Building More Delivery, Curbside Into Retail Logistics | A 5 Step Starter Rubric

Delivery Curbside Retail Logistics
Successful retail logistics depend on the ability of shippers to share accurate, timely information with all supply chain partners and ensure order fulfillment continues uninterrupted. As reported by the Logistics Bureau, “the variety of functions involved – product design, procurement, warehousing, production, transport, distribution, sales, for instance – encourages demand for new employees and multiplies possibilities for moving around inside too.” This wide variety contributes to the lack of insight and visibility into managing retail logistics in the standard supply chain, and as more companies look to improve access to and use of delivery and curbside fulfillment, more companies will need to reevaluate their e-commerce fulfillment strategies. For both shippers and logistics service providers (LSPs), the value of tapping into this omnichannel market is undisputed. To get started, they should follow these five steps.

1. Create a Centralized Supply Chain Control Tower

Creating a successful retail logistics control tower is not a small feat, but it is essential to maintaining a competitive advantage. This is the differentiation that Amazon has successfully been able to create and ensure success in their online ordering platform. Furthermore, a centralized supply chain control tower allows everyone to understand what other supply chain parties are supposed to be doing at any given time. As described by Supply Chain Dive, “though lowering the cost of delivery, they’re still charging the customer in some way, partly by adjusting their product prices on a real-time basis, based on supply, demand and the buyer’s habits, just like an airline. Customers don’t realize they may be paying more for their goods.”

2. Simplify Onboarding of Carriers With API and EDI Connectivity

Achieving collaboration within the supply chain also requires supply chain partners to work together and collaborate seamlessly. This is why it is important for supply chains to leverage the power of electronic data interchange (EDI) an application programming interface (API) to streamline onboarding processes and encourage buy-in to similar systems across the supply chain network through shared data warehousing. As a result, carriers and other suppliers are more likely to work with an organization and achieve scalability to meet the demands of retail logistics.

3. Apply Automation to Manage Curbside and Delivery by Exception

Automation within retail logistics is another wide-ranging topic. It may include the use of robotic pickers to manage the warehouse fulfillment side of operations, and automation can be used to manage curbside and delivery pick up by exception, reducing the number of human workers needed and taking advantage of technology to better manage the flow of customers.

4. Share Data Across Your Supply Chain to Move Fulfillment Closer to Your Customers

Companies expanding into the curbside and delivery space will also need to understand the value of sharing data accurately and efficiently across the whole supply chain. In today’s world, the gig economy is a vital aspect of online order fulfillment, especially for retailers involved in the grocery sector. Sharing data is critical to moving fulfillment closest to your consumers and effectively keeping retail logistics costs under control.

5. Use Analytics to Find Opportunities for Improvement in Omnichannel Fulfillment

Finally, a way to increase the use of delivery and curbside lies in using analytics to understand opportunities to improve guest experiences and manage freight spend. It’s that simple.

Build the Right Retail Logistics Strategy With the Right Transportation Management Platform Now

Curbside and delivery are no longer nice-to-have options in the modern world of omnichannel retail. Shippers and LSPs need a clear partner to succeed in omnichannel retail logistics, capable of scaling operations and adapting fulfillment to overcome disruptions and continuously meet customers’ expectations. Start by applying the five steps to success listed above in this rubric.

Request a demo of the MercuryGate transportation management platform to explore how your company can enter the omnichannel landscape today.

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