Understanding fulfilment can be as simple as char kway teow. Both require skill, the right ingredients, speed, and are best served by a vendor that blends art with technical knowhow.
Instead of thinking about retail logistics in terms of – products, inventory management, order fulfilment, and so on – let us think about some delicious char kway teow.
There are some things most people expect from their char kway teow: stir-fried noodles done to the right sweetness, with just the right amount of sauces and chilli, a generous handful of crunchy cockles, and that aroma of unami served piping hot. If it checks all those boxes, we will queue for it. If it is somehow different, we get annoyed and vote with our feet.
It is a delicate craft that balances process and speed with a touch of art.
Most of us don’t think about it, but great char kway teow depends on the logistics of getting the dish consistently right. The secret lies in the process, timing and a few deft strokes. Good logistics delivers plate after plate of caramelized sweetness that requires the right mix of ingredients, skill and decades of consistency.
Logistics gone wrong is ordering char kway teow and getting hor fun.
It is all about the process, the polished art perfected down to the finest details: a few flicks of dark sauce, light sauce, a dab of chilli, a sprinkling of garlic, the few crucial seconds in between the noodles and the cockles, and of course a good wok hei.
Order and process makes the char kway teow. They are also what defines retail logistics.
Think about what happens when an order is placed. A series of processes springs to action right away. After the order is validated, the right ingredients are deftly picked and then carefully checked. Systems are updated and order status reflects. The products are packed and readied for dispatch. The order is marked and loaded for delivery. Cutting through road and mall traffic, the merchandise arrives at the store on time and as ordered. Done right, good logistics serves up predictable outcomes with high service levels order after order.
Any retailer needs inventory management that can handle thousands of unique products and a fulfilment process that keeps the retail floor well-stocked for business. The logistics process must be handled step-by-step. It is like how the garlic comes before the chili, which comes after the kuay teow, which is only then followed by the cockles in the wok.
If you think that waiting in line for that plate of goodness is a pain, imagine how much stamina it takes to dish out a hundred plates of char kway teow consistently. Picking thousands of products and fulfilling hundreds of orders every day requires organization and dedication to deliver chay kway teow-standard outcomes.
Inconsistencies in the fulfilment process leads to wrong orders, stockouts, and lost of sales. In other words, it threatens your reputation and the customers’ trust you cannot afford to lose, especially when the biggest names in retail are right next to you.
The complex art of making the perfect char kway teow is something only a few can master. That is why foodies will revisit, recommend and treasure the odd char kway teow hawker who knows his stuff. A good fulfilment partner can win you new customers, and keep those loyal to you close by. It is a task for tried and tested logistics specialists who have a good track record to deliver solutions so good you can eat.