Facility Logistic Services, Inc.

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Multi-Channel Fulfillment: Flexibility, Technology and Service

Posted on by wildfireDev1

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One of the latest warehousing trends among manufacturers and retailers is multi-channel or omni-channel fulfillment – this involves fulfilling orders from diverse channels of distribution, including brick and mortar stores, catalog, online and mobile to enhance productivity, customer satisfaction, and the bottom line.

With this kind of agile commerce, which is often outsourced to third-party logistics (3PL) providers such as FLS specializing in robust warehouse management systems, companies can take advantage of economies of scale, contribute to sustainability requirements, and reduce the time it takes to get products in consumers’ hands.

How does multi-channel fulfillment work?

Until a few years ago, supply chains were designed to run point to point from production to a specific distribution outlet to the consumer. Today’s leading companies are investing in flexible, technology-driven multi-channel fulfillment to optimize inventory across the entire supply chain, which in turn can lower the cost of fulfillment per order.

With big box retailers such as Lowes, Macy’s, and others, leading the way, best-in-class multi-channel fulfillment integrates inventory across the supply chain from planning to execution via vendors, distribution centers, and point-of-purchase.

Why is multi-channel fulfillment important to consumers and retailers?

At the heart of this trend are consumers and their evolving preference for “no boundaries” shopping. More than ever, the lines between retail channels are blurred for many consumers, who seek more and better ways to purchase goods and value the immediacy of the right product. For the retailer, this creates an opportunity to prevent lost sales while simultaneously enhancing service and brand loyalty.

Further, while having access to easy returns – from mail to in-store returns – is a perk for consumers, being able to recycle returns quickly translates into better sales and fewer markdowns for retailers. And, for some leading retailers, being able to cross-sell inventory via online, mobile or kiosk offers significant financial rewards, too.

The bottom line:  A win-win, multi-channel fulfillment has the potential to powerfully transform retail and the consumer experience.

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