The Commonwealth Supply Chain Advisors Blog

10 Ways to Achieve E-Commerce Distribution Success, Part 7 of 10 – Manage Parcel Shipments Effectively

September 20th, 2016

Tactic #7: Manage Parcel Shipments Effectively

Part of the reason for such differing opinions often comes down to the strength or weakness of the shipping manager’s relationship with the parcel carrier’s local account manager. The speed with which a carrier acts to resolve problems, and the perceived level of attention from the carrier, often factor heavily into a shipper’s choice. Additionally, shippers may go for long periods of time without aggressively renegotiating rates. Then, when they introduce the competing carrier and give them an opportunity to bid for the business, the new carrier submits extremely aggressive rates in an attempt to unseat the incumbent. This can lead to the perception that the shipper had been taken advantage of by the incumbent carrier. In reality, both major parcel carriers tend to get complacent when a shipper does not aggressively negotiate for better rates on a regular basis.

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10 Ways to Achieve E-Commerce Distribution Success, Part 6 of 10 – Optimize Packing

September 13th, 2016

Tactic #6: Optimize Packing

The packing operation is often the biggest area of inefficiency that still remains when distribution centers convert to higher levels of e-commerce. Packing requirements often creep up over time, and since the evolution is gradual, companies often initially address the needs with manual processes that simply proliferate as volumes increase.


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10 Ways to Achieve E-Commerce Distribution Success, Part 5 of 10 – Practice Real-Time Warehousing

September 2nd, 2016

Tactic #5: Practice Real-Time Warehousing

As the complexity of a company’s pick methodology increases, the need for a real-time warehousing system to direct and confirm the execution of these picks becomes more and more important. While discrete order picking and very basic cluster picking can be managed with paper-based pick tickets, high-volume cluster picking, zone picking, and batch picking almost always require the use of a WMS to administer.

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10 Ways to Achieve E-Commerce Distribution Success, Part 4 of 10 – Determine Optimal Pick Methodology

August 26th, 2016

Tactic #4: Determine Optimal Pick Methodology

Once the pick strategy has been determined, attention can be turned to pick methodology. There are many confusing terms for different types of picking, and there is not a universally accepted definition for some of them. Here’s a breakdown of each:

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10 Ways to Achieve E-Commerce Distribution Success, Part 3 of 10 – Determine Overall Pick Strategy

August 22nd, 2016

Tactic #3: Determine Overall Pick Strategy

The decision of an overall pick strategy should not be taken lightly. Companies that are in their infancy with e-commerce will likely not have the piece-pick volumes to justify expensive material handling equipment. It is advisable, however, to perform some long range planning and have some sense of what strategy will need to be employed once volumes increase.
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