Blog

09
Sep

3 Platforms for Global Presence

By Kate Franks, Fulfillment Advisor There’s something very exciting about seeing an order from a client’s online store travel at lightning speed from their platform through our order management system and off to one of our DCs for processing. In that moment, I put myself in the client’s shoes. I imagine that I woke up one day with a nagging feeling in my gut — an idea for a product that would improve my life and others. Then, after careful consideration I placed a bet on myself and launched a business. Now, here I am watching orders flow. I’d feel pretty freaking brave and cool; empowered. I love how Kick Starter and other venues make it possible to try out an idea with little investment. I love that an entrepreneur can see their dream actualized without draining their retirement account. Can you imagine how many times an entrepreneur probably heard no or received a less-than-enthusiastic response but carried on anyway? For those that withstand the naysayers, they reach a point in the journey where they need a global presence to really find an audience. E-commerce is the answer and there are some great platforms out there. Your own online ...

08
Aug

Keeping that “little neighborhood boutique” feel

I'm a sucker for good packaging. Maybe it stems from my marketing and advertising background, but there's something to be said for ordering an item that arrives as if it's been personally gift wrapped just for me. Christen Michel, a client of DM Fulfillment, has always wanted to deliver her GLOW skin care products wrapped in a way that felt personal rather than "big business." It was an easy challenge to tackle when she was doing her own shipping from the loft of her home, but her brand started building a reputation and business started taking off. "I realized that working on the shipping aspect of my business was not a good use of my time," said Ms. Michel. Her new challenge was to find a fulfillment partner that could help her deliver that "little neighborhood boutique" feel while also keeping up with demand. We are pleased that DM Fulfillment was able to address her concerns and deliver an exceptional customer experience. "I felt really comfortable after meeting with DM Fulfillment. I knew it was a good fit because all the worries and anxiety I had about making the leap were gone after my meeting with Kathy and ...

15
Jul

Will eCommerce Eat Retail?

The last ten years have been a headlong rush into eCommerce. It feels as though Amazon will take over the world. Mall-anchor and Big Box retailers are struggling while online sales offer double-digit year-over-year growth.  What's going to happen? Then, you have pioneers like Apple and Bonobos expanding or entering the brick and mortar world of retail. Have they not been paying attention? Of course they have, and they've realized that the only way to compete is to move beyond a standalone e-Commerce presence. Bonobos is in the game to win and recently hired a Director of Retail. With "eCommerce as the Bear" and Amazon the Alpha predator, physical presence is the slingshot, David. It used to be that "Showrooming" was feared, but now when I shop at my favorite men's apparel store, it's a combination of trying on clothes and making purchases both from in-store merchandise and additional styles or sizes online to complete my selection. Apple led the way, and not everyone thought it was a good idea when Apple opened its first retail stores, but I was there. I ran the fulfillment operation for daily point-of-sale replenishment when the Apple stores opened, and I ...

26
Jun

MINNEAPOLIS, June 24, 2014 – SPS Commerce, Inc. (Nasdaq: SPSC), a leader in retail cloud services, today announced that its Universal Network is enabling third-party logistics providers (3PLs) to stay ahead of the increasingly complex fulfillment needs of omnichannel retail. Logistics companies including DM Fulfillment have chosen to integrate to the SPS Universal Network using Retail Standard XML (RSX) as a critical capability in their omnichannel fulfillment businesses. With a single connection to SPS Commerce, the retail industry's largest trading partner network, these logistics firms efficiently support their customers' trading partner omnichannel fulfillment requirements, including the rapidly expanding direct-to-consumer delivery. "Suppliers and retailers are looking to their 3PL partners to meet the ever-changing expectations of today's consumer for rapid delivery of a rapidly expanding assortment of products," said Peter Zaballos, vice president of marketing and product at SPS Commerce. "By connecting once to the SPS Universal Network, 3PLs can support their omnichannel customers by seamlessly fulfilling orders originating from stores, mobile apps, e-commerce sites and other channels. 3PLs taking advantage of these agile capabilities are leading the omnichannel era." In early 2014, DM Fulfillment added SPS's Universal Network integration to its omnichannel fulfillment capabilities, effortlessly accessing hundreds of retailers with a single ...

02
Jun

Strategic Alliance with GOLD3PL

DM Fulfillment Announces Strategic Alliance with GOLD3PL St. Louis, Missouri – May 30, 2014 – DM Fulfillment, a division of Distribution Management (DM), has developed a strategic alliance with Dallas, Texas based GOLD3PL, Inc. (G3PL). This alliance will expand DM Fulfillment’s presence in the Dallas, Texas region where it currently operates a state-of-the-art Distribution Center as part of its national distribution footprint. This alliance will leverage DM’s highly automated fulfillment services to provide G3PL additional resources to support its growing and diversified revenue and customer base. “The win-win and synergies gained by this partnership will help increase the value of both our organizations while supporting a positive customer experience,” said Sean Fleming, CEO of Distribution Management. “The technology and infrastructure of DM allows G3 to provide speed to shelf for all customers, in today’s JIT environment this partnership guarantee’s our customer’s maximum service levels while maintaining competitive pricing,” said Gary Ruchlin, President of GOLD3PL, Inc.

10
Apr

Build trust through authenticity – 5 best practices

I can’t really say I pride myself on being authentic, because to do so would mean I put a lot of effort into it. What I CAN say is that I’m proud to be described by my peers as authentic. Like Popeye says, “I yam what I yam.” I guess I just really enjoy connecting with other people, because that's truly what it's all about. I recently invited an industry colleague to lunch for the simple purpose of meeting him and hearing about his professional journey. After nearly 2 hours of conversation, he asked what I wanted out of the meeting. It’s hard not to assume people have ulterior motives. I explained that I thought he was an interesting person with a similar background and I wanted the chance to know him. His response — “That’s what I thought, but it’s so rare I had to ask.” We recognized each other as authentic, no hidden agendas. I walked away from that meeting having learned that this gentleman has a specific goal that I am uniquely qualified to make a profound impact upon. I made a connection with him because I was willing to be me and now I have an opportunity to help ...

08
Apr

UPS SurePost® for Reduced Cost Residential Delivery

DM Fulfillment announces UPS SurePost® as an additional ground delivery service. UPS SurePost® is an economy, residential ground service for packages that weigh one to nine pounds and are not time sensitive. This is a complimentary service to UPS Mail Innovations® already available through DM Fulfillment, offering similar service levels and cost benefits for packages weighing less than a pound. “We’re excited to offer UPS SurePost® to our partners as it provides a low-cost residential shipping option ideal for low weight, low value shipments that don’t necessarily have time sensitive delivery requirements,” said Rick Goe, Vice President, Supply Chain. UPS SurePost® utilizes the U.S. Postal Service® for final delivery with available tracking options. Four to seven business days is the projected delivery time, depending on distance of travel, thus making it an ideal and practical logistics solutions when transit is not time-sensitive.

07
Nov

Holiday Shopping Can’t Wait!

Black Friday. Cyber Monday. Peak Season. It’s make or break time for those of us in the retail, e-tail, and distribution business. Forbes reported in their October 25th online edition that UPS expects to pick up 32 million packages on the Monday following Thanksgiving. Is your package one of them? It’s a compressed season this year, with Thanksgiving falling late in the month. Retailers are elbowing their way to the top of holiday shopping lists at every chance they get. “Free Shipping!” “Mega Merry Mondays!” It looks like the deals are going to be out there early. My fulfillment clients are optimistic but reserved about what to expect for online sales. The economy has teased us with recovery for years now, and we are all wary of big projections. We ask all our clients for their holiday forecasts mid-summer, but even at this late date they are throwing up their hands. I’m going to be positive; I think we’re going to have a great finish to the year. For consumers, the time to act is early. No online retailer wants to miss out on making a sale, and there is a higher likelihood of items being out of stock as retailers ...

25
Sep

Doing business with people you like

I recently read an article by Seth Godin about unreasonable clients which relates to a topic I’ve had on my mind a lot lately – doing business with people you like. It’s about realizing we have the freedom to seek out customers and vendors who will join us in mutually rewarding business relationships that promote positive energy. We’ve all had those clients who say and do things that eventually wear us down to the point that just seeing their phone number on the caller ID makes our hearts sink. They completely take the wind out of our sails before we even say “hello”. The good news is we have the power to change the course of our interactions with those clients. Here’s how: Disrupt the negative energy by NOT perpetuating it. Don’t get sucked in to it. Remove the drama from a situation and focus on the solution. Choose to be kind. Period. Positive energy will feed itself. Many times in Business Development, I have the opportunity to recognize a difficult organization during the selling cycle. They are unwilling to participate in productive conversations to identify the needs of their business, they spend a great deal of energy complaining about their current provider, and ...

27
Aug

The 48-Hour Rule

If your primary job description includes “operations” like mine, most of your direct interactions are with colleagues or internal customers — cross-functional teams making those “big ideas” actually work. Working with others internally to get things done will inevitably lead to clashes of opinions. How you react to those clashes is a choice you have complete control over, but it’s a choice you should wait 48 hours to make. Many years ago, I was an ambitious and assertive sales person. I loved the feeling of accomplishment in closing a sale, the cash that came with it and the resulting relationships, both internally and externally. I loved it all so much, that I asked for more. Put me in coach! I will manage. So, off I went into the world of coaching and relying on others as a sales manager. Oh the joy. As I navigated the world of running a team, I pushed hard for efficiencies, better shipping options for my region, looser credit limits where possible, and top talent. That meant lots of internal conversations. And man, did I run into some walls. Convincing people to change — convincing people of anything — is really hard. Everyone has their own priorities, ...