e-Commerce and its Impact on the Fashion Supply Chain
Today’s customers are increasingly choosing online retail over brick-and-mortar retail stores to get the products they want. The fashion supply chain has seen significant growth in e-commerce interest from customers. Many brands have set up web sites along with their physical stores to meet customer demand and increase the number of sales they can get. Amazon is one e-commerce giant that has launched its own fashion department, providing clothing and accessories from a huge selection of brands to their customers. Fashion retailers need to keep up with this growing change in how consumers seek out the products they want, and to do this they will have to provide and improve their supply chain services and apparel logistics. Here are some ways e-commerce is impacting fashion supply chain management, and advice on how you can get on board.
Supply Chain: Inventory Levels
Inventory management and serving multiple sales channels (online stores, physical stores, wholesale customers, outlets, international stores, etc.) increases the complexity of the supply chain. To meet this growing demand, stock has to be properly managed and products need to move quickly from one channel to the next. To make sure that inventory is properly measured and managed, you will need to have stock visibility across every channel. Automating your inventory management and using technology in the warehouse can help you achieve this goal and become more productive and efficient on the whole.
An important thing to remember when adding an online store to your fashion brand is to make sustainability a priority. This is a huge trend based on the growing awareness of consumers that economic globalization and technological progress cannot be separated from environmental and social conditions and impact. Since customers are more aware of the possible negative implications of globalization, sustainability has to be an issue that the fashion industry considers, and this directly impacts you.
e-Commerce and m-Commerce
Not only are customers buying more over the Internet, they are also using their mobile devices to shop for added convenience. This is known as m-commerce. If you are delivering a negative experience to your customers, you can really miss out on this opportunity. When shopping on mobile apps, customers expect the products they want to be available and delivered to their home quickly at minimal cost. For your business, this can be both a complication and a benefit—your store has to meet high customer expectations when you receive and manage orders, but you can also increase your selling opportunities and have an optimal return on investment.
Since customers aren’t able to test out or try on products, e-commerce has led to an increase in return rates. This process can cost you a lot of money and set you back if you are not prepared to quickly meet this customer demand. You need to maintain the availability of your products and ensure that as much stock as possible can be resold at full price. If your returns process is not diligently managed, the cost of markdowns and lost sales will continue to increase. That being said, there is a commercial opportunity for your returns process to generate additional profit since it can create good will and provide a longer-lasting connection with your customers. This is a good opportunity for you to really impress them so that they will become repeat customers and recommend you to their friends and family.
Outsource Your e-Commerce Fulfilment with Lean Supply Solutions
Managing an online store can be a lot of work, so teaming up with e-commerce fulfilment services in Toronto can be helpful. If you’re looking for a reliable company that can help your business grow, Lean Supply Solutions is the answer. We rise to the challenge of meeting our clients’ needs through our services, which include product fulfilment, repackaging in the supply chain, pick and pack warehouse services, distribution, e-commerce fulfilment, and order fulfilment. Lean Supply Solutions is able to offer consistent, accurate, and quality results. To learn more about outsourcing to our 3PL distribution team, or to ask any questions, contact us at 905-482-2590.
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Supply Chain Management vs. Procurement
There are a lot of terms involved in the supply chain. Terms like kitting and product fulfillment services, reverse logistics services, and procurement process, are commonly used in this industry. But what do these terms refer to? What is supply chain management and what is the procurement process? Here are some important things to know about these two terms and what their major differences are. Once you understand what these terms mean, you will be able to benefit from the many tips and services available to you when you partner with a third-party logistics (3PL) team in Toronto.
How Is Procurement Different from a Supply Chain?
Every agent involved in getting your product into the hands of a customer or end user, is known as part of a supply chain. This process involves raw material suppliers or gatherers, manufacturers, transportation companies, wholesale warehouses, in-house staff, stock room workers, and cashiers. To make the supply chain run smoothly, functions such as quality control, marketing, procurement, and sourcing must be involved. The supply chain is the entire process, while procurement is a part of it.
Procurement is defined as the process of getting the products and/or services your company needs to fulfill its business model. The procurement process involves several tasks including developing standards of quality, negotiating prices, financing purchases, buying goods, inventory control, and the disposal of waste products. Once your company has possession of the goods, procurement stops. For companies to profit from this process, the cost of procuring products must be less than the amount the products can be sold for, minus the processing and selling costs.
Supply Chain and Procurement: How Do They Work?
The supply chain refers to all of the moving parts from the time a product leaves the manufacturer to when it arrives on a customer’s doorstep. Supply chain management activities are all efforts made to improve efficiency and effectiveness across all stages along the way. It covers matters such as when products are distributed, material sourcing, manufacturing quantity, quality testing, product storage, and so much more. Outsourcing your supply chain services allows you to avoid many errors in the system, because you are leaving all of the nitty-gritty duties to the professionals. These outsourced companies provide effective supply chain management by making sure orders are filled quickly while limiting errors along the way; tracking, maintaining, and organizing data to make the process works smoother each time; and getting the product into the customer’s hands faster. Procurement is just one of the many roles involved in a good supply chain. It should be considered a core component of a company’s corporate strategy. Proper procurement management is vital because an organization can end up spending over half of its revenue on purchasing goods and services. Procurement makes a huge difference between the success and failure of a business. The procurement process includes the following steps:
- Identifying requirements
- Approving the request for purchase
- Finding suppliers
- Making inquiries and receiving quotations
- Negotiating the terms
- Making a final selection of the vendor
- Creating a purchase order and goods receipt
- Shipping management
- Receiving invoices and making payments
Get Supply Chain and Procurement Services at LSS
If you’re looking for procurement and supply chain services, Lean Supply Solutions can help you. We stay up to date on current trends in the industry and adapt ourselves to be more efficient for our clients. Our third-party logistics, packaging, and supply chain management services can streamline your processes for better success. By striving to ensure that the right products are provided to the right customers at the right time, Lean Supply Solutions is able to offer consistent, accurate, and quality results. To learn more about outsourcing to our 3PL distribution team, or to ask any questions, contact us at 905-482-2590.
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4 Reasons Why Warehouses Are Switching to Robotic Solutions
A new trend in logistics is warehouse and storage automation technology. Warehouse robotics have been producing huge benefits to distribution centres like Amazon, by performing tasks such as arranging items on shelves that cannot be easily reached or are too heavy. They can also be used as totes that when full, carry the goods to the packing station. If the idea of robots in the warehouse appeals to you, here are four reasons why more warehousing and logistics companies are switching to automaton.
Flexibility and Scalability
Warehouse robots are more flexible and scalable than traditional automation. For instance, robots can pick lightweight, stackable items, fill a tote, and carry it back to a packing station where a human worker can complete his or her task. By allowing the robots to work in warehouse aisles, they can work faster without posing a risk to human workers, who do their daily tasks in a different area.
Improved Speed and Accuracy
Automated warehouse management systems with robots use sensors and software that continuously develops to increase the speed and accuracy of the order fulfillment process. When operations run faster and more efficiently, companies can stay on top of their business and provide greater customer satisfaction.
Reduced Cost and Time
With increased speed comes reduced cost and time. The entire process, from a customer’s order being made to it arriving on their doorstep, can be done within 48 hours. Services like Amazon Prime have been streamlined to keep robotics and workers on track, and update the customer with automated messages of the shipment status. Amazon uses tens of thousands of robots to assist in warehouse procedures, and they save a lot of money and time because of them. Google Inc. is even looking into fixed-wing drones that deliver packages to customers even faster than ground vehicles.
Robotics has supported the growth of many companies over the last few years. Using computer-vision and machine deep-learning technologies, robots can pick items one at a time and package them. They are able to locate products sitting somewhere on a specific stack of shelves, safely retrieve them, and pack them into cardboard shipping boxes neatly and carefully.
Get Logistics and Warehouse Robotics Support at LSS
Lean Supply Solutions can help you if you are looking for a third-party logistics company with the latest technology. We make ourselves aware of the rising trends in e-commerce warehouses and always strive to stay up to date. We commit to being aware of our clients’ operational challenges as they arise and help them get the most out of their processes. Our third-party logistics, packaging, and supply chain management can streamline your processes for better success. By striving to ensure that the right products are provided to the right customers at the right time, Lean Supply Solutions is able to offer consistent, accurate, and quality results. To learn more about outsourcing to our 3PL distribution team, or to ask any questions, contact us at 905-482-2590.
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How IoT Is Changing Aspects of the Supply Chain
The digital revolution has had a profound effect on delivery logistics and supply chain management. The Internet of Things (IoT)—the use of the Internet to interconnect computing devices embedded in everyday objects, enabling them to transfer various data—has changed how delivery and fulfillment companies conduct and manage their operations. In the modern supply chain, IoT is making the process more efficient, and here’s how.
IoT Enhances Product Traceability in the Supply Chain
One of the first aspects of the supply chain that will be positively impacted by IoT is product traceability. These technologies can connect products, which each transmit their location and condition. Because of this, there is a better opportunity to converge back office systems, and prevent the need for proprietary hardware. By connecting products, businesses will also have the opportunity to gather data about product performance and consumer use of products, that have never been visible before.
IoT for Inventory and Fleet Management
Technology like active and passive RFID tags, which provide data on the items to which they are attached, is just one example of how IoT is used in inventory management. Internet-connected trackers, are another example. They use long-range networks or Low Power Wide Area Networks (LPWANs) to track specific items as they are being transported from one location to another. Additional examples include Bluetooth tags, and Near Field Communication (NFC) tags. In terms of fleet management, companies deploy IoT technology for physical asset movement and delivery, consumer transportation, and field service vehicles. This makes their processes more efficient, and much like warehouse and inventory management, the solutions include tracking technologies like GPS to gather various data in real-time while trucks or vehicles are on the road.
IoT Improves Product Visibility
IoT increases product visibility in the supply chain and allows managers to see important data for the material handling equipment, packages, vehicles, and warehouses, from any device. Some of these devices include GPS and RFID readers. With advanced technologies, sensors, and a supply network that knows how to operate these tools properly, businesses will be able to predict, correct, and prevent problems in the supply chain.
Outsource Your Operations to Knowledgeable Fulfillment Team
Switching to IoT applications in logistics might be a frustrating and confusing process if you’re a company who has done things the traditional way for many years. But instead of missing out on this grand opportunity to grow your business, consider outsourcing your operations to a fulfillment team that is knowledgeable about IoT. If you’re looking for the right company to partner with that meets your needs as a business, Lean Supply Solutions is the answer. We rise to the challenge of meeting our clients’ needs through our services which include product fulfillment, warehousing and distribution, e-commerce fulfillment, warehouse pick-and-pack, order fulfillment, and more. We can offer you consistent, accurate, and quality results, and we are experts with the latest tools and technology. To learn more about outsourcing to our 3PL distribution team, or to ask any questions, contact us at 905-482-2590.
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