Inbound Logistics | June 2021



These five actions will help you meet retailers’ expectations and standards, from packaging and appointment scheduling to advanced ship notifications. 5Ways to Position Your Supply Chain for Retail Compliance Success

only will mastering these compliance standards save your company from costly chargebacks, but retailers also favor suppliers they know they can count on. 4. Demand end-to-end visibility. In order to operate as efficiently as possible, you need full visibility into your entire supply chain. This can be done with a comprehensive warehouse management system (WMS) and transportation management system (TMS). These technologies will keep a pulse of your inventory and help forecast demand to make sure you have the right amount to fulfill retail orders quickly. These tools also give your team access to all necessary paperwork to ensure your freight is retail compliant. 5. Focus on the right KPIs. It’s important to understand how your brand fits in relation to the specific retailer. Focus on metrics that benefit the account such as capacity utilization, velocity, movement, and on-time performance. In other words, demonstrate that you understand a category by adding value to the retailer, so you also help their business thrive.

T o manage retail availability of their suppliers, many retailers hold shippers to a high standard when delivering their freight. These standards come with compliance regulations surrounding packaging, barcode and labeling, appointment scheduling, and advanced ship notifications (ASN). If not approached correctly, these regulations can severely impact your bottom line. Fortunately, there are a few ways to position yourself ahead of the pack. 1. Find value in economies of scale. Sending full truckloads into retail is generally the most efficient and cost- effective method of shipping. However, for smaller suppliers, shipping full truckload with unused space can be extremely expensive. That’s where a retail consolidation program comes in. This can be an appropriate solution when multiple POs going to the same destination are combined to ship together—helping suppliers cut costs and optimize efficiency by shipping into retail with full truckload capabilities.

2. Build a fluid supply chain. Today’s retail market has placed a huge emphasis on supply chain resiliency. But what does that mean? In short, a fluid supply chain equips companies to adjust to market volatility without compromising cost and customer satisfaction. In today’s climate, having access to the right resources (carriers, warehouses, network analysts, etc.) and tools are imperative to effectively manage an end-to-end supply chain, especially as the industry becomes more complex. Fortunately, seasoned 3PLs can offer a retail consolidation program to help any size supplier inherit a fluid supply chain. 3. Understand retail compliance. Compliance requirements vary depending on which retailer you’re doing business with. The nuances that go into labeling, pack slips, advanced shipping notices, and delivery windows are all defined by the retailer—making it imperative for suppliers to fully understand all the dynamics that go into adhering to these requirements. Not

—By Spencer Smith

VP of Client Development Hub Group 800-377-5833

Learn more about Hub Group’s inbound retail solutions at or contact your Hub Group representative today.

24 Inbound Logistics • June 2021

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