5 Things That Make Newgistics a Great Place to Work

Posted 5 days, 2 hours ago @ Newgistics

The Austin American-Statesman has named Newgistics a Top Workplace multiple times over the past few years, so we thought it would be worth giving you, our friends and followers, an inside look at what makes the company so great. Here are the five factors that top our list:

5. Innovation – From the top executives down to everyone else within the organization, Newgistics employees are encouraged and given the tools they need to innovate and find better ways of doing their job.

4. Recognition – People shouldn’t just be given feedback on things they need to improve, they should be told what they’re doing well too. Newgistics takes this a step further by regularly calling out our MVPs to give them the credit they deserve and provide an example for others to emulate and learn from.

3. Responsibility – Our team is encouraged and empowered to take on the challenging projects they want to tackle. For example, our engineering team is given the freedom to explore new technology areas so they can apply these cutting-edge technologies to solving business challenges for our clients.

2. Rewards – In addition to competitive salaries and benefits, our team is rewarded for a job well done through things like trips to the Caribbean for winners of our MVP awards.  Perks such as free food in the kitchen don’t hurt either!

1. People – Time and time again, and in all different forums, when our employees talk about working at Newgisitcs, they cite their colleagues as one of the top reasons they like coming to work every day. The smart, talented and driven people at Newgistics are, without question, our best asset.

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The Impact Digital, Social and Mobile Will Have on Back-to-School Shopping

Posted 1 week ago @ Newgistics

Back-to-School Shopping is a Year-Round Activity for Digital Natives

Last week, the National Retail Federation (NRF) released the results of its annual back-to-school spending survey. Total back-to-school spending is forecast to hit $74.9 billion in 2014, up from $72.5 billion last year. The average family with children in grades K-12 will spend $669.28 (up 5 percent from last year) and the average back-to-school spending for a college student is expected to rise 10 percent to $916.48.

According to the NRF survey:

  • More than a third of back-to-school shoppers and 45 percent of back-to-college shoppers plan to make a portion of their purchases online
  • More than half of back-to-school smartphone-owning shoppers plan to use their devices to compare prices, 40 percent will look up retailer info, and 37 percent plan to redeem coupons and purchase products from their phones
  • Three in five tablet-owning back-to-school shoppers anticipate researching products and comparing prices, while nearly half expect to purchase products from their tablets

In addition to NRF’s findings, Cassandra Report revealed that 54 percent of shoppers will do more pre-purchase research than they did just five years ago. And, in a recent study of back-to-school shopping habits, eMarketer found students and parents start researching their back-to-school needs long before stores notice an uptick in purchases – last year 23 percent began back-to-school research before July 4, with nearly two-thirds (65 percent) starting by the end of July, according to a Google/Ipsos study of the 2013 season.

With the shopping season in full swing, retailers need to be sure they are meeting the needs of consumers looking for inspiration online. The NRF suggests, and we agree, that visual imagery and user-generated content are powerful influence factors as shoppers conduct their research. Photography is what sells the product, so spend the time and money to create great imagery. In apparel, a popular back-to-school category, make note of the size the model is wearing and offer five times the normal zoom so shoppers can see product details. And, don’t forget the power of online video in increasing digital conversions. We also suggest clearly articulating shipping and returns policies online (how long do shoppers have to return an item, will the money be refunded to the card used or offered as a store credit, etc.). This increases the comfort level in making digital purchases, especially for high-consideration, big ticket back-to-school items such as electronics.

Is your back-to-school strategy meeting the needs of shoppers looking to digital channels for inspiration this year? If not, there’s still time. According to the Google/Ipsos study, “As mobile natives with near-universal access to the Internet, teens and college students are shopping throughout the school year and are less reliant on parents or friends for rides to the mall to do their shopping.” This is great news for retailers targeting teens and college students as they can extend the “back-to-school season” year-round.  Even though a prolonged season being the new normal, now is the time for them to develop a strategy for providing inspiration via Instagram, Twitter, Vine and other social channels, as well as on their own e-commerce sites.

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Dimensional Weight Pricing: What FedEx® and UPS®’s Recent Move to DIM Pricing Means for Retailers

Posted 1 week, 6 days ago @ Newgistics

UPS has just announced that it will be joining FedEx in its move to dimensional weight shipping pricing for its ground services (cue the consensual groan from etailers and retailers alike). Like FedEx, UPS ground prices will now be based on the higher of two calculations, dimensions (LxWxH) divided by dimensional factor or weight.

So what does this mean exactly? To clarify, FedEx ground currently charges dimensional weight pricing only to packages measuring three cubic feet or greater but effective January 1, it will apply to all packages.  UPS also already applies dimensional weight pricing for UPS air services (domestic and international), UPS Standard™ to Mexico ground services and for UPS® ground packages and UPS® Standard to Canada packages measuring 3 cubic feet in size or larger. Effective December 29, 2014, dimensional weight will be utilized to calculate the billable weight of a shipment on all UPS ground services and UPS Standard to Canada packages.

UPS Chief Operating Officer Alan Gershenhorn said in a statement, “UPS has been researching the potential expansion of dimensional-weight pricing for a number of years because it enables us to more appropriately align rates with costs, which are influenced by both the size and weight of packages.” According to a press release put out by UPS, “The company believes that as a result of the dimensional weight pricing method, more shippers will seek to optimize their packaging practices. These efforts will reduce excess packaging materials and overall package sizes, leading to related reductions in fuel use, vehicle emissions and transportation costs.”

Jerry Hempstead, president of Orlando, Florida-based parcel consultancy Hempstead Consulting, said it best when he told Supply Chain 24/7, “This is a very big change in pricing. There is no additional cost for the carrier. There is no additional service they are adding. They are just going to charge more for that which they have been doing for years.”

Retailers need to recognize the affect this will have on their business as this is the most dramatic increase in shipping costs we’ve seen in 15 years. Small to medium sized businesses will be most affected as they’ll likely need to adjust their pricing to make up for the increase in cost.

Here are a few things for retailers to consider:

  • Consider diversifying your shipments with a provider who offers a solution  that does not charge for dimensional weight to offset the costs associated with a national carrier (you don’t have to put all your eggs in one basket)
  • Work with an end-to-end solution provider with the expertise necessary to offset additional fulfillment and shipping costs
  • Be sure to educate your team on fulfillment logistics that are affected by this price change (box selection, etc.)
  • Require transparency in billing from your carrier to avoid costly mistakes

Changes to UPS and FedEx pricing won’t be instated until the end of 2014 (December and January respectively) but now is the time for retailers to reevaluate their shipping strategies and prepare for the holiday season and beyond. There are other options out there and retailers should not feel stuck in the UPS/FedEx box.

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Five Minutes with Newgistics MVP Chris Barth

July 9th, 2014 @ Newgistics

At Newgistics, it is important to us that we highlight excellence within our team and recognize employees that embody our core values, which is why we select individuals that go above and beyond to be named Newgistics MVPs.  To get inside the heads of these all-stars and see what makes them tick, we’re inviting them to take part in a Q&A series on ‘The Gist.’

A few weeks back we kicked off the series with Marc Goodfriend, a senior manager in Austin, and now we’d like to introduce Chris Barth, our senior financial analyst who’s also based out of our Austin headquarters.

NGS: What was your biggest professional accomplishment over the past year? What was the reason you were told you won an MVP award?

CB: There were two big accomplishments that I’m particularly proud of and were called out when I was given the MVP award.  The first was the continuing efforts to integrate our fulfillment business from a pricing, process, and financial perspective.  We improved our pricing model and pricing strategy, integrated fulfillment services to a new and improved billing platform, and improved our financial reporting so we could make better informed decisions about the fulfillment business.  The second was the work I did on the pricing side for our transportation business which helped Newgistics continue to grow its transportation segment and add several new strategic clients that launched last year.

NGS: What’s the one problem you are best at solving for your clients?

CB: Well, my clients are internal and the primary clients are the sales and account management teams.  I’m helping these groups by running P&L’s, pricing scenarios, and competitive analysis to help the teams make informative decisions.

NGS: How does your guidance/mentorship impact your team, your department, and Newgistics?

CB: In general, my guidance helps our team and the company make informed pricing decisions about the pricing we put out to the market for our various products and services.

NGS: What are you most passionate about professionally? What most excites you about your work and the contribution you can make?

CB: It might sound strange to some, but I’m passionate about process.  Situations that require process improvement, process re-engineering, or developing a process from scratch are challenges that I love to tackle.  I enjoy problem solving and the sense of accomplishment that comes along with finding a solution.  Specifically at Newgistics, I enjoy deal structuring and the entire process associated with it – from both the strategic and executional perspectives.  I get to interact with just about every functional department in the company, and my job depends on me knowing a lot about all of them, which makes every day interesting.

NGS: What are you passionate about personally? What do you really enjoy? What can’t you stop talking about?

CB: I have many passions personally but the main thing I enjoy right now is traveling.  I’m on a mission to see many places in the world.  I’m usually planning one or two significant vacations each year to some part of the world.  To get out and see the world and experience different cultures is very fascinating and gives you a different perspective that’s invaluable.

NGS: Who is your favorite online retailer and why?

CB: Most of my online shopping consists of electronics purchases.  I like Newegg and B&H photo.  I like both because the quality of products is excellent, prices are competitive and I’ve never had a bad shopping experience with either.

NGS: What do you like best about working at Newgistics?

CB: In an industry that’s constantly evolving and bringing new challenges to light, you really need innovative people that can adapt and think on their feet.  We’re fortunate enough to have a company full of people with those qualities, and on top of being excellent at their jobs, my colleagues are simply all around great people.  There are so many smart, creative, and talented people at Newgistics that make this a rewarding place to work.

NGS: Who at Newgistics inspires you?  How?

CB: It would be wrong for me to name a single individual for inspiration as I can probably name at least one or two people from every functional group here at Newgistics that inspires me – that’s one of the benefits I get by being able to work with every department!  We have a very team-oriented culture here and the fact that the functional groups work very well together to accomplish our goals and service our customers at the highest level is inspiring to me from a collective team perspective.

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Meet Debbie Lesser:

June 24th, 2014 @ Newgistics

Recently we announced the addition of two executives to the Newgistics team and gave the readers of our blog the opportunity to get to know Mike Hill better. This week, it’s Debbie’s turn!

Debbie brings more than 10 years of e-commerce experience to Newgistics. Having worked at LivePerson, ATG, Demandware and Amplience, she is creative and passionate about building unique and customized solutions for her clients. She has worked with numerous branded manufacturers, fashion brands and retail companies such as Brooks Brothers, Diane von Furstenberg, Elie Tahari, Elizabeth Arden, L’Oreal, Sleepy’s and Unilever, and takes a consultative approach to selling, guiding her clients through selection, implementation,  site management and ongoing support.

Debbie enjoys working with fashion-forward brands and retailers who are looking to take their online presence to the next level. She understands both the challenges and opportunities that her clients face in delivering on their omni-channel initiatives. Debbie joined Newgistics in order to provide the full technology stack to address those initiatives and positively Impact her clients’ revenue growth.

Debbie has hit the ground running and is looking forward to bringing her creative energy to Newgistics’ customers. We sat down with Debbie to talk about the trends she is most excited about:

Omni-channel strategy and its implementation is one of the biggest challenges retailers face right now and, as such, it is one of the areas I am most excited to tackle this year. Coming from an e-commerce platform provider, working with Newgistics will allow me to better offer my customers comprehensive solutions for the omni-channel world with our end-to-end solution. Newgistics has the ability to paint this clear picture with both on- and off-line behaviors and integrated order management and fulfillment.

My favorite thing about working in e-commerce is how often things change. Technology is updated, shopping behaviors transform and retailers must continually innovate to outperform their competition. So ask me again in six months and my favorite trend could be something we don’t even know about today!

For more on Debbie’s background, or to connect with her, you can find her on LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/pub/dir/Debbie/Lesser

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Newgistics to Speak, Sponsor and Celebrate at Internet Retailer Conference and Expo

June 11th, 2014 @ Newgistics

House of Blues Party, Conference Session and Exhibition Highlight End-to-End E-Commerce Solutions at World’s Largest E-Commerce Event

AUSTIN, Texas – June 11, 2014Newgistics, a leading provider of end-to-end      e-commerce solutions for top retailers and brands, today announced its participation at the Internet Retailer Conference and Expo (IRCE), including a conference session and an exclusive party at House of Blues, Chicago.  At the event, Newgistics will be showcasing its custom solutions that span web design and e-commerce site implementation, through order fulfillment, delivery and returns in booth 1029 at the center of the IRCE exhibit hall floor.

Celebrating its tenth anniversary, IRCE is being held June 10-13, 2014 at McCormick Place in Chicago, Ill.  To close the first full day of the event, Newgistics is pleased to sponsor the tenth anniversary party on the evening of June 11th at the House of Blues.  Doors will open at 7:30 p.m. for guests to enjoy a Jimmy Buffet cover band and a menu created by one of the country’s leading contemporary chefs and Food Network stars, Aaron Sanchez.

On day two of the conference, Newgistics’ senior e-commerce product manager, and former director of e-commerce at Edwin Watts Golf, Robb McCarter, will be delivering a session on best practices for integrating sales tax software.  During the session, which starts at 3:30 p.m. on June 12th, Robb will share lessons learned from his recent experience evaluating sales tax systems.  The presentation will help retailers ask their vendors the right questions to ensure a smooth integration and provide tips to make sure they stay out of tax trouble.

“With Newgistics’ ability to offer advice and leading technology that address all phases of the consumer shopping experience, IRCE is a natural place for us to meet with retailers, partners and others in the industry to discuss solutions that will power our increasingly omni-channel world,” said Elizabeth Hunter, VP E-Commerce at Newgistics.  “Over the past decade, IRCE has proven that it’s a must-attend event for anyone and everyone involved with e-commerce, so our team will be there from start to finish, eager to connect at the House of Blues, at conference sessions and on the show floor.”

Anyone interested in learning more about Newgistics’ end-to-end e-commerce solutions can visit IRCE booth 1029 during the conference.

About Newgistics, Inc.

Newgistics, a leading provider of parcel delivery and returns management for top retailers and brands, combines logistics and leading omni-channel commerce technology into a complete E-Commerce solution.  Integrating every step in the order life cycle, our End-to-End E-commerce solution includes: web design, implementation, integration, web hosting and support, order fulfillment, parcel delivery and returns. Our e-commerce platform is powered by hybris, and we have partnered with Manhattan Associates to bring its leading order management solution to our customers.  Since 1999, Newgistics has provided top merchants with innovative technology-driven solutions that improve the customer experience and accelerate growth—from customer acquisition through fulfillment, delivery and returns.  To find out more, visit http://www.newgistics.com.

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IRCE: What We Are Looking Forward to Most in the Windy City

June 9th, 2014 @ Newgistics

We’re less than a week out from one of the most anticipated shows of the year for our team – the Internet Retailer Conference & Expo (IRCE). As the conference celebrates its tenth year, here are some of the sessions and events we’re most excited about as we head to Chicago next week:

1. Platform Selection & Implementation: This pre-show workshop is of great interest to our e-commerce team members, who have years of experience implementing platforms on behalf of retailers such as Mulberry and Beaverbrooks. This session, which will focus on how to navigate platform choices, is sure to be a lively and interactive discussion that we’re looking forward to being part of.

2. Protecting Your Brand from Holiday Shipping Disasters: Last holiday season was a shipping nightmare for many retailers across the U.S. In this session, executives from GNC and Spend Management Experts will discuss how to better plan and execute a process to keep fulfillment and delivery on target this year, a topic very close to our hearts.

3. Ecommerce Transformation Talk: Jonathan Wall, director, e-commerce at UK-based Shop Direct Group, will share the secrets of the retailer’s success in aligning all the moving parts when it’s time to make an e-commerce transformation. The organization met some aggressive goals when shifting from a catalog-based company to e-commerce, and is even dominating mobile commerce. Since we work with retailers on their end-to-end commerce solutions, we’re looking forward to hearing how technology partners played a role, and also understanding the organizational changes that took place internally.

4. Staying Out of Tax Trouble: On day two of the conference, Newgistics’ senior e-commerce product manager, and former director of e-commerce at Edwin Watts Golf, Robb McCarter, will be delivering a session on best practices for integrating sales tax software. During the session, Robb will share lessons learned from his recent experience evaluating sales tax systems.  The session will help retailers ask their vendors the right questions to ensure a smooth integration, and provide tips to make sure they stay out of tax trouble.

5. Exclusive 10th Anniversary Party at the House of Blues: As American blues singer and musician Robert Johnson once said, “Chicago is a ‘sweet home’ for the blues.” We couldn’t agree more. We’re excited to host an exclusive party at The House of Blues with live music, of course, and a menu created by one of the country’s leading contemporary chefs and Food Network stars, Aaron Sanchez.

We’ll also be showcasing our custom solutions including our integrated e-commerce platform, order fulfillment, delivery and returns in booth #1029 at the center of the IRCE exhibit hall. Hope to see you there!

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Newgistics Welcomes Michael Hill

June 5th, 2014 @ Newgistics

This week we announced the addition of two executives to the Newgistics team and we couldn’t be more excited to have them on board. To help the readers of our blog get to know these two leaders a little better we’ll be posting about both Michael Hill and Debbie Lesser this week. First up, please meet Michael Hill…

Mike has more than 20 years of experience in e-commerce, where he leveraged his expertise to help transform companies like ATG and Guidance into major players in the industry. Mike has worked with some of the biggest names in the business including Nike, DirecTV, Warner Music Group, Symantec, HP, Restoration Hardware, Sephora, Disney, Footlocker, Stamps.com and more. At Newgistics, Mike will focus on helping customers increase their bottom line by providing a highly flexible, omni-channel solution to respond to changing customer behaviors and demands.

Mike is excited to bring his entrepreneurial spirit to Newgisitcs and is looking forward to driving sales “like a hockey stick.” We sat down with Mike and picked his brain about some of the trends he’s seeing in the industry and here’s what he had to say:

There are a lot of exciting things going on in the world of e-commerce, particularly with the rapid adoption of mobile and its role in omni-channel retailing, but what I’m seeing my customers get most excited about lately is a technology that’s been around for awhile – the cloud.

While it may seem like old-hat to some, many enterprise customers are just now starting to dive into cloud services. It’s an exciting time, as the benefits for these larger companies are pretty remarkable and it’s been enlightening to watch the business transformation that the cloud allows.

Working with Newgistics I have the opportunity to see this transformation in the order management space. Two and a half years ago no CIO was interested in moving their order management to the cloud, but improvements in security and overall education have changed that. I’m excited to be working at a company that touches every point of the e-commerce sales process and look forward to learning from a group that stays ahead of these trends that affect the entire industry.

For more information on Mike’s background, or to connect with him, you can find his LinkedIn profile at:  https://www.linkedin.com/in/miketoddhill

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Newgistics Strengthens Position in E-commerce with Strategic New Hires

June 3rd, 2014 @ Newgistics

Seasoned executives to focus efforts on growing demand for end-to-end solutions

AUSTIN, Texas – June 4, 2014 – Newgistics, a leading provider of end-to-end e-commerce solutions for top retailers and brands, today announced the strategic hires of two highly experienced sales executives, Michael Hill, and Debbie Lesser, to the Newgistics e-commerce sales team.   Mike will lead sales in the western U.S. and Debbie will be responsible for sales in the eastern U.S.

Mike has more than 20 years of experience in e-commerce, where he leveraged his expertise to help transform companies like ATG and Guidance into major players in the industry. Mike has worked with some of the biggest names in the business including Nike, DirecTV, Warner Music Group, Symantec, HP, Restoration Hardware, Sephora, Disney, Footlocker, Stamps.com and more. At Newgistics, Mike will focus on helping customers increase their bottom line by providing a highly flexible, omni-channel solution to respond to changing customer behaviors and demands.

“I’ve been in the industry for a long time and have seen retailers and brands struggle through many waves of technology innovation, which is why I was drawn to Newgistics,” said Mike.  “Newgistics is the only solution provider in the industry that supports every touchpoint in the order lifecycle, delivering the omni-channel solution that retailers need not just for today but for the future. I’m excited to join this innovative team and take our clients to the next level through our comprehensive solution.”

Debbie brings more than 10 years of e-commerce experience to Newgistics. Having worked at ATG, Amplience, Demandware and LivePerson, Debbie is creative and passionate about building unique, customized solutions for her clients. She has worked with numerous CPG, branded manufacturers, fashion brands and retail companies such as Brooks Brothers, Diane von Furstenberg, Elie Tahari, Elizabeth Arden, L’Oreal, Sleepy’s and Unilever, and takes a consultative approach to selling, guiding her clients through selection, implementation and site management.

“I love working in e-commerce because no two solutions are the same. Newgistics has the technology and expertise to ensure that our clients deliver a shopping experience that is totally unique to their customer experience and their brand,” said Debbie. “Newgistics has an extremely talented group at its helm.  I’m excited to join such a forward-thinking team, especially in an industry that is moving at such a rapid pace.”

About Newgistics, Inc.

Newgistics, a leading provider of parcel delivery and returns management for top retailers and brands, combines logistics and leading omni-channel commerce technology into a complete e-commerce solution.  Integrating every step in the order life cycle, our end-to-end e-commerce solution includes: web design, implementation, integration, web hosting and support, order fulfillment, parcel delivery and returns. Our e-commerce platform is powered by hybris, and we have partnered with Manhattan Associates to bring its leading order management solution to our customers.  Since 1999, Newgistics has provided top merchants with innovative technology-driven solutions that improve the customer experience and accelerate growth—from customer acquisition through fulfillment, delivery and returns.  To find out more, visit http://www.newgistics.com.

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Is Fulfillment the MVP of Omnichannel?

May 27th, 2014 @ Newgistics

RIS News recently wrote an insightful article titled, “The New Customer Paradigm: Omnichannel On-Demand,” that discusses omnichannel retailing as it pertains to fulfillment and the supply chain. The article’s author, Mark Wheeler, director of supply chain solutions at Motorola Solutions, makes a convincing argument that fulfillment is the most important part of the omnichannel shopping experience. While Mark makes some excellent points and we agree that fulfilling rapidly evolving customer expectations lies at the heart of omnichannel, we don’t believe there is any one “most import part” of omnichannel. Rather, it’s when all channels work together synergistically that differentiates winning retailers from the losers.

We fully support the idea that retailers need to increase their focus on the supply chain in order to have any shot at omnichannel success. There are a number of new innovations in this space to assist with inventory management and fulfillment and, while they may not be as sexy as technology like mobile apps, in-store analytics, or social media tools (all of which we think are really cool, by the way), they are essential to keeping customers happy. Whether you’re reevaluating your legacy systems or starting from scratch, when looking for a technology partner here are a few important things to keep in mind about fulfillment in an omnichannel world:

  • • Look for a partner that understands you entire business and customer lifecycle. Fulfillment should not exist as a separate arm of your business, but work with all other channels in a streamlined way.
  • • Make sure you have visibility into what’s happening with your inventory when it happens, and how it all impacts your bottom line. In an omnichannel world, where purchases happen simultaneously via mobile, online and in-store, this is crucial. In that same regard, be sure your provider can deliver that information in a customizable way that works for your team, otherwise you’ll find the information is useless.
  • • Choose a partner that can be flexible with all the other technology that you will be integrating with to achieve a seamless omnichannel experience (e.g. your ecommerce platform, in-store POS, etc.)
  • • Lastly, choose a partner that can provide consultation when the newest trend in consumer technology arises. While mobile is everything for retailers today, there could be a new personal technology on the horizon that we don’t even know about that will affect retail sales. Choose a technology provider that can guide you through whatever comes.

It’s an exciting time to be in retail and, with more technology available than ever before, it is truly possible to deliver a shopping experience that is consistent across every customer touchpoint. As Mark pointed out, “Retail today is about an end-to-end customer experience that could begin anywhere – in-store, smartphone or online.” At Newgistics, we cover all of these touch points for our clients because we know that all are crucial to the customer experience.

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