December 16, 2019
As brick-and-mortar retailers navigate through the rapidly evolving climate of e-commerce, leveraging any advantage for the customer experience remains a key priority. Blending traditional in-store models with the convenience of e-commerce, many retailers have embraced a “click-and-collect” strategy: Customers place orders online and pick them up curbside at the store.
The grocery pickup division has already shown to be a valuable service for Walmart. The big box retailer leads the pack with its click-and-collect sector as it’s rolled out the free service to thousands of stores with plans to expand through the end of the year. With a major retailer like Walmart showing consistent and steady growth in this division, it’s likely others will follow suit to stay competitive.
From a consumer point of view, this service makes complete sense. This is a time-saving option that eliminates the headaches of shopping in crowded stores and loading groceries into the car. As established retailers such as Walmart continue to refine and optimize this service to their customers, it’s important for suppliers to implement proper fulfillment strategies.
Suppliers shipping into retailers need to have a pulse on inventory levels to navigate click-and-collect initiatives. Working with a seasoned Third-Party Logistics (3PL) provider can help streamline communication and coordination with shippers and retailers to optimize truckloads based on your inventory needs.
3PL providers can ensure inventory is properly handled, improve order accuracy and reduce labor costs by utilizing both a warehouse and a transportation management system. These systems reduce time and costs while better equipping the shipper to manage current and upcoming purchase orders and movement of their goods.
A consistent replenishment cadence, or set sailing schedule, gives suppliers predictability on which to base inventory forecasts. This results in higher fill rates and increased retail service levels. Working with an expert consolidator optimizes your supply chain by combining orders from multiple suppliers at their warehouses with shared destinations and ship dates to make full truckloads for retail delivery. Order visibility is shared between the supplier and consolidator, giving both parties the ability to track purchase orders and inventory levels and to deliver shipments to retailers at a cost-effective rate.
To thrive in the retail business, it’s important to adapt to retail’s evolving landscape and remain on the forefront of new retail initiatives. For suppliers, positioning your supply chain with the proper fulfillment strategy better equips your business to handle any obstacles that may come your way. Working with a seasoned 3PL provider can help ensure such a strategy is intact while also providing you the latest news and updates in the industry.
Hub Group can help service your supply chain with our logistics professionals and expert compliance team. If you’d like to know more about our solutions, visit www.hubgroup.com