Linfox evolves with e-commerce

Transport giant Linfox has embraced the global e-commerce boom by adding a new array of fulfilment services to its portfolio that range from storage all the way through to product repairs.
Known for taking a proactive approach on new technology and shifts in market demand, Linfox has embraced the global e-commerce boom by adding a comprehensive range of fulfilment services to its portfolio.
“The market is moving towards online retailing and omni-channel systems, which is something traditional supply chains can’t necessarily support in a cost-effective way,” John Pucek, General Manager – Operations Development at Linfox, told Logistics & Material Handling.
“That’s why transport businesses like Linfox are evolving into much more multi-faceted organisations. Our new fulfilment operation in Sydney is the latest example of that evolution.”
The Sydney facility is designed to provide comprehensive fulfilment services for e-commerce operations – ranging from basic storage, ‘pick and pack’ and dispatch services through to product customisation, kitting, reverse logistics, repairs and even order track and trace services.
“We’re also developing our own, enterprise-grade e-commerce solution for the consumer goods market,” he said.
“A company will be able to purchase a fully managed service where we provide the e-commerce platform, a management team and online store management. We even do all the content management, and it will be integrated into our fulfilment.”
The service is designed for small- to medium-sized businesses trading between $120–300 million. “Rather than having to invest in their own e-commerce platform, they can get the complete package from us,” he explained – adding that the company launched the fulfilment and e-commerce projects at a strategy level in January 2016.
“We secured our first customer, consumer electronics company Belkin, in November 2016, and then went live in April this year,” he said.
Initially, Linfox will continue to focus on the consumer electronics market, he added, and it was recently announced that the company’s second confirmed customer is audio company Sennheiser. Next up are health and beauty. “The service offering suits many industries, but they’re the two current strategic targets,” he shared.
“We want to be a real partner of consumer goods organisations and retailers,” Pucek added – highlighting the evolutionary leap Linfox has taken from its beginnings as a transport operation.
“We’re hoping to be more so a partner than a 3PL – we want to be more integrated with them to help them grow their businesses, and now we’re looking at the other channels for which they want to grow their business and how we can support them by investing in the technologies for them.”
Pucek said that as consumers and small businesses demand better choice in how and where they receive their products, the market will continue to see change and innovation when it comes to last mile delivery.
“The challenge for traditional operators will be to bend and flex with consumer demand,” said Pucek.
“Linfox is investing heavily in our systems to provide small businesses and end consumers with greater visibility throughout the fulfilment supply chain.”

New WMS to standardise supply chain processes

Optimisation company RedPrairie has released a new supply chain management tool, which integrates asset tracking capabilities into its warehouse management system.

The amalgamation is part of the enhancements featured within the company’s new supply chain execution suite, which was designed to standardise supply chain processes.

“Integrated visibility and control over the movement of inventory and assets across today’s complex global supply networks can be slow, costly, and very challenging. In the past, inventory and the assets used to ship them were tracked in two separate systems, which made closed-loop tracking of assets very difficult,” said Tom Kozenski, the company’s vice president product strategy.

“With the new release, customers can manage this combined movement through a single process, driving greater efficiency, improved visibility and stronger control over supply chain operations.”

The system supports the use of RFID, 2-D barcodes and other AIDC technologies to track inventory and assets within and outside the distribution centre, including a retailer’s store network. Both serialised and non-serialised assets can be tracked at each location.

ARC Advisory Group research director Steve Banker said being able to manage inventory and assets in a single system would provide inherent efficiencies.

“There are significant costs tied up in reusable assets used in distribution operations. It makes sense to track these along with the inventory they transport for a complete view of the supply chain in motion,” Mr Banker said.

 

For additional information on the new release of RedPrairie’s E2e™ Supply Chain Execution suite, call +91 80 2649 4052, or + 61-2-8923 6272 or +86 21 5230 2711 or access www.RedPrairie.com.

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