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Physical Fulfillment in a Digital World

Physical Fulfillment in a Digital World

In today’s increasingly digital world, even physical supply chain processes are being disrupted. Fulfillment, specifically, has become an area with increased responsibility in the digital age. For years, the main role of a brand’s warehouse was to accept inventory from suppliers, store the inventory until it was needed and then ship it to brick and mortar retail stores to be sold. Now, with the growth of e-commerce, warehouses are increasingly responsible for filling consumer and third-party orders, which can be an entirely different ballgame.

With this shift comes the need for warehouses to become more agile. For the most part, warehouses have always had a fairly routine, measured cadence of work – they sent inventory to stores at regular intervals, with the occasional rush order when demand spiked. Today, that cadence has increased significantly. Brands are still responsible for ensuring physical stores have inventory at all times, but are also managing a nearly constant influx of online orders, ensuring orders are taken, picked, packed and shipped on time. This becomes even more complicated if the brand is selling through multiple channels – for example their own online store, the online shop of a department or big box store like Nordstrom or Target, and an online marketplace like Amazon – which can require the warehouses to manage shipping and delivery to distribution centers or other manufacturing sites as well as direct to end customers.

To keep up with this influx of work, many brands have both centralized and localized their warehouse operations. By ensuring they have a footprint in each major sales market, and by further ensuring that each warehouse has all (or most) of the brand’s products available on-site, those working in warehouses are able to more quickly pick, pack and ship orders to meet quick shipping times. But this process can be a complicated one, especially for small brands with limited resources. How can they keep up with larger competitors?

That’s where ModusLink comes in. As a supply chain partner that specializes in order management, pick, pack and ship, retail compliance and demand planning services, we’re able to work directly with brands to ensure that they are in the markets they need to be in (both nationally and internationally). We also ensure that our customers are able to understand and keep up with the logistical requirements, both of their own brand and any third-party sellers. Our suite of end-to-end digital and physical supply chain solutions allow brands to both plug solutions into an existing supply chain, or completely outsource all operations to our team.

Interested in learning more? Check out our Warehouse and Distribution Solutions here.

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