Quite a few years ago, I got to take a tour of the IDS facility here in the Midwest. It was quite an eye opener for me since I’d never seen the advancements that had happened in the logistics, warehouse and fulfillment industries. Fast forward to this year and I had an amazing discussion with a high school entrepreneurship where I was sharing with them about the ecommerce industry.
People don’t realize that there are virtual businesses operating right now where the business doesn’t even handle the product. There are companies like IDS, that manage every aspect of getting products to your customer (and back if there are returns). The shipments appear direct from the manufacturer – but are stocked regionally by IDS.
An order on the retailer’s site goes directly to the fulfillment center where it’s carefully packaged and shipped out to the customer. This is an amazing advancement in technology that retailers large and small are taking advantage of.
Large retailers can take advantage of IDS to buffer growth or seasonal spikes in demand. Small retailers can utilize IDS from front to back for all of their warehouse, distribution, and returns. Through every phase, IDS brands the engagement for the company.
Because of it’s innovative approach and flexibility of its staff and systems, IDS was an award nominee a few years back in Indianapolis. Indianapolis’s central location in the Midwest, predictable climate, and low cost of living make it an ideal location for fulfillment centers like this.
As marketers, it’s important that we recognize that the business is evolved. The fact that you can design a spec digitally, have it manufactured overseas, warehouse it centrally, and distribute it without your company ever touching it is pretty phenomenal and opens a ton of doors for innovative technologies.