Returns and other areas of reverse logistics have been growing in November and December, as opposed to after the winter holidays, so companies should start planning now to make sure they can give customers the service they expect, Linus Kalenze writes. He recommends having an easy-to-follow returns policy, creating a retrieval strategy and forming a plan to deal with returned merchandise promptly.
Roughly two-thirds of US distributors and wholesalers sell online, although most companies surveyed by Digital Commerce 360 generate 25% or less of total sales through e-commerce. Many distributors lack the proper investment of time, focus or technology, said Karie Daudt, senior commerce consultant for Perficient Digital.
Small- and medium-sized businesses are one of the hot markets for Tech Data, CEO Rich Hume says. "[W]e're very focused on cloud, analytics, IoT, security and services, and we believe that those are the growth areas for the future moving forward," he says.
Pricing training for sales, a dedicated pricing organization and margins-focused incentives are among the ways distributors can create more value through pricing, write Alex Abdelnour and Walter Baker. One electrical distributor's "pricing 'war room' evaluates requests for exceptions, tracking their frequency and depth, analyzing deal economics, and providing sales reps with real-time guidance on prevailing prices," they write.
Distributors should look to have quick access to error-free data in one system with storage that can scale, says Mark Simoncelli of Frost & Sullivan. "We encourage distributors to be creative, analyze some new data, and test a new promotion, for example," says Niraj Tenany of Netwoven.
Retailers should start thinking of reverse logistics as a way to generate revenue and lessen the financial burden of the ever-rising number of returns, experts at the Association for Supply Chain Management conference said. Tony Sciarrotta, executive director of the Reverse Logistics Association, said the value of e-commerce returns will exceed that of returns to physical stores within two years, and he urged retailers to find ways to process and dispose of returned items the same day.
New Jersey would work to cut statewide food waste in half by 2030 and create a permanent council to address the issue under a draft plan by the state Department of Environmental Protection. The plan emphasizes consumer education, regulatory clarity and source reduction.
Apple on Wednesday announced it will use recycled rare earth minerals to manufacture a part for iPhones. The elements will come from an outside supplier.
Manufacturers using a subscription business model should consider themselves successful if 20% of business is profitably recurring, writes pricing consultant Stephan Liozu. Keep in mind how you plan to scale subscriptions, and study how B2C and SaaS markets work, he writes.
In preparation for 5G, Ericsson will open a 300,000-square-foot factory in Lewisville, Texas, next year to manufacture advanced antenna system radios. The plant will employ up to 400 workers and use digital and automated technology in its manufacturing, warehousing and assembly.
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