Customers and competition are driving a sea change in American retailing. E-commerce has increased competition to sell product by manufacturers, retailers, direct merchants, foreign companies, etc. to name a few.  More than 50% of all in-store purchases start with an online inquiry; mobile has become the fastest growing channel. As we cater to customer omni-channel shopping preferences, major tactical changes are required to ship orders to stores, ship orders from stores and DCs, place e-Commerce and phone orders to pick up at store with no shipping and handling fees, processing web returns at stores and processing returns for free.  Additionally, customers want delivery to be fast and “free” at a time when UPS and FedEx have forced changes through their charges based on DIM weight. The “small order nature” of direct orders and returns requires highly efficient operations to make money and provide high customer service.
Come hear Curt Barry, one America’s leading direct-to-customer fulfillment consultants, present 10 Operations Tactics your company must master to be competitive in the direct-to-customer marketplace.  Here are a few of the issues that Curt will address:

  • What are the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to measure direct-to-customer operations (e.g. cost per order, turnaround times, etc.)?  We will look at 16 companies’ fully loaded cost per order;
  • What measures of customer service are essential (e.g. communicating expected delivery dates, same day shipping, initial customer order fill rate, reasons for return, errors rates and costs, etc.)?
  • With the customer’s “point, click, deliver” mentality are there alternatives to “free shipping”?  Are you measuring the revenue you receive versus the shipping costs?  Should “free shipping” be a marketing expense?
  • In many direct businesses, shipping is the #1 expense in fulfillment of customer orders.  How have other companies been dealing with DIM weight issues expected from future UPS and FedEx?
  • Is same day shipping and delivery realistic for most companies?  Hear how leaders making sure they are within one day ground shipping to a high percentage of customers;
  • Learn how fulfillment centers are applying voice enabled technology to reduce costs, improve accuracy and timeliness;  
  • Understand how direct businesses including retailers and wholesalers use 3rd party fulfillment to provide order processing and customer service;
  • In many fulfillment operations about 60% of the total warehouse costs excluding shipping expenses are direct and indirect labor. We all want to take care of our employees.  In many cities unemployment is at the lowest level in years and the quality and availability of labor are concerns.   Minimum wage increases to $15.00 per hour is becoming an election issue.  How will your company deal with this challenge?   
  • Come away with a competitive checklist to compare your business to the omnichannel leaders.

If you are attending the PARCEL Forum,  don't miss the Tuesday, October 20th – 12:00-12:50 pm,OL504 MEGA SESSION, Direct to Consumer: What Is Your Competition Up To? This topic will be discussed in even greater detail, with plenty of time for Q&A!
Curt Barry is president of F. Curtis Barry & Company. Visit for more information.