Having been a contributor to many SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities & Threats) analyses for e-commerce service providers, retailers and even CPG manufacturers, I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve warned all who would listen that fulfillment automation (or the lack thereof) will be a significant threat to their online business in the future.
Today I’m going even further to state that this threat has now evolved into what I’m coining as simply ‘The Automated Local Fulfillment Imperative.’read more
For many organizations, peak order fulfillment and returns crunch time is only 150 days away or less.
Remember last year? Why are you sweating? Do you remember the process and equipment improvements you were going to implement to make you, your staff’s and your organization’s lives less stressful. Did they get done?read more
At this year’s Tompkins Supply Chain Leadership Forum (SCLF) two executives from a retailer asked me if they could meet for 15 minutes to address a question their board had asked them. We met at 7PM at the Tuesday evening, Night at the Ballpark, event. We grabbed a corner table. After a few pleasantries the CEO opened his notebook, it was clear our meeting had started.read more
Customer Experience is a complex thing. Many companies now spend countless hours focusing on the online and offline journeys of their customers looking for any possible ways to improve and reduce the ‘friction’ encountered by consumers who do business with them.read more
With the historic rate of brick and mortar retail operation closures, the competitive stress of eCommerce is deeply upon us.
Many have blamed the reduction in customer traffic in brick and mortar stores as a reason for the decline. Rather, is this a reflection of the store experience or a real change in the traffic behaviors of the base consumer? At the same time, businesses that offer high customer service (e.g. Starbuck’s, Chick Fil-A, and Apple) have carved out a competitive stronghold with price not being the driver.read more
Can you continue to provide the delivery windows your customers expect? If so, at what cost?
The challenge of satisfying customers delivery expectations becomes more difficult as the requirements continue to change and evolve.read more
1. We are torn between shipping our eCommerce orders fast and expensive vs. slow and cheap, how should this be addressed?
2. In 2016 we were pushing hard to hit two-day delivery for 50% of the U.S. and three-day delivery for the additional 50%. In 2017 we were pushing to hit next day delivery to 25% of the country and two-day to 75% of the U.S. How far can this go?
3. For retailers with brick and mortar, is using stores as fulfillment centers viable?read more
Whether it is a Ferrari vs. a Fiat or a Jet Engine vs. a Propeller, generally speaking, to move something quickly has a higher cost than to move it slowly. The ability to move fast at a lower cost is a challenge that has pervaded the supply chain industry for years.read more
The growth of the beauty industry is staggering. Beauty, whether green, prestige, or mass is on the rise, as is Amazon. It is not farfetched that beauty may be Amazon’s next big play.read more