For retailers, the busy holiday season begins much earlier than just the month of November and often extends beyond the last day of the year. Large seasonal order volumes can tax many retailers. Every e-commerce system - from inventory management through fulfillment and delivery processes - is operating beyond capacity.
In order to capitalize on this profitable period without wrecking hybrid retail infrastructure, many forward-thinking businesses are opting to partner with third-party or fourth-party logistics (3PL & 4PL) providers to help optimize their supply chains during the holidays.
By helping to upgrade operational efficiencies, improve overall agility, and enhance the entire customer experience, a reliable logistics partner plays an essential part in ensuring retailers’ profitability and productivity throughout the peak season. But how do you find one? Here is a checklist of features to look for in a logistics partner.
- Find a logistics partner that uses cloud-based warehouse management. These systems are faster and more agile throughout the fulfillment process, enhancing the customer experience and surpassing the expectations of even the most demand customers.
- A technology-focused warehouse is imperative. Warehousing space is essential to house all needed inventory during peak seasons, so an organized warehouse using the latest technology helps you avoid mistakes that will cost you time and money. By automating and optimizing packing stations and other manual processes with state-of-the-art resources, a logistics partner will increase efficiency in the fulfillment process exponentially.
- Look for a logistics partner with a streamlined inventory management system. This is a critical component of a successfully functioning supply chain. Using innovative technology to manage inventory allows 3PL partners to track inventory accurately at all times and troubleshoot inventory problems before they become customer problems. This level of touch is crucial during hectic holiday sales to keep inventory moving for maximum sales value.
- Delivery is beyond all else, so find a logistics partner that invests resources in ensuring on-time delivery is part of a great customer experience. Delivery is a strategic distinguishing factor in the bid for customer loyalty and repeat business. How well a retailer handles last-mile delivery will bring home the entire customer experience, especially during high volume seasons that challenge typical delivery expectancies. Anywhere that processes or systems can be automated will improve on-time deliveries while reducing transportation costs. Dispatch and tracking technologies can ensure deliveries are on-time and meet - or surpass - the customer’s standards. At the same time, these technologies boost productivity and allow you to provide premium customer service without the hassle of manual processing.
The bustling holiday season is a significant test for retailers and e-Commerce to see how they can best meet their customers’ expectations from start to finish of the buying journey. These organizations need to work closely with their chosen logistics partners to optimize and deliver on these promises from first to last mile delivery, all while maintaining healthy profit margins. Working with the right logistics solution could change the entire holiday season and unlock business growth while securing customer loyalty.
Looking for a logistics partner for this holiday season?
GEODIS | City Delivery supports retailers and e-Commerce with customized solutions spanning a large range of logistics and supply chain solutions. With a century of global experience in last mile delivery and logistics, GEODIS | City Delivery can help you to overcome your logistical constraints for unbridled business growth and optimal profitability.