The Future of eCommerce

The Future of eCommerce

The Future of eCommerce 

 

Do you ever wonder what new, unexpected changes you will face to stay current, profitable and relevant to your customers?  There are new emerging trends every day and suppliers are often struggling just to stay current with what’s happening right now, much less what the future may throw at them.

1. The Future of EDI?

Many suppliers are trying to figure out how to meet retailer requirements regarding EDI technology, cost and handling.  However, the unrelenting pace of eCommerce and the proliferation of drop shipping is forcing retailers themselves to rethink the use of such an outdated tool as the backbone of their business operations.  

Successful retailers are working to implement technologies that work in real time, such as APIs, that allow data to be transmitted from one system to another in seconds WITHOUT those expensive EDI Document fees for themselves and their suppliers.  EDI may become a thing of the past over the next 5-10 years – or even sooner. You need a solution that removes EDI from your business process.

2. The Future of Order Processing?

Many suppliers are working twice as hard to fulfill orders and deliver them to consumers in a much shorter period of time AND meet ever stricter Retailer Compliance Requirements.  However, to do this without also increasing your operating costs and labor costs, you need to embrace real-time order processing that manages everything without human involvement on a 24×7 basis.

3. The Future of Warehouse Management?

With the explosive growth of drop ship order processing, consumer expectations – and consequently your retail partner expectations – are changing rapidly.   Warehouse operations are now squarely in the cross-hairs to ship product in shorter and shorter time frames.  Not to mention the overall increase in pick and pack workload because of the transition to small package shipments.    

To support this, you must maximize your warehouse’s efficiency and adopt the analytical and productivity tools needed to dramatically increase the number of shipments that can be made each day and their accuracy.  

IN CONCLUSION

I know that it all sounds insurmountable, but consider powering up with OPAL.  It prepares you for the future in all three areas, while also increasing revenue and profitability for your business so that it pays for itself.  OPAL is a self-driving Warehouse Management, Order Processing and Productivity Software Solution that enables you to increase warehouse shipment capacity by 50%+ daily, cut the cost to process an order to less than $1.00, remove the cost of EDI documents and provide 100% compliant operations to your retailers.

Want to learn more how Opal can work for you?  Book a Demo now.

Warehouse Efficiency – Another Key to Your Success with Retailers

Warehouse Efficiency – Another Key to Your Success with Retailers

Warehouse Efficiency – Another Key to Your Success with Retailers

With the explosive growth of B2C drop ship order processing, consumer expectations – and consequently your retail partner expectations – are changing rapidly.   Warehouse operations are now squarely in the cross-hairs to ship product in shorter and shorter time frames.  Not to mention the overall increase in pick and pack workload because of the transition to small package shipments.    

I’m sure you’ve worked to meet the compliance requirements mandated by each of your retail partners.  You have probably also worked very hard to process more on-time orders each day with fewer errors. But if you still have a bottleneck in the pick, pack and ship areas of your warehouse, you still won’t meet retailer expectations and they will limit the amount of business they bring your way.

In many ways, this can be the most difficult thing to correct, if for no other reason than the sheer size of the warehouse, its organization and imbedded ways of doing things.

Overcoming this last obstacle requires planning, analytics and tools that minimize time and motion in the pick and pack process while also improving their accuracy.  It also requires Management Support Tools that provide the ability to monitor picker and packer productivity, see problems and make changes as the workload fluctuates and changes throughout the day. 

So, increase the number of on-time, accurate shipments each day, process more B2C drop ship orders each day AND meet retailer compliance requirements.  Simple? Right?

If not, power up with OPAL.  It accomplishes all three things for you, while increasing revenue and profitability for your business. 

OPAL is a self-driving Warehouse Management, Order Processing and Productivity Software Solution that enables you to increase warehouse shipment capacity by 50%+ daily, cut the cost to process an order to less than $1.00, and provide 100% compliant operations for retailers.  

Increasing Orders Processed and Revenue

Increasing Orders Processed and Revenue

The biggest advantage to being a valued supplier to a retailer is the opportunity to get even more orders through that sales channel.  Having more orders means more sales and more revenue for your business.

This is what every business owner strives for, but in the e-commerce world where it’s no longer pallets in and pallets out, the ability to handle the influx of small and large parcel drop-ship orders can overstress your team’s ability to deliver accurately and on-time.  One hundred (100) orders per Customer Service / Order Processing Staff Person each day is about the average rate of productivity.

This is true even if you’ve invested in automation that often consists of an EDI company, an Accounting/ERP System and Shipping Software.  It works, and is certainly better than the “old days”, but – if you look at it closely – there are still a lot of hidden manual tasks associated with that order that cost time and deplete resource productivity.

So, if you’re currently receiving 100 hundred (100) orders per day from a retailer and have one plus (1+)  people processing them, what happens when you’ve earned the opportunity to receive three hundred (300) orders a day.  Do you reject the opportunity, or do you hire and train more people?

 

The first option limits your revenue growth, while the other increases revenue but only maintains your current cost per order and profitability on each item.

 

It’s certainly not a bad thing, but to really take advantage of the revenue opportunity you need the ability to scale your business upward, delivering more on-time shipments each day with the same number or even fewer people. 

 

This provides you the ability to increase your revenue and lower your operating costs.  However, to do this you need real-time order processing that manages a 24×7 workload without human involvement.  

 

OPAL gives you this 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. You just pick and pack and OPAL handles the rest.

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.

QUESTIONS TO ASK

  • 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.

Want to learn more how Opal can work for you?  Book a Demo now.

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.