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Logistics: Distribution

Should I have separate distribution system for my etail sector or should I just have one joint distribution system? What are the pros and cons of each option?

Philip Bracken, Director, Professional Services TNT Fashion:
Home delivery is significantly different from distribution to high-street stores. Those companies who provide both services (and there are very few of them) will process and manage the consignments in different ways to reflect this. Generally speaking, the most suitable distribution option for home delivery depends to a large extent on the average value of orders being despatched through your e-tail channel; full track & trace with signed proof-of-deliveries being obtained will clearly cost you more than a postal-style delivery service.

A good guide is to get quotes for a ‘100% guaranteed’ service and compare the premium that you will pay for this against a lower cost operator who might have a failure rate of several percent. If your e-tail orders are at the premium end of the market, it may be wise to buy some peace of mind! These considerations are more important than whether it is simpler to use just one delivery method or two – using two doesn’t present a major challenge; it is the service and the value for money that should be your decision-making criteria.

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