E-commerce companies around the world are investing vast amounts of money in large automated warehouses from where orders will be fulfilled. To meet the demand for prompt, convenient delivery, they are adapting their existing distribution centres to create a unified supply chain in partnership with logistics companies.
Cost-effective solutions to address the growth in e-commerce
A number of companies are developing new solutions to take on the challenge of the ever-increasing growth in e-commerce. Their existing operations – which involve separating out direct sales from e-commerce fulfilment using different distribution centres and systems – no longer provide them with the most efficient way of fulfilling orders. This is because separate operations and center can lead to an excess of stock as well as redundant building and system costs. While large companies might have the capacity to build more distribution centres to cover the geographical areas in which they operate, small and medium-sized enterprises find the cost of doing this prohibitive. A key solution is to work with logistics companies that are able to combine direct sales and e-commerce fulfillment as well as B2C orders through the same distribution centers and inventory pool. This reduces both the costs to the e-tailer and the complexity of the operation.
According to the Future of Supply Chains (by Nitin Chaturvedi, Mirko Martich, Brian Ruwadi, Nursen Ulker, March 2013), businesses that get the supply chain right can achieve increases in distribution centre throughput of 40%, a reduction in lead time to the customer of one to two days and distribution centre cost reductions of up to 20%.
What to look out for in logistics partner
Partners should be able to offer accurate and efficient picking and packing systems, manage inventory effectively and provide an integrated shipping service as well as tracking. Some logistics companies like LogVad based in Belgium and France, for example, are able to fulfil all these roles. Through its arrangements with bpost International, the company has been able to consolidate volumes and reduce customers’ delivery costs.
Landmark Global itself boasts a personalised e-fulfilment solution, offering e-tailers everything from pick-up, storage and pick and pack, to the delivery of goods all over the world. Leveraging its global networks, the company delivers millions of cross-border shipments, which can be tracked, to over 220 countries.
Logistics providers are increasingly providing businesses with the option of unifying their multichannel operations, cutting out waste, eliminating duplication and saving on cost. For more information on how we can help you, visit our solutions page.