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Inventory Management: Follow the Metrics

| Brian Barry

Inventory is the largest balance sheet asset in most companies. Optimizing it has a huge impact on profitability and customer service. Here are 6 key metrics every ecommerce company should measure, how to calculate each and how a partnership between fulfillment and merchandising will benefit profitability and efficiency.

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Walmart, Target Stepping Up Last-Mile Fulfillment

| Mike O'Brien

Walmart and Target both announced plans Thursday to improve last-mile fulfillment and delivery from their stores, taking alternate routes via an investment in self-driving car project Cruise, and a new sortation facility powered by acquired technologies from Grand Junction and Deliv, respectively.

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8 Things DTC Brands Should Look for in a 3PL Partner

| Esther Kestenbaum Prozan

For any DTC brand, choosing a 3PL is a huge decision. Order fulfillment is your single biggest cost line item. More importantly, your fulfillment provider will be entrusted with all of your inventory. The consequences of a poor choice can be catastrophic, while those of a good choice could be life-changing. Here are 8 key things to look for.

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Amazon FC Vote Challenged By Union

| Mike O'Brien

The union that was unsuccessful in its effort to organize workers at an Amazon fulfillment center in Alabama immediately challenged the April 9 outcome as expected, claiming the ecommerce giant illegally interfered with the election. The complaint was filed with the NLRB, asking it to investigate Amazon’s tactics.

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Amazon Wrongly Fired Workers For Speaking Out, NLRB Says

| Mike O'Brien

The National Labor Relations Board has accused Amazon of illegally firing two tech workers last year who spoke out publicly about its treatment of fulfillment workers and its sustainability policies, and upheld a complaint by a worker who led a Queens, NY walkout in 2020. Amazon also apologized for a tweet attacking a political critic.

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Boston Dynamics Unveils Warehouse Robot Stretch

| Mike O'Brien

Boston Dynamics, creators of the viral dancing robots video just before New Year’s Eve, is making further inroads into the warehouse automation space with the unveiling this week of Stretch, a mobile robot purpose-built for unloading and palletizing and de-palletizing boxes. The company was acquired by Hyundai in December 2020.

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What’s the Difference Between 3PLs and 4PLs?

| Jason O'Leary

3PLs and 4PLs have both seen an explosion in popularity and are now being used to ship all kinds of goods. Each offers big potential benefits for retailers to outsource major elements of their supply chain. Here are some of the main differences between them and pluses and minuses to help you decide which is right for your business.

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Deeper Data Analytics in Ecommerce Fulfillment

| Don White

Big data presents supply chain and ecommerce fulfillment center managers with an unprecedented opportunity to acquire real-time visibility of goods in transit and part of inventory. But this also comes with a set of challenges, not least of which is how to manage the resulting flow of information without becoming drowned in data.

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Ecommerce Fulfillment: More Efficiency, Less Costs

| Brian Barry

Absolute productivity has declined in many ecommerce fulfillment centers because productivity has not kept up with the rate of increased costs. Some larger companies are paying $18 to $20 per hour in some markets. With this in mind, here are 6 ways to become more efficient and reduce costs in your ecommerce fulfillment operations.

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Nimble Robotics Takes In $50M, Adds AI Luminaries

| Mike O'Brien

Nimble Robotics, a maker of order picking and packing robots for ecommerce, is the latest fulfillment automation maker to join the massive VC gravy train of late in ecommerce technology, raising $50 million in Series A financing in a round led by DNS Capital and GSR Ventures.