Team meeting to learn more about OPAL from experts.

Nurturing a Profitable Relationship with Retailers

It’s the most important relationship your business has.  It’s also an incredibly important relationship for your retailers.  When everything goes well, everybody wins.

You already know the advantages retailers get out of working with you as a Drop Ship Vendor (DSV).  

It feels like you’re carrying the load.  And to a large degree, that’s true. But, as you’re aware, there’s a great deal of benefit associated with this relationship.  Nurturing it can be very good for your long-term business survival and growth.

It’s important to remember that retailers can opt to have as many suppliers as they desire and they don’t have to limit themselves to only one brand.   It’s also important to note that poor-performing suppliers cost retailers billions of dollars each year. If you want to be a valued supplier to a retailer, it’s important to make this relationship work for both of you.

So what’s needed to nurture a relationship with retailers?

Well, the first way is to be compliant with a retailer’s business processes.  This includes processing a retailer’s orders, complying with all of the necessary transactions, PO pricing, packaging, labeling, shipping documentation, and accurate inventory feeds.  This compliance makes you valuable to a retailer by reducing its expenses surrounding order issues and rework.

The second way is to have the ability to scale your business upward, delivering more on-time orders each day. This provides the retailer with the ability to increase sales capacity – especially if you can process orders 24×7.  Once again, this makes you valuable to a retailer while also increasing your revenue from that retailer. However, to do this without also increasing your operating costs, you need real-time order processing that manages it without human involvement, 24×7.  

And lastly, to support all of this, you must maximize your warehouse’s efficiency.  To do this requires installing the analytics and tools needed to dramatically increase the number of shipments that can be made each day and their accuracy.  

The bottom line is that OPAL addresses all of this for you and more.  It combines all of your order processing and warehouse management activities into one AUTONOMOUS software platform – NO Warehouse Management System, NO Shipping Software, NO Retailer Portals, and NO EDI companies or documentation charges. 

The Warehouse – The Last Big Cost Obstacle to Drop Shipping Profits

The retail landscape and consumer expectations are changing rapidly and your warehouse is under pressure to ship product in shorter and shorter time frames to meet Retailer requirements.  In addition, the types of orders you now ship are moving from pallets to small packages, increasing the complexity and workload on your warehouse staff. It impacts the areas of order handling and warehouse efficiency and your ability to profitably meet customer expectations.  You need to improve it and move it faster to grow profits.  


We all understand that the cost of pickers and packers is a large piece of the cost component for each drop ship order – after all, it’s all about Time and Motion.  Unfortunately, many warehouse operations have grown organically and efficiencies implemented early on may have become lost over time as changes in business occur.


Warehouse inefficiency increases Time and Motion and chips away at the profitability of drop ship orders.  So, ask yourself the following questions. Not all may be applicable to your warehouse, but it may help you see where there are opportunities for improvement.


  • Is your warehouse organized in a way that minimizes travel time for a picker?  One instance that always springs to my mind was a situation where a bottle and top, sold together the majority of the time, were stored in bins 20 yards apart.
  • Does your picklist sequence minimize the number of steps a picker must make to retrieve all of the items based on Carrier type and pick-up schedule?
  • Do you separate Large Parcel items from Small Parcel items in the warehouse for efficient picking?
  • Do you have all of the brown boxes needed for the day staged at the packer station or do they need to retrieve boxes throughout the day?
  • Do you have bundled master items kitted and ready to ship in advance or do you pick and stage them as orders arrive?
  • Do your packers have to enter box dimensions and weight to create shipping labels or are they manually creating packaging as they go? 
  • Do your packers have to download branded or unbranded packing slips or are they ready to stick in the box?
  • Do your packers have to search for optimum shipping rates or is this predetermined for them?
  • Do your packers have the scanning tools needed to ensure accurate shipments?
  • Are you able to capture and correct addresses automatically to avoid shipments to the wrong address?
  • Do you know how productive your pickers and packers are and how to increase productivity?


The bottom line is that OPAL addresses all of these potential inefficiencies and more for you, by providing the tools and analytics necessary to avoid them.  It combines all of your order processing and warehouse management activities into one AUTONOMOUS software platform – NO Warehouse Management System, NO Shipping Software, NO Retailer Portals and NO EDI companies or document charges. 


OPAL manages your entire operation, giving you the ability to increase profits through an incremental increase in warehouse efficiency and grow without additional employees.