There is little question that the growth of online B2C or B2B2C commerce provides a magnitude of different challenges for retailers, wholesalers, and logistics providers. In the age of Amazon, customer demands for timely fulfillment across multiple channels coupled with affordable shipping adds a far different dimension of required capabilities, not the least of which are the notions of more intelligent, analytically-driven fulfillment processes. Just this week, business media has reported that Amazon is making a new strategic thrust into bulky household furniture fulfillment.

Product producers are increasingly faced with online merchandising and selling decisions to either place products within the Fulfilled by Amazon program, or go direct to consumers via an individual online presence. In today’s online universe, going direct requires much higher levels of knowledge and intelligence relative to fulfillment costs for individual orders coupled with anticipated product demand.

This analyst recently had the opportunity to speak with the senior management team of technology start-up Grand Canals. This Silicon Valley based provider has developed what is described as a purpose-built direct-to-consumer fulfillment support application that has been designed to support needs to drive the most informed customer fulfillment decisions that can satisfy both customer and line-of-business needs. The management and development team includes a lot of acquired experience in online fulfillment, data science, analytics, and supply chain technology capabilities in companies such as Apple, Target, Flex, E2open and others. What is different about GrandCanals is its direct application of customer analytics to customer fulfillment decisions. The technology itself has been designed to also allow online merchandisers the ability to collect better data and improve on fulfillment costs.

Today, GrandCanals launched Fulfillment Intelligence Cloud 3.0 in conjunction with closing a $4.6 million Series A financing round led by Cloud Apps Capital Partners and AllMobile Fund. While in its pre-development stage, this provider has supported a number of consumer brands such as Holler, Krave Jerky, LaTavola, Specialized Bicycles and others. Several third-party logistics providers (3PL’s) are also users of the technology.

Proceeds of this Series A funding will allow GrandCanals to further its go-to-market and development needs.

More intelligent, Cloud-based analytics-driven customer fulfillment is a growing need, with vendors such as GrandCanals now addressing such needs.  We anticipate there will be other players in this area as-well.


Bob Ferrari

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