We're off to a great start! May 10, 2017 marked the first meeting of the RVCF E-Commerce Working Group, which was formed to facilitate the sharing of e-commerce insights and best practices among suppliers and select third party service providers. The group met in conjunction with the RVCF Spring Conference in Arlington, VA to focus on a topic that suppliers have been eager for us to cover – working with Amazon.
Jessica Butler of Attain Consulting Group, LLC got us started with the results of a survey that focused on Amazon deductions. Jessica discussed the most common deductions, factors that often contribute to deductions, who is typically responsible for deductions, and how deductions are handled and resolved. Topics included purchase order management, labeling and shipping requirements, issue escalation and claim disputes.
Kathy Rotondo from IAB Solutions, LLC reported that deduction activity has increased dramatically in 2016 and is trending upward again in 2017. She also offered tips for identifying and addressing deduction issues. Ella Mui of OpenText brought attendees up to speed on Amazon's extended attributes initiative, while John Thomas of Ralph Lauren Corporation shared an inspiring success story about working with Amazon.
The meeting closed with a roundtable discussion in which members requested ongoing calls to discuss additional e-commerce issues, particularly drop ship challenges and best practices. RVCF is working on future educational opportunities in this area so stay tuned.
We plan to carry the momentum from our initial meeting into our first E-Commerce Working Group Call, which is being held Friday, June 23rd from 2:00 to 3:00 pm EDT for suppliers and select third party service providers. The E-Commerce Working Group Calls will have more of a topic-based agenda than our typical Supplier Open Forum Calls.
The first call will explore topics such as drop ship best practices, supply chain execution, relationship management, deduction and dispute resolution, and other issues. If you'd like to submit a question or topic for discussion, contact Evie Hooper by 12:00 pm EDT on Wednesday, June 14th for inclusion in the agenda. Space is limited, so please register today! Although the first meeting focused on Amazon, the group is open to any retailer that is heavily involved in e-commerce and drop ship.
Additionally, we've created a group within the RVCF website to allow the exchange of best practices, information, and ideas related to drop shipping, E-tailer specific requirements, general fulfillment procedures, and more. RVCF supplier and select third party service provider members are welcome to access this section of the site and use the forum boards, view the videos, etc.
We'll continue to gather information from members about the topics they'd like us to cover, the types of presenters they'd like to hear from, and specific e-commerce and drop ship issues they need help overcoming. The goal is to design conference sessions and presentations that address real world problems and concerns. We're already looking at putting together a panel on drop ship best practices for our Fall Conference. If you'd be interested in participating, let us know. We believe this is an important ongoing initiative that needs to be addressed collectively.
We hope more retail industry professionals will consider presenting to the RVCF E-Commerce Working Group to maximize the effectiveness and profitability of e-commerce efforts. The first meeting at the RVCF Spring Conference was a resounding success and we encourage you to join us on this exciting journey.
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