When you order something Online there is great excitement in anticipation of opening your package when it arrives. With any luck the company you have ordered from has provided a positive experience in the online ordering and payment process. Now you are just waiting for the package to arrive. You certainly don’t want them to stop shipping.
Most recently we ordered a couple of items online. They were relatively small items and could easily fit in the palm of your hand. Within a couple of days a large box arrived at the front door. I wasn’t quite sure what it was because the box was rather big, big enough for a toaster or perhaps a couple of large board games.
I was surprised when we opened the big box, removed a bunch of crumpled paper and packaging material, and found the 2 small items we had ordered sitting on the bottom of this box. The items could have fit inside a standard envelope. Instead they were deliberately packaged in a box which could have held 200-300 of the items. Why don’t they stop shipping air?
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.
The capability we had in E-Commerce order fulfillment was rather basic. We had employees manually pushing carts up and down standard warehouse racking aisles picking goods off of shelves. And when they had completed an order or a set of orders they would then push the entire cart back to a centralized order packing station.
As a Supply Chain Services company we needed a dramatically better capability if we were wanted to have customers trust their growing E-Commerce business with us. Pushing carts around a warehouse is both inefficient and lacks innovation.
We had to go back to the drawing board. But in doing so we would end up with a World Class solution!
Whether you love, hate or remain neutral on Amazon, one can only marvel and admire Amazon by the numbers which only appear to be accelerating.
The infographic from Fortna in this post from Jeff Ashcroft provides a startling picture of where Amazon is at currently and how they’re expected to handle over half of online e-commerce transactions with Walmart now only at 5% and growing!
Amazon has set the benchmark for Last Mile Delivery. With massive Distribution Centres within a short distance of every major population centre they are able to offer fast delivery of virtually any product they sell. The Amazon Prime Now service promises delivery within 1 hour.
Amazon Fresh is their grocery delivery option and with their Whole Foods acquisition they are obviously planning for rapid delivery. Amazon Go is their Retail store option. Amazon Key is their in home delivery service. And the Amazon promise of drone delivery will further cement their leadership in the Last Mile Delivery race.
So how do you compete with that? What are your options? And what is your Strategy?