For retailers competing in today’s fast-paced, omnichannel landscape, staying on the cutting edge of emerging topics in the complex supply chain industry is key. So, when questions begin to outpace answers, where can retailers turn for reliable insight? Explore Total Retail’s “50 Best Retail Tips of 2019” report, featuring commentary from company President Ken Fleming on international shipping strategy.
Ken’s insight helps retailers save money through consolidation and awareness of the fees and surcharges that accompany cross-border shipping. Along with his advice, the report contains key points from other industry professionals on their retail strategies. Topics of interest include e-commerce, marketing, technology, returns, and more.
Add to your growing knowledge of retail best practices with tips from Ken and all of Total Retail’s featured industry leaders. Download the full “50 Best Retail Tips of 2019” report for free.
Every executive representing an e-commerce seller, a manufacturer or a retailer needs to have a vested interest in the effective fulfillment of customer orders. The profitability and customer service stakes are too high to ignore, and technology advancements are making the once-impossible possible when it comes to keeping step with the evolving needs and desires of customers in this increasingly competitive “same-day” market. With the right strategic plan and technology in place, shippers can address the need for fundamental-but-complex operational changes to get closer to customers, and as e-commerce sales, fulfillment and returns continue to grow, executives are making a more concerted effort to know what it takes to be successful.
In his first contribution for the Forbes Technology Council, Ken discusses the important trend of needing to be closer to customers to provide better service more cost-effectively and its impact on all of e-commerce fulfillment. Ken provides insights for shippers to help them determine what effects related to new carrier rate hikes will have on their own operations so they can effectively forecast the impact of the changes and take immediate steps to reduce their distribution costs.
In the Amazon era of next-day delivery and in-store pickups, many businesses have made great progress to get goods into customers’ hands quickly. They increasingly fulfill e-commerce orders from diverse distribution networks, casting aside the old model of using a single distribution center to cover wide territories. Behind the scenes, companies have been taking steps to stock and deliver their products from locations closer to customers to reduce the distances products must travel.
With major carriers like UPS, FedEx and DHL Express increasing rates for 2020, it’s getting more expensive at a faster rate to deliver goods over longer distances, giving sellers another incentive to get closer to customers. For shippers to provide the right level of service in a cost-effective manner, they need to establish a wider geographic footprint through their own distribution centers, converting stores into distribution nodes or contracting with third-party logistics providers.
Read Ken’s first Forbes article: “As Shipping Rates Hike, Sellers Can Get Closer to Customers to Minimize Impact,” and look for more in the future.
Ecommerce is changing everything in its wake, even well-established and efficient supply chains. In a recent article for Digital Commerce 360, Logistyx President Ken Fleming breaks down how ecommerce revolutionized the B2B world by letting the customer determine where, when, and by whom goods are delivered rather than the supplier.
By saying goodbye to their efficient, but very rigid, supply chains in favor of flexibility, successful manufacturers can prepare for the rapidly changing demands and the wide array of wishes of all their customers.
Read Ken’s full article on Digital Commerce 360: “Manufacturers: Say goodbye to your rigid, if efficient, supply chains”
The votes have been counted, and the readers of Supply Chain Brief have spoken.
Ken Fleming’s October 17 column for Logistics Viewpoints, “Brexit’s Profound Impact on Cross-Border Shipping,” has been voted the top industry blog post of 2019 and named the 2019 Supply Chain Brief MVP Winner as the Most Valuable Post in the Transport/Freight category.
“Brexit is likely to hammer unprepared supply chain and logistics professionals and the customers expecting to receive their deliveries, but I’m encouraged that Supply Chain Brief readers echoed the importance of this monumental event and the impact it’s likely to have on global shipping, especially in and around the U.K. and Europe,” said Ken. “With several postponements, shippers still have an opportunity to prepare for the changes and ensure their parcel shipments stay compliant, on-time and under-budget. Our TMS for parcels will make the process seamless for Logistyx clients.”
By rapidly incorporating all regulatory and resulting carrier changes, Logistyx customers will stay compliant to avoid delays and fees. Keeping clients compliant with these type of changes is nothing new for Logistyx; it’s one of the company’s biggest benefits and why the industry’s top warehouse management systems and 92 of Internet Retailer’s Top 1000 choose our TMS for parcel. Brexit, however, stands to be one of the most impactful logistics hurdles of modern time. Country codes will change and trigger a wave of other changes. Export volume will skyrocket for many shippers. Currencies may fluctuate. This is just the tip of the iceberg.
If you missed Ken’s 2019 Supply Chain MVP, consider giving it a read to learn more: https://logisticsviewpoints.com/brexit-impact-cross-border-shipping/
Need to get ready for Brexit? Request a complementary consultation.
Omnichannel customers may account for only a small portion of retailers’ patrons, but they represent a hefty portion of sales by ordering more often than others. To better accommodate these omnichannel customers’ preferences, many retailers have begun to adapt their fulfillment processes by providing more convenient physical locations and pickup sites, 3D print & ship capabilities, manufacturer direct shipping, and more.
In a recent Multichannel Merchant article, Logistyx Technologies President and Chief Sales Officer Ken Fleming highlights this growing retail trend and the ways in which merchants are getting closer to customers to improve service and ensure profitability.
With the right enterprise parcel shipping and distribution software solutions equipped to handle the new omnichannel paradigm, retailers can increase efficiencies and build closer relationships with consumers to drive success.
Read Ken’s full article on Multichannel Merchant: “Omnichannel Merchants Shift Closer to the Customer.”
Interest in adding a TMS for parcel shipping continues to rise among shippers as e-commerce volumes increase, omnichannel delivery strategies become a priority and consumer expectations for same-day and next-day delivery persist. But while a parcel TMS can help shippers cost-effectively manage rapid increases in parcel volumes, it’s important to note it also helps shippers provide excellent customer service in a profitable way. (And how a shipper implements the technology impacts just how well the investment will pay off.) In a recent article in Logistics Viewpoints, Logistyx Technologies President and Chief Sales Officer Ken Fleming describes how shippers with a firm understanding of their current shipping environment can forecast the impact of a parcel TMS by asking two preliminary questions before starting an implementation:
- Do the benefits of a parcel TMS outweigh its total cost of ownership?
- Can adoption of a parcel TMS deliver ROI during each stage of its rollout?
Ken also advises shippers on how to leverage their own shipping data to answer each question with greater precision and better understand what’s at stake. Read Ken’s full article on Logistyx Viewpoints: “Determining the ROI of a Parcel TMS.”
Net landed cost of goods (NLCOG), the total cost associated with getting goods into customers’ hands, consists of cost of distribution (CoD) and cost of manufacturing (CoM). Squeezed for efficiency over the last few decades, manufacturing costs now offer little opportunity to drive further savings. Costs of distribution, on the other hand, present a new and often unexplored territory for manufacturers and retailers to increase margin and improve customer service. In a recent article in Internet Retailing, Logistyx Technologies President and Chief Sales Officer Ken Fleming advises manufacturers to look at both halves of their net landed costs of goods to unlock savings, and he celebrates cost of distribution as the “new cost-savings champion.” With the right tools, manufacturers can quickly determine their most efficient shipping options for each and every parcel to unlock these savings without sacrificing customer service. Read Ken’s full article on Internet Retailing: “Look beyond cost of manufacturing to unlock cost-savings.”
In part one of a two-part article series for Total Retail, Logistyx Technologies President and Chief Sales Officer Ken Fleming shared insights into how retailers can control carrier rates for parcel shipping by using the right tools to achieve cost savings. In the second part of the series, Fleming goes on to discuss how carriers have been able to raise rates due to the challenges around the growing popularity of e-commerce among consumers worldwide and the shortage of qualified drivers in the global shipping industry. To combat these escalating shipping costs and meet the exceeding demands for shipping, retailers should utilize multicarrier technology to effectively choose the ideal carrier at the right time and at the right place. Fleming lays out steps for retailers to effectively negotiate with carriers for the best rates and leverage technology to determine the most time- and cost-effective solution. Read more from Ken Fleming on Total Retail: “How Shippers Can Fight Back Against Budget-Breaking Carrier Rates.”
Logistyx Technologies President and Chief Sales Officer Ken Fleming recently offered key insights around the importance of giving careful consideration to the most profitable ways to ship parcels. As e-commerce and the need for expedited parcel shipping continues to grow, retailers, manufacturers and other companies need the right tools to look beyond a carrier’s base rate to successfully navigate the complex and crowded field of service charges and added fees to achieve cost savings. Fleming shares essential questions shippers can ask themselves to simplify this process and better understand the variables for creating an optimal carrier strategy to effectively control costs.Read more from Ken Fleming on Total Retail: “Controlling Shipping Costs Means More Than Just Comparing Base Rates, Part 1.”
Logistyx President & Chief Sales Officer Ken Fleming was recently quoted in a Logistics Viewpoints article by Steve Banker, in which Banker outlines how manufacturers, retailers and 3PLs have embarked on a digital transformation journey – beginning with the implementation of multi-carrier shipping software and driving toward better collaboration with key partners in an extended supply chain. For example, organizations using the right multi-carrier shipping software can focus on remaining compliant to carriers’ – like UPS and FedEx – standards regarding how the labels attached to packages should look. The carriers have created these standards to gather the data they need to optimize their logistics and billing processes. If a shipper lacks the right label, the carrier may choose not to pick up the package. If the label is mostly right, the carrier will pick up the package but then fine the shipper.
As Fleming highlights: label compliance is a big job. Logistyx is already complying with almost 500 different carriers’ label mandates, and big carriers can have multiple label formats. States Fleming, “The label formats, manifesting structures and protocols for status updates can all be different in different markets.” In effect, the same carrier looks and acts like a different carrier in different parts of the world. And complying with the standards set by almost 500 carriers understates the problem by an order of magnitude. Logistyx has 550 global carrier services, and each service represents a unique way to provide data. For example, a hazardous material shipment requires a different label with distinct data fields. Shipments in Europe require the use of CMR documents. Comments Fleming, “Our philosophy is to never say no. We will always add a new carrier at no cost.” Read more about the digital transformation underway in logistics operations across the world on Logistics Viewpoints: A Digital Logistics Platform.