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What does it Take to Win the Retail Race?

By: Scott Moon,
Principal, MonarchFx

Sailboat The winds of change are blowing on multiple fronts. Jimmy Dean, the late singer, actor and creator of Jimmy Dean’s sausage once said, “I can’t change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination.” He recognized the need to be flexible responding to change and to use it to his advantage.

The advent of the computer age has increased the rate of change not only in technology, but the pace our society is moving. The rate of change, for example, of computer processing speed (a.k.a. Moore’s Law) doubles every 18 months. This rate of change in technology is the reason for the data breaches we read about.

Savvy business leaders are recognizing this phenomenon and retooling their teams and business operations to take advantage of the benefit it presents. How are you reacting? Have you trimmed your sail to use the wind to your advantage?

Distribution

Wind Direction With much less fanfare, Amazon has developed the infrastructure and has changed the rules of the trade. They have created a distribution organization unparalleled in size, scale, and scope. They have single handedly sucked up the winds of growth and left their competitors in the dust.

Retail has been trying to trim their sails and find the wind again. Unfortunately, they have not recognized that the game has changed. 

Amazon found the wind by trimming their sail and developing the new sail. They learned how to reach their customers, the level of service their customers desired and the change in shopping behaviors of the customer. As we evolve technologically, time has become valuable and people are no longer willing to invest their time travelling from store to store to see and try on.

Customers have become conditioned by retailers such as Wal-Mart to shop balancing quality and cost. Shoppers want to shop all potential sources seeing all the latest styles. Once they have decided what they want, then they price shop. Once they buy, they want the item immediately just as they did when they physically travelled store to store and bought an item. The means of time and energy are similar. The emotional attachment is similar as well. Customers want it immediately once they have made the purchase.

The Alternative

How can a retailer respond if profits are slim? Given the current uncertainty of the market, many investors are weary of “doubling down” to stay afloat.

Consider leveraging your capital with others to create the infrastructure you cannot afford on your own. In doing so, you can unleash the latest material handling and distribution techniques, reducing your cost per unit. You cannot afford not to change in the face of the changing wind.

MonarchFx, a division of Tompkins International, helps you take advantage of the collective power of a consortium to trim your sail and put you back into the race. It allows you to take advantage of the network strength without the risk you would if you did it alone.

MonarchFx partnerships with world-class logistics and technology services firms is unequalled, providing a fulfillment and delivery ecosystem that will lower the cost, increase the speed of delivery, and increase customer satisfaction, beyond what any brand or retailer can do themselves. This ecosystem network includes get local, multi-tenant, and flexible, modular, portable automation. These facilities when combined with innovative delivery service providers, presents a new alternative to retailers and brands pursuing today’s world of New Retail. MonarchFx is as obsessed with delighting retailers and brands customers’, as the retailers and brands are.

MonarchFx will contract with retailers and brands, and work with leading service and technology provider partners to deliver eCommerce orders and Buy Online Pickup In Store (BOPIS) orders. MonarchFx facilities will be Rapid Deployment MonarchFx Centers (RDMC), located within and operated by, logistics service provider (3PL) member companies. 

The RDMC’s will be enabled by Tompkins Robotics and the Tompkins Warehouse Execution System (WES). These systems will be integrated with the MonarchFx Warehouse Management System (WMS) and Distributed Order Management (DOM) system, such that Sellers and the 3PL’s need only to integrate to enable operations.

MonarchFx provides retailers and brands a way to reduce fulfillment and delivery costs for direct-to-consumer operations, while reducing delivery times and maintaining control of their business.

Summary

A sailboat relies on its mainsail to be full of wind to reach maximum speed and performance. The jib is a forward sail that helps trim the power of the wind to give a sailboat maximum speed, handling and performance. Keeping the mainsail trimmed ensures the boat moves, managing the jib sail delivers the speed and performance one needs to reach the boat’s total potential.

Similarly, having a distribution network is required to move goods to your customers. This ensures that you provide your goods to your customer, it does not ensure that you get it to them as quickly, nimbly, and effectively as desired. What is your jib sale that allows you to reach your potential and satisfy your customers?

MonarchFx provides that jib sale that delivers optimal performance. Can you afford to run your race with your current boat and sails? Will you win the race using your current infrastructure?