Supply chain service providers have already realized the impact of consumer demands and especially lifestyle changes in the delivery services and also the impact of these changes on the entire supply chain and retail fulfillment model. Much of this change is also driven in large part by demands on fulfillment capabilities and volumes from Amazon and online retailers. This has probably been the largest driving force in retail supply chain change and the service providers have been impacted not only by increased volume but also by consumer delivery challenges related to changes in consumer lifestyles. The large legacy brick and mortar retailers were driven to provide the new services, however these retailers simply included the delivery services without fully integrating with the service provider or extending the services into the omni market for full integration.
Retailers have been focused on consumer shopping and purchasing demands and how others in the industry are meeting those demands. These large retailers have followed their standard operating procedures; let others develop the services and capabilities and then copy to match the services. The omni market does not allow time for analysis and decisions though and this sense of urgency is driving change across all participants in the omni market. You can see these changes in the supply chain service providers through additional consumer friendly services that were previously not a priority. You can also see these changes in additional services offered by Amazon to provide delivery pick-up centers and also an increased importance on multi-family dwelling homeowner centers for package delivery.
Retailers are following the lead of these omni market and supply chain leaders and service providers, however the velocity and impact of the changes are increasing and this means there is less time to react to the changes. This means that the large retailers must change their culture and practices to identify the changes in a manner that allows them to react and adjust more quickly. The only way to increase the flexibility and velocity which retailers can react is to increase collaboration across all service providers and partners across the entire omni market environment. Retailers must also increase engagement with consumers and all service providers and supply chain partners. The dual combination of increased engagement and collaboration across the omni market will allow retailers to deliver supply chain change in a manner that meets the demands of consumers and the marketplace. This, however, is one of the most difficult challenges for retailers because of the level of change required and also the velocity of this change. Retailers must take action to remain a factor in the omni market.
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?