David Hogg, VP Business Development of Logistyx Technologies explains how fulfilment is key to retailers delivering on their promises
"Digital" in the 21 century is really a proxy for online, mobile and robotics. It has become increasingly pervasive, with online/mobile delivering easy order capture, and robotics delivering evolutionary warehouse and distribution processes – with significantly fewer humans. Double-digit year-on-year sales growth for more than a decade has been a powerful force for change. Customer expectations are sky high and we are now in the midst of a maturing digital market, where business processes must be enhanced in the battle to win and retain customers, while turning sales into profit. Competition is tough. Fail to improve your end-toend customer journey and you may join the growing list of famous brands that are no more.
Omnichannel might be defined as many channels working in harmony, to allow consumers to meander from product search, to investigation, to checkout. This concept applies equally well in B2B manufacturing and wholesale distribution. The B2B journey just has different meanderings and different inventory characteristics.
However, the journey always ends in fulfilment – typically a parcel shipping and tracking process. Omnichannel VPs and their IT cousins have been irrationally excited by shiny, glossy websites. Although realising that next-day delivery and same-day delivery are great customer propositions, they assumed that a vastly expensive order management system (OMS) and new/refreshed warehouse management system (WMS) would do the job. Sadly no. They are suboptimal in terms of availability to promise (ATP), sourcing, picking and a bit of packing. You will notice the “ship” bit is missing from “pick, pack, ship.” That can mislead you into thinking, “Ahh, just a wee tweak by adding shipping at the end and problem solved.” Let us explore why this is not the case.
Deciding how to meet the same-day/next-day customer proposition begins during the filling of the shopping cart. Your OMS makes relatively crude decisions about where to pick based on SKU: location, quantity, sales velocity and end of SKU life. The OMS has very limited information about carriers who can meet the customer propositions based on vehicle availability and the cost of shipping from any permutation of origin/destination. Almost no OMS/WMS combination I know of supports multi-carrier rate shopping as part of ATP and sourcing logic. This is because their customer processes were implemented in isolation of the multi-carrier shipping system (MCSS).
The MCSS is like a forlorn orphan, left in a local authority logistics care home. Full of potential but unloved and treated as an afterthought. Hopefully you may now be thinking, “How did we come to choose our current parcel shipping system? How do we incorporate parcel shipping into our customer shopping process and not just the shipping process?”
May I suggest it is time for the ugly duckling MCSS to become the logistics swan. Given that profit and productivity now trump sales growth, it is time to rethink and redesign your customer journey, and to leverage MCSS to the full!
ABOUT LOGISTYX TECHNOLOGIES
Logistyx Technologies’ software boosts parcel shipping efficiencies and other business KPIs with an unmatched global multi-carrier network, predictive analytics and full visibility into customer deliveries.
Logistyx Technologies is the leader in transportation management for parcel shipping, providing a SaaS-based TMS solution with state-of-the-art business intelligence and an integrated global carrier network of more than 8,500 carrier services – empowering organisations to achieve on-time delivery in full while improving revenue per shipment.