Application service providers (ASP), software as a service (SAAS), and managed services are all options for purchasing new hardware, software, user licenses, and managing your own IT shop. While these types of services have become more commonplace in the e-commerce world, they have gained a significant foothold in back-end order management. Applications typically include customer contact center, customer service, credit card authorization, order processing, inventory control, warehousing, marketing, and accounting for multichannel and direct companies.
Some things never change. After the holiday season, there is invariably a movement to determine how costs can be reduced for the upcoming year. Every aspect of the operation should and does come under review. But not every area of the business is given equal scrutiny. Management of the inbound freight function, for example, is one of the most overlooked areas for significant cost reduction.
Promises, promises. All businesses make them, but the best actually deliver. Now is the time to conduct a post mortem of how well your multichannel business performed in holiday 2005 and to develop plans for improvement for holiday 2006. While it may seem early to start planning for the coming holiday season, now is the best time because your people will remember vividly the good and bad incidents,