Team meeting to learn more about OPAL from experts.


Are You Prepared for the Drop Shipping Frenzy Ahead?

Are You Prepared for the Drop Shipping Frenzy Ahead?

Drop shipping came to the rescue for the eCommerce industry and consumers during this era of Covid – with the quick shift from large shipments sent to retailers to have on hand, to suppliers carrying the brunt and drop shipping to consumers across the world. 

Unfortunately, this holiday season is expected to come with its own set of challenges, but suppliers have inventory stacked high and shoppers are quickly preparing their lists for holiday gifts this season. With labor shortages and Covid outbreaks in other parts of the world, suppliers who are not ahead of the game may not fair well this extended holiday season.

With holiday sales expected to be an at an all-time high and grow at least 7% compared with last year, is your business prepared for the drop shipping frenzy ahead?

Drops Shipping Challenges
In eCommerce, customer service is paramount and there are numerous challenges suppliers will have to deal with as they approach this extended holiday season.

1. Speedy Delivery Expectations

The customer experience is top of mind for retailers and partnering with suppliers who are able to deliver on this gold standard is key to both being successful.  

 

Quick and efficient delivery relies upon inventory systems, order processing, and minimizing errors to name just a few.  Every portion of the process relies on accuracy to get the correct product to the correct consumer in the quickest time possible.

 

2. Delayed Shipping Challenges

USPS just announced that they will begin to implement new service standards for first class mail and is expected to slow its target delivery time by approximately 30%. And for those going cross-country, its expected to increase delivery time even more drastically. 

 

Ports, railway and airlines have all been impacted by increased covid cases around the world and worker shortages in the US, making it even more challenging for suppliers to get products into the country and to both consumers and retailers.

 

3. Tight Profit Margins

The expected quick turnaround time leaves little to no room for errors on the supplier’s part.  Simple errors like pulling the incorrect product or shipping to a wrong address could be the difference between having the product and not having the product this holiday season with such high demand and limited supply.

 

Increased shipments for suppliers could also potentially mean additional EDI expenses if it is not included in the price of your software solutions, decreasing your profit margin even more.

 

Importance of Software Solutions

Software solutions and self-driving automation can impact your business drastically when seeking to simplify your order management and warehouse management processes – increasing capacity for additional customer orders with no additional cost and without having to hire or train new staff.  

Not only does self-driving automation allow your business to reach additional customers, but you are able to build trust and prove dependability with your many retailers.

Simplify with OPAL’s 4-in-1 Software Solution
EDI | Order Management |Warehouse Management | Shipping

OPAL is the innovative solution to simplify your business fulfillment needs in today’s rapidly transforming retail world 

Implementing OPAL software into your businesses’ warehouse is proven to increase productivity by as much as 50%, significantly improving your chances for keeping up with the ever-increasing demand for eCommerce products this upcoming holiday season. 

 

OPAL is the innovative solution to simplify your business fulfillment needs in today’s rapidly transforming retail world.  To learn more, click here

Click here to book your customized demo today.  We are here to support you through this time of change and are here to help you innovate and thrive!

Chaos Ahead This Holiday Season

Chaos Ahead This Holiday Season

Many suppliers and retailers refer to the 2020 holiday season as a peak on top of a peak, with ecommerce sales surging even more for the holiday season after growing at unprecedented levels for the majority of the year.  But the 2021 holiday season comes with its own set of challenges.  

Many states are open and vaccinated consumers are ready to shop, both online and in person, but the world is still struggling with reopening after this pandemic, causing many logistical nightmares as we approach this holiday. 

A recent survey shows that many suppliers and retailers have worked hard to secure inventory now, in the third quarter, by ordering additional quantities from current suppliers and roughly a third are venturing to order from new suppliers just to bulk up inventory to handle the holiday season.

As your ecommerce business approaches this holiday season, here are several challenges that are ahead.

Labor & Supply Chain


Unfortunately, most of us have felt the impact of labor shortages lately – whether ordering dinner at a local restaurant, standing in long lines at the grocery or retail store, or waiting an extraordinary amount of time for online purchases to arrive at home. This labor shortage continues to strain customer patience as well as suppliers and retailers’ ability to provide products and services today.

With consumer demand at an all-time high and labor shortages only continuing to increase, finding adequate help this busy holiday season may prove to be quite challenging.

Supply chain challenges also continue to grow.  Ports across the world have idle ships with containers waiting for shipment, but due to constraints at the port, whether covid or shortage of workers related, products are slow to move. In many cases, railways are the busiest they have been in decades and in many areas of the country infrastructure upgrades are required to handle additional demand.

Shipping & Surcharges


USPS and other small parcel carriers like FedEx and UPS have been at and above capacity since March of 2020.  The current normal shipping environment is already providing several challenges to get products from online suppliers to consumers.  

With everything from delays due to illness closing down a facility, to a shortage of truck drivers across country, to a shortage of delivery trucks and drivers, consumers and eCommerce are in for a bumpy ride this holiday season.

Availability of Products


News media is prepping consumers for massive shortages this holiday season and encouraged many to begin shopping early.  This extended holiday season will exhaust both inventory and people, but may make it borderline impossible for those last minute shoppers.

 

Simplify with OPAL’s 4-in-1 Software Solution
EDI | Order Management | Warehouse Management | Shipping

OPAL is the innovative solution to simplify your small to mid-sized to enterprise business fulfillment needs in today’s rapidly transforming retail world.  

As your eCommerce business looks to optimize fulfillment processes and excel this holiday season, OPAL is here to assist you in each of these constraints and challenges.

To learn more about how to make your eCommerce business scalable with OPAL, click here!

Click here to book your customized demo today.  We are here to support you through this time of change and are here to help you innovate and thrive!

Is Your Software Slowing You Down?

Is Your Software Slowing You Down?

In the quest to simplify, many eCommerce businesses add process after process until the bottleneck quickly becomes the sheer volume of software solutions that have been implemented for each individual area of the business—negating the simplification of automation.

With the upcoming holiday season at the forefront of every eCommerce business’ mind, many of the make-or-break moments start with the decisions made today.  Consumers are eager to return to normal, but with the Delta variant cases spiking globally, this means another extended online shopping period to meet holiday demands with many shipping and distribution issues in sight.

If your software solutions are lacking an overarching system that allows everything to work and meet this upcoming holiday season of shoppers, where should your business start?

Simplify
As businesses continue to grow, it’s normal to implement one software application to support one area of the business.  As time goes on, however, you may find that you’ve grown to have an accounting software, shipping software, inventory management software, and many others that manage the critical components of your business – but nothing that helps tie it all together.

Similar to a supplier of pet greens and an OPAL fanatic, their system was cumbersome to use and expensive to maintain, but more importantly was not providing the results and simplicity they needed. 

By implementing one overarching system that integrated across multiple platforms, their business was able grow in a more cost-effective manner.  Not only were the reporting functions more robust, but EDI decreased, fulfillment errors decreased and the business grew exponentially because they were ready for the increased volume.

Reduce Bottlenecks
In this era of Covid, changes in eCommerce happen FAST and businesses that think ahead and are prepared for the bumps, are the ones who succeed.  In this small lull between end of summer, back to school and the upcoming holiday season – now’s the time to quickly review processes and identify slow points so that you may integrate solutions for success in the coming months.

Similar to a supplier of kitchen fixtures and OPAL fanatic, after assessing the processes in place the team identified the large backlog of orders at the end of the day was due to separate shipping and packing stations.  It was also difficult to identify data on the number of orders packed per packer or orders left unpacked at the end of the day because the data was not accurately captured in each of the siloed areas’ processes.

By streamlining with OPAL, they were able to increase productivity and reduce the bottlenecks in each of the siloed areas through automation with one software.  

Reduce Costs
In the shift over the past few years from pallet shipping to retailers to thousands upon thousands of shipments directly to individual consumers, eCommerce businesses have been left to foot the increased cost of EDI. 

Similar to a supplier of home furnishings and OPAL fanatic, time and cost were the two largest expenses with prior EDI services.  EDI is typically charged per transaction and a timely process if manual intervention is required, so finding a solution to reduce this was essential. 

In addition to free EDI, OPAL focuses on order management, warehouse management and shipping – all with the same software platform that allows businesses to reduce costs across all processes – not just EDI. To learn more about EDI and why it’s still relevant, click here.

 

Simplify with OPAL’s 4-in-1 Software Solution
EDI | Order Management |Warehouse Management | Shipping

OPAL is the innovative solution to simplify your business fulfillment needs in today’s rapidly transforming retail world 

Implementing OPAL software into your business will reduce the cost of multiple software packages needed and provide the overarching platform support needed to bring each of the individual processes together for success this upcoming holiday season.

To learn more about how OPAL can improve your business, click here!

Click here to book your customized demo today.  We are here to support you through this time of change and are here to help you innovate and thrive!