If your company is re-conceiving its distribution model – and there are many doing so right now – it’s important that you don’t take on unnecessary costs.

As e-commerce becomes increasingly influential in the distribution space, many shippers are finding it wise to reconsider – and in some cases completely redesign – their distribution networks

And to us, this makes sense.

Eschewing Tradition

The traditional model, which concentrates distribution activity on the east coast and west coast, worked fine when distribution was mainly business-to-business. Shippers knew how to deal with the ports, the warehouse network was attuned to the patterns of the system and companies were able to design their production cycles around the expected arrival of goods they needed.

That doesn’t work for the individual who just ordered a t-shirt online and expects it in 48 hours.

Distribution networks designed with consumers in mind rely on a larger number of smaller facilities in more locations throughout the country. And such networks need to also be able to make adjustments for just-in-time modeling.

Any company redesigning its distribution network must first decide: Do we revert to the traditional model, or do we go all-in on the new approach that is more consumer-oriented, and needs to make more extensive use of facilities and partners around the country?

Partners and Efficiency

Finding warehouse partners is one of the most daunting challenges during these times, and one of the first things a company will consider is deploying a business intelligence tool and leveraging existing resources. Another option when undergoing this process is to find a 4PL partner, which will assure the company it has warehouse partners across the country. No need to worry about that part of it, they’ll assure you!

But there is something to worry about. You are going to pay a premium for access to those warehouses, add a layer of unnecessary complexity, and there is no guarantee your needs will justify any of that.

4PL’s and BI tools give you access to the data and often a network of warehouses. But what if you are limited to what you see? If there was no other way to get it, companies would be justified in accepting it as a cost of doing business in this new environment.

But you shouldn’t have to pay that premium, and lose efficiency, which is why pop.capacity introduced its digital marketplace.

That extensive network of warehouses is already contained in the pop.capacity platform. Users can simply overlay their distribution network into pop.capacity’s platform – gaining access to a wide array of warehouses and fulfillment options.

And that’s just the start. The pop.capacity system will also match each shipper’s real-time need to the best-suited warehouse, giving the shipper complete visibility of everything from rates to available space to visuals of the facility itself.

And once the connection has been made, pop.capacity steps out of the way and lets the shipper work directly with the warehouse on every aspect of the engagement – including billing.

Under the Gun . . . Then Out of the Fire

One of pop.capacity’s largest clients came to the company under the gun. The distribution leader was under pressure from the C-suite to redesign their network, and he was looking for warehouses in dozens of markets. By the time he came to Detroit – a market he knew little about – he was so stressed he was tempted to just pick the first one he could find on Google. He had 14 other cities on his list, and he didn’t have time to put much thought or research into each one of them.

That is no way to redesign a network.

When he came to pop.capacity his entire experience changed, and the platform was able to match him up with the best options while still allowing him to completely manage the relationships.

He didn’t have to “wing it” anymore. He had a resource that could show him where to go. Now he relies confidently on pop.capacity every time because the options have already been analyzed with his needs in mind.

We understand how heavy this load is. It’s tempting to pay a premium to have someone take it off your shoulders.

Don’t pay that premium and ad friction. You don’t need to. Not now, because there’s a better way.

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