According to Supply Chain Brain you really don’t have a choice – multichannel fulfillment support is here and only getting bigger. Let’s use Supply Chain Brain’s quote from Joe Vernon to set the stage for defining what multichannel fulfillment means.
Multichannel fulfillment can be defined as optimizing the supply chain’s capabilities to simultaneously receive and process orders from multiple ordering channels and fulfill them from the source that provides the highest level of consumer satisfaction and lowest fulfillment cost to the retailer. This model for fulfillment is both customer – and cost-driven and, therefore, the new de facto standard for the retail supply chain. – Joe Vernon, Manager of North America Supply Chain Technologies, Capgemini
For many small volume sellers this environmental change can create serious challenges for their internal operations. The management of complex and unique channel requirements along with the staging of inventory will force an increase in management’s expertise in fulfillment. When these requirements for a new channels creates an impact on your fulfillment organization, it may be time to evaluate the use of partners to leverage specific skills to match those new channel demands.
We recently began working with a company that was selling direct to their clients for years. Their fulfillment team was perfectly suited to support these direct-to-consumer clients. However, when they added their first retail and distribution partners the team wasn’t prepared for the new requirements these partners had for shipments, packaging and labeling. All the hard work selling these new high-volume channels was at risk based upon their inability to quickly implement the fulfillment systems needed to provide seamless delivery. Ultimately, they made a decision to outsource these new channels to PMA Fulfillment to leverage our expertise in these areas and maintain their current direct channel in house – a great balanced approach.
When the environment changes, take advantage of the opportunity to focus on new and creative ways to support your clients and your company with the best set of experts available.