From Store to Door: Revolution of Ship from Store with Nate Skiver

April 15, 2024



In this episode, our special guest, Nate Skiver, the founder of LPF Spend Management, delves into the intricacies of omnichannel strategies like Ship From Store, managing relationships with logistics partners, and optimizing store fulfillment and shipping strategies for fashion retail brands. Additionally, he touches on the challenges that retailers face when implementing Ship From Store and possible solutions to overcome them.

With over 20 years of experience, Nate Skiver has had a prosperous retail career, demonstrating leadership in transportation, order management, order fulfillment, and logistics. His background in retail enables him to provide holistic solutions to problems in the retail industry, especially in parcel delivery management.

Conversation Rundown

[ 06:39 - 08:11 ] Why is Ship From Store popular among retailers?
Ship From Store strategies are gaining popularity among retailers due to their efficiency in fulfilling digital orders. Major retailers like Target and Ulta Beauty are increasingly relying on stores to fulfill a significant portion of their sales, leveraging existing inventory and store networks. However, the effectiveness of Ship From Store strategies varies depending on factors such as inventory management and operational maturity, highlighting the need for tailored approaches.

[ 10:00 - 12:25 ] How do physical stores help in driving online sales?
Physical stores play a crucial role in driving online sales by enhancing brand awareness and providing opportunities for customers to interact with products. This omnichannel approach not only increases brand visibility but also enables retailers to leverage their physical presence to boost online sales. By integrating in-store and online data, retailers can strategically expand their store networks to maximize sales potential.

[ 14:31 - 16:06 ] How Store Incentives Drive Ship From Store Efficiency?
Effective incentives are essential for driving efficiency in Ship From Store operations. Clear incentives motivate store staff to prioritize fulfilling digital orders, ensuring timely and accurate order fulfillment. Without robust incentive structures, Ship From Store processes may suffer from inconsistencies and delays, impacting both customer satisfaction and operational performance.

[ 16:09 - 16:49 ] How stores excel as Fulfillment Centers?
Stores can excel as fulfillment centers by aligning inventory accurately and optimizing order fulfillment processes. However, challenges arise when inventory accuracy and fulfillment processes are not adequately addressed, leading to increased costs and operational inefficiencies. To leverage stores effectively as fulfillment centers, retailers must prioritize inventory management and streamline fulfillment operations.

[ 19:03 - 19:57 ] Systematic Inventory Management v/s Physical Checks
Systematic inventory management is crucial for fulfilling digital orders from stores. While physical inventory checks may not be a priority for store staff focused on in-store sales, accurate inventory data is essential for meeting customer expectations and minimizing order fulfillment errors. By prioritizing systematic inventory management, retailers can enhance operational efficiency and improve the overall customer experience.

[ 20:24 - 21:49 ] How is an OMS helpful in achieving inventory accuracy for stores?
An Order Management System (OMS) plays a vital role in achieving inventory accuracy for stores by providing real-time visibility into inventory levels and automating order fulfillment processes. By integrating with store systems and centralizing inventory data, an OMS enables retailers to optimize inventory allocation and streamline order processing. However, effective implementation and maintenance of an OMS require careful consideration of store-specific requirements and operational workflows.

[ 22:31 - 24:00 ] How does location-based inventory improve Ship From Store?
Location-based inventory management enhances Ship From Store operations by optimizing order fulfillment processes and reducing shipping costs. By strategically allocating inventory based on geographic proximity to customers, retailers can minimize shipping distances and expedite order delivery. This approach improves operational efficiency and enhances the customer experience, ultimately driving sales and customer satisfaction.

[ 24:16 - 24:53 ] Why inventory inaccuracy leads to order splitting?
Inventory inaccuracy can lead to order splitting, where items are sourced from multiple locations to fulfill a single order. This not only increases shipping costs but also results in an inconsistent customer experience. By prioritizing inventory accuracy and implementing robust inventory management practices, retailers can minimize order splitting and optimize order fulfillment processes.

[ 25:21 - 26:44 ] Why is accuracy essential in managing distributed inventory?
Accuracy is essential in managing distributed inventory to minimize costs and meet customer expectations. Inaccurate inventory data can lead to increased shipping distances, higher fulfillment costs, and diminished customer satisfaction. By prioritizing accuracy and implementing robust inventory management systems, retailers can optimize their distributed inventory networks and improve operational efficiency.

[ 28:34 - 29:54 ] Where's the flaw- Inventory Accuracy or Store Processes?
The flaw in Ship From Store operations often stems from either inaccurate inventory data or ineffective store processes. Achieving operational excellence requires aligning inventory accuracy with efficient store processes to ensure timely and accurate order fulfillment. By addressing both inventory accuracy and store processes, retailers can optimize their Ship From Store operations and enhance the overall customer experience.

[ 41:57 - 43:37 ] Why should retailers consider multiple carriers for parcel delivery?
Retailers should consider working with multiple carriers to enhance flexibility, competitiveness, and service quality in parcel delivery. By leveraging specialized carriers and fostering competition, retailers can optimize their delivery networks and mitigate risks associated with relying solely on a single provider. This approach enables retailers to adapt to changing market conditions and customer preferences, ultimately improving the overall delivery experience.

[ 50:54 - 54:06 ] Future of Parcel Management in Store Fulfillment
The future of parcel management in store fulfillment is poised for significant changes driven by evolving competitive landscapes and technological advancements. Retailers may increasingly adopt distributed inventory models and leverage multiple carriers to optimize delivery networks and enhance customer experiences. By embracing innovation and adapting to market trends, retailers can stay competitive and meet the evolving demands of online shoppers.

Meet the Experts

Nate Skiver has extensive experience in retail, specializing in parcel management at prominent companies like Abercrombie and Fitch and Gap Inc. With over 17 years of experience, Nate's consultancy journey began in 2007, driven by his passion for parcel management. Since 2019, Nate has been assisting package shippers, primarily in retail, in optimizing parcel programs, offering diverse services such as cost reduction and provider selection.

Nate's expertise and industry insights make him a valuable resource for retailers looking to enhance their Ship From Store operations.

Retail Tips & Tweetables

There's no one single ship from store strategy that is appropriate for all retailers.

The accuracy of distributed inventory, it's highly complex, especially for retailers who don't have really broad inventory assortment.

You have options and flexibility along the way to move volume to other carriers.

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