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Logistyx President Ken Fleming Discusses Matching Inventory Approaches to Business Models for Forbes

Following years of refinement and optimization, warehouses are fine-tuned machines, but that doesn’t make them the right machines for all business models. Some depend on housing inventory in large warehouses; others require a more diversified approach with different tactics.

In his latest article at Forbes, Logistyx President Ken Fleming argues that matching an approach to inventory with the business model is critical for success, and that each combination comes with unique needs that must be addressed:

“As consumer behaviors and expectations change, product lifecycles shorten and supply chain disruptions happen more frequently and persist longer, businesses should examine their approach to inventory and how well it matches the current demands of their business model.”

Ken also examines three business models with different inventory approaches:

  1. Ecommerce Retailers Relying on Large Warehouses
  2. Omnichannel Retailers Offering Ship-From-Store and BOPIS
  3. Service-Oriented Businesses Tapping into 3-D Printing

Read Ken’s full article, “The Importance of Matching Inventory to Business Models,” to learn about the nuances associated with each pairing as well as how a blended approach might best serve your business.

While visiting Forbes, be sure to read Ken’s other articles.

To Arms! Shippers Engage in “Arms Race” to Secure Global Shipping Capabilities

The last 18 months has seen a great deal of chaos in shipping and logistics. COVID-19, Brexit, manufacturing plant fires, capacity shortages, unprecedented e-commerce growth and more all contributed to extended delivery delays, increased returns, and a growing need for flexibility to meet consumer demands and ensure customer satisfaction.

Companies around the globe are rethinking every facet of their business model, from their sales model to their approach to inventory to how they handle returns. Among their top priorities, is trying to put transformative shipping strategies in place to execute expanded omnichannel approaches that include store-based shipping and expanded delivery options for traditional e-commerce purchases.

With major carriers like UPS and FedEx routinely announcing increased shipping surcharges and daily package capacity caps for peak season, while also dropping smaller freight clients altogether, shippers are rightfully seeking more regional carriers to incorporate into their carrier networks to pick up the slack. As LaserShip Chief Commercial Officer Josh Dinneen told the New York Times:

“Vienna, Va.-based LaserShip has expanded into several markets this year, and began delivering in Tennessee last month. The company now serves 21 states and the District of Columbia, and plans to push west of the Mississippi, said Chief Commercial Officer Josh Dinneen.

He said that holiday-season capacity is already locked up and LaserShip won’t add new clients until January.

‘We are adding north of 400% more customers this year than we did last year,’ Mr. Dinneen said. ‘These retailers are looking for alternatives to FedEx and UPS, and faster speed to their customers.’”

This is not a unique situation. Many regional carriers are capitalizing on the overflow of larger carriers and expanding geographic areas rapidly to accommodate demand while ensuring quick profitability, but onboarding new carriers is not the only tactic shippers are employing to improve service levels and keep up with demand. They’re also looking to increase options with proven carriers or carriers that look likely to prove out given strong investment.

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Utilizing Technology to Secure Global Shipping Capabilities

Of course, it’s not just carriers and services that shippers are ramping up; it’s also their use of technology to optimize their processes and uncover new opportunities. Technologies like Manhattan Associates’ Warehouse Management Systems and Order Management System continue to help shippers improve operations and fulfillment, especially when coupled with Logistyx’s cloud-based solution with state-of-the-art business intelligence and a carrier library of more than 550 carriers.

Manhattan unites information across the enterprise, converging order management with back-end supply chain execution. Logistyx offers Manhattan customers the ability to better manage their parcel shipping activities with support for a blended carrier strategy and the capacity to deploy an extensive selection of carriers, providing an expanded global footprint for customers to achieve the best value for every destination, delivery time and product.

These types of technology integrations optimize the entire order fulfillment process from end-to-end, saving valuable time and resources, cutting costs and helping ensure customer satisfaction during times of turmoil and in the face of unexpected challenges.

“Shippers face unprecedented challenges in parcel shipping, finding themselves in a shipping arms race to ensure they can navigate current and future circumstances to maintain the survival of their business,” said Adam Kline, Senior Director, Product Management at Manhattan Associates. “As shippers seek solutions to the current challenges while working to protect their businesses against potential future issues, the importance of growing transportation networks for greater choice becomes paramount. The combination of Manhattan’s and Logistyx’s solutions creates seamless flexibility, stability and security.”

Increase your Global Shipping Capabilities

Whether onboarding new carriers and carrier services, implementing new technologies, or both, shippers increasingly seek to employ a variety of strategies and tactics to ensure shipping coverage on a global scale.

Contact Logistyx today to see how we can help you navigate current and future obstacles in shipping and supply chain.

Parcel Forum 2021: A Monumental Event

Parcel Forum 2021, dubbed “the essential learning event for e-commerce-centric (B2C) and business-to-business (B2B) shippers” is next week – and it’s in-person!  And we’re going!  You’ll have to forgive us in advance if we’re still wearing our blue light glasses and slippers – it’s been a while since we’ve seen you.  But just because we’ve been socially distanced (and more) for the last year and a half, doesn’t mean our industry experts aren’t ready to share our innovative technology, best practices, and customer success stories.  On the contrary, a quick visit to booth #100 will give you some insight into how Walgreens, Pfizer, Footlocker, and more are getting products (including vaccinations!) to customers quickly and cost-effectively.

Simplify the Complexity of this Unprecedented Shipping Landscape

In the last 18 months, shipping rates to some regions have skyrocketed a staggering 443% due to shortages, limited carrier capacity, and the increased demand COVID brought to the scene, and we’re heading to Parcel Forum ready to help you simplify the complexity of this unprecedented shipping landscape.  Be sure to stop by to say hello, take a product tour, and explore how our cloud-based multi-carrier parcel shipping technology can be a real competitive differentiator when it comes to optimizing your order fulfillment by:

  • Quickly onboarding new carriers
  • Empowering you to meet shipping demands while controlling costs by automating and optimizing carrier selection – accounting for best value rates, business rules, and customer delivery preferences with each order.
  • Complying with more than 550 global carriers and executing cross-border shipments.
  • Ensuring on-time delivery in full and improving customer service performance metrics.
  • Flagging unforeseen delivery events, automating delivery exception decisions, and producing carrier performance scorecards.
  • Increasing shipping volumes without adding staff or costs to the process.
  • Informing complex decisions such as how to deploy zone skipping; ideal inventory placement strategies; and which business rules to apply for rapid parcel carrier selection.
  • Seamlessly integrating with e-commerce, ERP, WMS, OMS, and TMS solutions to create a “one-touch” shipping ecosystem that seamlessly executes same-day/next-day delivery, ship-from-store, BOPIS, returns, and more.

Need more incentive to leave your home office behind?  As described in a recent report from the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) with McKinsey & Company, “With e-commerce projected to reach 25-40% of sales across categories after the pandemic abates, retailers must understand the role of digital shifts on the customer journey, upgrade e-commerce capabilities, and rethink the network as the role of the store blurs.”  Translation: adopting and implementing supply chain technology that fuels omnichannel retail strategies is critical to improving customer service and profitability in this unprecedented e-commerce landscape.

And where better to explore technology solutions than the exhibitor floor of Parcel Forum 2021?  Walk the aisles, grab the swag (we’ll have eats and more, for the record), and talk to the experts about how their state-of-the-art solutions can reduce costs and ship faster (repeat: booth #100!).

Join Us!

Because we’ve all been off the in-person trade show circuit for 14+ months, we’re predicting Parcel Forum will draw a larger and more diverse audience together this year than ever before. So, join us in D.C. and schedule some time to meet one-to-one with Logistyx professionals.  See why Logistyx was named to the Inc. 5000 Fastest-Growing Companies in America and network with industry peers to discuss common challenges and discover solutions.  There’s no time like the present to reimagine your parcel shipping and transform your order fulfillment.

Schedule a meeting today or stop by Booth #100.  We’re looking forward to seeing you!

What is BOPIS?

It’s no secret the pandemic has altered both the digital and physical world of commerce. Today, retailers must build a powerful presence in the right spaces (that’s spaces, plural) to reach their customers: online storefronts/D2C, e-commerce marketplaces, social media platforms, mobile channels, and brick-and-mortar stores. Omnichannel commerce allows customers to engage with brands — and vice versa — just about everywhere, and customers should have similar shopping experiences whether they browse brands in-store, on a direct-to-consumer (D2C) site, through another channel like Amazon, or on a social media platform like Instagram.

Executed successfully, omnichannel retail provides customers with a consistent and engaging experience from product discovery to product delivery, which encourages repeat purchases and brand referrals.

Let’s take a deeper dive into one riff of an omnichannel approach: Buy Online, Pick-Up in Store (BOPIS).

BOPIS on the Rise

BOPIS is hardly new. Major retailers have been offering click-and-collect services for a while, and BOPIS options range from traditional customer service department pick-ups… to curbside pick-ups… or more recently to locker pick-ups.

Typically, online customers learn whether a retailer offers BOPIS at the point of checkout. If BOPIS is available, a customer can select in-store or curbside pickup at a store convenient to them and then complete their purchase. Most stores can fulfill the order in one to three hours, and if an item is not in stock at a local store, the customer can choose to have their purchase shipped to the store (although this will take longer).  Regardless of whether the item is available same-day or next-day, when it’s time for pickup, the customer receives a notification and then retrieves their order at their convenience during the store’s business hours.

Increasingly popular, surveys show shoppers are more likely to purchase from a retailer with BOPIS services, and curbside pickup is rated one of the most desirable options. Now with the COVID-19 pandemic, BOPIS has grown exponentially, and some experts maintain it will significantly change the face of retail, as many shoppers have grown reluctant to linger in brick-and-mortar stores. The statistics certainly seem to back these predictions: according to a survey by Qudini, 62% of consumers embrace BOPIS options as a way to reduce exposure to the coronavirus.

The Advantages of BOPIS

BOPIS services enable retailers to better compete with e-commerce retailers such as Amazon by providing them with a way to offer same-day/next-day shipping to customers without incurring prohibitive shipping costs. And as proven during the pandemic, BOPIS also yields advantages such as contactless delivery, protecting the safety of store associates and customers alike.

But looking past the pandemic, retailers can benefit from BOPIS in additional ways, including:

  • Decreasing last-mile delivery costs. For any shipper, last-mile delivery costs can be substantial. Shipping an item to a distribution center costs far less than shipping an item from a distribution center to a residential address, and by eliminating the last-mile, brick-and-mortar retailers can offer fast, free shipping without compromising their profit margins.
  • Increasing in-store foot traffic. There’s a reason people joke about entering big box retailers for one thing and then leaving with $100 worth of merchandise: impulse purchases! And BOPIS plays beautifully into this phenomenon by bringing the customer into the store.

Free White Paper - Simplifying Multi-Carrier Parcel Management for Peak Season and Beyond

BOPIS Requires Some Heavy Lifting

Despite the benefits, BOPIS isn’t necessarily a quick and easy path to increased retail sales. While it’s an impressive and desirable proposition, it requires some heavy lifting to connect online and in-store inventory and to build an agile logistics network.

First, retailers must merge their in-store and online inventory tracking systems. Historically, retailers had two different inventory systems: one for distribution centers, and one for stores. Online orders were fulfilled through distribution centers, and in-store purchases were fulfilled with on-shelf inventory. With BOPIS, these inventory silos must merge, usually in the form of enterprise supply chain technology such as IMS, OMS, and WMS applications, enabling retailers to have a complete view of their entire inventory and thus empowering them to capture the biggest share possible of online sales.

Retailers leveraging a BOPIS distribution model also require a local carrier network catering to their retail footprint and a cloud multi-carrier shipping system to rate and rate shop across this network.  Furthermore, the system needs to integrate with their supply chain tech stack: IMS, WMS, OMS, and other applications. Then, when an online customer selects BOPIS at checkout, if it’s necessary to move inventory from store to store or from the distribution center to the store to complete order fulfillment, the multi-carrier shipping system automatically selects the “best cost” carrier service for each order according to parcel origin, parcel destination, carrier contracts, and business rules; and creates or acquires the tracking, labels, and documents. Ultimately, retailers can satisfy customers’ BOPIS requests and drive down the cost of shipping.

It’s important to note that inventory delegation becomes a critical component for BOPIS to enhance the flow of products; retailers must determine which products need to be on hand at all locations and which products can be on hand only at specific locations. For example, snow boots may be critical inventory for retail locations in Portland, Maine, while it’s unlikely they’re necessary in Palm Springs.

Put the Right Mix of Shipping and Omnichannel Capabilities at your Fingertips

Logistyx was named the #1 fulfillment software provider to Digital Commerce 360’s Top 1000 retailers for two consecutive years. As e-commerce continues to surge, Logistyx ensures top retailers and others with large fulfillment operations have the right mix of shipping and omnichannel capabilities at their fingertips, while tapping into more than 550 global carrier integrations for an optimal transportation strategy to effectively achieve omnichannel fulfillment.

To learn more about how you can leverage BOPIS as well as other distribution strategies, download our white paper: Rethinking Inventory: Matching Approaches to Business Models.

Cloud Multi-Carrier Shipping Software at a Glance

Managing omnichannel order fulfillment and delivery is one of the most complex challenges you face as an organization. Typically, this is because there is a vast amount of information managed across fragmented silos and systems.  But it doesn’t have to be this way! The right multi-carrier shipping software can help you manage carrier contracts, rating, rate shopping, carrier compliance, delivery event track-and-trace, and more – all in one solution.  And it can seamlessly integrate with other solutions in your supply chain technology stack, which will enable you to swiftly initiate:

Multi-carrier shipping systems are also elastic – they scale quickly to accommodate surges in shipping volumes, and a cloud-based system enables fast on-boarding of new carriers with little impact on internal IT departments.

The bottom line: you can ship more efficiently while creating first-class omnichannel customer delivery experiences.

The Parcel Shipping Landscape is Challenging

As e-commerce surges and supply chain bottlenecks increase, carriers across the board are increasing rates and implementing fees and surcharges.  This barrage of fees adds up for shippers, threatening their own profit margins.  And the complexity and changeability of these fees makes it difficult to meaningfully plan shipments.

Additionally, shipment volume restrictions have become more rigid and are being strongly enforced, which means shippers not only have to worry about skyrocketing fees, but also about carriers not picking up their freight. Furthermore, these limits can be vague and erratic, leading to last-minute confusion and headaches. Suffice it to say, it’s now almost impossible for large shippers to rely on a single carrier to move all or most of their freight, complicating planning and introducing more room for error and overlooked shipments, especially for shippers that have previously relied heavily on a single carrier partner.

But wait, there’s more!

Sadly, the recent onslaught of carrier restrictions is not the only factor complicating parcel shipping today. Warehouse space is difficult to come by, consumer expectations are higher than ever, and manufacturing has slowed due to various shortages.

Quick Guide - Critical Capabilities of a Multi-Carrier Parcel Shipping Solution

Shippers Have More to Gain than Ever from Cloud Multi-Carrier Shipping Software

Shippers now have more to gain than ever by optimizing their parcel deliveries and returns, and they’re turning to multi-carrier shipping systems to get the most value from their transportation networks – automating carrier service rate shopping according to their business rules and within their own contracted carrier network to ensure the right carrier and service is selected to meet customer expectations for the best cost.

Utilizing this advanced technology not only allows shippers to compare millions of different shipping scenarios simultaneously to ensure they are choosing the best option each time, but it also enables them to combine these services with other high-value offerings, including business intelligence. Business intelligence, and particularly advanced data analytics, can provide shippers with a road map for future success.  It aggregates, normalizes, and reports transportation data while also offering insights to help contain costs and improve operations by:

  • Eliminating silos and connecting people, processes, data, and technology so teams can make decisions with context and tie parcel shipping operations to company strategy.
  • Identifying inefficiencies and empowering shippers to increase on-time delivery rates, shipping velocity, and order volume.
  • Demonstrating the impact of carrier capacity limitations and order demand, providing managers with the ability to pivot carriers and transportation budgets to match customer expectations.
  • Surfacing insights, giving leaders a source of truth and telemetry to steer, predict, and report on the business of parcel shipping with confidence.

As Bart De Muynck, VP Analyst for Transportation Technology with research firm Gartner Inc., recently explained to DC Velocity, “The dramatic growth of parcel volumes, and the increasing complexity and breadth of delivery networks” has driven the need for more advanced multi-carrier parcel management technologies. “What people are looking for is analytics and more intelligence in their systems,” De Muynck said, noting the highest demand is for real-time visibility, distributed order management, and multi-carrier parcel management—all connected and supportive of overall goals for lowest-cost, best-service delivery.

Mike Eisner, Vice President of Business Intelligence at Logistyx, also emphasizes that having a single source of truth is more critical than ever when shipping parcels in a post-pandemic world. “Having access to good data, metrics, and reporting can make or break shippers in the current parcel environment. With carriers operating at capacity, shippers are being hit with everything from peak surcharges, to lesser on time performance capabilities, to client ‘assumptions’ of same day or next day service expectations, to shifts in contract negotiation strength to carriers due to market demands. To offset these challenges, shippers need alternatives and options or risk being at the mercy of their carriers’ shipment thresholds and disappointing their own customers.”

Shippers Shouldn’t Under-Estimate the Value of their Shipping Data

The long-term value of shipping data when it comes to carrier contract negotiations can’t be underestimated.  Shippers and carriers communicate with each other daily.  While many of these conversations revolve around numbers, most revolve around real-time insights with little to no regard

for longer-term trend lines. While shippers undoubtedly feel the strain during peak season, they typically walk away with nothing more than anecdotal evidence to bring to the contract bidding table. Shippers tend to spend most of their energy during peak season focused on finding the lowest cost shipping and getting shipments to customers. They do not typically have time to think about data collection in the moment – making a multi-carrier shipping system with business intelligence invaluable.

Until recently, most solutions were too immature to provide data insights strong enough to influence contract negotiations, but this is beginning to change. As solutions with this capability – including those from Logistyx – continue to enter the market, shippers that adapt quickly will have an undeniable advantage over their more hesitant peers.

Looking for the right multi-carrier shipping system for you?

Multi-carrier shipping is the smart combination of a multi-carrier transportation network, cloud-based multi-carrier shipping technology with business intelligence, and supply chain technology integrations. The ideal recipe for you will make it possible to reduce transportation costs, achieve on-time delivery rates, and create best-in-class omnichannel customer delivery experiences.

And now that you know what multi-carrier shipping technology in particular can do for your business, it’s time to winnow down your options.  One way to make sure you get the most out of your solution? Download our Quick Guide: Critical Capabilities of a Multi-Carrier Parcel Shipping Solution today and explore the different features and functionality available in modern technology.

Investing in Technology Advancements to Enhance Sustainable Supply Chain Operations

As consumers increasingly demand quicker delivery of goods, the logistics of getting merchandise into customers’ hands has grown more complicated. At the same time, consumers have become conscious of the need for making deliveries more ecological. The focus on more sustainable, environmentally friendly delivery practices has led many shippers and transportation companies to re-evaluate their supply chains to strike this balance and better meet consumer expectations.

For instance, DHL Express recently ordered 12 electric aircraft from Eviation as part of its new push toward addressing broader sustainability concerns and zero-emission logistics while supporting e-commerce deliveries.

According to American Shipper, the new electric cargo jets “appear well suited for the on-demand, e-commerce environment where small, frequent batch deliveries are required.” Company officials say the aircraft will be used in its middle-mile U.S. network, replacing some similar-size planes that currently connect large air hubs and regional markets.

Other major carriers made similar moves in recent months:

It’s clear that sustainability within the logistics industry will become increasingly significant – not only to eco-conscious consumers, but to improving the end-to-end supply chain.

To create a more sustainable future in the logistics industry, companies continue to invest in and implement technology to gain actionable insights on improving operations to increase the efficiency of transportation and move toward a greener supply chain. The analytics capabilities of Logistyx’s cloud-based multi-carrier solution for global parcel shipping does just that by providing customers with the raw data and insights they need to continue to move their unique sustainability initiatives forward to both reduce environmental costs and waste as well as increase efficiency.

Logistyx’s multi-carrier parcel solution provides shippers the ability to easily choose the most environmentally friendly shipping mode and select the ‘right’ way to ship any particular package from a range of carriers and couriers based on business metrics by tapping into Logistyx’s library of more than 550 carrier integrations.

The use of Logistyx’s advanced multi-carrier parcel solution will increase agility by providing shippers with the ability to quickly onboard, leverage and optimize multiple carrier services while producing the data and analytics necessary to understand where logistics performance is sub-par and uncover opportunities to increase performance and savings, while making sustainable supply chain decisions.

Contact us today to learn more about how Logistyx’s multi-carrier shipping solution can help you improve sustainability in your own supply chain.

3 Benefits of Using a Local Shipping Carrier for 2021 Peak Season

Utilizing local carrier shipping services is key to efficiently delivering goods to your customers during peak season this year.

When COVID-19 shut down storefronts, consumers looked online to satisfy their latest wants and needs. And with this influx of online shopping, major warehouses quickly ran low on popular products and carriers ran low on capacity. Furthermore, although the demand for goods online skyrocketed, production of goods slowed due to social distancing guidelines and a decreased workforce.

Hence, we had a perfect storm. In the last 18 months, freight shipping rates to some regions skyrocketed a staggering 443% due to shortages, limited capacity, and the increased demand COVID brought to the scene.

Now, the world is opening its doors again. But while production may be back to full speed, global carriers like UPS are still fulfilling backorders, and carrier capacity remains limited. Given the ongoing carrier capacity issue, how should you prepare for peak season this year?

The answer: local carriers.

Read on to learn about local carriers and the benefits of integrating them into your shipping processes.

Local Shipping Carrier, Defined

Unlike a national or regional carrier that delivers goods from warehouse to doorstep, a local shipping carrier, sometimes taking the form of a last-mile carrier or “gig economy” fulfillment provider, delivers goods to your door from your local store. For example:

  • If you’re a grocery store, you can partner with a local carrier service like
  • Your customers can go on the Instacart website and choose your grocery store to buy goods online.
  • Instacart’s integration will find a local carrier to shop for your food and deliver it to your door within the customer’s chosen time frame.

Local shipping carriers present a win-win for retailers and consumers. For the retailer, platforms like UberEats, DoorDash, and Instacart provide easy access to customers by promising instant gratification when large online shops are overbooked. And for consumers, favorite products are within easy reach.

Local shipping carriers are typically ideal for fulfilling orders such as:

  • Cosmetics
  • Pharmacy
  • Groceries
  • Sports equipment
  • Restaurant items and fast food
  • Apparel
  • And more

Let’s look at the benefits of integrating your local brick-and-mortar store with local carriers.

Ensure On-Time Delivery with Local Shipping Carriers

Your online store in peak season is a crowded place. And with people ordering products nationwide, delivery times are more of a hope and less of a promise. For example, if a customer from California orders a Christmas present on December 23, and your closest shipping facility is in Texas, you may not be able to guarantee the gift arrives by Christmas Day.

However, if that same person can order the in-stock product from your store in their hometown and utilize a local carrier or gig economy fulfillment provider, it’s sure to be on their doorstep same-day – without braving the holiday crowds. Essentially, your customer follows their normal online ordering process and their satisfaction with the purchasing experience actually increases due to the speed of delivery and convenience.

Provide the Luxury of Convenience

One thing this pandemic has taught us? Most things in life can be done from home if you have the right tools. Case in point: according to a recent statistic, before COVID, only 17% of Americans worked fully remote jobs, and now 44% work remotely full time

With almost half of the American workforce at home completely and two-thirds working from home in some capacity, many are shopping online, ordering gifts online, and delivering food to their homes. Looking ahead to peak season, it’s important to consider this dynamic and ensure you have not only contracted with local shipping carriers but also that they are integrated with your shipping systems, so you can avoid any delivery hiccups and easily provide your customers with shopping conveniences such as same-day delivery.

Reduce Your Labor Force

When you use a local carrier, it’s more of a shift in labor than a reduction. More and more, consumers are buying online and during peak season, in particular, your warehouse and production lines are probably teeming with holiday help to meet your order demand.

But when you partner with a local shipping carrier like Instacart, you’re essentially outsourcing your order fulfillment to the local carrier. Most local carriers do the “shopping” and fulfillment in-store, so the only shipping responsibility you have to the customer is providing a local carrier solution.

Be Prepared for Peak Season by Integrating with Local Carriers

Though COVID-induced shipping backups will eventually subside, local carrier solutions are here for the long haul. More and more, consumers prioritize convenience – even over affordability.

If you’re still unsure whether local carriers are the right solution for your business in peak season, consider that multi-carrier shipping software will rate, rate shop, and automatically select the best carrier for shipping your products to delight your customer. This means you can have all the options at your fingertips and automatically select the best one for each order.

If you’re ready to learn more about the right solution for e-commerce shipping during peak season, download the “E-Commerce Checklist for Peak Season.”

Why Data Drives Next-Level Logistics and Supply Chain Management

Real-time shipment data across different origins, destinations, carrier services, and more enables next-level logistics and supply chain management.

Did you know, 81% of shippers and 86% of 3PLs (Third Party Logistics) providers predict that using data effectively will become “a core competency of their supply chain organizations?”  It makes sense — data can inform strategic decision-making in a big way, and in today’s unprecedented supply chain landscape, now is the time to build smart strategies that future-proof operations.

Parcel shipping data in particular will play a big role going forward, and with the right data available, you’ll be able to have real-time insight into your end-to-end logistics and supply chain management processes, regardless of whether you’re shipping from distribution centers or stores, shipping across borders, or shipping with “gig economy” carriers such as Uber and DoorDash.

But how can you get this data?  And once you have it, how can you use it?

A multi-carrier parcel shipping system will help aggregate, connect, and standardize your parcel shipping data so teams can make decisions with context and tie parcel shipping operations to your company strategy. And more sophisticated systems will include native Business Intelligence that aggregates and standardizes shipping data across carriers, so you have unprecedented reporting capabilities and a system of record for shipping.

Let’s take a look.

Data Optimizes Parcel Shipping Execution

Real-time visibility into shipment status data across different origins, destinations, regions, carrier services, and shipment characteristics (i.e., package weight and time in transit) offers three essential benefits:

  1. You can use the data to build a consolidated view of all carriers within your supply chain.
  2. You can enhance the customer experience with access to the latest shipment status data.
  3. You can leverage the data to trigger carrier alerts that efficiently identify problem shipments and sub-par carrier services for better decision making.

Ultimately, shipment status data can optimize long-term parcel shipping execution, reducing costs and improving on-time delivery KPIs. For example, if shipment status data reveals a shipment is unable to be delivered due to an in-transit delay resulting from a bad residential address, you can adjust downstream processes to avoid similar problems in the future.

Logistics Data Enables Control Tower Coordination

To better manage customer expectations and help resolve supply chain delivery challenges, advanced multi-carrier shipping systems will offer a Control Tower to monitor shipment status data and provide you with updates on carrier delivery performance, effectively holding carriers accountable and improving on-time delivery.

For example, shipment status data can create an alert in a Control Tower to update a delivery address, provide missing customs data, or advise customers of an in-transit carrier delay. This not only empowers you to manage client delivery expectations when problems occur, but as you solve problems and manage client expectations, you can track and analyze the relevant data points to support future decision-making.

Using shipping status data to fuel a Control Tower provides you with the following benefits:

  • You achieve greater visibility of performance against on-time delivery KPIs.
  • You can receive actionable delivery event alerts.
  • You can automate business-rule-driven processes that improve on-time delivery.
  • You improve end-to-end collaboration within your extended supply chain and its partners.

Data Fuels Business Intelligence

The ability to make the right decisions based on shipping data has never been more important, especially considering the challenges of the last year. As you strive to successfully meet the demands of today’s and tomorrow’s consumers, you must harness and leverage your shipping data to identify and gain control of parcel shipping opportunities.

Business Intelligence interprets your data from various sources and gives you the ability to:

  • Easily consolidate all shipping data from multiple sources
  • Automatically compute this data and report against chosen thresholds, KPIs, and business rules
  • Filter the data to glean deeper insights
  • Take quick action when shipping performance doesn’t meet set thresholds

With Business Intelligence, you can use your data to achieve a new level of operational veracity within your business, predicting, sharing, and delivering on key performance indicators across complex distribution scenarios.  Examples of the data you can analyze in a Business Intelligence platform include:

  • Execution-based data. Analyze quantitative data, such as shipment cost, carrier service levels, carton dimensions, carton weight, carton counts, carton origins, and carton destinations.
  • Track & Trace data. Analyze delivery status messages for each tracking number from the point of shipment manifest through delivery and, in the case of returns, back again. Business Intelligence leverages these messages to efficiently identify problems or patterns to address. Examples include problems related to geography, carriers, or even shipment characteristics.
  • Control Tower data. Analyze alerts and internal performance solving these problems.  Data ties back to carrier and service level performance, issue frequency, employee performance, and associated factors.

Business Intelligence creates a unified source of truth that analyzes KPIs and creates visuals, custom reports, and analyses. Built to measure performance against your own business rules, Business Intelligence provides you with an easy way to visualize the masses of shipping data you have in your system for meaningful interpretation.  You can receive early warnings about supply chain disruptions and uncover surprising new ways to improve your supply chain.

With a partner like Logistyx, you have the sophisticated technology you need to aggregate shipping data and gain easy insights on how to best delight your customers and meet your business goals.

Learn more about how Logistyx and Manhattan helped Footlocker use data-driven insights to improve parcel shipping operations.

Digital Commerce 360 Top 1000 Report: Enormous Growth of E-Commerce in 2020, Wide Embrace of Omnichannel Services

The massive surge of online shopping experienced during the COVID-19 pandemic was substantiated in recent key findings from Digital Commerce 360’s 2021 Top 1000 Report, an annual ranking of North America’s largest merchants by e-commerce sales.

The Top 1000 retailers collectively increased their global online sales by 45.8% in 2020, by far the largest year-over-year growth in the decade since Digital Commerce 360 began tracking North America’s 1,000 e-commerce leaders.

While U.S. retail sales increased 6.9% in 2020, online purchasing grew more than four times as fast, growing by 32.4%. E-commerce accounted for the bulk of retail industry growth in 2020 – 74.6% – a big jump over 54% of retail growth in 2019.

The report notes, “As consumers across North America searched, often desperately, for essential items during the pandemic, they not surprisingly turned first to the best-known retailers.” Just the 12 largest retailers by web sales accounted for 70.9% of the growth in Top 1000 sales from 2019 to 2020, growing collectively by 54.8%.

In Digital Commerce 360 and Bizrate Insights’ omnichannel survey of 1,047 online shoppers in February 2021, 64% of survey respondents said they intend to order more online in the next six months, suggesting a persistent upward trajectory. As the online shopping landscape continues to rapidly evolve, retailers must consider advanced e-commerce strategies to meet customer expectations and stay competitive.

Growing Importance of Omnichannel Retail Services

Digital Commerce 360’s Top 1000 Report found wide embrace of omnichannel activities by online shoppers in 2020, with 58% checking product availability at their local stores and 43% ordering products online and picking up in-store.

Of the 75% of surveyed shoppers who completed an in-store or curbside pickup in the past six months, 22% did so 11 or more times. Shoppers were largely satisfied with these delivery alternatives; 48% of respondents scored omnichannel experiences a 9 or higher, while 46% issued a grade of 6-8.

Of the Top 1000 retail chains – companies that primarily sell through physical stores – the percentage offering in-store pickup of web orders grew to 73% in 2020 from 61.9% in 2019. There was a much bigger jump in the number of chains offering curbside pickup, which increased to 54.2% from 9.9%. Many retail chains also increasingly offered in-store returns, growing to 88.3% of store-based Top 1000 retailers in 2020 from 66.8% a year earlier.

Overall, online shoppers widely embraced omnichannel options from a variety of merchants, with specialty stores, grocery stores and retail powerhouses including Walmart and Target all attracting significant attention. In turn, the countless stores that adopted these options drove positive results and fostered growing interest.

A Cloud Multi-Carrier Parcel Shipping Solution Sets Retailers Up for Success

It’s clear that, as consumer demands for affordable shipping and quick delivery  continue to grow, for today’s leading retailers, adopting and building an omnichannel strategy is critical to remaining competitive. A successful omnichannel approach requires an optimal balance of e-commerce, brick-and-mortar retail, and fulfillment and distribution capabilities. Having the ability to pull multiple e-commerce order fulfillment levers – such as ship from store; buy online pickup in store (BOPIS); and buy online, return in-store – is a critical differentiator for retailers, as detailed in the key findings of Digital Commerce 360’s 2021 Top 1000 Report.

To successfully implement an omnichannel retail strategy, companies need a comprehensive multi-carrier shipping strategy to support fast delivery times and meet customer expectations. For retailers striving to scale their business, while optimizing customer service and increasing profit margins, an effective omnichannel strategy must include a cloud multi-carrier shipping system.

A cloud multi-carrier shipping system seamlessly integrates with a retailer’s WMS, OMS, e-commerce, and ERP solutions to automate high volume, multi-carrier, omnichannel shipping. Regardless of which delivery option a customer chooses, the system automatically selects the right carrier service for each order according to parcel origin, parcel destination, carrier contracts, and business rules; and creates or acquires the tracking, labels, and documents. Therefore, retailers can satisfy customers’ delivery requirements and drive down the cost of shipping while transforming logistics into a profit center within the business.

Logistyx was named the #1 fulfillment software provider to Digital Commerce 360’s Top 1000 retailers for two consecutive years. As e-commerce continues to surge, Logistyx ensures top retailers and others with large fulfillment operations have the right mix of shipping and omnichannel capabilities at their fingertips, while tapping into more than 550 global carrier integrations for an optimal transportation strategy to effectively achieve omnichannel fulfillment.

To learn how you can improve your omnichannel shipping strategy to take advantage of e-commerce growth, contact us today.

Experience Logistyx

The Logistyx Experience empowers your teams to achieve a quick ROI on your multi-carrier shipping technology investment and transforms shipping operations.

Search online for “multi-carrier shipping software” and you’re hit with pages of results from a double-digit number of vendors. Where to begin? Which technology has the necessary features and functionality? What makes Logistyx different? Why choose Logistyx?

The answers to these questions can be found in what we informally refer to as the “Logistyx Experience” — our singular approach to enabling our customers to achieve their parcel shipping goals.  Goals that often include things such as migrating to the cloud, streamlining shipping workflows, integrating supply chain platforms, executing ship-from-store, expanding transportation networks, implementing cross-border shipping, and more.

Logistyx works with each customer to assess where their parcel shipping is today and what their long-term strategy is.  And then we build a plan – together. This joint approach ensures our customers are taking advantage of all Logistyx’s multi-carrier parcel shipping technology has to offer, and it is the truest embodiment of the Logistyx Experience.  Here’s a more in-depth look at the philosophy, products, and people that bring it to life.

We Sell a Solution, Not a Product

Our team is fully equipped to build and customize agile, data-driven, and cost-effective supply chain management strategies for global retailers, manufacturers, and logistics providers. With decades of experience, we’ve seen and solved many different problems. In fact, we thrive on complexity.

We embrace a consultative approach to problem solving. We’ll dive into your unique shipping operations by asking hard questions, analyzing your data, and aligning all strategies and solutions to your particular needs. Our goal is to infuse your shipping strategy with agility and lay the foundation for growth, future-proofing your business operations.

We Plan for Tomorrow, not Today

With public cloud service spending expected to grow 18.4% in 2021 to $304.9 billion (up from $257.5 billion in 2020) and the cloud projected to make up 14.2% of the total global enterprise IT spending market in 2024 (up from 9.1% in 2020), the push to adopt cloud-based technology is moving full steam ahead. Key drivers include fast implementations, easy enhancements, good connectivity across partners/customers, less reliance on internal IT teams, and access to reports that drive good decision-making.

As a result, all Logistyx solutions are available in the cloud.  And when we say “cloud,” we don’t mean managing a server in the cloud.  We mean true containerized, cloud multi-carrier parcel shipping technology that is built on a .net core; no code is required for system logs, which are built into Azure or similar.  This means there is significantly less effort in customization and implementation.

Why should you care?  That “less effort in customization and implementation” is important.  It means that when a supply chain disruption occurs, you can quickly on-board new carriers, pivot shipping workflows, stand up temporary distribution centers, and more – without relying on in-house teams or incurring costs associated with hardware, maintenance, and training.  With true cloud technology, your Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) is markedly reduced.

We Treat our Customers’ Success like our Success

At Logistyx, you’ll discover you have the support and opportunities you’d expect from a large organization, with the spirit and energy of a small company. We hire thinkers and doers – bright, motivated people who are excited by accountability, collaboration, and making an impact.

And our account managers exemplify our hiring philosophy.  They help our customers leverage Logistyx’s products to reach their goals on time. They provide personalized support and experience-based recommendations that creates a foundation of transparency and trust.

We Think of our Partners as More than Just a Logo

Big breakthroughs and progress can’t happen in silos. It requires working collaboratively with value-aligned partners to solve business problems–generating the kind of energy that fuels growth, innovation, and creativity.

At Logistyx, we continuously deepen our ties with the complementary partners within your shipping ecosystem to deliver the flexibility, security, and speed you need to accelerate your success. We’ve built seamless integrations with Manhattan, Blue Yonder, SAP, and Oracle, to name a few, and our years of experience with their teams means we now have a track record of excellence when it comes to building cloud-based supply chain technology stacks.

We Love Data

We help our customers utilize and hone the power of their cloud integrations to sync their supply chains and leverage Business Intelligence to aggregate and normalize all the data in their shipping operations.  We can have the really in-depth, strategic conversations our customers have previously been missing:

  • Comparing “what if” to current transportation strategies
  • Setting and measuring parcel shipping KPIs
  • Analyzing omnichannel capabilities to better understand whether stores can ship based on space and inventory
  • Determining which types of orders can be shipped versus picked up
  • Analyzing the impact of carrier capacity limitations and order demand, providing managers with the ability to pivot carriers and transportation budgets to match customer expectations

We Love Thought Leadership

We love nothing more than to join our colleagues and customers to discover, share, and network at events, both in-person and online. Our Events calendar offers webinars and trade shows, our Videos include keynote and customer presentations.  In addition, our Logistyx Research Solutions provide more informal knowledge around specific news and topics. And of course we’re happy to hop on the phone at any time to offer the kind of invaluable, real-world insights that help customers advance the use of Logistyx to reach their desired outcomes.

Transform your Shipping Operations | Experience Logistyx

The Logistyx Experience empowers your teams to achieve a quick ROI on your multi-carrier shipping technology investment and transforms shipping operations. To learn more about what makes Logistyx different, watch our video, The Logistyx Shipping Quadrant.

Multi-Carrier Parcel Shipping Systems 101: Use Cases, Advantages, and Strategies

Let’s take a closer look at multi-carrier parcel shipping successful use cases to learn about some of the advantages of getting it right.

We’re exposed to multi-carrier parcel shipping every day.  From the Amazon truck in front of our house, to the FedEx van next door, to the UPS driver across the street, shippers are constantly moving parcels with the carriers in their transportation network.  And by leveraging special carrier services, “gig economy” carriers, and ship-from-store, companies like Pfizer, Walgreens, and Belk are setting the stage for the next generation of omnichannel distribution.

When you hone and optimize your parcel shipping strategy across multiple carriers, you get some serious advantages. A couple of them of them are lowering overall transportation costs and offering customers a broader choice of shipping options. Let’s take a closer look at multi-carrier parcel shipping and some of the most successful examples to learn about some of the advantages of getting it right.

Multi-Carrier Parcel Shipping Systems: An Overview

As e-commerce keeps growing, carrier demand has surged, while resources and capacity dwindle.  Carriers’ responses to this intensifying demand and industry volatility have been two-fold. First, many carriers have alerted enterprise shippers in recent months they would not be able to take their packages. Second, several carriers announced surcharges. Globally, carriers in all hemispheres are taking similar steps to offset costs.

A multi-carrier parcel shipping system makes it easy to increase agility during a supply chain disruption by providing shippers with the ability to quickly onboard, leverage, and optimize multiple carrier services, including regional and last mile providers, while also producing the data and analytics necessary to uncover opportunities to increase savings and on-time delivery performance.  It’s a lifeline to logistics professionals seeking to rapidly increase their available shipping options to manage any issues that arise and deliver products to customers on time, and it serves as a reliable method to reduce transportation and fulfillment costs.  Typical quantitative ROI calculations show the investment payback well within 12 months of implementation.

Advantages of a Multi-Carrier Parcel Shipping System

Modern multi-carrier parcel shipping software, even at a basic level and price point, provides several prime advantages when it comes to a carrier services network, parcel delivery event tracking, and business system integration. And it can catapult order fulfillment workflows into the future by unlocking a host of cross-border, omnichannel distribution capabilities.  Here are some of the biggest advantages to getting your multi-carrier parcel shipping software solution decision right.

  • Ensure carrier capacity and flexibility in every shipping scenario. Even in the face of a crisis, it’s possible to successfully navigate carrier capacity limitations and minimize the impact of surcharges by leaning on a wide network of carriers. A large carrier network allows you to:
    • Distribute parcel volumes across various providers
    • Shop carrier rates and reduce the impact of surcharges
    • Automatically determine the ideal service or combination of carriers for each shipment in real time

The right multi-carrier parcel shipping solution will be built on cloud architecture, so that carriers on-boarded once are available for all customers, allowing for faster implementations and common interfaces.  It will also have an extensive number of national, regional, and local carrier services in its carrier library, empowering you to land an integrated transportation strategy worldwide.

  • Guarantee the best customer experience. To achieve on-time delivery in full and guarantee the best customer experience, you have to have your eye on all shipments at all times. Seems impossible? With the ad hoc and real-time reporting tools in a multi-carrier parcel shipping system, that’s precisely the level of visibility you gain. The right solution will have a Control Tower, so as your parcel shipments move through your carriers’ global supply chains, you’ll receive instant warning alerts if a parcel is off track or behind schedule.  These alerts will enable you to proactively address delivery events such as late or damaged shipments to meet your customers’ expectations and maintain your delivery KPIs. Even better: sophisticated solutions will ​collect and analyze data and generate reports across all shipment attributes including spend, geography, carriers, and even SKUs – empowering you to continuously streamline your transportation activity, increase efficiency, improve delivery performance, and save money.
  • Plan transportation strategies with better data and integrations. In omnichannel distribution in particular, many facilities are required to perform multiple types of fulfillment within the same four walls. And while most operations already fulfill e-commerce orders through a mix of in-store and direct-to-consumer fulfillment, an omnichannel strategy complicates matters by introducing alternate order fulfillment methods such as:
    • Buy Online, Pick-up in Store (BOPIS)
    • Ship-from-storeThese new channels can introduce “noise” and complicate a shipper’s operations.  The right solution will integrate with supply chain technology such as WMS, OMS, and e-commerce systems in the cloud, eliminating this “noise” and enabling key stakeholders in your organization to:
    • Run rate simulations and compare “what if” to current transportation strategies
    • Set and measure parcel shipping KPIs
    • Identify carrier delivery performance issues
    • Prepare for carrier negotiations

Specific Multi-Carrier Shipping Solution Use Cases

No two companies approach parcel shipping the exact same way, but there are similarities to notice across successful companies.  Seamless systems integrations, reliance on Business Intelligence, and a consistent customer experience are all themes that show up again and again. Here are specific examples of how Pfizer, Walgreens, and Foot Locker each focus on multi-carrier parcel shipping.

  • Pfizer. To meet the complex shipping requirements of its life-saving vaccine shipments, Pfizer turned to Logistyx’s multi-carrier parcel shipping system to incorporate shipping directly from manufacturing locations in Kalamazoo, Mich.; Purrs, Belgium; and Karlsruhe, Germany as well as other facilities in Pleasant Prairie, Wisc. and Memphis, Tenn. Data produced by Logistyx is automatically fed to contracted carriers to aid in carrier-provided customs clearance and accelerate the international shipping process.Logistyx also onboarded DHL and UPS Air Freight as new carriers capable of meeting the vaccine’s cold chain requirements and expanded its use of UPS internationally to facilitate rapid global vaccine distribution. Most COVID-19 vaccine shipments are now fulfilled via small parcel utilizing UPS, FedEx, or DHL. Each parcel is highly sensitive, contains several kilograms of dry ice and a GPS tracking device, and receives special handling by the carriers while being shipped via the fastest methods available. Logistyx creates the required labels for every parcel sent to ensure compliance with each carrier’s unique requirements.
  • Walgreens. Walgreens leveraged Logistyx’s multi-carrier parcel shipping system to expand its e-commerce offering by introducing Same Day Delivery in under two hours for more than 24,000 retail products.  The new service allows customers across the nation to conveniently shop online or use the Walgreens app to buy retail items with no minimum order value. When checking out, customers can select Same Day Delivery and receive items at their doors in under two hours through third-party delivery partners like Postmates, DoorDash, and Instacart.Walgreens’ Same Day Delivery service builds on its pickup options implemented in November 2020, which allow customers to place orders for in-store, curbside, or drive-thru pickup in as little as 30 minutes. The pharmacy chain has also partnered with FedEx over the last few years to provide prescription delivery services for greater ease and accessibility.Before and since the pandemic began, Walgreens has modified its omnichannel fulfilment offerings and successfully adapted and reorganized to evolve along with the marketplace and help meet customers’ growing demands for convenience and safety. Adopting an agile approach to shipping and fulfilment to create a flexible supply chain helps Walgreens work more effectively to increase responsiveness and improve customer experiences.
  • Belk. Logistyx’s multi-carrier parcel shipping system provides Belk’s stores with instant access to carriers and services offering the best rates for each particular location. Seamlessly integrated with Belk’s order management software, the solution supports multi-carrier rate shopping, shipment execution and label generation, real-time shipment tracking, and delivery transparency.Leveraging Logistyx, Belk utilizes its stores as mini distribution centers without having to employ major process changes to get shipments to customers’ homes, a key advantage when parcel count increased considerably due to the COVID-19 pandemic.And when faced with carrier capacity limits, Logistyx helped Belk grow its carrier network by tapping into its library of more than 550 carrier integrations. This added greater capacity into Belk’s parcel delivery mix by introducing more options through using regional and specialty last-mile carriers, while also reducing transportation costs to provide a consistent level of service to customers.

Optimize your parcel shipping strategy today.

Now that you know the advantages you can get from doing multi-carrier parcel shipping right and have some examples from some of the world’s leading companies, you can start to create your own strategy. But in order to put your multi-carrier parcel shipping strategy into action, you’ll need a powerful tool.

A cloud multi-carrier shipping system can support and scale your shipping operations.  Watch our webinar, How to Drive your Carrier Network to Success, to learn more.

How to Create Resilient Parcel Shipping Workflows

Cloud-based technology to execute parcel shipping workflows is critical to establishing resilience and business agility.

There is no doubt, the way we all shop has been transformed.  This means what was once the status quo in parcel shipping has fundamentally changed, and some retailers have simply not been able to keep up.

While the likes of Walgreens, Belk, and Foot Locker have made headlines, many other retailers lacked the infrastructure (technology, carrier network, systems integrations, etc.) to execute buy-online-pick-up-curbside (BOPIC), ship-from-store, or same-day delivery, and they were threatened with collapse when the COVID-19 pandemic hit. These companies are now under immense pressure to successfully navigate peak season and get back on track.

One thing has become clear: cloud-based technology to execute parcel shipping workflows is critical to establishing resilience and business agility.  As a result, we are seeing an overhaul of parcel shipping practices across retailers, manufacturers, and logistics providers alike. Businesses are no longer just paying lip service to cloud; they have launched head-first into it.

The Definition of “Cloud”

“Cloud” is a term that is often overused and under-delivered. For example, many multi-carrier parcel shipping solution providers state their technology is cloud-based, when really, they are simply managing a server in the cloud.  This is not the same thing as cloud architected multi-carrier parcel shipping technology.  These managed services rely on the same legacy technology and manual processes and resources as on-premise solutions – and there are usually hidden costs.

In contrast, true containerized, cloud multi-carrier parcel shipping technology is built on a .net core; no code is required for system logs, which are built into Azure or similar.  This means there is significantly less effort in customization and implementation.

Why should you care?  That “less effort in customization and implementation” is important.  It means that when a supply chain disruption occurs, you can quickly on-board new carriers, pivot shipping workflows, stand up temporary distribution centers, and more – without relying on in-house teams or incurring costs associated with hardware, maintenance, and training.  With true cloud technology, your Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) is markedly reduced.

Cloud-Based Multi-Carrier Parcel Shipping Software Increases Agility

By implementing multi-carrier parcel shipping software with a cloud architecture, you can increase the agility of your order fulfillment workflows and reduce the number of manual touches an order receives.  Technology features include automated shipment execution, parcel contract management, rating, rate shopping, parcel consolidation, labeling and document creation, and parcel delivery track-n-trace – and because the technology is in the cloud, upgrades from one version to the next are seamless, reducing effort for in-house QA teams.  Furthermore, scaling of software services is managed by cloud orchestration, which enables you to dynamically manage your growth while maintaining profit margins during unexpected shipping events or surges in volumes.

Cloud-Based Parcel Shipping Technology Provides Better Data & Integrations

In the wake of 2020, building a flexible technology stack is now a top priority among executives. More than ever, companies recognize how important it is to have the power of data and business systems integrations on their side, or in contrast: how difficult it is to navigate supply chain disruptions when on-premise solutions stand-alone (or are clumsily integrated) and data is siloed.

True parcel shipping agility comes from the ability to integrate supply chain technology such as WMS, OMS, and e-commerce systems with parcel shipping software in the cloud.  This enables you to seamlessly share critical information throughout your organization, improving reaction time and collaboration and optimizing distribution costs.  And the right cloud shipping software will not only help you utilize and hone the power of cloud integration to sync your supply chain, but it will also provide Business Intelligence to aggregate and normalize all shipping operations data, empowering key stakeholders in your organization to run rate simulations, compare “what if” to current transportation strategies, and set and measure parcel shipping KPIs.

In addition, cloud-based shipping software can leverage cloud native technologies such as Spark Analytics, Data Bricks, Azure Synapse, and more, which provide faster analytics and easier integration to IoT input.  It can take raw data and apply Machine Learning (ML) algorithms to predict the impact of IoT events on the supply chain.  For example:

  • You can analyze omnichannel capabilities to better understand whether stores can ship based on space and inventory
  • You can determine which types of orders can be shipped versus picked up
  • You can analyze the impact of carrier capacity limitations and order demand, providing your managers with the ability to pivot carriers and transportation budgets to match customer expectations

In other words, by integrating data sources in the cloud, you can make cost-savvy supply chain decisions that align with business strategy.

The Time is Now

As we continue to sustain carrier capacity limitations, surcharges, and supply chain disruptions, the need for resilience has never been greater, and cloud-based technology is one of the most valuable weapons you can have today. It dictates your ability to grow and survive in a changing environment, and by implementing true cloud-based multi-carrier parcel shipping software, you have the magic combination of shipment volume scalability, distribution flexibility, and data-informed strategies.

Make sure your business is one that comes out of this year’s peak season stronger than before.  Download our e-book: How to Leverage Cloud Technology to Revolutionize Parcel Shipping.