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What is a Parcel Omnichannel?
A parcel Omnichannel is a tech enabled fulfillment strategy that utilizes all distribution channels within your parcel network to meet the needs and desires of your customers.
How Does Omnichannel Work?
The Omnichannel process typically begins when a consumer finds your product online, often from a mobile device. Utilizing the consumer’s location data and your inventory levels, your online store then presents a variety of shipping or in-store pick up options to the consumer. Often these choices are the result of a combined effort between your closest distribution centers, local brick-and-mortar stores, and last mile delivery partners. As you can imagine, the power of this process comes from deep integration between technology and each of your distribution channels.
What are the Requirements of an Omnichannel Parcel Network?
Though exact requirements vary between each parcel network (reminder, a quality Parcel Spend Management system is always customized to the realities and needs of your parcel network), at the end of the day Omnichannel strategies generally require:
- Increased visibility into your parcel network data, especially your inventory. Such Big Data is paramount to being able to allocate and fulfill consumer wants as quickly and efficiently as possible.
- A digital distribution network (vs. a traditional one). Real time data of what’s happening across and between all of your distribution channels is required.
- Imagination and flexibility. Many of your physical assets and even your partnerships can be used to support an Omnichannel strategy – the possibilities are as endless as your imagination and willingness to persist for the highest customer experience possible.
Why Choose Omnichannel?
Omnichannel strategies are incredibly effective for delivering quality customer experiences for large and complex parcel networks. This approach relies on technology and Big Data to adapt your parcel strategy to what’s best for the consumer at the time they are shopping – and that’s an important distinction to make. Omnichannel strategies require real time data from your store, your TMS/WMS, and your consumer. The end goal is to deliver what and when the customer wants.
Four Steps to Evaluating Distribution Center Locations
The quick fix for fast order fulfillment is using an express service, but in a world where shippers are constantly battling rising costs, that is not a sustainable option. Placing distribution centers (DCs) in the correct location can provide a long-term, sustainable option to reduce fulfillment time. Are your current DCs placed in the most optimal locations? Here are four steps in evaluating the location of distribution centers.
Keeping Up With Amazon: Keys to Evaluating a Fast Shipping Model
As a result of the ongoing rise in e-commerce and the growth of Amazon Prime (which has an estimated 80 million US members), today’s online shoppers have very different expectations when it comes to fast and free shipping than they did just a few years ago. In order to compete, many retailers are considering adopting a similar strategy to fulfill orders much more quickly to meet those consumer expectations. However, it is challenging for transportation executives to manage the competing objectives of keeping costs down while pursuing a significantly faster fulfillment network.
Growing Pains: Being Prepared for the Constraints of Network Optimization
Most parcel and LTL shippers identify fast order fulfillment (fewer than two days) as their number one strategic focus, but a common problem affecting these shippers is their ability to actually implement the various optimization opportunities available to them. Being able to proactively identify and prepare for these constraints is the key to implementing an optimization strategy and gaining the maximum return on your investments.
Regional Carriers - An Increasingly Viable Carrier Alternative
I am noticing Regional carriers are gaining more interest than ever in the parcel shipping community these days. They have been a presence for years in the industry, but recent parcel industry trends and developments are thrusting them onto an even larger stage. Retailers in particular have been a primary factor in providing greater stardom for the Regionals. As most in the parcel industry are aware, omni-channel retailing strategies are disrupting how retailing is conducted. As a result, the methods for fulfilling and delivering consumer orders are also being disrupted. A primary objective of the omni-channel strategy is optimizing inventory...
Leading Insights From GMT's Annual Parcel Benchmark Report
GMT's own Director of Operations, D. Aaron Guild, and distinguished faculty fellow from UT GSCI, John Lebowitz present takeaways and insights from our 2020 Benchmark Report.