Mike Stockdale, a logistics expert who has worked at Ceva, Primark, First Quench, Littlewoods and Woolworths, spoke to us about the expectations of today’s customers: ‘Historically, the challenge to Supply Chain operators was running a home delivery service for the pure play internet retailers. Today, they must provide a multi-channel offering, as well as contending with the complexities of a store replenishment solution.’
A successful e-fulfilment business knows that inefficient despatch, a failure to manage stock or even the wrong choice of packaging can make or break them. These same businesses rely on Michael Page Procurement & Supply Chain to recruit logistics professionals that know all there is to know about prospering in a multi-channel environment, especially:
Despatch & Carrier selection
Price is drop density and volume related but the despatch or carrier should be able to answer all of the following:
- How important is the packaging branding?
- What is the product security rating?
- If it is left on the doorstep will it disappear?
- Are both parcel and two man services required?
- Does the carrier get used for store deliveries if the store replenishment operation does not fit within the customer offer?
Conflicts in store replenishment and customer order fulfilment are common – both in terms of time and type of picking activity. For example, cartons against singles picking is a totally different activity with a different cost structure. Setting up a dedicated fulfilment operation versus pick from store and understanding the dynamics of the two and the costs involved requires careful management.
The different characteristics of the singles picking and despatch operation must be taken into account. The store replenishment system may not cope but this is a vital component of a successful process.
Inventory and Common Stock
How will this be managed? The issues are centred on the prioritisation to channel, availability within the supply chain, different ordering patterns and interoperability between the channels.
It sounds mundane but products packed for store replenishment will not go through a carrier network so will need repacking and will add cost. Can the product get through the letterbox? How will this work for store collections?
To talk about recruitment in this vertical, email Graham Lucas, or call him on +44 161 829 0385.