- November 1, 2019
- Posted by: Archi Bhardwaj
- Category: Supply Chain
‘Supply chain management’ is now on its way to become a buzzword. To provide a unique customer experience is an art. And how do the businesses achieve that? Simple. By optimizing their supply chain operations.
Advanced Supply chain operations involve highly optimized inventory & warehouse management, flexibility, and speed with order fulfillment, customization along with process implementation. Let’s see how Brands are leveraging the supply chain software to optimize their eCommerce operations.
Unilever is a pro in spotting the trends that disrupt the supply chain management operations. Amongst those trends, many are being driven by e-commerce businesses. And these continue to shape the way people shop and interact with brands. It has quickened the pace as technology advances. People look to e-commerce to deliver lifestyle solutions and not just products and services.
Starting from the production line to the warehouse to post box, Unilever’s packaging has evolved into an impactful tool to help meet consumers’ expectations while keeping up with escalating costs. They understand that at the end of the scale, packaging has become leaner, more resourceful, and designed for delivery.
While the packaging is an essential process of the supply chain, businesses should also work towards a future where the delivery process leverage technology to create a truly streamlined experience across all consumer touchpoints.
Supply Chain Management involves multiple processes, and each process is essential to run a smooth eCommerce business. While the packaging may not be on your top priorities in the supply chain process but it definitely can change your game as for Unilever. For instance, when each package is scanned via its barcode, it automatically syncs into your warehouse or inventory management system, and you could have clear visibility of the status of each order.
It’s no hidden truth that Amazon is a master of supply chain innovation. Amazon’s range of fulfillment services is so diverse that it is hard to differentiate whether it is a retailer or a third-party logistics provider. It is quite common to hear that vendors co-locate with customers. But Amazon has come up with reversing the practice and is now operating under its vendors’ roof. The process is explained below:
The supplier picks up the products as per the purchase orders from Amazon. Then the pallets are moved into Amazon’s fenced-off Area of the warehouse. And here, the employees of Amazon sorts the orders into outbound orders, packs them, and dispatch them to their customers.
By establishing an innovative concept of vendor-managed inventory, Amazon is leaving its imprints on the eCommerce market.
But how to manage orders coming from all around the world? How to keep count of each of them and have real-time visibility? Simple. When you leverage technology! That is, with the help of a supply chain software, you can see all the items and their status on a single dashboard.
“Look after the customers and the business will take care of itself”- Ray Kroc, Founder of McDonald’s.
The world is aware of Mcdonald’s products and deliveries. But of course, all of it is not possible without a proper system and management. According to McDonald’s, it is creating long-term supply chain success based on a “System” where everyone wins.
Kroc believed that if the restaurant owner/operators and suppliers were successful, success would come to him as well. The logistics function of McDonald′s Family Restaurants is a winner in itself. This approach has been wildly successful, as McDonald’s is now in more than 100 countries, with over 35,000 restaurants serving 68 million people each day.
Obviously, McDonald’s is not anywhere linked to the retail eCommerce industry. But it still manages warehouses and logistic operations. And both are an inseparable part of the supply chain management process.
With bagging the star of the fast-fashion retail world, Zara has been deemed as a leading supply chain operator for years. It stands out not only amongst its competitors in the retail industry but also in supply chain operations across the eCommerce market.
The majority of Zara’s lines are designed and manufactured in-house. And its warehouses and suppliers are located close to the manufacturing plants. The whole of its supply chain is dedicated to introducing new products quickly without any hassle or delay.
Zara has worked a lot to make its supply chain management a perfect process. They manufacture products at minimal costs and utilize just-in-time logistics. Moreover, they have a quick system for inventory replenishment with small but frequent shipments.
Managing logistics is one of the core functions of supply chain management. If you don’t know where your shipment is, you could bear huge losses. The best way to manage this particular supply chain function is to track the status of all your shipments.
H&M’s supply chain strategy comprises of a consistent search for promising markets, cost-efficiency in production of goods, and reduction in lead times for their retail inventory. Managing supply chain operations is not a piece of cake when it has 950 stores in 19 countries. We can only wonder how it does manage to successfully stay afloat and ensure adequate stock control for its fleet of stores.
The organization relies heavily on efficient and integrated systems for retail inventory management in the major components of its supply chain. This approach played a massive part in enabling success in its stock control management.
As H&M is a fast-moving retailer, it takes on an innovative direction to determine the consumer interests through both traditional analysis and experimental augmented-reality technologies. Its ability to offer affordably priced apparel is mostly due to its strong supplier relationships and its manufacturing strategies to reduce lead times.
The question that comes up is how to know when to replenish inventory just right on time? What if the inventory gets replenished automatically whenever the stock reaches the reorder point? Yes. With technology, everything is possible, and H&M opted for it.
Nestlé, with over 2000 brands and a presence in nearly 200 countries, is now on its way to transforming its supply chain management. They are working on a new all-in-one inventory solution that integrates Nestle’s warehouse stock across Alibaba’s platforms into an analytics-driven, shared inventory.
They are looking forward to seamlessly fuse the online and offline customer journeys and opting for an omnichannel strategy. Starting from June 2017, Nestle took a new approach to enhance consumers’ shopping experiences. Within a short period of 19 days since switching to the solution, the percentage of products offering second-day delivery jumped to more than 70 percent, up from 30 percent.
“Through combining resources across multiple channels, we hope to build a smarter, new supply chain. This will form the foundation of our New Retail efforts and provide a strong boost for our online business,” said Rebecca Wang, vice president and head of e-commerce at Nestle China
There is no doubt that an integrated inventory can change the game of your supply chain process. The point being, change in the warehouse should reflect in the inventory levels in real-time. So, time to automate your inventory!
Nike’s main focus in its supply chain management strategy is its distribution channels. Nike’s distribution channels are divided into two categories:
- Selling products to wholesalers in the US and international markets.
- Direct-to-consumer (or DTC) sales include inline and factory retail outlets and e-commerce sales through its website. Nike also distributes its products through e-commerce companies like Amazon.
Nike is also on its way to the omnichannel strategy as Nike’s DTC approach works two ways- the Nike-owned retail stores, which are the brick-and-mortar stores, and its digital platform. The Direct To Consumer sales include sales through company-owned retail outlets and e-commerce sales.
Moving forward, Nike wants to expand its online distribution channel further and expects 30% of its sales to come from online sales by 2023. The world is the witness of how Nike’s focus on digital distribution is paying off. In fiscal 2019, the company’s digital sales increased 35% year-over-year.
When customers are at the center of all touchpoints, the sales jump at a fast pace. But for that, the supply chain management must be so smooth that it ensures a unique experience for all customers.
How Unicommerce Transforms Supply Chain Operations
Streamlining your supply chain operations is the way towards the success of your business. Unicommerce understands the ever-changing eCommerce trends and challenges that come up in supply chain management. That’s why we offer cloud-based marketplace panel solutions to meet the needs of the dynamic eCommerce industry.
You will be able to manage your inventory, orders, warehouse, return orders, shipments, logistics effortlessly. On top of that, you could go in for an omnichannel route, try dropshipping, and integrate your ERP under a single dashboard!
Transform the supply chain operations with Unicommerce and make your eCommerce business grow exponentially!