The omni supply chain is blending across all retail channels to support a cohesive social shopping network in a manner that allows consumers to purchase and obtain products in the most beneficial manner to support their lifestyles.  This requires heightened collaboration across all supply chain partners and all consumer interaction channels.  This direction has been coming together now for years and just as the combination of mobile technology and improved wireless network capabilities allowed consumers to control their shopping experience, these same technologies will also very quickly impact the entire extended supply chain with similar demands.  The extended supply chain must recognize this and implement a strategy to begin moving in this direction in order to adjust to, and limit, the impact consumers will drive on the supply chain.

 

One of the greatest disrupters in the retail market is now also moving into the final consumer delivery market and will be sure to disrupt these services just as much as they have disrupted the retail marketplace. The Internet and the Internet of Things (IoT) have broadened now and allow Amazon to offer a range of options to support the consumer demands.  These options were limited by the consumer delivery carriers and supply chain partners performing these services.  These services are limited or offered based not only on consumer demands and they are also limited by the carrier existing limitations and framework.  For instance, FedEx home delivery in my area delivers on Saturday, but it doesn’t deliver on Monday.  Carriers offer and limit services based on their margin and then the service itself contains ‘idiosyncrasies’ based on the carrier overall service framework and limitations. 

 

This leg of the supply chain I believe is ripe for upheaval by the methods used by Amazon to up end the retail marketplace.  Amazon’s first and most important tools are their focus on the consumer demands and collaboration with the consumer.  Another and perhaps more important point is that Amazon supply chain is not limited by the legacy framework that is now limiting the omni supply chain partners.  For instance, Amazon can easily offer delivery 7 days a week without the turmoil of legacy practices and schedules.  I also see Amazon extended their relationship with the consumer to provide customizable delivery options to meet consumer lifestyle demands. 

 

The last frontier in the retail marketplace is the omni supply chain that provides that last link to the consumer and also the final opportunity to impress the consumer.  I see the millennial demands to support lifestyle impacting the omni supply chain just as they impacted the retail shopping and purchasing marketplace.  In addition, I see a remarkable resemblance in the supply chain to the retailers in the market from 5 - 10 years ago; the omni supply chain partners are focused on achieving economies of scale to maintain margin which creates difficulties in customizing solutions and developing and maintaining a relationship with the retailers and consumers.  Amazon now is positioning itself to disrupt the omni supply chain just as it disrupted the retail marketplace.

 

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 consumer's experience?  Improving the consumer’s 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?