October 26, 2017

Many in retail are rightly preoccupied with the most disruptive force in their business: Amazon. More specifically, they want to better understand the costs of selling on Amazon.

From our perspective, Amazon is another retailer we need to know how to ship to, and potentially learn from as they are in the business of fulfillment. But that is not how many clients view this increasingly powerful force in the retail world, and the world in general. Continue reading The Costs of Selling on Amazon via FBA

October 18, 2017

By now, most of us have heard about Bitcoin, a digital currency that divides opinion in the finance sector. But while Bitcoin is alternately being hailed as the future or decried as a fraud, its underlying blockchain technology is the real treasure for other industries.

So what are the potential applications for blockchain in the supply chain environment?

That’s one of the questions we’ll explore in this article, as well as the potential restrictions and downsides of the technology.  Continue reading As Financiers Argue Over Bitcoin, Others See Potential for Blockchain in the Supply Chain

October 10, 2017

Pushed by Amazon to compete with free delivery, often in two days or less, and to provide subscription-based offerings (such as curated box-of-the-month products or routine replenishment of consumables) atop incredibly slim margins, more omni-channel and e-commerce retailers are turning to third-party logistics and fulfillment service providers (3PLs) for fulfillment solutions.

“Just about everybody in retail is being dragged along by what Amazon does” says Robert Lieb, professor of supply chain management at Northeastern University who has surveyed 3PL CEOs for nearly 25 years. “They are trying to respond with an omni-channel solution to maintain brick-and-mortar stores, but also be competitive in e-commerce.”

“Because a lot of retailers—particularly small ones—can’t afford to put together their own stand-alone e-commerce business with the geographic and inventory positioning capability to meet same-day/next-day delivery expectations, they’re asking 3PLs to help,” Lieb adds, noting it’s become the fastest growing part of the 3PL business in the last five years. “Last year, of the 3PLs I surveyed, almost 14% of their revenue consisted of e-commerce. The year before it was 18%.”