Stay competitive with cost-effective supply chain planning

First published by Mandy, on 18 March 2020

Warehousing and fulfilment

To be truly successful both online and offline, brands need to reconsider the supply chain in its entirety to ensure that the process of fulfilment is seamless and efficient. Incorporating technologies into warehousing and fulfilment can thus provide businesses with the visibility and agility they need to better manage their retail logistics. 

To keep pace with fast-changing consumer trends, retailers are facing pressure to constantly update their offerings. Brands that are used to selling goods by the pallet or container will now need to contend with dramatically accelerated sales cycles, compressed from months to mere minutes. Accordingly, business-to-consumer fulfilment should be ramped up as well to meet consumers’ expectations. 

Brands transitioning and/or diversifying from traditional, brick-and-mortar retail to digital-first models will also face similar pressures in ensuring consistent product pricing and availability across platforms.

In both cases, brands need to rethink the role that the supply chain has traditionally performed. To be considered successful both on- and offline, the supply chain has to be viewed in its entirety, so that the flow of goods is seamless and efficient. This is where smart logistics can play an integral role in helping businesses harness the opportunities that arise from new and upcoming trends. 

Optimise your inventory management for omni-channel retail

Smart logistics occurs when technologies are incorporated into current supply chain systems to create new or better solutions for companies. These solutions help create a demand-driven supply chain model, where businesses are able to move stocks quickly in response to short-term fluctuations in demand. 

Using smart logistics allows companies to gain greater visibility of their inventory levels and the flow of goods in their supply chain and distribution channels. With the increased visibility, businesses can cater to growing demand and pressures from selling across channels. 

The future of retail does not need to be a binary choice between physical stores and eCommerce - rather, many businesses are moving towards hybrid models, with brand presence across various online and offline channels. Given the number of sales channels a brand might be active on, it is imperative that businesses look into smart logistics solutions to cope with the increased complexity of retail logistics operations.

Empowering the future of retail

Increasingly, businesses need to pay attention to their ability to manage and sell across multiple channels. Integration of logistics with technology can help to provide real-time visibility of inventory levels, so that businesses are able to manage all orders smoothly and efficiently. 

At blu, our systems are seamlessly integrated with one another to allow our partners a real-time overview of all their SKUs, both in-stores and online. Our full suite of solutions can help businesses maximise their sales potential across online and offline channels, leveraging open APIs to quickly integrate with your business operations and minimise downtime. 

Such integration is crucial to serving the future customer, who will increasingly expect seamless shopping experiences, across all consumer touchpoints. Most importantly, with the help of technology, businesses should note that warehousing and fulfilment should not be handled in silos, but rather seen as part of the entire distribution model. 

Data generated from consumer interactions with logistics touchpoints can also be tapped on to further enhance the overall consumer experience. In today’s competitive retail landscape, businesses will need to acquire a bird’s eye view of their multichannel commerce data, supply chain processes, and ever-changing customer behaviour to inform their retail strategy.

Written by:

Alex Yee

Alex is a Business Development Manager at blu. He is an early adopter and strong proponent of eCommerce. With a customer-centric ethos, he enjoys building relationships, coming up with creative solutions and doing whatever it takes to ensure the customer is always satisfied. Outside of work, you can find him reading a book or watching some kind of sport.

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