In an interview with CIO Applications, Goldsmith elaborates on the core focus areas of the company and how efficiently they optimize supply chain performance while improving strategies and plans for operations and providing effective distribution via its fulfillmentcenter solutions.
We help producers, manufacturers, sellers, and distributors sell everywhere by managing all sales channels holistically and then building and shipping orders on demand helping create direct consumer relationships
In light of over 40 years of presence, what would you say are some of the latest trends you observe at present in the Food and Beverage industry, and how has the company evolved?
There are now both online shoppers and those who prefer going to stores for purchases. There is a very thin demarcation between the two, which is eventually blurring. The way of selling and purchasing has also seen a shift from the traditional method of production to sale by retailers to the world of e-commerce today. Historically, any e-commerce site was treated as a sales channel, with varied inventories, systems, and strategies, but now they have to up their game to cater to customers by providing a holistic sales channel experience. The merger between the shopping online and from the stores has created a wide scope for selling inventories on both these channels. This has led to the need to create a common marketplace by propagating a single catalog across many channels, while being able to price and re-price the inventories across different types of programs to sell products across private domains, retailers’ websites, and broader marketplaces.
First and foremost, Tompkins International looks at managing both the online market and that of the stores holistically, rather than disparately. From a data and technology standpoint, the concept of monitoring and managing consumer channels, customer demands, inventory, and supply chain holistically helps clients to comprehend the impact one domain has on another, which ultimately results in better service, lower cost, and improved sales. One of the leading implementations is Tompkins Robotics, which provides autonomous mobile robot (AMR) solutions. It also offers an automated sorting system called the t-Sort that helps in parcel sorting efficiently. This inclusion helps in creating world-class supply chains with flexibility. The company also manages catalogs and promulgate it to different channels while also managing all the analytics within consumer buying. We also look into the different price points as well as the packaging, to create a platform to determine how best to sell a product and aggregate all the related data about the consumer-buyer patterns and dynamically react to the pricing.
What are the solutions that you bring to the table for your clients?
With technology at the helm of all our offerings, Tompkins International works closely with its clients as a consultancy that helps them to differentiate products, the channels to put them on, but most importantly to build supply chain networks to respond to orders vivaciously and fulfil every order, with a swift rate of responsiveness, within two days of the order. Our supply chain network is based on two main cores of direct to consumer ecosystem and the order fulfillment network, with our robotics and automation. We are always aiming at assembling complex customer orders from a digital enablement standpoint. Once we have a platform in place for selling the products across various channels, the next thing we look at is to bring together the orders and the inventory. This we do with the help of a distributor order management system that drops the orders to the right corresponding facilities within our network, based on the service level and the costs of the orders. Alongside that, we also have a system known as DIFF (Distributed Inventory Flow Forecasting), which helps to replenish each facility, based on how many orders are flowing in and out of that particular facility. This provides real-time information on the flow of both orders and outbound, to help understand how best to reposition the inventory. We also have a robust warehouse control system that further manages both the overall inventory, warehouse management, and the pack-out of specific customer orders. An efficient transportation system is another critical aspect when it comes to food and beverage supply chain measurement. In partnership with parcel carriers, we manage the entire in-transit delivery and performance.
Could you cite a success story that highlights how Tompkins International’s solutions have proven to be beneficial for a particular client?
With the concept of d2c in mind, we have engaged with several clients over many years in the industry. One of which that stands out for me is at a time a large consumer product company that provided a myriad of household products, one of which was a line of beauty-aid for children. Even though their products were sold in mass retail outlets, they were not aware that their consumers were retailers and also lacked the insight about the demand for the products. By partnering with us, they were able to launch the product online with the child’s name embedded into it, which helped to create a direct to consumer outlet successfully. Apart from this, we have had few clients who leverage all the capabilities, while others start with anyone and work their way to the others.
Where do you envision Tompkins International in the future?
The previous year had been one of building our ambient network and working on them, including the solutions we provide. This year we have launched our temperature control network to target the refrigerated products. On the whole, we are trying to stay abreast of all the changes taking place in the industry, along with the huge amount of data to understand the purchasing patterns of consumers. In effect, “We leverage all the data, with analytics to provide more meaningful insights, for further driving business to clients,” concludes Goldsmith.