LTD Management
Logistics & Supply Chain Management Consulting Global Solutions That Work
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E-COMMERCE IMMEDIACY — Five Supply Chain Keys

E-commerce is the new retailing. So why do firms use the old supply chain—and fail to deliver the Customer Experience? The New Supply Chain delivers the customer experiences and builds repeat business. The New Supply Chain is not a choice; it is a requirement for E-commerce Immediacy.

Brick-and-mortar retailers have had the most impact so far with e-commerce. Stores, with stocked shelves, often lack true identification with customers. E-commerce is all about the customer. Online sales have moved past just having a website and shipping orders.

New companies dominate global retailing—Amazon, Alibaba, Jet.com, and Flipkart. Walmart, the top global brick-and- mortar retailer, is dwarfed in online sales by Amazon. Big retailers, such as Target and Home Depot, are making significant investments in their supply chains to aggressively grow and participate in this new world.

Online sales have created emphasis on omnichannel and multiple touch points with customers. In turn, there is mCommerce for the ways customer reach websites. And, Amazon with its Immediacy—delivering orders within 48 hours (or faster) of placement—has changed supply chain management. E-commerce Immediacy is global. It is happening in the US, China, Germany, India, Spain, and more. And it can take brands to new levels.

Current, standard supply chains were designed for a specific purpose. Omnichannel means a multipurpose supply chain—or more accurately, multipurpose supply chains.

The New Supply Chain is redefining supply chain management and best practices. This New Supply Chain that drives E-commerce Immediacy is about—

The New Supply Chain brings new best practices as the above shows. These best practices are central to the New Supply Chain. They are not functional ones that reside within a supply chain. These drive growth and create opportunities.

There is more going on---robotics, possible delivery of orders by 3D printing delivery trucks, and questions on whether traditional logistics service providers can adapt to E-commerce Immediacy and to the growth in e-commerce.

The Last Mile gets attention with e-commerce. It often arises with companies using their monolithic supply chains and trying to force them to be agile and do more than they were designed to do.

It will continue to change and evolve. The future, such as virtual reality retailing, will generate larger orders with more products. That will necessitate modifications to the New Supply Chain.

One-size-fits-all supply chain is facing its end. It served its purpose. Traditional supply chains deal with cases and pallets and with large shipments. Immediacy is often about eaches and small shipments. It is faster, leaner, and responsive.

But it was not really agile. The New Supply Chain is agile—and more. It is dynamic and fluid.

Reality is there will be supply chain duality. The present/existing supply chain is designed to serve its traditional purpose, such as retail stores, while the New Supply Chain delivers the Customer Experience for e-commerce sales. This creates organization questions and different performance measures—since these serve different channels.

The Immediacy of E-commerce will not stop with e-commerce. It will move across channels, markets, industries, and the world. Companies should choose to be leaders in this innovative change.