How focussed is your business on ‘last mile fulfilment’?

Retailers are struggling to find seasonal workers amid labour shortages. Supplied
Retailers are struggling to find seasonal workers amid labour shortages. Supplied (Source: Envato)

As a Global Solution Implementer, we’re constantly looking for ways our current (and potential) client partners can reduce their Total Cost of Ownership (TCO). This can range from little things like constant reviews of user numbers in project administration software to hosting efficiency analysis by our DevOps experts.

However, where we are recognised as achieving our best is in well-designed solution architecture that maximises the value derived from considered and appropriate software choices. The additional outcome is this can significantly reduce manual overheads and enable clients to find more productive and profitable ways to utilise their staff. So let’s have a look at ‘last mile fulfilment’ and two areas in particular that are delivering significant efficiencies and cost reductions for businesses.

Product Information Management (PIM) and automation “deliver immense value for businesses that need to scale and support efficient growth across numerous markets”.

The opportunity to centralise your product data for consistency and enrichment has become a hot topic across both B2C and B2B business models in e-commerce. While there is hesitancy in conversations to raise the inclusion of another piece of software, a PIM can deliver immense value for businesses that need to scale and support efficient growth across numerous markets. For example:

  • A single source of product data can ensure consistency and ease team management.
  • One product can be delivered to many channels or locales – it can be possible to have a single product definition, but have different attribute values per channel or locale without doubling up on attributes, or duplicating products.
  • Software like Akeneo has ‘global attributes’ – that can be allocated at a ‘parent’ level and made available to all products in the family – saving time by removing the need to repeat data entry at the lower levels, but also allowing for variation of attributes at the child and/or SKU levels where needed.
  • Ownership of product enrichment can also be shared with suppliers to further reduce manual update work falling on your team’s shoulders.

Order Management System (OMS) and efficient use of inventory “make the most of the inventory they have on hand, and to also reduce the overheads of carrying excess stock”.

The increase in supply issues has seen many businesses needing to make the most of the inventory they have on hand and also reduce the overheads of carrying excess stock. This is particularly important to omnichannel businesses that manage stock across both their warehouses and store networks. While most modern e-commerce software can handle basic order management, investing in an actual OMS can deliver the next level of efficiency:

  • Surfacing both warehouse and in-store stock across the online space in real-time (or near as) reduces wastage in stock turn, and also reduces buffer levels of stock that are traditionally allowed to prioritise customer experience over over-selling.
  • Order Management isn’t just about stock management though – it also relates to offering your customers the most efficient methods to connect them and your product – whether through delivery, click and collect, ship to store, to name a few of the current options.
  • Aligent has a strong history of delivering efficiencies in use of inventory – having contributed to the core of Magento’s Multi-Source Inventory (MSI).
  • As far back as 2016, we have been working with clients like Munro Footwear Group – one of Australia’s largest footwear distributors – to deliver omnichannel inventory management.
  • We continue to work with numerous partners like Retail Apparel Group to analyse and implement last-mile fulfilment using stores and warehouses.

“The quality and long-term relationships Aligent has with brands and retailers in Australia, combined with their deep technical expertise of both Adobe Commerce and BigCommerce, makes this a very exciting partnership,” said Jamie Cairns, chief strategy officer (CSO) at Fluent Commerce.

Who is Aligent?

Aligent is a team of 115+ e-commerce experts, delivering world-leading experiences for audiences of all different backgrounds and requirements. It has a recognised strong track record of well-engineered, performant and scalable e-commerce experiences that deliver best-in-class performance at every level and have been internationally awarded year on year.