Northern Apex Corporation

Case Study: Shipping the Right Product to the Right Customer

Jeff Garver - Thursday, January 11, 2018

Delivering the right product to the right customer is the lifeblood of any business-but especially so in the Third Party Logistics (3PL) industry. In this case study, we will detail a 3PL company that had the problem of shipping incorrect items of clothing from their warehouse to retail stores. They were dealing with a common problem in outbound order fulfillment: due to human error, the wrong sizes or colors of product were sometimes being shipped out to retailers.  The resulting chargebacks to the 3PL supplier drove up operating expenses and were potentially damaging their business relationships. 

A solution was urgently needed and they found that the data required to remedy this problem was already there waiting to be leveraged.

The original shipping process would begin when the retailer placed an order and the warehouse received it for fulfillment. A picker would then gather the items requested, box them and ship them to the retailer. Upon the shipments arrival errors were charged back to the warehouse by the retailer.

To correct this issue the 3PL supplier decided to leverage the RFID tag that the customer was already using on their product. That tag carried size and color information on it.  All that was necessary was to capture that information and compare it to the original order for accuracy.

The new shipping process, with the solution in place, begins as before with the retailer placing an order and the warehouse filling the order. The change occurs after the box is sealed and a shipping label is applied. The shipping label is scanned for the order destination information. The destination is then used to access the order details in the system. The contents of the box (which have already been RFID tagged by the customer) are then scanned with RFID and compared to the order confirming that the right sizes and colors of clothing are in-fact being shipped. If there are any errors the order is diverted to be corrected. This solution eliminated human error mistakes without adding ongoing expenses since the customer-supplied tags and order data were already there just waiting to be leveraged.



 

 

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