Thursday, December 17, 2009

Investing in the Client Relationship

To outsource or not outsource is a question frequently posed by manufacturers and shippers. Some in the logistics industry would advise that an outside logistics provider does not understand or know your specific requirements as well as internal personnel. However, the value of utilizing an outsourced organization, a 3PL,—to augment services, provide insight into improvement processes and to supplement an organization’s core competencies—should not be overlooked.

The shipper must seek a 3PL that will fully invest in the relationship, starting early with a rigorous mapping process to gain a keen and thorough understanding of a shipper’s supply chain requirements. This will allow the 3PL to develop a customized transportation solution to integrate into the shipper’s existing operations.

The shipper and the 3PL should also collaborate and develop a detailed execution plan. Not only will this allow the 3PL provider to bring greater value and accountability to the partnership, but provide common understanding of KPI’s, execution timelines, and shared goals.

What other ways does your 3PL provider bring value?

Friday, December 11, 2009

Business Books Worth Finding the Time to Read

In this article by BARBARA TAYLOR in the NY Times.

She recommends the following books.  I have read most these book and concur with her.  Running a small business which specializes in order fulfillment, takes a lot of time and effort.  However you must invest your time in moving your business forward by educating yourself on what the thought leaders are saying.

The Knack: How Street-Smart Entrepreneurs Learn to Handle Whatever Comes Up
By Norm Brodsky and Bo Burlingham
I love Norm’s articles in Inc. I can’t believe I haven’t read his book.

The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference
By Malcolm Gladwell
I need this book to sit on the shelf alongside the Malcolm Gladwell book that I do own, Outliers: The Story of Success. Then I need to read them both.

The New Rules of Marketing and PR: How to Use News Releases, Blogs, Podcasting, Viral Marketing and Online Media to Reach Buyers Directly
By David Meerman Scott
I was a marketer in corporate America for many years, and am even more passionate about marketing now that I’m a small-business owner. The game is certainly changing, and I won’t be left behind.

The Buyout of America: How Private Equity Will Cause the Next Great Credit Crisis
By Joshua Kosman
I can’t resist a title like this. (You had me “Private Equity.”)

Trust Agents: Using the Web to Build Influence, Improve Reputation, and Earn Trust
By Chris Brogan and Julien Smith
I credit Chris Brogan’s blog and tweets with teaching me most of what I know about social media marketing.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Order fulfillment is important to the success of your company

The order fulfillment process is as important to a business as the brain is to the body. Of course you can be brain dead and your body will still be alive, but you will not be productive. The same things go for fulfillment in a business. Without properly working fulfillment, of course you will still have a business, but it will be far from productive.
Most do not realize that order fulfillment is so important, but it truly is. Fulfillment can be what makes or breaks a business. When you have a well flowing fulfillment process going, you will see that your business as a whole will begin to flow better. Fulfillment is like a growing child, if you invest and pay close attention to it, it will grow to be better for itself as well as be better for you.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Toy shippers in need of holiday miracle

Tepid demand, ocean capacity shortfalls, and tougher product safety rules have set up the toy business for a lump of coal this season.

By Mark B. Solomon

Link to original article

It's not every day that trade association executives talk candidly about the economic pressures facing the industries whose interests they are paid, often handsomely, to represent. But Jeff Bergmann, chief operating officer of the Cincinnati-based Toy Shippers Association (TOYSA), could not sugarcoat his response to a query about the outlook for toy sales this winter.

"It's not going to be a very good holiday season for our members," he said in a late October interview. Bergmann has valid reason for concern. According to a mid-October survey from the National Retail Federation (NRF), the typical U.S. consumer will spend $682 on holiday items this year, down 3.2 percent from 2008 and the lowest level since 2003. (The survey didn't solicit responses specific to purchases of toys.)

Not surprisingly, a separate NRF paper that tracks U.S. containerized ocean traffic entering U.S. ports has reported the weakest activity since 2003, as worried retailers pare back new orders in response to tepid end demand.

"We see stock levels (at retailers) that are significantly lower than in previous years," Eric Levin, executive vice president of Techno Source, a Hong Kong-based toy and game manufacturer, said in late October.

Levin said the financial crisis stands to reshape the entire supply chain landscape for the toy business. Traditionally, retailers placed their orders early in the year and suppliers shipped holiday stock throughout the summer for delivery to stores by early September. This year, retailers concerned about buying too much too soon spread their orders over a five- to six-month period that began in July and ran through November, Levin said. This has wreaked havoc on many supply chains, which were ill-prepared to make the adjustment, he said.

The executive said it's too early to tell if the shifts in order patterns are a one-time event in response to the downturn, or the start of a long-term trend. If it's the latter, "it will change a lot of the business flow in Chinese factories going forward," he said.

The retailers' cautious stance is not new. In 2008, toy import tonnage from China—by far the main source for U.S.-sold toy and game products—declined 8 percent over 2007 levels, according to consultancy IHS Global Insight. By contrast, import tonnage from China in 2007 rose 14 percent over 2006 levels, the firm said. It has not made projections for 2009's import activity.

Tight capacity
Weak demand is not the only challenge facing the toy industry. Another is a shortage of ocean liner capacity. In response to the global downturn and a non-compensatory pricing climate, a number of ocean carriers have taken ships out of service, leaving toy shippers and importers hard pressed to secure cargo space when they need it. TOYSA's Bergmann lauded the steamship lines for being flexible and accommodating to his industry's needs, but acknowledged the group has fielded "a few calls" from members looking for capacity during peak season and not finding it.

Should the space become available—and steamship lines can quickly get mothballed vessels back in the water if demand warrants—it will likely cost more to procure. Or at least it will if the carriers have their way. In August, the toy supply chain was hit with a $500 rate increase per forty-foot equivalent unit container (FEU); most of that increase has stuck. That increase was followed by a peak-season surcharge and "equipment repositioning" charges, as carriers look to shore up their bottom lines any way they can.

The third-party logistics service providers (3PLs) have been the main targets of the carriers' rate hikes. That's because so-called beneficial cargo owners—typically manufacturers or retailers—had language in their contracts barring rate increases or absorption of peak-season surcharges.

Bergmann noted that 3PLs are absorbing the increases or trying to pass them on to their customers. Some shippers have accepted relatively small increases from the 3PLs, he added.

Bergmann said TOYSA believes carriers just want to return to some level of pricing normalcy and are not looking to gouge his members. But that's little solace to an industry already facing sluggish demand during its most important selling period. "It's quite a conundrum for us," he said.

Get in gear!
The toy industry's challenges won't stop when Santa Claus packs it in for another season. In August 2008, President Bush signed legislation requiring that by this February, manufacturers and importers must certify that their toys have been tested and are in compliance with mandatory safety standards. Importers are required to have compliance certifications available to inspectors at the time the products are examined.

The legislation arose from several incidents in recent years involving the safety of U.S. toy imports, notably a 2007 incident when Mattel Inc. had to recall nearly 1 million Fisher-Price toys after discovering its supplier had coated their surfaces with lead paint.

David J. Evan, a New York-based attorney who advises companies on the new law, said the testing process and the potential for negative test results could disrupt the supply chain at any point. If inspectors snag a non-compliant product or product component, the goods can't be distributed until the affected item is removed or replaced. This could result in shipment delays, product recalls, and stockouts, Evan warned.

The New York-based Toy Industry Association has developed what it calls an industrywide process—which includes extensive product testing—to ensure compliance. In October, the group announced that manufacturers could start applying for certification under its new "Toy Safety Certification Program." Toys certified under the program are expected to appear on store shelves in 2010, the association said.

Amy Magnus, district manager at A.N. Deringer Inc., a St. Albans, Vt.-based customs broker, freight forwarder, and 3PL, said manufacturers and importers should expect government inspectors to be aggressive in enforcing the law. Magnus added that other agencies aside from the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) now have the power to place manifest holds on cargo to satisfy their own requirements. She suggested that companies seek the help of a broker or an import specialist to avoid stiff fines for non-compliance.

Evan said the CPSC is adding staff at U.S. ports, which will result in more inspections. If a product is stopped at a port due to compliance issues, the CPSC and the U.S. Bureau of Customs and Border Protection will conduct a field test and send samples to CPSC facilities, where examiners can place a hold on the goods until they determine if the product is in compliance. Goods that fail the compliance test will not be released into U.S. commerce.

Levin of Techno Source said toy manufacturers must balance the ability to test thoroughly with the need to quickly move products through the process so they can hit store shelves on schedule. They must also convince retailers to accept testing reports that manufacturers already have on file so they can avoid paying for the same tests to be re-run for each retailer, he added.

"If every retailer begins to require tests be re-done just for them, it will create significant unwarranted expenses and delays," Levin warned.

Regardless of the different issues that could potentially fracture industry interests, Levin said all the players are on the same page as to the overriding priority.

"We as an industry are all aligned in wanting to ensure that toys are safe for kids," he said.

With order fulfillment, "perfection" is in eye of beholder

Aiming to deliver the perfect order? It all starts with knowing what it is.

By Kate Vitasek and Joseph Tillman


For many people, it's not Christmas without watching "A Christmas Story," a movie about a nine-year-old boy named Ralphie who goes to great lengths to make sure Santa brings him a BB gun for Christmas. And not just any BB gun. What Ralphie wants is a Red Ryder Carbine-Action, 200-Shot Range Model BB gun with a compass in the stock and a thing that tells time (a sundial in the stock of the gun).

Ralphie's story is likely to carry some resonance for supply chain professionals. In many ways, it captures the essential challenges of order fulfillment —understanding the customer's expectations, meeting those expectations, and measuring customer satisfaction.

It's clear from the start what it will take for the supplier (Santa) to satisfy his customer (Ralphie). Santa has to make sure the order arrives complete —for example, he can't forget "the compass in the stock and a thing that tells time." He has to deliver it on Christmas morning. And he has to see that the gun comes undamaged and with the instructions (documentation) included.

In the language of order fulfillment, what Ralphie's looking for is the classic "perfect order" —one that arrives on time, complete, and damage free, with the correct documentation and invoice (if applicable). Santa's challenge is to make sure his execution of that order is flawless.

Nothing less than perfection
But how can Santa tell if he's performing to expectations? One way would be to calculate the order's score on the Warehousing Education and Research Council's (WERC) Perfect Order Index (POI). To calculate a POI score, you simply multiply the four key "perfect order" metrics together: percentage delivered on time × percentage shipped complete × percentage shipped damage free × percentage shipped with correct documentation.

Although a number of industry organizations have adopted the POI as their standard for measuring performance, the index also has its critics. Some have challenged the formula's "multiplier" effect, arguing that it inflates the significance of a single failure. A score of 0 on just one of the metrics (say, the order is delivered an hour late) drops the overall POI score down to 0, effectively canceling out the supplier's achievements in the other three areas.

But we argue multiplying is the purest way to look at an order from your customer's —not the shipper's or the supplier's —perspective. If the order doesn't meet all of the customer's expectations, the supplier has failed. Period. You don't get partial credit when you fail the customer.

For example, what if Santa left Rudolph at home and encountered thick fog in Northern Indiana, delaying the order's arrival until after lunch on Christmas day? Regardless of whether Santa got everything else right, Ralphie would be an unhappy customer. That disappointment would be reflected in the order's POI. Santa would get a 0 for on-time delivery, netting him an overall POI score of 0.

The customer-focused measure
In Ralphie's case, it all works out in the end. Santa meets his customer's expectations on all counts, fulfilling both Ralphie's order and his dreams. But not all customers are so lucky. WERC's most recent survey of warehousing and distribution professionals found that respondents only shipped perfect orders 87.5 percent of the time.

Part of the problem may be that not all suppliers are as attuned to their customers' expectations as Santa is. While some companies have worked hard to define their customers' fulfillment requirements, others are still dragging their feet.

If you haven't developed your own definition of your customer's perfect order, we recommend you default to the WERC definition. It's hard to argue with the premise that most customers want what they ordered, when they wanted it, how they wanted it, with an accurate invoice.

If you think this definition is too strict, we urge you to think of Ralphie. Achieving the perfect order is not out of reach. Just ask Santa.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Is Your 3PL a Brand Builder?

Abrand represents many intangible aspects of a product or service; it's a collection of perceptions about quality, image, lifestyle, and status. In short, a brand represents a promise made and honored.

When was the last time you challenged your third-party logistics provider (3PL) to help you build your brand? For most shippers, the answer lies somewhere between seldom and never. But when you think of your 3PL as the face of your brand to your customers, the stakes are incredibly high. If your 3PL provider makes a mistake, you own it.

Successful branding programs begin with superior products and services, backed by excellent customer service that permeates an entire organization. Is your third-party logistics provider delivering your brand promise?

Consider the following key areas to assess whether your 3PL is building your brand or giving it a black eye:

  • Setting common goals. One of the most important, and often overlooked, factors in assessing the brand-building potential of your third-party provider begins with setting common goals and objectives. Do both sides truly understand the business needs of all parties -- including your customers?
    From the tone and manner of customer service representatives to driver appearance at the dock, every brand touchpoint matters. Your 3PL must thoroughly understand each touchpoint to ensure that positive, brand-enhancing policies are part of what you expect from the relationship.

  • Sharing a culture. The best 3PL relationships develop when there is corporate philosophical alignment. If one party has a mentality of "good enough is fine," and the other player has a "dazzle me" expectation, no one will be satisfied.
    What is your cultural expectation of your employees? Be sure to partner with a 3PL who can deliver that same expectation for your customers to truly make a brand-enhancing impression.

  • Establishing transparency. In today's global economy, complete transparency is incredibly difficult. For a global company, cultural nuances, language barriers, and technology issues often make communications difficult, becoming a barrier to transparency.
    Sustainable, strategic relationships require continual improvements and creativity. Much like a good marriage, the best 3PL relationships develop in an atmosphere of open and frequent communication. Is there a mutually beneficial ability to quickly resolve any issues that arise along the way? Trust and commitment are key components in reaching consensus and continuously moving the business in the right direction.

  • Enjoying the win/win. Expect your 3PL to be willing to share both risk and rewards. Does your 3PL care about your business as much as you do? Does it allow you to focus on your core competencies and take on complete responsibility for its role in your brand? Is it investing in your success by improving service offerings and upgrading technology?

In today's tough economy, the answer to all those questions should be a resounding yes. It doesn't cost more to expect more from your third-party logistics provider. One thing is certain: Partnering with a 3PL who is a positive reflection on your brand could make an enormous positive impact on your company's future.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Doing food packaging, you may also want a company with fulfillment services?

Food packaging is a key area of fast moving consumer goods and finding the right co packing services is not an easy job. In fact, there are several packaging companies that also offer fulfillment services but you want to make sure that the combination is balanced a way that will optimize your investment in packaging. You need to be extremely cautious when choosing a packaging firm because not all firms offer turnkey solutions, quick turnaround, multiple packaging locations and fulfillment services all under one roof. Make a checklist of your requirements before you start looking for a packaging company.

The first aspect to look for in a co packing services company is the standing and overall reputation of the company in the industry. Make sure you collaborate with a packaging services company with experience and over 10 years in business. Ask others in your industry and confirm that the reputation of your perspective packaging partner is unblemished. Since this is a competitive industry where good manufacturing practices matter, companies with over 10 years of standing in the industry are the best fit. Even after you have shortlisted a fulfillment services firm, you need to check their clientele and conduct a thorough search of the services offered making sure they match your requirements.

There are many different types of fulfillment services that most of the top packaging companies offer. For most of the co packing services company, this can refer to a simple pack and pack operation or individual hand assembly process. Depending on the requirements it can also mean a full turnkey solution that includes the sourcing and procurement of all the raw packaging materials and management of the supply chain and drop shipping a finished product to the end customer.

When selecting a company, you need to find out if the fulfillment services firm in question has enough industry experience as well as resources for evaluating your requirements. The firm should be able to provide a comprehensive proposal highlighting all fulfillment services included. From those you may get a fell for which co packing services fit your requirements as well as your budget. Most top co packing firms offer quick turnaround, broad capability and multiple plant locations as these are some of the important factors that provide them with the flexibility to handle any type of project requirements especially those with a tight deadline.

Some of the other important aspects that you need to consider in a fulfillment services firm include 24 hour guaranteed shipping, internally owned transportation company, both which help allow for immediate shipping. Other fulfillment services that you should look for in a 3PL provider include but are not limited to: picking and packing order fulfillment, in-house shipping,
tracking systems for Federal Express and UPS, password protected and highly secure web-based solutions for checking inventory levels as well as an on-line interface enabling the placing of orders.

The co packing firm you choose should also be able to offer other services apart from fulfillment services. Some of the services that they should be able to offer include contract packaging including cello wrap, Skin packaging, Blister packaging, Shrink wrap, Clamshell sealing, Contract Filling & Blending (Food, Personal Care, Dry or Liquid filling, Tube & Bottle filling, Pouching, and Towlettes/Wipes), Hand Assembly (POP display assembly, Gift sets, Kits, Repackaging, and Rework,) and many more. The bottom-line is to look for a fulfillment services firm that will take care of all you requirements and be cost-efficient at the same time.

Friday, December 4, 2009

SBC Fulfillment client spotlight

Something to talk about: SBC client spotlight

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by Angela Cavallari Walker

You may have literally heard of SBC client,  The site, which is named for conservative political talk show host and writer, Laura Ingraham continues to gain followers who can listen to her show both online and on 340 radio stations. According to the site, Laura Ingraham can be described as a patriotic supporter who continues to rally for American family values.

Laura's most loyal fans, also called Freedom Czars, are able to order these featured Freedom CZAR products on her site with the click of a button.  Fans are encouraged to post pictures to the site sporting their mugs in hats and hoodies.

Products such as the Freedom Czar ''Swag Bag,'' sweatshirts, T-shirts and even bumper stickers are all drop-shipped and stored in SBC''s more than 60,000 square feet of warehouse space in Atlanta, Georgia.  Each product order is received by SBC and shipped to consumers throughout the United States.

By partnering with all major shippers including: Fed-Ex, UPS and the United States Postal Service, SBC is able to meet and exceed the demands of it''s clients. Through turnkey solutions such as SmartTurn-a powerful WMS or Warehouse Management System, SBC's clients can view their inventory, track and ship all online from anywhere.

Want to give your customers something to talk about? Click here to learn more about SBC Fulfillment''s solutions and services.

On-demand WMS, Integration and Business Intelligence

Situation: Like most links in the supply chain, SBC Fulfillment is feeling the effects of the recession, but the company's president, Brian Schoenbaechler, says despite inventory levels being drawn down to the bare bones, business will eventually ramp back up.

The Details: When business picks up, Brian believes SBC Fulfillment will be prepared thanks in part to a software-as-a-service (SaaS) application that will allow the company to forecast demand and stay on top of the recovery.

What it Means: "Technology," Brian said, " is kind of an enabler to facilitate collaboration and communication, and it is essential, especially nowadays, where everybody’s trying to do more with less.” Click Here to Read Full Article...

Thursday, December 3, 2009

The Advantages Of Hiring A Third Party Logistics Service

The benefits of flexibility and efficiency to using a contract warehouse are well known in the industry, but less well known are the additional fulfillment services that can be provided by the warehouse staff. On the East Coast, an Atlanta warehouse can provide expert fulfillment services. In fact, Atlanta Fulfillment services can save your business large amounts of time, space, and money. The most outstanding benefit of using a contract warehouse for your fulfillment tasks is that it allows you to concentrate on other key areas of your business. That is, you can do the things you do well and let someone else do the things that they are good at. (It’s kind of like hiring a cleaning service to do your housework so that you can spend time with the kids.)

A sales model that is best suited to outsourced fulfillment services is ecommerce. When selling a product over the Internet, you probably want to concentrate your efforts on the product and want nothing to do with the nitty-gritty details of storing and shipping. As business takes off, you can avoid the need to acquire warehouse space and hire warehouse staff by setting up a relationship with a fulfillment warehouse. Maybe you want to start selling your wares on the other side of the ocean—Atlantic or Pacific. In this case, you can just make a single shipment to your overseas fulfillment warehouse and let them do the work of storing, packaging, and shipping your foreign orders.

Here is some advice on what to look for during the selection process. First, choose a fulfillment service with flexibility. As you start out as a small startup company, you may require just a pallet or shelf in the warehouse. Then, as your sales increase and your business grows; this flexible service can provide you with the additional space that you require. Next, look at the services that are actually provided. Look for a service that will receive your products, store them securely, package them professionally, and ship your orders out immediately and transparently. Who are your customers? Will your fulfillment service put together small orders for consumers as well as processing bigger orders for business-to-business customers? If you can find a fulfillment service that does all of these things, make sure that they will treat your customers as if they were their own. Their work ethos would have a direct effect on your company’s reputation with your customers.

If you are an individual, you have most likely viewed the commercials on television that try to intrigue you with promises of astronomical income by setting up an ecommerce web site to sell goods that you never touch. A warehouse and fulfillment service is the key to this concept. You may not want to rely on the selection of product provided by these hucksters, but you can apply the concept on your own. All you need to do is find a business with a product to sell, set up a web site, and work to promote your web site using search engine optimization techniques. Then, your job is to create a stunning site and keep it at the top of the search engines.

Why Some Merchants are Saying Yes to SaaS

Link to article in MultiChannel Merchant

I am a big fan of Software as a Service (SaaS).  We use it here at SBC Fulfillment.

Software as a Service (SaaS) is a growing trend in where multichannel merchants are putting their e-commerce dollars.  SaaS—outsourcing the development and hosting of Websites—can be a cost-effective way of gaining new site functionality, reducing operating costs with less reliance on internal IT and accessibility to continuous upgrades. In our experience, SaaS costs range from 1% to 4% of sales.

We at SBC Fulfillment use a SaaS  WMS system.  We have found it allows us to scale our business quickly and provide your clients the data securty and availablity they need to run their business.

Full Article Atlanta-based 3PL simplifies operations while giving customers greater visibility into their inventory by leveraging a SaaS warehouse management solution from SmartTurn By Kevin ...
... margin, client specific operational cost for a low volume business could further erode profitability and render the proposition of SMB market unviable A SaaS Powered Shared Services Platform Can Help ...
... not tap the software-as-a-service (SaaS) model for warehouse management.  The economy has forced companies to do more with less, thus “lean and mean” is becoming the way of the future.  On-demand ...

Chasing The Long Tail In A Recession

How does order fulfillment relate to "The Long Tail."

Chris Anderson, author of “The Long Tail,” hypothesizes that even though classic marketing assumes that 80% of sales come from 20% of your customers, chasing “the long tail” of customers not in that 20% can be a viable online strategy. That’s because online businesses are great at providing choice, something that physical brick-and-mortar stores can’t stock or inventory the same way since they are not virtual enterprises. But, is chasing the long tail still a good strategy in a recession where consumer demand is dropping drastically?

Why The Long Tail Creates Demand

Yes, it is a good idea to think about chasing the long tail. The reasons for that are two-fold: Physical retailers are already reducing inventory and dropping choices and online retailers don’t have to stock or inventory a selection or choice in order to offer it. So, the same reason that makes it unthinkable for physical retailers makes it a great choice for online merchants. After all, demand may be slowing for the best sellers, but the long tail is not about best sellers; it’s about personal preference. When a consumer has a personal preference for a particular product or service, they will look to get that choice fulfilled regardless of the cost, even in a down economy. And, even if a retailer offers this choice in their physical stores, an online business is better suited to drop the price on it because they are not keeping their stock in physical inventory. They are doing “just-in-time” demand fulfillment.

Look Up Affiliates, Partners, and Order Fulfillment Services

In order to capitalize on this strategy, there is a bit more upfront market research. You want to locate affiliates, partners, and order fulfillment services that can help you market the long tail without necessarily having to create products yourself or ship them. That way, they can remain in other people’s physical inventory until you get an order and are ready to fulfill that order. If you line up a great team of suppliers who you can use to create a vast choice, then you will create demand where there was none because you are offering something in one place that few others are able to do offline. If you make it easy to search online, then you create the ability for the customer to service his/her own needs and to exactly specify their preferences.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Best Buy wants your electronic junk

Link to Article

Great article on Best Buys decision to offer free recycling of gadgets large and small, more than 25 million pounds of ISTB -- that's company lingo for in-store take-back -- has made its way to the company's 1,044 U.S. stores.  Best Buy decided to ge into recycling old electronics at the behest of its employees and customers.

"One of my roles as CEO is to be the chief listener," Dunn told Fortune during an interview at Best Buy's headquarters outside Minneapolis. "I don't believe that the model is any longer that there are a few really smart people at the top of the pyramid that make all the strategic decisions. It is much more about being all around the enterprise, and looking for people with great ideas and passionate points of view that are anchored to the business and connected to things our customers care about."

Best Buy, as a result, has decided that being a good corporate citizen makes business sense. As a manufacturer of electronics, Best Buy audits the factories of its suppliers, mostly in Asia, to make sure they don't exploit workers or pollute the environment. (It severed ties with 26 factories last year, out of about 200.)

Dunn believes that sustainability is a rising social value -- and therefore a business opportunity.

Best Buy's commitment to corporate responsibility dovetails well with the company's emerging strategy and business model. To set itself apart from Wal-Mart and Amazon (AMZN, Fortune 500), its biggest competitors, Best Buy wants to do more than sell consumer electronics. It would like to help customers get better use out of technology, whether they are buying, installing, fixing, or disposing of their hardware. Says Dunn: "We're transitioning from just being a mover of boxes."

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

SBC Fulfillment fulfillment and packaging solutions

Thank you for visiting our page. Ifyou are here you are probably looking for the following:
Fulfillment services
fulfillment compay
fulfillment house
contract packaging
pick pack ship

in reference to: SBC Fulfillment packaging and fulfillment services (view on Google Sidewiki)

Inventory at your fulfillment house

When choosing a fulfillment service everything from quality of service to warehouse storage space could be considered. Some companies choose to work with the best services such as DHL, UPS, or FedEx. Other companies go a step further and commission their own custom delivery service. If you didn’t decide on the more reliable fulfillment company, you get the limited opportunity to play the always exciting waiting game while anticipating the arrival of your fulfillment products, if they arrive.

The inventory aspect of order fulfillment services goes hand in hand with warehousing because it keeps track of what promotional products you have, how much, conveniently for the warehousing staff, where the product is located. Without a proper inventory management system, you never know what you’re going to get. You could have all 100 of those wine glasses that you need by tomorrow or you can have 100 pieces of the wine glasses. Wal-Mart does have a year-round sale on super glue and gorilla grease, fun times all around. If this kind of fun is simply too much for your frail heart, you can always consider more reliable and predictable fulfillment companies to outsource to.

Fulfillment gets less complicated when good communications skills are observed on both ends of the fulfillment spectrum. Lack of communication only complicates things and makes the process even more tedious. To keep up the communication, other companies typically set up client profiles that immediately post changes, updates, and orders. For more information, check out SBC Fulfillment fulfillment services.