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inventory holding it was fulfilled, plus all of the traditional POS information. Demand planning software is an effective


way to aggregate and process all of this information and gives retailers a competitive edge when it comes to anticipating orders. Once all of this information has been fed in, retailers can see predictions by channel for what quantities of stock need to be available in which locations, how each channel will sell these items and where items can be sent to recover margins should there be excess. Using this data to work collaboratively across planning, merchandising and fulfilment will help to ensure a successful omnichannel operation.


“Having a thorough understanding of customer needs allows businesses to focus their efforts on investing in services which create value to the customer and provide real, tangible results for retailers.”


MANAGE SHIPPING COSTS AND NEGOTIATE WITH SUPPLIERS With shipping costs being so volatile and high customer demand for free shipping and returns becoming a supply chain hot topic, the impact the right solution can have on profit margins is often substantial. Building good working relationships with providers is key, and it’s important that your suppliers fully understand your goals and are committed to helping your business achieve them. Businesses should also regularly check to make sure they are getting the most stable rate possible and not be afraid to negotiate. Building strong relationships with your freight providers and leveraging volume, spend and key competitors when negotiating can help to significantly lower rates. Further savings can also be made by taking


advantage of store-fulfilment options, such as store pick up and ship from store. Incentivising customers to pick up their order from a store can not only eliminate the associated shipping cost, provided the items are in stock, but also increases footfall to bricks-and-mortar stores. Utilising ship from store can help retailers minimise shipping costs and increase both speed and efficiency, by dispatching items from the closest location to the delivery address. To get the best rates however, many


retailers choose to develop a partnership with a provider who has the required scale,


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