dropshipping

 

As a retailer or etailer, you know what I mean when I say “the consumer is driving the bus”. Your customers are always connected, they buy through multiple channels, price shopping has become a competitive sport, and they want their stuff immediately. In fact, if they could have their products magically pop out of their laptop after placing their order, they’d want that, too (I think Google is working on it). Oh yeah, they also want to be able to track their order from the moment they place it until it’s delivered.

logisticstruckGoogle the term “third-party logistics providers” and you’ll get way more than you bargained for – to the tune of thousands upon thousands of links. Estimates on the number of 3PLs – whose services include warehousing, fulfillment and supply chain management to suppliers and manufacturers -- ranges somewhere between 15,000 and 16,000 in North America. So trying to differentiate yourself in such a highly fragmented market is no easy task, to put it mildly.

iStock 000019549761XSmallFor years innovation and integration in supply chain software was limited to the Global 1000. They purchased multi-million dollar ERP and supply chain apps,  drove integration between trading, partners, demanded EDI connectivity, vendor managed inventory (VMI) , etc.. The ability for small and medium businesses to profit from these strategies was limited. It was simply too costly. Smaller companies simply had to react.  However, cloud computing, e-commerce, and edge integration are changing the game in the most profound way.

logisticstruckGoogle the term “third-party logistics providers” and you’ll get way more than you bargained for – to the tune of thousands upon thousands of links. Estimates on the number of 3PLs – whose services include warehousing, fulfillment and supply chain management to suppliers and manufacturers -- ranges somewhere between 15,000 and 16,000 in North America. So trying to differentiate yourself in such a highly fragmented market is no easy task, to put it mildly.

cross-channel-fulfillment-moduleA recent study by Retail Systems Research (RSR) reveals that while more retailers are employing cross-channel distribution models, retailers are still not fully leveraging perhaps their biggest source of inventory - stores.