Inside Amazon Project Zero!

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Amazon Project Zero article and permission to publish here provided by Angelo Chongco.

Counterfeiters can cause a lot of damage to your Amazon business. They can undercut your prices, skimming valuable profit from your listings. And even worse, they can really tarnish your reputation, discouraging customers from trusting you.  

Amazon is aware it has a counterfeit problem. The eCommerce giant has faced many lawsuits from brands saying that it is not doing enough to fight copycats in the marketplace. 

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Consolidate Orders Online and Stop the Senseless Waste Now!

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During the pandemic more people have been shopping online than ever before. It stands to reason that with lockdowns in place and many physical stores being closed, that ECommerce ordering and shipping is a great alternative to face to face shopping. And customers typically except sellers to consolidate orders they place.

Along with online shopping the never ending push for fast delivery has continued unabated, whether it’s really necessary or not.

The result of this however is that more and more online orders are being fulfilled and delivered piecemeal. An order of 3 or more items more often than not results in the delivery of 3 separate packages. There is no focus to consolidate orders at all. It’s insane.

Unless there is an urgent need for a specific item companies should be consolidating their items in fewer packages and avoiding all of this waste.

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5 E-Commerce Order Fulfillment Choices! (Infographic)

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E-Commerce order fulfillment article by Dona Dimaculangan of 3P Logistics at  https://www.3p-logistics.co.uk/.

Businesses have long since entered the E-Commerce marketplace. But how do you physically fulfill all of those online orders?

The age of technology and innovation has made E-Commerce order fulfillment business processes and solutions so readily available that it has become highly competitive.   This competition is especially apparent in the area of E-Commerce  Third-Party Logistics (3PLs).

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Understanding and Preventing Retail Cyber Attacks!

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Unchaining Change Leadership

Retail cyber attacks article and permission to publish here provided by Susan Melony.

Cyber security is one of the most significant issues of modern times. As technology has grown and evolved at such a rapid pace in recent years and the world has shifted into digital and virtual spaces, new threats and dangers have emerged, with literally tens of millions of cyber attacks happening every single day, all over the globe.

In response, cyber security measures have been developed to help keep up with the hackers and virus-makers, aimed at defending individuals and enterprises alike from having their data stolen, their accounts hacked, their devices infected, and their businesses brought to a grinding halt.

These measures are absolutely critical in all walks of life, including in the retail sector.

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Seasoned Leadership in Action™ – An Interview with Danny Wang, VP at Canada Goose!

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At Supply Chain Game Changer we believe in sharing experiences and expertise from people in every industry and from across the globe.  As such we have introduced our “Seasoned Leadership in Action™” Interview series. This interview is with Danny Wang, Vice President of Sourcing and Procurement at Canada Goose.

I first met Danny when we were both at Celestica. We worked in the Commodity Management organization, responsible for Strategic Sourcing and Procurement.

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The State of the Drone Delivery Market! Mainstream or Novelty?

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In 2013 I saw an episode on 60 Minutes showcasing Amazon, Jeff Bezos, and Amazon’s new paradigm of home delivery by drone.

It was fascinating. A drone flew out of the Amazon Distribution Centre directly to a residential home dropped off a package on the ground, and took off while the home owner came out to pick up their package.

Now almost 10 years later we thought it timely to check on the state of the drone delivery market.

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Top ECommerce Order Fulfillment Challenges!

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Order fulfillment challenges article and permission to publish here provided by Catherine Park.

If you run an online business, you definitely know that managing it involves many moving parts. Ecommerce order fulfillment is among these moving parts that most eCommerce retailers overlook. Your profitability, customer experience, and overall business growth suffer without effective fulfillment.

Interestingly, despite simplified order fulfillment, most online store owners still struggle with several challenges.

Outlined below are common fulfillment obstacles faced by online businesses and their solutions.

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Brand Protection – The Definitive Role of the Supply Chain!

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In this age of social media it is amazing how powerful that “likes” and “dislikes” and comments are to any single Brand.  Marketing departments generally know this all too well and they spend a lot of time and money in promoting, protecting and preserving their Brands.

But the responsibility of managing and protecting your Brand lies not only with Marketing.  The Supply Chain has an absolutely central, and pivotal, role that impacts the Brand as much as any other function in your company.

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The Journey of One Banana! A Supply Chain in Motion! (Infographic)

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Banana article originally created and published and permission to publish provided by Sam Jenks at http://www.kodiakrating.com  

A few days ago I chatted with my brother on the telephone.

In the midst of our conversation, I could hear that he was chopping up something on a cutting board.

“What are you cooking,” I asked him.

“I’m making a banana smoothie. I ordered groceries the other day and had them delivered through Amazon Fresh. I was a complete idiot and forgot to double-check the order. So, instead of 4 bananas, I got 4 bundles of bananas.”

My instant thought was:

What an idiot. But, he’s my brother, and my older brother at that. So, I have a tendency to become rather critical of his oversights and misdoings.

After I got past my initial lapse of petty brotherly “love”, another thought hit me.

These are awesome times to be a consumer.

I mean, think about it. My brother, sitting in the comfort of his own home, was able to order his groceries and have them delivered directly to his front door. One hundred percent of the transaction was complete by the time the groceries arrived, and he didn’t even need to take a single step outside of his hallway.

The advancements and influences of eCommerce and online shopping have reshaped consumerism from the bottom up.

 
 

Comfort and convenience were in no shortage, during my brother’s shopping experience.

Realizing the lack of effort my brother had to exert in order to receive his food, began the engine to a frantic thought process. After doing a few barrel rolls, it finally landed on stable ground.

“Think about the journey the banana — you’re chopping up — took to your door!” I exclaimed.

The complexity of planning, transportation, collaboration, time and labor that went into the supply chain of that banana — being severed on my brother’s cutting board — stopped me in my tracks. I suddenly felt like a very small cog turning within a very giant wheel. It was a moment of clarity.

It felt like a moment I was required to share…

This is: The Journey of your Banana: A Supply Chain in Motion.

Farming

The global banana supply chain is a complicated one, dependent on multiple moving parts and the collaboration of multiple parties. There are resource-consuming elements required such as refrigeration, ripening centers, proper transportation and distribution centers.

But, without the initial farming/production of the banana, the rest of the supply chain would be redundant.

The majority of banana export comes from 3 countries, which top the list for 2016: Ecuador, Guatemala and Costa Rica. Two other countries that produce a notable amount of bananas are Brazil and India. However, these countries keep the majority of their yield for domestic consumption.

 
Banana

In fact, only 15–20% of banana plants produced, worldwide, end up traded in the global market. Of the banana fruit traded globally, it’s worthy to note that the western world is most accustomed to Cavendish banana. This is our normal, yellow banana (fao.org 2015). Most likely the same banana my brother was chopping up to toss into a smoothie. But, why is this an important point?

Because, though we typically consume one specific species of banana, there are actually over 1000 variations of bananas in existence. So, our consumption habits are forcing rather unnatural demands on farming, and our earth.

Farming of banana plants has become a hot button issue in the context of sustainability and ecological living. One of the areas for concern is the GHG emission created during farming, packaging and distribution. Moreover, several organizations have been called out in recent years for abusing the human and worker rights at production plantations.

 
 
Source: South East Asia Globe

“[…] Cultivation, harvesting and selection of the fruit is very labour intensive, and as previously indicated require a highly organized and integrated chain” (Robinson 2013).

Packaging, Traceability and Sourcing

After harvesting is complete, the fruit is washed, labeled and packaged at adjacent plants; in many productions. Proximity allows farmers to ensure quality-control before their product leave their sight.

Most farms work directly, under contract, with a specific label that will later distribute the bananas in bulk to retailers around the globe. The largest brands globally are Chiquita, Dole and Del Monte.

During the packaging process, most production sites utilize box code labeling for tracking purposes.

“In this process, a number called a Box Code is stamped on each box. This number enables the identification of the farm where the bananas were harvested, the facility where they were boxed, and the time and date when they were boxed, for example. This ensures the traceability of the bananas, which makes it possible to trace them back to the area of production immediately in the event of a quality problem or the like at the sales destination” (itochu.co.jp 2015).

This is when your banana truly becomes visible in the global supply chain. But, your banana’s journey has just begun.

Transportation, Logistics and Ripening

When local production sites have packaged the yield, major distributors load up massive cargo freights on company ships, or those of 3rd party logistic providers.

This is a portion of the banana’s life cycle that has stirred the pot of eco-fanatics, and for good reason. Transportation — shipping, trucking and refrigeration — contributes to 62%-67% of the total carbon footprint created during the life cycle of the banana value chain (fao.org 2015).

 
Banana

During maritime transport, bananas are required to be stored in large refrigeration containers. The energy efficiency of such containers has continued to improve, through time, and now intelligent tech programs monitor refrigeration levels to ensure less electricity is used. Maintaining a holistic environmental-approach in the banana value chain is difficult, considering the criteria needed to deliver a quality product to retailers.

After the transportation process, bananas are required to be treated in ripening locations in the countries of their final destination.

Pallets of packaged bananas are transported from sea to land, and loaded into ‘forced-ripening’ centers. The product sits in the temperature-controlled rooms for 5–7 days at a time. “Temperature must be kept constant. A temperature lower than 13°C or higher than 18°C can damage the appearance of the fruit” (fao.org 2015). Air must continue to be circulated in the storage rooms. Simultaneously, controlled amounts of ethylene gas and hydrocarbons are fed into the rooms, which triggers a ripening of the banana.

Retail and Consumption

In most productions, the final step before retail is inspection by a governed body to ensure quality and health & safety of the product.

The final step of the supply chain is last-leg logistics to retailers. At stores, unpacking, shelving and direct consumer-sales take place.

Retailing of bananas in the world occurs daily in mass quantity.

In the UK, the average person eats about 10kg of banana, per year. That’s equivalent to approximately 100 bananas (banalink.org).

 
 
Banana

If an average consumer is expected to live 75 years then they will eat approximately 7,500 bananas in a lifetime. If these approximations hold true, around 6.5 billion bananas are consumed yearly in the UK alone.

The scale in which these plants are produced, and supply chain activities are conducted, borders on incomprehensible.

That’s just the thing. We are infinitesimal cogs in a very large wheel. It’s spinning non-stop and we’re the passengers along for the ride, enjoying the final product, without stopping to appreciate the craftsmanship that went into its journey.

So next time you slurp down a smoothie, eat a piece of banana bread or flip over those banana flapjacks, just remember: that banana’s existence took one hell of a supply chain in motion.


Originally published on Supply Chain Game Changer on January 31, 2018.

What is ECommerce Order Fulfillment and Why is it Important?

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What is ECommerce Order Fulfillment article and permission to publish here provided by Daniel Choi.

Ecommerce is the future of the modern economy. With many countries placing restrictions to protect the health of their citizens or initiating a lockdown altogether, eCommerce is often the only option to keep the economy going. Meeting today’s service standards requires eCommerce fulfillment. If your customers can’t receive the fast shipping service they have come to know and love, your eCommerce business might be pushed aside. 

Customers will find alternatives if eCommerce order fulfillment is not to their liking. By improving conversions and driving more sales, the best eCommerce fulfillment services and strategies help transform logistics into revenue drivers.

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How to Get Great Amazon Reviews!

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Amazon reviews article and permission to publish here provided by Susan Melony.

When you have a product you sell on Amazon, the whole package is important, quite literally. 

Customers have thousands of options at their fingertips in any given product category, and that means they can be discerning. Customers can also leave their reviews of your product, and those reviews are an integral part of boosting your sales if they’re positive. 

From having beautifully designed packaging to sending follow-up emails after someone receives your product, you want a streamlined experience that compels your Amazon customers to jump on the site and leave you a great review. 

The following are some tips to get those coveted online reviews

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Multichannel vs Omnichannel Fulfillment Solutions!

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Unchaining Change Leadership

“Omnichannel” is certainly the prevalent phrase in the E-Commerce arena.  The expectation in an Omnichannel Fulfillment 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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EStore Order Fulfillment Acceleration Strategies

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EStore order fulfillment article and permission to publish here provided by Carl Torrence.

With the launch of Amazon’s Prime Membership back in 2005, the rules of the ecommerce game changed. Amazon Prime offered free two-day and cost-effective one-day/overnight delivery options; exclusive to their members.

According to a survey conducted by LaserShip, 63% of shoppers expect delivery of their orders within three days and the young shoppers are willing to pay a premium for this convenience.

Needless to say that retailers and ecommerce business owners are having a hard time keeping up with these demands. In fact, meeting customers’ demand for speedy deliveries is among the toughest challenges in the supply chain, as mentioned in MHI’s industry report.

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Black Friday Readiness – Is Your Supply Chain In Trouble?

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The Black Friday/Cyber Monday shopping extravaganza is almost upon us.  While it may seem like a long time for functions such as Marketing or Sales, for your Supply Chain the Black Friday push should be on right now!  Your focus must be on Black Friday readiness.

If you have products manufactured overseas for instance then if those products are not either on the ocean right now or en route over land to your Distribution Centres then you are already in trouble!  Black Friday readiness is critical.

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Understanding E-Commerce Fulfillment!

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E-Commerce fulfillment article originally published by, and permission to publish here provided by, Jake Rheude at https://redstagfulfillment.com/

Successful eCommerce businesses all have one thing in common: terrific eCommerce fulfillment.

You might have the best product in the world. Your website is epic. And your sales funnel slides your customers easily to the checkout.

If your eCommerce fulfillment doesn’t run smoothly, however, your web-based business will be all splash and no cash.

ECommerce fulfillment may not be the thing that gets you excited about your online business. However, it is a crucial element of your success in online retail.

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