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How E-Commerce is Changing the Supply Chain Game
With e-commerce, customers expect immediate access to product information, convenient ordering and fast delivery times. To successfully manage an e-commerce channel, companies need an optimized website, automation and an integrated supply chain.
Companies that deliver results have an advantage since e-commerce can improve their market share. While e-commerce generally complements traditional sales channels, companies must have a supply chain strategy that can handle this challenging paradigm.
The website must be optimized for e-commerce, with a goal of simplifying the buying experience. It must provide the customer with sufficient information about their products and clear, concise procedures for placing orders and processing returns. The customer should be able to quickly find and purchase the product and have access to the status of their order. Access to a live customer service representative is also important.
Companies should have tightly integrated infrastructures, so that vendors, customer service, information technology and distribution work together to streamline supply chain processes. It is advantageous to provide cross-channel capabilities, which allows the customer to pick up an on-line purchase at any store.
Multi-channel companies can either maintain a separate distribution center for e-commerce or integrate e-commerce into their existing facility. The first option tends to be more expensive, requiring a large capital investment and additional staff. With the second option, you need enough space to retrofit an existing facility and accommodate additional inventory, but it is more efficient by allowing product to be shipped from one location to another to fill demand and by avoiding duplication of inventory.
All facilities that handle e-commerce must be optimized for speed and efficiency. Automation is essential for maintaining an operation capable of processing same day and overnight orders for a wide range of products. The material handling equipment must be flexible enough to process single-SKU and multi-SKU orders. Because e-commerce orders are generally customized, inventory control is more complex. With robust inventory management software, distribution centers can optimize their inventory across the supply chain and better align supply with demand.
“As consumers become more demanding, companies must be more responsive. They need to become faster, leaner and better to succeed, especially in the world of e-commerce.”
Since 1996, QC Software has worked closely with leading technology experts to provide comprehensive and cost-effective solutions that are tailored to the customer’s needs. By utilizing a wide range of resources, QC Software delivers dynamic solutions that optimize order fulfillment operations. As the customer’s business grows and evolves, QC Software’s agile warehouse control system easily adapts to the changing business environment. QC Software’s innovative solutions are leading the way in profitability, efficiency, and customer satisfaction.
For more information, contact Jerry List