfillment Distribution Centres.  And I had lived through the agonizing process and resource challenges of fulfilling E-Commerce orders during the Holiday season, which is far and away the busiest time of the year in Retail.

So I was very intrigued to see the strategy the company was about to embark on with this presentation.  From experience I knew that having operators manually pushing carts up and down the aisles of vast warehouses was inefficient and wasteful in most every way.  I had been working on plans to improve this and I certainly had my own point of view.

At it’s core I knew that the paradigm had to be one of moving the material TO your employees, not moving your employees to the material.  But what I saw next fell far short of what I hoped to see.

Continue reading “E-Commerce Fulfillment (Part 2) – Move The Material To The People, Not The Other Way Around!”

Omni-channel vs Multi-channel: How many E-Commerce Fulfillment Solutions do you have?

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“Omnichannel” is certainly the prevalent phrase in the E-Commerce arena.  The expectation in an Omnichannel world is that a customer can order what they want, when they want, on whatever device they want, and have it delivered how they want.

The physical delivery part of the Omnichannel expectation can be very elusive.  Many companies claim that they are Omnichannel service providers.  But are they really?

How many E-Commerce Fulfillment options are there?  And how many do you provide in your company?

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Competing against Amazon? You Need A Blue Ocean Strategy!

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Amazon is far and away the leader in the E-C0mmerce space.  Their growth continues at an exceptional pace.  And they continue to expand their products, services, and capabilities.  In short they continue to press their advantage and make it difficult for anyone else to compete with them.

But if you are in the E-Commerce space that is your reality.  Amazon is the biggest shark in the room.  So how do you compete in the face of such an overwhelming adversary?

One technique is to consider creating your own Blue Ocean Strategy!  If you can define dramatically different space in which to do business you may be able to keep this shark, and others, at bay (at least for a period of time).

Continue reading “Competing against Amazon? You Need A Blue Ocean Strategy!”

E-Commerce Fulfillment (Part 1) – Optimize Your Warehouse Storage Locations

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“We just spent several millions of dollars on a new Warehouse Management System for our E-Commerce Online Distribution Centre.  We do not need to spend any more money on our Supply Chain.” That sounded very intriguing.

The E-Commerce business anticipated 20-30% year to year growth. I could only interpret, having just joined the company, that all of the steps and planning needed had been taken.  We had to ensure that the Distribution Centre could handle Holiday volumes, especially over the Black Friday/Cyber Monday period.

However imagine my surprise when I went to the Online Distribution Centre.  All I saw was a very large warehouse with nothing but racks and shelving as far as the eye could see.  Employees were pushing carts up and down aisles, across the entire warehouse.  They were trying to find each of the products required to fill a particular customer order. The company had just invested in an expensive Warehouse Management System.

Yet  no time or money had been spent on process optimization, order fulfillment cycle time reduction,  cost reduction, or peak capacity load management.

We were in for a hectic Holiday season, at best! Continue reading “E-Commerce Fulfillment (Part 1) – Optimize Your Warehouse Storage Locations”