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Smart solutions for smart businesses

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    The holiday season is about to get into full swing for most retailers, both online and offline, and it promises to be a busy one. eMarketer is predicting a 3.3% increase in overall holiday retail sales over last year, with a stunning 17.2% gain in online sales. Likewise, the National Retail Federation is expecting a 3.6% boost, just a bit […]

    The post It’s Busy Season…But Take Notes, And Plan Ahead appeared first on Materialogic.

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    A pattern we’ve noticed over the past decade is that many retailers worry about the “intake” side of their business. With good reason, of course: No retailer wants to miss the opportunity for a sale. But new channels have to be approached with thought and care. And so, when online commerce was just starting, people worried about the ease of […]

    The post Why Delivery is Now the Fulfillment of a Brand Promise appeared first on Materialogic.

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    Since the advent of eCommerce, there have been many new models for how to sell things…although “new” might be a stretch. As it turns out, many new models—like flash sales and subscription services—have a history that stretches back quite some way, to well before the advent of online stores. That said, it has been interesting to see the development of […]

    The post Everything Old is New Again in the eCommerce World appeared first on Materialogic.

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    There are long-standing problems that any warehouse or fulfillment center commonly faces. In the past, operational changes have just chipped away at the problems, allowing a little more efficiency here and a few cost-savings there. The newest technologies, however, are changing the role that fulfillment operations play in an organization, from automation, to business intelligence, to process optimization. The team […]

    The post Information Levels the Playing Field: How New Technologies for Warehousing and Logistics Give Companies a Competitive Advantage appeared first on Materialogic.

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    Still dealing with the tail-end of the holiday rush? Take a break to reflect with us on what 2016 brought…and what the future will hold. Predictions are tricky, of course. They take not only a knowledge of the industry and a keen sense for trends, but a dash of imagination as well. So we started our future-gazing exercise by asking […]

    The post Our 2017 Predictions: 4 Silly, 4 Serious appeared first on Materialogic.

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    The holiday shopping season has come and gone, and now is the time of year when merchants of every stripe take a hard look at their reports and processes, vowing to make improvements in the coming year. Previously, we suggested that taking careful notes during the busy season was critical for the kind of forward-looking plans that retailers want to […]

    The post Getting the Most Out of Your Holiday Post-Mortem appeared first on Materialogic.

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    Increased competition makes little things count. If you have competitors from all over the world, you need to find ways to keep prices low even as you efficiently deliver your products. This is especially true when it comes to warehousing, shipping, and fulfillment. To illustrate this, let’s take a look at something basic: Freight costs. Many companies assume that their […]

    The post 4 Ways to Drive Freight Savings appeared first on Materialogic.

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    Because shipping and logistics are a core competency at Materialogic, we keep abreast of industry changes that might affect how and when people ship items, including how much they are likely to pay. One factor that is constantly changing is the way carriers such as FedEx and UPS calculate dimensional weight. Dimensional weight determines the amount that businesses are charged […]

    The post DIM Weight: Updates, Surprises, and Tips appeared first on Materialogic.

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    If you are selling across multiple channels, managing inventory and shipping can be a real challenge—unless your 3PL partner has invested in the right kind of technology. More and more, merchants are selling their goods across multiple channels, including eCommerce platforms, mobile apps, brick-and-mortar stores/POS systems, and direct to consumer (DTC). This does create many opportunities. For example, more companies […]

    The post How Do You Manage Inventory When Multiple Channels Are Involved? appeared first on Materialogic.

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    Being out of stock is one of the worst positions to be in, from an inventory management perspective. Anticipating this situation when stock is low, and then triggering the right actions, helps keeps your business operating without interruption.   You see, in the past, when inventory ran out, companies would simply issue a back order to the customer while they […]

    The post The Secret to Managing Inventory is Never Running Out appeared first on Materialogic.

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  • 04/11/17--11:56: 5 Myths About 3PLs Exposed
  • Every year, a significant number of organizations plan to move their logistics and fulfillment operations in-house. One study of this phenomenon found that, on average, 35% of outsourcing companies were planning to return to insourcing some of their logistics activities, and 35% of 3PL respondents had observed that some of their customers were insourcing certain logistics activities. But this happens […]

    The post 5 Myths About 3PLs Exposed appeared first on Materialogic.

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    Here’s a little dose of honesty for you: Visibility is a good thing. But like so many other positive trends in business, the term has become overused. People are now asking for greater visibility without understanding what it is, why it is helpful, and what it should look like once they have it. Then again, shippers have always wanted more […]

    The post How 3PLs Are Helping Provide Visibility for Shippers appeared first on Materialogic.

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    Let me just say it: Backorders really are the bane of eCommerce. Here’s why. Suppose a customer orders an item, and you happen to be out of the item. It is on back order. Now you might have to explain why there is a delay in the order. Suppose that order finally comes in, and you ship it to the […]

    The post How to Creatively Avoid Backorders if You Sell Online appeared first on Materialogic.

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    Do you sell, or plan on selling, products that are regulated by the FDA? If you sell anything meant to be consumed internally by a person or a pet, then the answer is probably “yes.” The FDA regulates a wide range of products, including foods, human and veterinary drugs, vaccines, medical devices intended for human use, radiation-emitting electronic products, cosmetics, […]

    The post Doing Business with FDA-Regulated Products appeared first on Materialogic.

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    Can a business be too big to outsource to a 3PL? Or too small? Technically, yes. This is what you might call the “Goldilocks” problem: A lot of organizations don’t even consider using a 3PL because they feel too big or too small, where profit can be realized only if the fit is “just right.” But really, it’s the wrong […]

    The post Outsourcing to a 3PL, Scalability, and the “Goldilocks” Problem appeared first on Materialogic.

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    There is a lot of blurring of traditional lines of business these days. Web designers are advertising content, SEO, and more; tech companies are selling themselves as eCommerce experts; marketing companies are claiming to be tech companies. In this environment, it is natural to ask: Does one look for vendors who offer a comprehensive set of services? Or do you […]

    The post Should Your Vendors Be Specialists, or Comprehensive Providers? Why You Might Be Promised Too Much appeared first on Materialogic.

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    One of the secret weapons that a 3PL, and thus a retailer using a 3PL, has at its disposal is the ability to put items together in kits. The process of doing so is called “kitting,” and it is usually carried out by the same facilities and staff that handle order fulfillment. Generally speaking, “kitting” is the process of assembling, […]

    The post Kitting 101: What Retailers Need to Know, and How to Find a 3PL to Do It appeared first on Materialogic.

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