Last month we held a webinar to explore the fundamental elements of order fulfillment. Capacity’s co-founder and CSO Thom Campbell identified five key areas to focus on if you truly want to develop a fulfillment process that keeps customers coming back to your business time and time again.
To follow up on that event we’ll be unpacking each of these elements in more detail. Today we look at fulfillment consistent with your brand, and you can read the rest of the entries in this compelling series under the tag Fulfillment Fundamentals.Continue reading Fulfillment Fundamentals: Brand Consistency
Updated: December 17th, 2015 We all know by now that, for many brands, the packaging is as important as the product. A visually appealing package speaks to both the content and quality of the product inside.
More often than not it’s the appearance that product managers focus on to stand out from the crowd. That’s a competitive criteria where it can be tough to stand out though (trust us, we have a hand in creating a lot of great packages each and every day!)
Our business brings us into contact with some outstanding organizations and individuals. As our Chief Strategy Officer Thom Campbell explained in an interview earlier this year, it’s the passion for people in the supply chain world that really drives our efforts.
With that in mind, and the occasion of Thanksgiving fast approaching in the United States, we thought it would be worth taking the time to focus on some partners and vendors that we believe represent the best of our profession. This is our “Vendor Spotlight” series, and this week we’ll focus on our New Jersey neighbors Micara Trading.
Vendor Spotlight: Micara Trading
The relationship we have with Micara Trading and owner David Weisfelner goes back quite some time, and with the company’s 30+ years in the industry that won’t come as much of a surprise.
Micara operates in the logistics and distribution field with a strong focus on garment work and special services. These specialties include sewing, steaming, dry-cleaning, price ticketing and odor removal, with many other valuable refurbishing options if a client bringing in a shipment finds that something has gone awry in transit.
Given the potential for damage to garments and the high rejection rates caused by even minor blemishes, expert care is required at both ends of the shipment process, from sourcing to delivery. Decades of experience make for great confidence in the latter part of the supply chain, even in cases where the earlier elements don’t live up to expectations.
In short, what David Weisfelner and his team don’t know about the apparel industry probably isn’t worth knowing, and it’s their clients who benefit from it!
When you need a quick turnaround and flawless delivery, this is the kind of back up that product planners want to have on their side. As you review the company’s website you’ll notice the same refrain crop up time and again, “problem solving,” “resolving,” “solutions,” and plenty more synonyms to describe the same core value: Micara Trading is an organization that cares about your business challenges and has a passion to help you hurdle them.
One of the reasons our two companies have connected so often over the years is down not only to geographical proximity but also having values that are extremely close to one another. Both companies have been built on a passion to understand our clients and serve them better with each subsequent shipment. We’re both high-touch, hands on service providers with a commitment to solving problems and seeing the job through.
Micara has committed to this superior level of service for three decades and provides a role model for us to keep striving that bit higher with each new piece of work we undertake.
Our “Unpacking” series is dedicated to defining and expanding upon a practice or concept in the supply chain world that prompts a lot of questions. You can read all of the previous entries here.
This week we look at price ticketing, an activity that for us comes under the category of “value added services.” These are activities that we undertake above our core services, often tailored to a client’s custom requirements. There are plenty of service solutions that come under this category and we’ll explore many of them in this series before the year is out.
Price ticketing is the process of labeling up products so that they include the information required by the customer and end-retailer. This includes the price, of course, any discounts, relevant product information, and often codes that can be scanned. In some cases customer-friendly codes may even be included, such as Quick Response (QR) codes that can be scanned by mobile devices and allow the customer to access more detailed product info and specifications.
Price ticketing tends to be completed at the point of manufacture, whenever possible. Product planners usually have close relationships with their manufacturer and build the price and information tags/labels into the production process. Often labor costs are lowest at this section of the supply chain, bringing the marginal cost per product down, and it’s appealing to have products labeled up and ready to go the minute they arrive at the warehouse.
That being said, when the country of origin has higher labor costs or insufficent expertise on the supplier’s part, the price ticketing activity may need to be moved further down the supply chain. We perform the price ticketing function for most of our clients. We focus a lot of effort and attention on our value added services and have become well-known . The labels often come from an approved vendor, or the client will provide an approved sample as a blueprint for production of the full batch. This makes it possible to take stock product and customize it for a specific retailer.
If price ticketing is pushed all the way to the end of the supply chain and reaches the retailer (DC or store level), they tend to levy charge back fees. These are sufficiently large enough to discourage this practice, making the 3PL an attractive alternative to price ticketing at origin.
Along with assembly activities – such as kits, gift sets, shopping channel combination packagess – this type of value added service comprises approximately 10 to 20 percent of the work that a 3PL (third party logistics) provider like Capacity LLC undertakes. It also provides an opportunity to get closer to our clients and understand their requirements a little better, the value of which is tough to put a price on (in a metaphorical sense, of course!)