Steve Jobs once famously said “Get closer than ever to your customers. So close that you tell them what they need well before they realize it themselves.” For apparel manufacturers and retailers, this idea could not be closer to the truth. A good advertiser knows what their customers are looking for and delivers it. In this day and age, consumers want to search for the items they want, compare prices, and move between purchasing channels fluidly. Without seamless purchasing experiences, manufacturers and retailers miss incredible opportunities for sales. Learning to move with your customers, however, is more challenging than it sounds. Creating an omni-channel fulfillment solution through a third-party logistics (3PL) provider is the best way for you to achieve this goal. How do omni-channel supply solutions help you achieve success? Here’s how.
Invest in Fulfillment Technology
Today’s supply chain has access to multiple technologies that can optimize your processes. Some of these underutilized technologies include Transportation Management Systems (TMS), Distributed Order Management (DOM), and demand planning. With technology, you can become more efficient as you allocate inventory to your stores, warehouses, and customers in an efficient, reliable, and cost-effective manner. In addition, you can capture all information in the order management process and make it available through your channels to those who need visibility.
Use the Right Technology
When choosing technology to support your omni-channel fulfillment solution, don’t simply purchase the newest solution. You need to find out what works best for your specific needs. If customers are expecting fast shipping, your wholesale accounts and retail partners will also require quick packaging and fulfillment of orders. You can use the services of a 3PL provider to help you keep up with demand. Every brand is unique and depending on your business partners and where consumer demand is, you should seek a best fit strategy to meet these expectations.
Choose the Best Talent
Having the right talent is key for a successful strategy. Identifying the necessary skill sets and jobs required to help your business run properly is important. Take the time to consider what roles are crucial to your organization’s long-term success and find a partner that can help you achieve them.
Maximize Sales with Automation
Every business knows that to increase sales, manufacturers need to accurately forecast demand for each channel. The process of allocation can be tedious yet leveraging an intelligent Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solution is essential to making this work. ERP software helps to automate the allocation process and make smart decisions that lower your costs and resources. For example, if you are scheduling a flash sale, your solution should make this event more important over other channels and you should have allocation rules for a specific time frame to ensure that all these orders are fulfilled. Automation, robotics, and actionable intelligence can help you reduce the amount of labour-intensive aspects and make omni-channel fulfillment a reality.
Target High-Growth Markets
The omni-channel fulfillment market is expected to grow at a fast pace, reaching over $3.7 billion by 2020. To help boost this growth, companies like yours need to target high-growth markets. One way to do this is to consider the Tier 2 market. While most of the big businesses are actively targeting the Tier 1 market, there are increasingly more small companies that are switching over to omni-channel fulfillment solutions. This second tier of customers provides an excellent area of growth for suppliers.
Why You Need Omni-Channel Fulfillment Solutions
The omni-channel paradigm is not a fad that will go away. In fact, omni-channel commerce is only expected to grow. Whether you are a practitioner or a software supplier, you must establish and follow a road map for success to prevent yourself from getting left behind. By getting on board now, you can keep up with the changing nature of the e-commerce and omni-channel paradigm.
As mentioned above, if you invest in technology and adjust your operations to make your solutions more accessible, robust, and user-friendly, you will improve your customer reputation and see exceptional growth. Additionally, by reading and understanding data about your customer demands, you can adjust to meet their expectations and turn new customers into faithful clients. Even if you are a small company, there are ways for you to access this strategy to improve your business.
How Does Lean Supply Solutions Differ from Other 3PL Providers?
With so many 3PL providers to choose from, it can be challenging to find the right one for you. There are some aspects a good 3PL provider should have:
- Proven knowledge and experience that meets your needs
- Collaboration abilities with suppliers, customers, intermediaries, and other 3PL services
- Problem-solving skills
- Variety of Services
- Custom Solutions
- Technology and Software
At Lean Supply Solutions, we strive to stand out from the competition by offering all the above services, as well as our Lean Methodology principles. This mindset and value of our organization focuses on eliminating any operations, equipment, and resources that do not bring success and value to our clients’ supply chain. We ensure that your customers get their products at the right time, and offer you consistent, accurate, and quality results.
Our services include contract logistics, manufacturing support, consulting and project management, product and order fulfillment, warehouse and distribution, e-commerce fulfillment, pick and pack, and more. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you!