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Are you optimising your supply chain to exceed ever-changing Online consumer demands?

October 19, 2016
Posted by adjuno

Adjuno recently attended the two day Online Retail Logistics Conference on 11th and 12th October in Australia hosted by Quest Events. It aimed to address issues faced by senior e-commerce supply chain, logistics and warehousing managers who run complex supply chains. If you missed it, or are interested to learn more about the key topics discussed, we’ve summarised the day for you.

The conference covered the following topics:

  • Implementing technologies to help drive business outcomes
  • Defining business structures and workforce skills to face the massive shift towards online shopping
  • Buildingthe right e-commerce logistics strategy to meet rapidly evolving customer demands
  • Customer driven collaboration between e-commerce and 3PL providers
  • Achievingreal-time, enterprise wide inventory visibility in an omni-channel supply chain
  • Developing innovation in the “last mile” order fulfilment operations

Throughout the two days there were numerous speakers from online retailers who presented case studies around the types of services their customers demanded and how they fulfilled them.

One speaker ‘Gareth Jude’ from ‘The University of Sydney’ discussed the way mass collaboration with Customers via Social Media was influencing the evolution of better products, better delivery and brand differentiation. This mass collaboration technique was leading to an improved customer experiences – which leads to increased share of wallet (SOW), and the ability to drive increased margins.

Furthermore, other retailers showed that some customers are prepared to pay more for a differentiated level of service. Not everything is a commodity – and finding a way to reach online customers during the final mile was a key means of differentiating.

The most prominent message delivered during the conference was that; “The rapidly evolving online shopping market place demands constant innovation from 3PL providers.”

So, in order to cost-effectively optimise your supply chain to exceed ever-changing customer demand, here is our summary of the key messages and ideas covered:

  • The opportunities to deliver in the last mile have evolved significantly and are seen as a major opportunity for differentiation in service. Busy customers who are not home to receive items are demanding increased options when it comes to receiving their deliveries. Options that are in trial include: Click and collect, Lockers, “parcel finds the person”, after hours, drones, etc.
  • Research indicates that customers will pay more for more convenient home deliveries. Rearranging your day to be at home to meet delivery drivers is seen as an inconvenience and a cost; customers are prepared to pay extra for alternatives that avoid that hassle.
  • E-commerce is evolving rapidly. Players that did not exist 10 years ago are starting to become more dominant in market shares. This is driving a rapid evolution in fragmentation of logistics solutions; the solution that works for delivering a mobile phone, must be different for the delivery of flowers or frozen food.
  • The logistics solution in place must be part of an evolutionary process. It needs to be changed based on listening to ongoing customer feedback and modifying it where necessary. It should to be part of a continuous improvement project. It therefore follows that investment and solutions supporting the logistics operations must have a high degree of flexibility to evolve, to keep pace with changing customer demands.

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