Benross Marketing is the UK leading supplier of over 2000 high-quality products and stocks one of the largest range of products ranging from gadgets, homeware, garden, furniture, electrical, tools and more.
A wholesaler by trade the avenue of direct to consumer was previously unchartered territory. Our client needed a fulfilment and logistics provider that could facilitate a direct despatch solution to vendor specification as well as maintaining the back-office systems of each retailer. Typical retailers we service under this drop ship arrangement would be Argos, Express Gifts, JD Williams, Wayfair, Ideal World etc.
The primary challenges centred around demand planning, warehouse layout. operating specs, bulk replenishment and systems maintenance.
To trade on a DD basis most retailers offering this feature will demand the use of an experienced 3PL partner as service delivery is of paramount importance to protecting reputation.
With a proven track record in providing drop ship fulfilment services we were already converse with the requirements for servicing most of the retailers named whilst our system interfaces help to semi-automate the solution. In this instance we ran some forecasting with our client and configured a warehouse shelf layout to house a modest amount of stock across a broad SKU`s. Thereafter we created a simple replenishment rules engine linked to the prior 3 months sales history. Where direct API calls with the retailers back office system were possible we would maintain systems that way or alternately a dedicated account co-ordinator would be appointed to log in to the back office and create a bulk upload of the daily transactions.
The ability to ship direct to consumer has opened countless additional routes to market for our client. As a result, the portfolio of retailers that we now service indirectly on behalf of our client has expanded significantly. As goods are called from a secondary bulk site on a trigger level basis there is no need to carry large amounts of inventory at the drop ship site thus reducing any exposure to wholesale operations.
The overall outcome is a steady increase in sales revenues coupled with considerably more brand exposure than would normally be assumed in an Wholesale only environment.
The Inside Track
Drop shipping in the FMCG world requires discipline and knowhow. From replenishment, planning prompt turnaround on inbound shipments, frequent reconfiguration of warehouse layouts and pick/pack to individual retail specification. Unlike conventional bulk led operations drop shipping is just in time fulfilment where efficiency and accuracy of work are of paramount importance.
Lance Atkinson – Warehouse Manager 3P Logistics
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