Amazon's online marketplace has caused a major shift in retailing worldwide by continuing to mark customer satisfaction as their number one priority. With ever-increasing demands caused by online giants such as Amazon, how can retailers improve their delivery performance and fulfil customer expectations?
In our recent report, "Delivery: How Can High Street Retailers Compete with Amazon”, we consider the innovative concept of a "Strategic Delivery Alliance (SDA)". This strategic alliance consists of a network of two or more like-minded retailers, third party logistic (3PL) and warehouse management companies that would work together to provide a delivery service that not only meets customer expectations, but the economies of scale, would mean that collectively they would be better placed to beat the market leader, Amazon.
Maginus has a track record of implementing solutions across the eCommerce, Retail, Wholesale and Distribution sectors.
Our experience is in providing an end-to-end technology solution that enables efficient fulfilment and the delivery of multi-channel orders.
In this article we highlight 10 core components that Maginus has implemented across these markets, and how these could be deployed to create a Strategic Delivery Alliance, that unifies eCommerce, sales, warehouse and logistics processes.
1. Delivery Matrix
The “brain” of the solution is the Delivery Matrix. It supplies the delivery promise to the customer (via the ecommerce web site, the call centre of POS terminal).
In order for the Delivery Matrix to make a promise it understands; the availability of product, a matrix of delivery options, delivery locations and addresses.
It understands that:
Certain postcodes cannot be serviced “same day” or even “next day”.
Certain days of the week, month, year, affect the delivery promise.
Some delivery locations have a capacity constraint, when that capacity is maxed out the location is removed as an option to the customer.
Alternative locations are offered as the next best option.
Certain options are removed at a particular time of day (Next day until 5pm).
Certain delivery options are removed based upon the product attributes– size, weight, fresh food (not to a locker), and export restrictions.
2. Single View of Inventory
Lack of true Visibility, accuracy and availability of stock will result in failing to meet commitments made to customers. Know exactly what you have in each location, view and expedite purchase orders to manage and minimise stock outs and allow intelligent algorithms to analyse available, allocated and on order stock to recommend replenishment.
3. Sales Forecasting by Location
If you agree that the easiest method to meet the modern consumer demands of same day and next day delivery, is to place the product as close to the point of demand as possible, an accurate sales forecasting module is imperative. The module must understand sales by region, product class and delivery method.
The Strategic Delivery Alliance we describe in the white paper relies on several organisations with different systems (let’s assume they will not all be using Maginus) exchanging data securely, with integrity and quickly.
Maginus believe that the integration platform is a strategic enterprise-wide resource for any company and has a direct impact upon operational costs and efficiencies.
Maginus utilise the iCore Integration Suite to enable a fast and flexible approach to systems integration.
5. Warehousing and Inventory Control
For the retailer or the 3PL having the right Warehouse Management Software in place will allow you to manage anything from simple stock rooms to sophisticated multi-site location controlled warehouse operations. Our inventory management software helps make inventory easier to locate, improves picking accuracy and helps you get products out the door faster.
6. Pick Pack and Logistics
We describe within the white paper the importance of the 3PL to be able to manage multi company order orchestration through the one system. Maginus has decades of experience implementing systems into complex, logistic organisations providing solutions for pick, pack and despatch from one location for multiple companies.
7. Delivery Aggregation
We believe Delivery Aggregators such as MetaPack have an important part to play in any delivery solution. MetaPack are experts in providing businesses the best and most efficient delivery experience by offering different carrier options based upon package size, geography, and service. Maginus has standard integration into the MetaPack Platform.
8. Point of Sale
Investment in fantastic functionality offered by online stores and supported by comprehensive back office solutions has often seen the shop POS terminal as the weak link in the omni-channel experience. This has now been solved by Maginus.
Through the terminal or mobile tablet the Shop Assistant has available to them the same complex functionailty that the customer has through the website. And the same functionality that the call centre operators have through their CRM system including Delivery Options and Inventory Visibility.
9. Business Intelligence
We recognise that our solution collects a massive amount a valuable data. In order to see “the wood for the trees” Business Intelligence and graphical representation of data allows managers to explore data, turn it into business insight from which they can make better decisions.
10. Finance and Business Strategy
The goal of every business is to make money. Therefore having the IT solutions in place that allows accurate reporting of the financial realty of an organisation, at both the macro and micro level, allows the management team to gain visibility of the business tactics that are working, and those that are not. Agile systems are then required to be able to flex with a change in business strategy – whatever that direction may be.
Maginus solutions cater for Retail, Logistics and Wholesale operations, and in any combination of the three.
Download our latest report, "Delivery: How Can High Street Retailers Compete with Amazon?" to find out how to maximise revenue, optimise inventory and improve your delivery performance.