At the Ecommerce Summit in Columbus, OH, in April, I attended this session and was provided with ideas to maximize performance and operational efficiency throughout both front-and back-end operations. These strategies were accompanied by Tim Holody’s real-world, personal examples from his current job at Serta and the experiences and lessons he has learned over the years. One important takeaway I even remember today was the mantra: “one location per SKU and one SKU per location” that Tim heavily emphasized on. The session covered a lot of topics with practical applications, including:

  • Best practices in receiving, vendor management, QC and more, and
  • How to pay for performance can reward your top performers and reduce costs

Pop-Up DCs to the Rescue: Flexible, Economic Solutions for Peak Expansion Details

The pop-up concept is similar to that of regional fulfillment nodes, but without the cost barrier. It’s a temporary, lightweight infrastructure that can provide lower shipping costs for 1- to 2-day delivery across the country and may include an option for same-day courier delivery.

The most common use cases are:

  • Peak alleviation: diverting peak volumes in concentrated geography to alleviate the strain on the main DC
  • Event support: conduct location promotional events in major metro areas with the option for same- and next-day delivery.
  • Temporary regional node: open up regional fulfillment for as long as you want, saving shipping time and costs.

A few things to consider:

1. Temporary spaces: basic things like floor space; you want to spread your inventory out versus going up

2. Dock access and WiFi and Power: access to the internet and taking into account the network traffic

3. Supplies

4. Lightweight infrastructure

5. Assortment: systematically you need to account for:

a. SKUS eligible in that region

b. ABC movers

c. Inventory levels at each DC or store

d. Volume expectations versus previous year in that shipping zone(s)

Read Cris Maddox’s update here and get access to our white paper Making Robots Pay for Themselves.

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