Due to increasing levels of competition many businesses are looking to their customers to determine how to properly adapt their supply chain strategies to better meet their needs. This has caused supply chains to evolve into robust omni-channel networks. Many of the changes businesses have made have come in the form of distribution and order fulfillment advancements. Let’s look further into the top four distribution and fulfillment trends expected in 2015. One change that consumers have seen beginning in 2014, but see a strong increase in in 2015, is order fulfillment from brick and mortar store locations rather than from distribution centers. This can potentially save businesses costs related to shipping while also increasing customer satisfaction. Fulfillment from store locations allows consumers the instant gratification of receiving online sale prices, but picking up in-store same day or reduced shipping time. Businesses are now also offering multiple sales channels and differentiate each with its own promotional deal. This increases the complexity of order fulfillment, but provides consumers with more buying options. In 2015 many businesses will have their logistics partners performing value add services for them including advanced returns processing. Many businesses are giving customers the option to return online purchases in store. In some cases these returns will be repackaged in-store and put back on the shelf for resale. The stores that do not have this capability will return these items to distribution centers for further processing. Lastly, many businesses have begun to expand their distribution networks. Opening facilities in strategic geographical locations allow retailers to ship to stores and to consumers quickly due to reduced travel distances. In some cases, businesses will outsource additional logistics functions to third party logistics providers in these key geographical locations and save money on opening their own physical distribution center. To learn more about trends affecting the industry contact Datex experts today at 800.933.2839 ext 243 or at www.datexcorp.com.

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