“Tis the Season” and if you are one of those businesses that experiences extremely high order volume during the holidays you may be looking for that light at the end of the tunnel following Christmas. Unfortunately, that light may be a train!
The Black Friday statistic for 2017 were pretty interesting. Foot traffic in retail stores stayed pretty steady, dropping at most by 1-2% while on-line shopping increased by over 16% according to CNN Money. Some of the big winners between Black Friday and Cyber Monday were Amazon, Walmart and Target – all retailers that have embraced the on-line, ecommerce, drop shipping business model. There was also a statistic reported that Amazon managed over 700 ORDERS PER SECOND. WOW!
The on-line, ecommerce world with its inherent need to drop ship directly to consumers has been experiencing double digit growth year-over-year for a while now – it’s apparently unstoppable. So, the question is, how many seconds does it take you, as a supplier, to process a drop ship order? It’s pretty clear that there are going to be more and more each year. Are you going to be able to keep up?
To compound matters, expectations are getting higher and higher regarding supplier performance.
If a consumer orders something at 3:00am Saturday morning, they want to see an acknowledgement, tracking number and expected delivery date very quickly. They also expect to receive that order in a few days at most.
Marketplaces want their suppliers to drop ship from their own warehouse rather than one of their fulfillment centers, provide acknowledgement, tracking number, ship it in a maximum of one to three days, provide accurate invoicing and provide them with accurate item inventory updates on a frequent basis.
Unfortunately there aren’t a lot of good tools to automate this and make it feasible to really fill all of the orders you possibly can without adding a bunch of seasonal staff. Much of what is available is cumbersome, requiring you to cobble disparate technologies together to ease some of that labor intensity. This usually includes things like an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP system), a method to translate, send and receive data to / from the marketplace, software to automate management of that data and software to communicate with shipping carriers – all of which usually still requires some level of dedicated staff and time to ensure everything goes smoothly.
This dramatic supplier need led to the creation of OPAL (www.meetopal.com), the first and only smart platform that combines all of the needed capabilities into one place for drop shipping. It automates and enhances your ERP order processing capability, requires no human intervention, works 365×24, is fully compliant with all marketplace requirements, provides document data translation and transmission without errors at zero cost, and works with your 3PL or warehouse to provide all labels and information needed to pick, pack, ship and track an order.
And, best of all, it will process those drop ship orders in less than 8 seconds. How many seconds and how many people do you currently need?