Distributed Supply Chain Management

A distributed supply chain can be hard to implement without the right fulfilment infrastructure, technology, expertise, and support. But without it, it will be a challenge to grow your business and stay competitive.

To help you succeed online, ShipBob offers everything you need to manage a distributed supply chain that enables business growth. Easily expand into new markets, sell across different sales channels, and store inventory in multiple locations with ShipBob.

Direct-to-consumer makes up the vast majority of our orders at this point, but ShipBob also helps with our B2B needs. We offer products though Whole Foods in the Northeast and are looking to expand our wholesale channels.

Michael Peters,

VP of E-Commerce Operations at TB12

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What is distributed supply chain management?

Distributed supply chain management refers to the process of overseeing the movement of finished goods from across different distribution channels and locations to the end user. It involves several ecommerce supply chain activities, including warehousing, inventory management, physical distribution, fulfilment, and shipping.

What are the types of distribution channels?

There are several types of ecommerce distribution channels. Here are a few examples:

Online store

In ecommerce, your online store is the hub of your brand. ShipBob’s technology offers direct integration with leading ecommerce platforms, including Shopify, BigCommerce, Wix, Squarespace, Square, and WooCommerce.

“Getting our WooCommerce shop integrated with ShipBob was easy, and it’s been fantastic to have; we had no problem with it.”

Yannick Crespo, Co-Founder & President of Pot d’Huile

Marketplaces

Ecommerce businesses have the opportunity to sell through marketplaces like Amazon, Walmart, and eBay. This helps businesses expand their brand and get in front of more customers. ShipBob offers direct integrations with online marketplaces to streamline order fulfilment for your business.

“We tried Amazon, but ShipBob packages our products correctly and with better rates. While Amazon was turning other companies away, here we got our own Account Manager.

Fernanda Gomez Ocejo, director of Supply Chain at Open Water

B2B

B2B ecommerce refers to processing orders for businesses or retailers, rather than sending orders directly to consumers. B2B orders are often purchased less often, sold in bulk, and shipped via freight (or parcel for smaller orders). As you enter into new channels, ShipBob can help you manage both B2B and B2B orders and provide full visibility into the fulfilment process all from one dashboard. You can learn more about our B2B process here.

“We’ve done some B2B orders with ShipBob, including Urban Outfitters, and now we’re in talks with some larger wholesale accounts. We’re also testing subscription box partnerships.”

Manuel de la Cruz, CEO at Boie

How distributed supply chain management boosts your ecommerce business

ShipBob makes it easy to manage your entire distributed supply chain all from one dashboard. With ShipBob, you can connect your online store with our best-in-class logistics software. Our software offers all the tools you need, including built-in inventory management software to track inventory across all sales channels.

This provides you with insights into customer demand so you can pinpoint which products are selling out fast and which aren’t performing as well. You can react faster, outperform competition, and keep customers coming back. Information flows between the upstream and downstream business processes, and activities are based consumer demand to help you prevent stockouts, and ship faster — which creates an efficient distributed supply chain.

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Distributed inventory

With ShipBob’s network of fulfilment centres, you can strategically split your inventory across our locations to get your products from point A to point B more quickly and affordably. Storing inventory near your customers helps reduce the shipping zones and costs associated with shipping orders to faraway destinations.

Distributed inventory also helps you stay competitive by offering fast shipping to your customers. When an order is placed, ShipBob’s algorithm automatically selects the warehouse and carrier that will give you the quickest turnaround at the best price. This strategy has helped our merchants bring 13% savings to their bottom line.

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100% Coverage Across the Continental US

If you’re looking to expand into the United States, ShipBob has 2-Day Express Shipping that provides 100% coverage in the continental US from even just one fulfilment centre.

You can also distribute your inventory across ShipBob’s fulfilment centres across all regions of the United States. We leave it up to you to decide where you want us to store your inventory.

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Order management

At ShipBob, we track your orders from A to Z. Filter orders by status, search for specific orders, see a quick timeline view of where your order is in the fulfilment process (e.g. when an order is picked, packed, or shipped), easily find shipping-related information (e.g., weights, dimensions, or carrier service), and get a quick snapshot of any orders that require action.

With order management software for your direct-to-consumer and wholesale shipments, you can manage subscriptions, make changes to your orders post-purchase, map your store’s shipping options to ShipBob, and automatically share tracking information with your customers.

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Reporting and analytics

To provide you with visibility into our operations and performance, and also hold ourselves accountable, ShipBob’s free analytics tool is packed with charts to help you with everything from year-end reporting, to better supply chain decision-making.

Data can be a competitive advantage, and our reports show an analysis of which fulfilment centres you should stock, days of inventory left before you run out, impact of promotions on stock levels, each shipping method’s average cart value, shipping cost, and days in transit, your fulfilment cost per order, storage cost per unit, and much more.

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End-to-end customer experience

We care about the customer experience as much as you and strive to be an extension of your team. From custom branded boxes to free plain packaging, ShipBob works with you to provide the unboxing experience you want. We also help you offer the fastest, most cost-effective shipping options to meet your customers’ expectations.

As soon as an order ships, tracking is pushed back to your store. We also offer return management services, allowing customers to generate return shipping labels and track returns, while getting your products processed and back into your available inventory as efficiently as possible.

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Save on fulfilment costs

Coffee creamer brand Prymal joined ShipBob in 2019 and was quickly able to save $8,000 per month on fulfilment costs, while at the same time achieving 4x growth.

Learn more about Prymal’s growth

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Improve your conversion rate

Not only was BAKblade able to scale internationally by partnering with ShipBob, but they found adding 2-Day Shipping increased their conversions as well.

Learn more about BAKblades’s growth

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Store, ship, and grow internationally

Sunglasses brand Ombraz distributed their inventory across 3 fulfilment centres in two different countries. This has allowed them to ship to 55 countries on seven continents.

Learn more about Ombraz’s growth