The process of preparing and shipping orders to customers, also known as ‘fulfillment,’ has gone through many changes over the past few years. If we think about it, nearly every step is somehow different. But as we examine how Covid-19 influences various aspects of our business, we notice more rapid and sharp shifts than ever. Here are a few examples of how fashion retailers are transforming their business flow right now.
Chain reaction: Supply chain changes
After discussing the shift to nearshoring and reshoring, it’s time to understand how supply chain shifts influence retailers’ behavior. One change is delivering directly to customers, which is becoming more common these days. Travel restrictions make it impossible for some retailers to visit overseas locations, which means that more parts of the process are managed remotely and without passing through other company locations. This shift calls for better communication technology and video tools that allow retailers to view the production line from afar and examine the end result.
Transformation is in the house: Warehouse and stock management shifts
Companies that manage their own warehouse and stock are switching to automated procedures at a rapid pace. They use automation to track orders, schedule material orders in advance (which is more critical now that the supply chain is always changing), locate tools and supply, and more. Automation makes everything more comfortable and organized, which means that many retailers will probably keep using it long after the pandemic is over.
An important part of manufacturing optimization is gathering data to learn which parts of the process you should improve. The Kornit Konnect data software allows retailers to optimize the printing process by learning all about their system’s availability and production levels, ink consumption, and more. Our recent acquisition of Custom Gateway expands these and other capabilities even further, enabling an end-to-end on-demand online process.
Delivering innovation: Delivery operations shifts
Current health risks and restrictions force companies to offer more delivery options than ever before. These include Buy Online, Pick-Up In-Store (BOPIS), which we’ve discussed in detail in a previous article, same-day delivery, and more. Delivering the product also means handling returns, which requires robust customer support operations. Companies often learn how to collaborate with third parties to get their delivery infrastructure ready faster and overcome logistic hurdles.
If the above changes seem like a lot to handle all at once, consider the fact that many of these solutions were implemented remotely, including any training they might require. There’s no doubt that our industry is doing a remarkable job adapting to these challenging times. We can all feel proud, empowered, and fulfilled.