The business of Supply Chain and Manufacturing has gone through a substantial change with the popularity of online marketplaces. More and more manufacturers, distributors, whole-sellers are now planning to, or already, selling on some of these popular marketplaces. eBay, Amazon, Flipkart, Snapdeal, Aliexpress and more. When they start seeing new customers from any one of these platforms, they would like to be present on more. Business is booming.
However, most of these companies, have no prior experience in dealing with retail customers, neither are their processes tuned to cater to this new market segment. Retail business is very different from wholesale, customer satisfaction has a whole new paradigm. Suddenly these companies find themselves settling more customer disputes, employing more customer care people, missed delivery timelines, overheads in shipment, reduction in profitability, to name a few.
I am sorry if this is discouraging you, it is not intended for that.
Manufacturers and whole sellers need to gear up in many fronts before venturing into this multi-channel sales and fulfilment. Those who have been able to, have seen tremendous growth and success. Moreover, you cannot avoid being in this space either if your competitor is already in it. So, what are the critical areas where you need to upgrade before venturing into multi-channel fulfilment?
- Hire staff experienced in retail selling
- Update your sales and fulfilment processes.
- Update your Inventory Management tool that helps you with real time stock visibility across channels.
- Create policies for Back order.
- Improve your analytics tools to better demand forecast.
- Ensure you store your inventory in a planned manner in your warehouse.
- Sign up bulk discount contracts with shipment companies.
- Train your sales, purchase, warehouse, customer support teams better.
- Audit your inventory better, get informed decisions on stock ageing, sell them at discounts.
- Use statistical methods to predict Stock Reorder levels.
You can achieve all of these with the help of Columbus in just about a week.