Magazine Article | October 24, 2011

Three Tips For Making Store-Based Fulfillment Work

Source: Innovative Retail Technologies

By Steven Kramer, president, North America & Global B2B for hybris

Picture this: You've made it. After months of building business cases, hours upon hours of sitting through and evaluating technology vendor pitches and meeting after meeting spent figuring out new processes, you're ready to grasp the holy grail of managing inventory in a cross-channel retailing operation — store-based fulfillment!

Ah yes. You can just see the inventory turns ticking up, the customer satisfaction scores shooting through the roof as out-of-stocks become a thing of the past for your chain. But wait, not so fast ... the law of unintended consequences kicks in only to thwart your efforts! Oh the humanity! What's to blame? Indeed, it is in fact humanity that is to blame.

You see, the problem with a cross-channel retailing strategy like storebased fulfillment is that despite all the technology, all the thoughtful process design, and all of the best intentions, in the end, it's your frontline staff that executes that all-important step of picking the order from stock and shipping it to the customer. Here are three tips we can offer that have worked with dozens of retailers and their store associates over the past decade.