What is the multi-channel challenge: It is having the right inventory sold in store, online, through a catalog, or a combination of all of these issues. Retailers and e-tailers use these channels.

When the Internet came onto the scene, many retailers segmented their customers by sales channels.They had customers in warehouse and they had on line customers. They had two channels of distribution: one for retail store replenishment and another for online order fulfillment, which was often handled by a 3PL.

When planning, retailers expect to gain new customers and increase business, but they don’t know which channel the increased growth will come from.

Bringing these channels together is affecting the design of distribution.You need systems that can handle pallets and cartons that go to retail stores along with individual item picking for direct to customer order fulfillment. Retailers have to maximize throughput daily and manage for peak demand.

Packaging needs review for distribution to e-commerce and wholesale customers.

Muli-channel Distribution affects inventory, logistics, and procurement to meet these fulfillment challenges .Inventory has to be at the right place at the right time.