Faced with this evolution, logistics becomes a strategic axis to accompany and anticipate the acceleration of the flows of goods and information. An issue difficult to apprehend however. Indeed, it supposes to lift several brakes such as the maturity of its partners, the control of the solutions in an environment characterized by a profusion of trades and offers, or the capacity to evaluate the returns on investment. “These brakes explain the delay by many distributors and brands in the definition of their digital strategy and connected commerce.”
These bottlenecks also translate into growing difficulties in finding efficient, cost-effective and sustainable organizational and governance models between historical distribution channels and web-based channels. “While most retailers are aware of the essential role of logistics in connected commerce to optimize customer satisfaction and loyalty, its stakes in terms of inventory, quality of service and costs are often still poorly understood. Which brand or distributor knows exactly which stocks are in the store, for example? Like RFID, there are solutions. “Deployment requires moving from back office warehouse expertise to FrontOffice supply chain expertise.”
Depending on the volumes to be processed, especially during peak activity, this approach determines the tools and custom-made processes to be implemented. Up to 1,000 orders a day, manual organizations with ventilation and sorting stations can meet quality of service issues. Beyond this, mechanization is essential, according to François Papini, until the packaging operations to satisfy a speed of execution more and more decisive at an optimized cost. “The pooling of expertise and investments through a specialized provider is then a way to save time, and immediately achieve a high rate of quality of service with great flexibility as to the volumes to be treated or in terms of allocated areas “. Outsourcing also helps to anticipate developments in digital commerce such as increased personalization during order picking or opening up internationally, adds François Papini.
Pooling or not inventory by distribution channel is one of the strategic orientations to be defined. To be analyzed on a case by case basis, the choice in favor of pooling generally allows to immobilize less inventory and to keep for each channel the largest referencing. The ability to challenge the transport offer in terms of performance and costs is another feature where the expertise of a provider can be valuable, “to the management of returns too often neglected.”
Source: Erick DEMANGEON for Logistics Strategies