Fulfillment providers are getting their
geek on: tapping technology that’s
keeping consumers happy, even amid
their rising expectations.
Tech to the Rescue
Sure, in this example, engineers, operations, and IT
pros mapped processes, prepared time studies, determined
staffing and equipment requirements, and developed a detailed schedule for a smooth transition to XB’s facilities.
But to do that, they relied on the technology behind
an advanced warehouse management system that fully
integrates each channel and thus, seamlessly, solves the
“[The technology] allows the marketer to distribute
seamlessly with all distribution channels available to today’s direct-marketing-centric companies,” Ruiloba says.
Jessica Thill of Thill Inc., a fulfillment company in
Neenah, Wis., says technology is still at the forefront of
every fulfillment conversation and that multichannel
commerce software and customized analytics are absolutely necessary.
“Marketers should look for a fulfiller that offers a soft-
ware suite that gives them all the information they need
in one solution,” Thill says. “You should be able to run
your business from anywhere, and your fulfiller should be
able to provide the information you need in the format
you need it.”
Thill adds that because of a constantly changing
digital landscape, consumers also want immediate access
to updates about their purchases on their laptops, smart-
phones, and tablets. “Fulfillers need to be on the cutting
edge of technology trends, providing interactive shipment
information and software that rises above and beyond a
simple shipment confirmation email,” she says.
Bryce McCuin, director of marketing with a2b Fulfillment in Greensboro, Ga., says online sales are indeed
driving the need for better technology in fulfillment.
“The savvier customers become in their shopping, the
more complex the order management,” McCuin says. “It’s
no longer just web and call center any longer.”
He says a recent study found that online sales in the
U.S. are expected to reach $523 billion in the next five