Publication Date: 20th May 2020, Reading Time: 5 mins.
In the first part of the everstox ‘Guide on Flexible Warehousing’ we presented what flexible warehousing is and made a comparison to traditional warehousing solutions. Let’s now focus on how it solves some of the biggest logistics challenges eCommerce and Retail businesses face. In short, you will get insights into:
- Flexible warehousing examples:
How does flexible warehousing work for B2B and eCommerce businesses?
- Application of flexible warehousing:
How can B2B and eCommerce businesses use flexible warehousing?
- Final Thoughts:
Key advantages of choosing flexible warehousing with everstox over traditional warehousing
Flexible Warehousing Examples – How does it work?
Flexible warehousing enables eCommerce businesses and retailers to bring their products closer to where their demand is. In other words, those online shopped products are being stored closer to those delivery destinations in which the online shoppers live. Thus, delivery times are shortened and customer experience improved (faster and cheaper shipping), while your webshop simultaneously saves on transport costs and emissions for individual shipments and returns. Decentralizing warehousing with fulfillment hubs across Europe makes a reasonable case at a given order volume of course.
Furthermore, the technology and analytical aspects of flexible warehousing help to make warehousing networks and demand management efficient, resulting in a value boost across distribution chains. Flexible warehousing serves a range of use cases, in particular eCommerce fulfillment, Retail distribution and inventory overflow.
Here’s an example of flexible warehousing with decentralized fulfillment hubs across Europe for an eCommerce business with a monthly order volume of at least 2000 per target market. Clearly, the ideal amount of warehouses used may vary depending on the order volume per target market in your case.
Example: Case Retail and eCommerce Fulfillment
For Retail and eCommerce fulfillment, flexible warehousing enables retailers and online shops to scale their fulfillment networks into European markets and close to major metropolitan areas, enhancing their direct-to-consumer strategy. Thus, retailers and webshops can test new markets or channels, improve their delivery speed, and save on cross-border delivery costs.
Example: Case Retail Distribution
Flexible warehousing also supports businesses that distribute their listed products to Retail partners. This is done by providing flexible inventory handling close to intake centers to reduce last-mile transportation and storage costs.
Example: Case Inventory Overflow
In case of seasonal peaks or unexpected excess inventory, flexible warehousing allows retailers and eCommerce shops to quickly adjust their capacity as needed, thus providing a turnkey solution for recurring capacity problems.
Application of Flexible Warehousing – eCommerce Businesses and Corporates
Online businesses, whose first channel is direct-to-consumer, often fully rely on flexibility to set up and expand their logistics operations depending on how the market behaves. This flexibility is often a hurdle when dealing with traditional warehousing solutions.
With flexible warehousing however, online shops can choose their 3PL partners at flexible terms and also make use of their access to a broad warehousing and fulfillment network. eCommerce businesses can simply shift and upscale their distribution and logistics set-up. With this, online shops can realize the ability to deliver on customer expectations and also quickly expand their business as demand grows.
eCommerce Businesses – How to grow with flexible warehousing?
1. The Starter: eCommerce businesses usually start by setting up one or two network fulfillment partners within their domestic market or near other target demand regions. With the everstox platform, your webshop can simply choose from a range of pre-qualified 3PLs that perfectly match your business case and also enable shorter last-mile delivery in your domestic market.
2. The Expander: As an eCommerce business matures and decides to expand to cross-border markets, next on their agenda is to add more fulfillment centers across Europe to reduce delivery times and to provide a better distribution to new markets, or to focus on expanding their reach through Retail distribution. As the everstox network of independent 3PLs reaches across Europe, eCommerce businesses can simply choose their fulfillment partner in Germany, England (UK) or wherever their target market within Europe is located.
3. The Optimizer: Once an eCommerce business has grown and expanded its operations across multiple European markets, companies often tend to search for optimizing their current operations in order to create a leaner and more profitable structure. With everstox, eCommerce businesses can leverage inventory overflow solutions including demand planning forecasts, optimal stock level management and also diversify distribution locations in order to maneouver through supply chain disruptions or peak season demands.
Flexible Warehousing for Enterprises
For enterprise businesses, flexible warehousing complements their existing distribution infrastructure by providing a solution for piloting and rolling out new markets, sales channels, products and promotions, or managing supply chain disruptions and peak seasons.
How to optimize your logistics operations with our flexible warehousing:
1. We recommend that enterprises start with a pilot project to experience how to flexibly handle a market expansion, a new product launch or other special supply chain events such as inventory overflow
2. From there, enterprises can add on warehousing and fulfillment services for other listed products to increase their delivery promise and to offer two-day, next-day or even same-day delivery for fast-moving SKUs across European markets
3. Finally, enterprises can expand into pop-up or Retail distribution, which will enable them to position in-demand SKUs close to the markets where they are needed. This will help to optimize last-mile transportation costs
Why choose everstox?
The key advantages of everstox are our Logistics-as-a-Service technology, network and expert team:
- Control Tower: Our proprietary cloud technology enables B2B enterprises, eCommerce and Retail businesses to operate and optimize inventory flows and fulfillment processes through a single source of truth across multiple warehouses.
- Interconnected network: Our open network of trusted 3PLs across Europe enables merchants to seamlessly scale logistics services and warehouse locations when needed.
- Team player: Our team of industry experts partners up with you to build the perfect flexible warehousing set-up while being independent from individual fulfillment providers.
everstox enables transparent, efficient and ecological logistics solutions by forming Europe’s first tech-driven flexible warehousing solution.
We are passionate about optimizing the flow of goods through Europe, solving inefficiencies in warehousing and fulfillment operations and reducing transport emissions along the supply chain. Ultimately, we want to make first-class distribution accessible for independent retailers of any size to compete with established giants like Amazon. Simply the best delivery experience, for every customer.
Did you like our guide on flexible warehousing? We also have more Guides and How To’s for Retail, B2B and eCommerce logistics and fulfillment. Here are some tips:
- Guide on 3PL Screening: How to find the best logistics provider (3PL)?
- Guide on Logistics Costs: The 5 Main Cost Drivers of Warehousing, Fulfillment and Shipping Operations
- Comparing: Flexible warehousing vs traditional logistics
Max and the marketing team at everstox take care of researching, evaluating and writing all logistics insights that we gather from our day-to-day operations. If you have any questions on our thought-led articles, guide’s or any other blog-related topic, feel free to get in touch with our team.
Head of Marketing