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Is Inventory Distribution 2020’s Biggest Trend?

Person scanning a barcode in a warehouse

As 2019 draws to a close, we’re readying ourselves for the holiday crush, but we’re also taking stock of what we’ve learned over the past year. As we talk about where we want to focus in 2020, one theme keeps popping up: inventory distribution.

REACHING THE CUSTOMER QUICKLY

When Amazon launched Prime, they changed e-commerce forever. Online shoppers began to expect two-day delivery; anything less and they’d search for the item elsewhere. Fast forward to today and one-day shipping is becoming more and more common. For e-tailers to match this standard, it’s crucial to have inventory spread across the country so it can reach the customer ASAP without incurring rush delivery fees.

TIPS FOR SUCCESSFUL INVENTORY DISTRIBUTION

So what should you look for as you take on inventory distribution? Try to find a partner who divides the US into three sections: east coast, middle of the country, and west coast. That arrangement aligns with the major carriers shipping zones allowing you to get the majority of your goods out two-day ground with a healthy number shipping next-day.

Next, ask some questions about their distributed order management system. Does it integrate with your systems? Does it support the functions that are essential to your operation? How easy is it to customize as you evolve moving forward?

Speed isn’t the only thing customers look for, but the standard for speed is increasing at a pace that is speeding up itself. Making sure you have your goods close to your customers and an inventory management system capable of deploying them quickly is crucial for staying competitive for the vast majority of e-commerce brands.

Inventory management can make or break your business. Once you’ve implemented a process, review and revise as needed to keep your bottom line low and your customer expectations high.

If you have further questions about managing inventory distribution, don’t hesitate to reach out. You can call us at 1-866-289-9010 or email us at sales (at) owd (dot) com.