Visibility, Accuracy Core to Dynamic Worldwide’s E-commerce Solutions
Dynamic Worldwide is using its decades of experience serving the apparel and retail industries to help vendors and merchants successfully navigate the complicated and intricate supply chain. It’s a task that has become all the more complicated—and vital—with the current e-commerce boom.
Shoppers’ affinity for filling their shopping carts has created new dilemmas for brands and retailers. To answer that need, Dynamic has expanded its capabilities from one that was solely focused on B2B to one that’s able to support its clients’ needs derived from these B2C transactions.
“Today, Dynamic is a global organization where we provide fulfillment services and freight forwarding to manufacturers, wholesalers and retailers,” said Andrew D. Rotondi, chief operating officer of Dynamic Worldwide. “From the retail standpoint, we’ve really expanded our footprint over the last 20 years into servicing many of the major retailers, including Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s, where we’re the one-to-one center, providing a consolidation service that includes transportation and processing of freight that moves to all of their distribution centers.”
Dynamic’s array of assets includes more than 5 million square feet of distribution space in North America, with facilities in New York, New Jersey, Southern California and North Carolina supported by its fleet of 1,500 trucks/trailers under its control in the U.S based network. Dynamic also has a strong Asia presence in Hong Kong, Shenzhen, Shanghai and Vietnam with warehouse and Free Trade Zones also supported by a complete transportation network within China and Southeast Asia.
Dynamic provides transportation and fulfillment services for many of the nation’s largest department stores, mass retailers and popular fashion brands in North America. About 75 percent of Dynamic’s business is derived from the fashion and apparel sector, as well as home furnishings, luggage, accessories, footwear, appliances and personal care products.
“As those brands have expanded their footprint into e-commerce, we have expanded our footprint and our service levels to be able to support their business,” Rotondi said. “In addition to the physical assets required to provide that service, we provide IT support.” “For example, through our IT E-com-on-board program, we have implemented customized packing slips and packaging for consumer flash sales, promotional sales and holiday purchase periods which are all integral to any E-commerce marketing program. Having a library of these various tailored packing slips for each promotion, is a key marketing tool used by our e-com brands to help grow their direct to consumer business.”
Dynamic’s IT systems complement its extensive physical infrastructure, providing flexibility, redundancy, speed and visibility.
“Without having the visibility and capability to provide a digital supply chain, you really can’t properly service customers today,” Rotondi said. “The velocity in which you have to ship and managing the peak ship seasons for e-commerce fulfillment, necessitates the need to have a combination of advanced supply chain systems, boots on the ground and the financial assets to continue to build and improve on those capabilities.”
He said to support the e-commerce component of the business, it’s vital to have inventory visibility and accuracy.
“lf you do not have that, you might as well not be in business,” Rotondi said. “And that is no small challenge, both for brick-and-mortar retailers and for manufactures and vendors. We’ve been able to consult and directly work with our clients in order to achieve the levels of inventory accuracy, and along with that goes the ability to move information very rapidly and accurately to the various trading partners involved.”
That, he said, involves multiple systems that have to communicate so data can “move at lighting speed and it has to be accurate and of course secure.”
“In order for that to take place, you have to have the right supply chain and the right infrastructure to support that and we do,” Rotondi said. “We’ve designed our systems around a secure 3PL business model, as well as having a certain level of high availability and fault tolerance because you really can’t ever take the systems down and that’s a lot different than even five years ago. In order to achieve that, you have to make significant infrastructure investments so that the systems can be redundant to communicate 24 hours a day, seven days a week.”
Also important in today’s environment, particularly if clients are public companies, is to have a strong security and a tested disaster recovery system.
“Inventory accuracy means processing goods in a timely basis,” Rotondi said. “In the case of e-commerce fulfillment, there is a component of returns that is at a much greater velocity than regular retail. That’s a whole different dynamic that you have to be prepared for and we have built the systems and staffing to support that.”
Dynamic has also responded to its customers’ needs in other ways, developing value-added services such as ticketing, refurbishment capabilities, product inspections, cleaning, spotting, sewing labels, applying hangtags and appliques, and even some sample making in addition to its primary function of managing finished goods inventory, fulfilment and shipping. These value-add services are a necessity for any e-commerce fulfillment program.
The company’s operation includes strategic gateway airports, piers and railheads. As a customs-bonded carrier Dynamic offers additional expedience in moving goods during the clearing process.
Dynamic owns and operates an extensive fleet of local and line-haul tractors servicing the gateway ports-of-entry in New York, New Jersey, California and Florida. The company provides daily ocean container recovery at all piers and domestic railheads for transport directly to customers’ distribution centers and warehouses. In addition to providing local distribution, warehousing services and DC bypass programs, Dynamic has U.S. Customs Container Freight Stations with Bonded Trucking operations.
“Most of our customers are gaining one to two days on the freight forwarding side because of those capabilities,” Rotondi said. “We have also experienced explosive growth in e-commerce fullfilment. The major department stores have increased their e-commerce business and have moved more toward the drop-ship model where a vendor ships directly from its warehouse to the consumer. The vendor has to be prepared for that, so they rely on us to support that function. With that growth comes the proliferation of SKUs, which really puts a burden on the warehouse for inventory control and fulfilment.” Continuing, he said, “That is where we shine.”
The demands of e-commerce can also pinch budgets, a fact that Rotondi said his team is focused on mitigating. Here again, Dynamic is using technology and material handling automation to address the problem.
“A major challenge is the increasing cost of labor,” he added. “We’ve been on a big push toward automation using advanced conveyor technology, high-speed sortation and even now considering robotic technology for repetitive functions. The impetus is there to automate as wage rates increase.”
To learn more information on Dynamic Worldwide’s services, visit dynamiconline.com