Fulfilment key to ebusiness success
E-tailers that focus more on marketing than fulfilment run the risk of losing consumer and investor confidence, as the recent demise of many local e-tailers suggests. While marketing is certainly important, order fulfilment is a crucial, if often neglected, ingredient in a successful e-business.
“Fulfilment is essential,” stresses Maurice Sinclair, Director of Logistics Bureau.
“While it takes only seconds to order a product, delivering it physically is a much bigger ask. This is because you have to co-ordinate a complex set of logistics activities such as procurement, transport, storage, inventory management, delivery to ensure the customer gets the right product in the right place at the right time in the most cost efficient manner.”
Sinclair says it is essential to get the correct fulfilment systems in place or e-tailers will run the risk of financial disaster.
“Most e-tailers that don’t have the proper fulfilment systems in place have gone broke or are in the process thereof,” he adds.
“Many neglect the physical service order delivery component of fulfilment – they spend a lot of time designing data capture systems, but they don’t devote the same type of energy and resources to the physical fulfilment.”
“Many of them just rely on ringing up a courier and saying, ‘Get this from here to there’, but quite often, with the right level of supply chain planning, there’s a more efficient and cost effective method of doing things.”
Logistics Bureau can help e-tailers by ensuring that their supply chain strategy is synchronised with meeting the marketing and sales needs of the business.
“Business integration is the secret,” Sinclair says. “Integrating supply chain management with marketing, sales and financial strategies and tactics is key to ebusiness success.”