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The UPS-founded Ware2Go launched a free application to help e-commerce merchants with strategic fulfillment planning, the company announced April 27.
NetworkVu analyzes merchant sales and transit data using machine learning with the aim of recommending ideal warehouse placements. This is to maximize delivery speeds within ground networks and control costs.
Ware2Go already provides on-demand fulfillment through an integrated technology platform and a nationwide warehouse network.
“We have a network that spans the entire country of partner warehouses,” Patrick Cadic, chief revenue officer at Ware2Go, said in a statement. “We’re an asset-based model. So, we partner with traditional 3PLs and they leverage our technology so we can connect all these 3PLs as one warehouse management system, and then connect to the merchant sales channel.”
Cadic added that means as sales come in the company can optimize to the right warehouse where they have the inventory to account for speed and cost as well as meeting multichannel fulfillment. NetworkVu adds additional insights onto that process that e-commerce merchants can leverage.
“What we’re able to do is directly within the e-commerce storefronts, whether it’s Shopify, BigCommerce, you can upload your UPS data or your other shipping data, and it’ll immediately optimize to where you should have warehouses,” said Cadic.
He added the model is accounting for speed and costs to immediately develop a network and optionality within the network. That way merchants are able to engage with their data and make decisions that impact growth.
“So it’s used on two different fronts,” Cadic said. “One is when you’re first going through that change. So if you’re looking at establishing a multi-[distribution center] network, this tool helps give you an insight to what that change could look like. And then customers will continue to have this tool in their storefront to make sure that they’re rerunning the analysis to ensure that optimization.”
Ware2Go said in the announcement that strategically placed warehouses and fast shipping have become requirements with how competitive the market has become. But this presents a challenge, the company argues, for many fast-growing and midsized merchants in developing a distributed warehouse model without significantly increasing cost to serve. This meant that previously such an analysis was reserved more for large enterprises staffed with analysts.
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NetworkVu instead analyzes the historical sales and shipping data from a merchant through a native integration to their e-commerce cart. Millions of orders can be processed within minutes to build a full analysis that illustrates through heat maps, charts and cost analyses the current delivery times and cost per shipment compared side-by-side with two alternate scenarios. This is intended to show improved warehouse placement, delivery speeds and top-line revenue impacts.
Ware2Go previously launched the technology platform FulfillmentVu, which combines warehouse management systems to help merchants meet customer expectations across all sales channels in October.
“It works alongside it,” Cadic said. “We’re compiling a suite of supply chain tools. That No. 1 you have to have FulfillmentVu because that powers the warehouse management system and the order management system. And now we’re layering insight tools on top of it to optimize for warehouse location and inventory location.”
Ware2Go has been testing the service internally for about the last two years to optimize it and help with the machine learning process. The plant-based protein brand Aloha was one of the companies that got to try the service out before launch.
“The NetworkVu analysis gave us confidence that we were building a network that could support our direct-to-consumer sales at scale,” Steven Gmelin, vice president of digital sales and strategy at Aloha, said in a statement. “The entire process felt purposeful and intentional, and, since implementing the changes recommended by NetworkVu, our direct-to-consumer sales have grown by 250%.”
UPS ranks No. 1 on the Transport Topics Top 100 list of the largest for-hire carriers in North America and No. 3 on the TT Top 50 list of the largest logistics companies.
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