2015

What Matters Most to Retail Delivery? Speed or Traceability

What Matters Most to Retail Delivery? Speed or Traceability

As more and more consumers turn to ecommerce and retailers scramble to compete for the attention of online shoppers, home delivery services are becoming a service differentiator across most retail sectors. If your company offers home delivery for the “last mile” in your supply chain, you probably provide a standard shipping option and a premium-priced, “express” service, which may include parcel tracking for your customers to keep an eye on their orders. Certainly that’s the typical home distribution model—giving consumers two options: low speed or traceability packaged with high-speed delivery. But what matters most to retail consumers who buy online: speed or traceability? Do they care more about getting their products fast or about knowing where their parcels are at any given point in time?   Trending Toward Transparency The answer, it seems, is the latter. Retailers offering tracked delivery without express delivery premiums are cashing in among consumers who don’t actually care if delivery takes a few days, but who do care about being able to see the status of their orders. If ordering statistics are anything to go by, some retailers are finding that the uptake of premium services was historically as much for the tracking ability as for expeditious delivery. When a mid-range service (including track-and-trace) is introduced, parcel volumes increase, while volumes through both premium and standard services reduce correspondingly.   How Will You Make Home Delivery Different? Decoupling express lead times and track-and-trace facilities could add flexibility into your home delivery service tariff and help differentiate your enterprise from its competitors. Of course ultimately, your customers know what they want, so it may at least be worth soliciting some feedback. You might find your customers don’t need their orders sent via the fast lane, but prefer the confidence of knowing the goods are on their way.   Best Regards Rob O’Byrne Email or +61 417 417...

Read More

Get Ready for the Internet of Supply Chain Things

Get Ready for the Internet of Supply Chain Things

While the Internet of Things is still in the early stages of transition from concept to reality, you should be in no doubt as to its potential for reshaping the way supply chains operate. From manufacturing, through transportation, warehousing, logistics and distribution, the Internet of Things in supply chain will leave no corner of the field unaffected.   The Benefits of a Supply Chain Internet of Things When the Internet of Things in supply chain really begins to gather momentum, the ability to leverage automation will be vastly enhanced. Robotic equipment in manufacturing will become smarter, for example and more traditionally manual activities such as transportation of products to customers will become manageable in real time. The status of truck drivers as remote workers will be challenged, as they and their vehicles are linked ever more closely with the transport office and even with customers. Inside the transport office, Scheduling, routing and truck/driver performance analysis will be integrated to enable machine learning, with continual refinements being made to route planning and resource allocation sans human intervention. Of course the benefits to be had from the supply chain Internet of Things will significantly outweigh any disadvantages, but all progress brings new risks, with security perhaps being one of the most important elements for consideration.   Securing the Supply Chain Internet of Things As supply chains become fully connected through technology, the value of data increases not only for operators, but also for the criminal element of society. This is a fact which the healthcare industry, for example, is already well aware of, suffering as it does many data security breaches, often resulting in the compromise of patients’ personally sensitive data. In supply chain too, you’ll need to increasingly focus on protecting your company’s intellectual property, as well as the personal information of employees and customers. Cyber-criminals will be fully prepared to target logistics and other supply organizations, in their attempts to seize data that can be used for nefarious purposes.   Plan Early to Seize Opportunities—and to Secure Them Now is the right time to start thinking about how your organisation can take advantage of the introduction of the Internet of Things to supply chain operations. At the same time, it’s not too early for your IT specialists to start thinking seriously about how to implement robust cyber-security measures.   Best Regards Rob O’Byrne Email or +61 417 417...

Read More