With the introduction of Ware2Go’s new supply chain optimization tools, merchants of all sizes can now access a dynamic forecasting model that analyzes historical sales data, seasonal trends, and broader macroeconomic factors to help them better predict future order volumes. These insights are then used to determine the best locations for merchants to add warehouses, as well as the optimal amount of inventory to store at each warehouse, in order to improve delivery speeds while simultaneously reducing inventory and shipping costs.
What Did Ware2Go & UPS Announce?
Today, Ware2Go and UPS announced the release of Ware2Go’s new supply chain optimization tools. The integrated toolset gives merchants the operational insights they need to improve their distribution networks and grow their businesses. As merchants race to provide quick order fulfillment to their customers, they have to make smarter decisions faster in order to optimize shipping speeds while minimizing costs. Ware2Go’s new tools include a dynamic forecasting model that analyzes historical sales data, seasonal trends, and broader macroeconomic factors to help merchants better predict future order volumes. These insights then inform optimal warehouse placements and inventory distribution across warehouses in order to improve delivery speeds while reducing inventory and shipping costs. With immediate, self-service access to critical supply chain data via chat and voice commands, merchants are able to make quick and informed decisions. Over time, the visibility and insights provided by these tools enable merchants to review and refine their distribution capabilities on an ongoing basis.
How Does Ware2Go’s New Suite of Tools Complement Our Flexible Fulfillment Platform?
As customer expectations for fast, affordable delivery become more demanding, many merchants are finding that their distribution models are not keeping pace with the standards being set by the world’s largest companies. Today, the leading online retailers and marketplaces are delivering orders same-day or next-day to customers at little to no cost. As a result, the inability to provide customers with 1-2-day shipping is keeping many merchants from competing effectively and is constraining their growth.
However, flexible fulfillment platforms like Ware2Go are changing the traditional 3PL model so that 1-2-day delivery anywhere in the country is easy and affordable for all businesses. Ware2Go helps merchants to establish a nationwide network of distribution centers that positions their inventory closer to their end-customers, enabling them to shorten delivery times and reduce shipping costs. Ware2Go’s network-as-a-service doesn’t require any long-term contracts or inventory minimums, providing merchants the flexibility to quickly scale their capacity up or down as their business needs change. And, Ware2Go serves as the single point of contact to help merchants manage the larger, more distributed networks they create through our model.
But while flexible fulfillment solutions are making 1-2-day shipping accessible to merchants of all sizes, adopting a distributed network model can create new challenges without the right insights. As merchants add distribution centers to their networks, they have to make critical decisions regarding where to position warehouse locations in order to service their unique customer footprints. Determining the exact amount of inventory that should be kept at each warehouse is just as important. And over time, understanding when and how to adjust their networks to address seasonal shifts in sales or accommodate the release of a new product is something few solutions are currently addressing.
That is exactly why Ware2Go developed this new suite of supply chain tools.
What Are the Specific Applications That Ware2Go Released?
Ware2Go’s four new tools provide the following capabilities: Demand Forecasting, Warehouse Network Optimization, Inventory Level Optimization, and Service-Level Performance Insights.
Demand Forecasting. Most businesses experience some degree of demand variability due to factors like seasonal buying trends, high concentrations of customers in certain geographies and even external factors like the weather. But the optimal warehousing and inventory strategies should scale capacity up and down as demand changes. By combining macroeconomic factors with seasonal trends and historical sales data, Ware2Go can help merchants more accurately project order volumes across geographies and by SKU. This data then informs strategic positioning of warehouse locations and distribution of inventory across those warehouses at different times throughout the year and as business needs change.
Warehouse Network Optimization. In order to meet customer expectations for fast delivery, establishing a network of distribution centers enables merchants to shorten the distance between warehouse locations and their customers in order to reduce delivery times and decrease shipping costs. But the optimal configuration of warehouse locations depends on a range of factors, including where in the country a merchant’s customer base is concentrated, the costs of inbounding inventory, and each merchant’s unique business goals. Ware2Go’s network optimization tool analyzes historical and projected customer demand to identify the best warehouse placements based on each merchant’s business needs.
Inventory Level Optimization. Inventory carry costs represent one of the top expenses for merchants. But as merchants expand their customer base and add more warehouses to their fulfillment network, they must stock additional inventory to meet demand. It’s a necessary cost of business growth, but one that can have a significant impact on working capital. However, Ware2Go’s new inventory optimization tool ensures that merchants are able to meet customer demand without investing in excessive inventory. By analyzing a merchant’s historical and projected sales data at the SKU level, Ware2Go can recommend the optimal amount of inventory that a merchant should maintain at each of their warehouses, as well as optimal reorder points and reorder quantities. This enables merchants to minimize their inventory carry costs, while also ensuring they always have enough inventory on-hand.
Service-Level Performance Insights. Given the fast-paced and constantly evolving nature of our merchants’ businesses, we understand that business leaders need access to critical inventory and fulfillment data as quickly and easily as possible. To address this need, Ware2Go has introduced a chat- and voice-enabled “Forklift Bot”. Ware2Go customers can access the Forklift Bot through Google Assistant anywhere and at any time to review real-time inventory levels, SKU velocity, order trends, fulfillment accuracy, and delivery speed. For example, a business leader driving to the office or waiting at the airport could ask Forklift Bot for updates on the number of outbound shipments in a given day or the amount of inventory currently in stock at a specific warehouse. These chat- and voice-enabled tools improve supply chain visibility and help merchants to make faster, more informed decisions.
How Does Ware2Go’s Comprehensive Offering Benefit Merchants?
By combining these new tools with our on-demand warehousing and fulfillment network, we give merchants the full-scope visibility they need to optimize their supply chains. No other provider is currently offering this combination of services to merchants as part of a standard offering. Ware2Go’s comprehensive solution is unique in a market where distributed fulfillment networks are becoming more common, but few tools exist to help businesses effectively leverage them. As businesses shift toward distributed fulfillment models, they need centralized visibility across all their warehouses and prescriptive insights that will enable them to make strategic supply chain decisions. This is the value Ware2Go’s integrated solution provides, and it has enabled merchants like LS2 to take their fulfillment capabilities to the next level.
“We wanted to give our brick-and-mortar, retail motorcycle dealers the ability to compete against online options and their two-day shipping,” said Phil Ammendolia, CEO of LS2 Helmets U.S., who is featured in Ware2Go’s new merchant growth series, On Demand. “By leveraging the real-world data provided by Ware2Go, we were able to select the best location for servicing those accounts and balance that against both inbound and outbound costs. The savings in inbound freight alone dramatically offset the overall costs of using Ware2Go’s distribution network. Ware2Go even went as far as to send a supply chain expert to our main facility to educate our operations team on the latest best practices and helped us make the most of all of the services they provide. This is proving to be a true ‘win-win’ partnership.”