The supply chain supporting retailers’ Commerce 2.0 framework must also be a collaborative and flexible framework in order to support the changing demands of the consumer. Retailers cannot overlook the requirements to support the demands of consumers’ shopping for both selection and purchase and delivery options. Just as retailers must revise their sales channels to meet the changing shopping demands, the extended supply chain must also change and increase flexibility to support the changing delivery and demand cycle of the consumers.
Retailers have tried to meet the consumer purchasing demands through a variety of strategies from earlier purchasing to meet the demand to purchasing after the consumers have ordered to meet the demand of the orders. As with most strategic decisions the optimum strategy is somewhere in the middle. A collaborative supply chain network provides the framework and the collaborative partners in the supply chain provide the means to meet the changing consumer demands. The key to the success of the retailers in meeting the demands of the consumer is a collaborative supply chain strategy and the key to the success of this strategy is the partners in the collaborative supply chain network.
This strategy allows the retailer to focus on the consumer shopping demands and utilize the collaborative supply chain to support the purchase delivery. The consumer shopping demands require the retailer to extend the support of the consumer purchase delivery across the extended supply chain network. This extension and strengthening of the collaborative network increases the flexibility of the retailers’ commerce network providing the flexibility necessary to support the changing demands of consumers. This strategic collaborative network extends from the raw material and manufacture of products all the way to the consumers’ door.
In order to remain successful in this collaborative marketplace, the retailer must support both the shopping and delivery demands of the consumer. These demands are changing at a much faster rate due to the capabilities and improvements delivered through mobile technology. This rate of change can only be successfully met through an extended collaborative supply chain. This strategy allows the retailer to focus their efforts on supporting the consumer shopping demands and then collaborate with the extended supply chain to support the purchase delivery, whether through the brick and mortar store or the the direct delivery to the consumers’ door.
This network supports the consumer demands in two directions; from the purchase to the consumer’s door and then from the consumer to intake back into the extended supply chain. It is important to remember that the retailer must support the consumer demands in two directions in order to retain the sales. The consumer returns, or reverse logistics, back into the extended supply chain are a critical aspect to the the customer relationship.
And now for the audience participation portion of the show…
ECommerce will have wide ranging impacts on both the retail and manufacturing sectors. How can you focus these abilities to improve the consumers’ experience? Improving the consumers experience will require a re-evaluation of the sales channels, the manufacturing channels and practices and the supply chain channels and practices from the raw materials to the consumers’ homes. In order to ensure and maintain success in this new reality you must harness the tools and capabilities in many new areas. How can you support these continuously changing requirements?