Intelligent web technology from Marlow company NetDespatch is making it much easier for retailers to outsource warehousing to third party logistics partners (3PL). By outsourcing the warehouse, retailers can improve customer service by reducing the number of links in their supply chain, while freeing their own time to concentrate on sales and removing the running costs of warehouse staff, specialist equipment and expensive IT.
Retailers’ customers order their products in the usual way – either at the store, from catalogues or via the web – with the order and delivery details being transferred electronically to the NetDespatch Velocity on-line system. These order details are then made available to the retailer’s logistics partner and consignment tracking labels are automatically produced at point of despatch for the selected carrier. This is a useful feature as different carriers have expertise in handling different types of consignment.
The labels can be produced as a continuous stream at one or more designated PCs, or else on demand from the barcode on a warehouse picking note. As bar code label printers are generally located at appropriate points in the warehouse, the system sends the data to the one nearest the product to enhance pick accuracy and efficiency.
Outsourcing means retailers can benefit from their 3PL’s transportation buying power and fulfilment expertise. For the retailer’s customer, it means they will receive their products more quickly as they are despatched direct to them instead of being moved through multiple warehousing and distribution points.
"We are facilitating outsourced warehousing by using intelligent web-based technology to seamlessly link retailers to their NetDespatch web services enabled logistics partners. This allows retailers to maximise their profits while providing excellent service. It is a 21st Century approach to the retail supply chain where businesses can cut expensive overheads and also gain the benefits of utilising third-party warehouse expertise. This approach also allows entrepreneurial retailers to get off the ground quickly because they don’t need to find money to invest in buildings, equipment, IT, staff and other ongoing costs such as insurance and maintenance," says Becky Clark, NetDespatch CEO.
Companies that have taken advantage of the efficiencies provided by outsourced warehousing powered by NetDespatch web services include Simply Sleep, the memory-foam mattress supplier; and several customers of the Surrey-based Streetwise Couriers pick and despatch service – including For Goodness Shakes, a leading sports nutrition and recovery drink specialist, Genorel Soft Drinks, an online store bringing Switzerland’s favourite soft drinks to the UK and Panton Design for Promotion, a promotional merchandise and business gift house, running merchandise, gift and award programmes for blue chip companies.