Today’s largest online retailers are setting the bar extremely high for online orders and raising consumers’ expectations in the process. That puts pressure on all retailers to deliver.
A special report in the June issue of Internet Retailer explores how this is impacting the fulfillment and delivery process. Saddle Creek’s vice president of fulfillment services, Perry Belcastro, shares his insights on the valuable role technology can play.
Following is an excerpt from “The Expectations Game” . . .
Omnichannel Technology Management Solution Helps Retailers Stave Off the ‘Amazon Effect’
Retailers often struggle to turn a profit as they scramble to meet the bar set by Amazon and strive to provide customers with the optimal omnichannel experience. “Consumers’ expectations for fast, free delivery have driven up outbound freight, inventory and labor costs,” Belcastro says. “Inventory carrying costs are going up because retailers now house inventory in multiple distribution centers. Labor costs are rising because retailers have to staff multiple facilities and achieve higher levels of order accuracy, quality and timeliness.”
But a comprehensive omnichannel technology management tool that includes order management, warehouse management and transportation management can help retailers keep those rising costs down. “Technology can help retailers leverage inventory from multiple fulfillment sources to deliver the optimal customer experience across all sales channels,” Belcastro explains. “When customers are not satisfied with their purchase, an order management system (OMS) should be able to track returns for swift processing and place items back in inventory quickly.”
An effective order management system allows retailers to better allocate their inventory across multiple locations so they don’t need to replicate every SKU in each location. “An OMS can provide intelligent order routing to determine which fulfillment source to pull from for the fastest and most affordable service,” he says. “It also allows retailers to show their inventory in real time, providing the most accurate availability to customers.”
Read the full article to learn more.