Technology + Integration = Omnichannel
In the boom of omnichannel and digital momentum that retail is experiencing, logistics becomes an opportunity to show competitive advantage for brands. The customer or end-user takes over the main role, therefore, logistics has to revolve around their consumption habits, which change all the time depending on many factors, such as; temporality, geographic region, lifestyle and above all, how they coexist with technology.
Knowing what the end-user expects in logistics terms becomes essential for an omnichannel strategy. The brand with its knowledge of demand planning and the logistics players, and with his expertise in the fashion industry (demand sensing) participates with equal importance. Both are supported by technological elements in the operation: End-to-end monitoring, unified documentation and information platforms, notification system and 100% digitized and optimized inventory control.
The key takeaway is that technology must play a role in integrating the proces. At the end of the day it's about benefiting the entire operation, with greater efficiency and a healthier ROI.
Supply Chain, competitive advantage or ... disadvantage
In 1988 the largest retailer in the USA, which saw success from their revolutionary supply chain "mail order” model; filed for bankruptcy in October 2018, (Chapter 11 of the US bankruptcy law). What happened in those 30 years? We can think that it was due to bad management, bad decisions or lack of technology, but this company led the market for more than 80 years, made great decisions and made bets to pioneer solutions for lots of technological hurdles, so…
Innovation in supply chain
It became too diversified and lost the ingenuity that once made it the largest and most innovative retailer in the world.
In retail, the heart of innovation is the integration of supply chain. Thanks to having an integrated supply chain, more efficient and effective routes can be traced in order to concentrate efforts on delivering the last mile and being able to compete against the big e-commerce companies, or for now, simply surviving the retail slaughter by the COVID-19 pandemic.
It's more important when we talk about the fashion and lifestyle sector, temporalities can represent a big impact in "fast fashion", just as not having a demand planning focused on your client or an integrated supply chain. Without them, the competitive advantages won't translate into better savings in time and distribution costs. In a highly competitive industry, this loss could mean being out of the market in a few months.
Obstacles towards an integrated supply chain
The challenges that the retail and lifestyle industries face are clear:
- Lack of flexibility to adapt speed in supply chain
- Lack of speed to operate the last mile to deliver to end-user
- Lack of visibility throughout the process
- A non-sustainable development along the entire route
It seems easy to find success in each one separately, however, the biggest challenge is to integrate all of these aspects into a single process, which can only be carried out in conjunction with a technology investment fully oriented to the supply chain. These processes must be fully digitized in order to quantitatively measure any errors and potentiate any efficiency trend. In addition, technology will allow you to approach a greater volume of users in a more personalized way and to develop a greater sensitivity to demand.
Integration: flexibility, speed, visibility and sustainability
These 4 points are solutions to the aforementioned challenges, also are a positive result that you obtain to a greater or lesser extent depending on your level of integration in the supply chain.
As you work on flexibility in the supply chain, you will react more quickly to changes. Also, the adoption of technological tools will allow you to have visibility of your entire supply chain in order to detect patterns in these changes and be able to predict them in the future.
How Maerks helps with technology integration
Maersk, moreover to having the most powerful and effective infrastructure in Latin America and the world, has developed technology to be able to integrate the provided value of 2, 3 and 4 PL in a single process, consolidating itself as the first integrator of Supply Chain in the world.
Maersk generates commercial alliances with its clients, in order to integrate their supply chain allowing brands to have an end-to-end traceability of their processes and have a documentation and information unified platform from the beginning of the process until they arrive at the centers distribution or end/user.
Moreover, Maersk has Eco-Delivery, an option for sustainable integration that is based on decarbonizing the transportation in the full process.
"5 key points to transform your logistic"
- Using a single platform to integrate the information.
- Flexibility as a competitive advantage.
- Agility to predict consumer tendencies and adapt your inventory accordingly.
- End-to-end traceability.
- Sustainable integration.