Omnichannel fulfillment processes are becoming more popular all over the world as economies change with the influence of technology. For any retailer, this provides an opportunity to capitalize on less “out of stock” scenarios and increased bottom line. PDA successfully implemented a ship-from-store platform for a big box retailer by digging in to the challenges and taking specific steps to ensure success.

What obstacle was our client facing?

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With many distribution centers located around North America, our client struggled to effectively fulfill online orders. This was happening because each distribution carries different products, while at the same time customers shopping online can purchase many different items in one order. The cost of fulfilling these orders requires additional packaging materials, additional labor, and other incurred costs. Our client also has dozens of retail locations, which are stocked with a more diverse selection of SKUs, especially the top selling products in all product categories. Another benefit: these retail locations are right in the neighborhoods of the customers ordering online. How could our customer take advantage of their proximity and product supply in their retail stores to fulfill online orders?

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The PDA Way

When our client came to us we knew right away that ship from store was the right option:

  • We started by bringing a multitude of suppliers to our client to talk about the ins-and-outs of ship from store: how it works, methodologies, critical factors for success, and Q&A.
  • We also facilitated touring into other companies so that they could witness first hand the ship from store platform.
  • Next we procured test sites and set up pack stations to give our client the full experience. We brought the model to life in the store and designed a complete packaging area from scratch.
  • The packaging station is one of the most important elements, so we made sure to equip them with customized elements, like water activated tape machines.
  • We designed carts that are able to handle the pick from shelf aspect without disturbing customers and safely preparing the larger items for shipping.
  • To ensure employee success, we provided detailed instruction sheets on how to pack successfully and ship from the store environment, and even facilitated in-store training.

What was the outcome?

Because we provided a customized solution and took the time to get to know the dynamic challenges faced by our client, we were able to solve the problems they faced with fulfilling online orders, and provide auxiliary benefits. The in-store staff was properly trained and prepared for the transition, so the implementation process went smoothly.

 

We were able to provide the knowledge of how to effectively package the products to minimize shipping costs and prevent damage, so our client was able to save additional costs. The in-store inventory was also optimized, and now provides an improved shopping experience for customers who are shopping in-store.

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