If you’re reading this post, you’re probably experiencing fulfillment challenges that are all-too-familiar to e-tailers. At the very least, you’re aware of them. There’s an unpredictability to the business – dramatic peaks and valleys in order volume, the need to quickly fulfill more single-line/single-unit orders and tight shipping windows (those last two are obviously tied together).
The challenges inherent to online retail keep mounting because customer expectations are ever-increasing. Industry leaders like Amazon have changed the game – consumers assume whatever they ordered will arrive quickly without thinking about what it takes to actually get it to them. If it’s not a seamless, enjoyable experience, buyers will seek other options.
None of this is news to anyone who works in eCommerce. But it raises a critical question: what can you do to keep up with the constantly evolving requirements while keeping reasonable margins and staying competitive? Flexible supply chain execution software is a big piece of the puzzle.
Broadly, your technology stack should support the ability to add the functionalities you will need as your business grows or evolves. There’s no doubt that you will need your solutions to handle different tasks as you add new commerce channels, customer requirements change, or your supply chain needs to scale fast to support business objectives.
Adaptable technology will allow you to easily meet new operational requirements. That ability brings a long list of benefits, including:
- Room for creativity. Identifying the best fulfillment strategy for your company may involve experimentation. You may try drop shipping, giving your suppliers more responsibility, adjusting your replenishment strategy or rethinking your inventory plan. Your systems need to support the ability to see how these adjustments impact your supply chain.
- Avoid frequent replacement projects. Enterprise software is not cheap, nor is it simple to implement. That’s why, ideally, the systems you invest in facilitate new workflows and business processes as your business changes. This allows everyone from executives to your IT team to warehouse associates to focus on the business and build on a solid foundation of proven practices.
- Save money. You shouldn’t be punished with large services bills for successfully scaling your organization or finding ways to better serve your customers. Truly adaptable technology empowers users and gives you control of your own destiny, including the investment you make in your IT infrastructure. This helps keep total cost of ownership low over time.
You’re building your business not just for today but for future success, as well. It’s extremely important to select software that you will not regret purchasing five or 10 years down the road. To become an industry leader and stay in the lead in the eCommerce space, you need systems as dynamic as your business.
To learn more about how flexible supply chain solutions could help your business take the next step, read this white paper, Meeting the eCommerce Challenge with Adaptable Technology. It dives deeper into the topics covered in this post and explains how the right supply chain technology will drive a rapid return on investment for internet retailers.