Daily Archives: January 16, 2012

How Supply Chain and Fulfillment Services Improve Your Brand

Today’s guest post is from Jesse Langley, a blogger and self-professed internet geek who writes mostly about education technology, education reform, job searching, and all things internet, including business logistics. Today’s post discusses The Opportunity of Order Fulfillment and gets to the heart of Fifth Gear’s recent white-paper on Branding Beyond the Sale.

The connection between supply chains and fulfillment services along with branding success is becoming more popular and evident. Once considered only necessary “back office” cost centres, both functions are now held in high esteem as effective branding mechanisms.

Supply chain management attracts different definitions in diverse companies and industries. However, regardless of the definition in your company, there is a growing regard for supply chain gurus and efficiency. Observers who favour this position proudly point to Tim Cook, who was selected as CEO of Apple after Steve Jobs had to step down because of his terminal illness. Cook’s career at IBM and Compaq established him as one of the leading supply chain management talents in the U.S.

The sleek, strategic integration of related functions within a business or multiple companies that are components in the full supply chain reinforces and strengthens your brand as no amount of expensive advertising campaigns can. Managing your supply chains efficiently and in a customer-focused manner establishes your brand as one deserving of customers’ trust and loyalty.

Quality fulfillment services accomplish the same brand enhancement goal, often more effectively. The explosion of e-commerce has catapulted high qualify order fulfillment services to the forefront of brand awareness and trust. Effective order fulfillment, when used properly, can accentuate the natural customer anticipation while awaiting the arrival of treasured items ordered via the Internet or from catalogs.

When you employ professional fulfillment services, that customer anticipation can morph into joy and new levels of trust in your company to deliver on its promises. While the popular phrase in force is “engaging” your customers to “care” about your products, services and company, this result is valuable, but only the start. Using superior fulfillment services can go far beyond simple engagement. These services create a level of trust in your products that every company, large and small, wants more than any other result.

Think of the brick-and-mortar retailers that have achieved this goal, e.g., Nordstrom. Unlike most other retailers, they need not spend valuable time on drastic sales, price cutting or specials that drop below desired price-points, they are so trusted that they can price their quality products to ensure profitability. Nordstrom has historically concentrated on quality and customer-oriented fulfillment services to create a loyalty that transcends classic “what have you done for me lately” customer attitudes.

Take advantage of order fulfillment services to harness their power to establish and fortify your brand. Pay close attention to your supply chains, though, as even the best order fulfillment company cannot package and deliver your product on time and as agreed if they lack the inventory they need.

You need to create a high-performing integration of products that customers want, at prices they are happy to pay, employ an efficient supply chain to ensure product availability, and use outstanding fulfillment services to deliver products to your customers when you promise them. Do not cut corners on talent, product or fulfillment costs. You may have a wonderful uptick in initial sales, but suffer the fate of much of your competition, fighting to entice these same customers to buy more products in the future.

Trusted companies have world-class products, outstanding customer service and quality products. Accomplishing these objectives allow you to proudly trumpet your brand, create loyal customers and continue to increase revenue and profits.

Thanks, Jesse.