One retailer needs to set up curbside pickup in a day. Another is doing ship-from-store but needs real-time data on the number of units of specific items at each store. Others are deciding whether to keep merchandise at shuttered stores or send them back to distribution centers. Those are among the challenges retailers are facing during the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic. They are not easy to face alone.
Increasingly, retailers have turned to specialists like Radial, a leading global provider of omnichannel technology and fulfillment services, for assistance. Among other resources, Radial operates 21 sprawling fulfillment centers that offer any retailer the scale, automation and efficiency of online giants. And Radial has deep expertise in issues such as multinode fulfillment and integrated data.
“What we’ve seen with our clients is that the flexibility of where you fulfill from is going to be vital,” Radial Senior Vice President of Technology Services Prashant Bhatia says. “It is utterly essential that retailers have complete control of their order management system so they can adjust to new shopper preferences and pivot quickly based on external factors such as stores reopening on different schedules and fulfillment centers opening and closing day-to-day.”
Before COVID-19 became a health and economic crisis in the US, it started as a supply chain challenge. As factories in China failed to reopen after the Lunar New Year holiday and imports plummeted, US retailers’ initial worry was whether spring and summer merchandise would arrive in time. Gartner warned that disruptions caused by the pandemic “demonstrate the fragility of globalized,