DHL notes key supply chain trends for year

Patterson notes needs and desires of e-commerce buyers of groceries, fashion and electronics

DHL notes key supply chain trends for year
DHL: eyeing demands and innovations


E-commerce, social media and cloud computing are just some of the key trends that will make an impact on the supply chain industry this year, according to DHL Supply Chain.

With more retailers becoming reliant on e-commerce sales to boost overall results, operators need to introduce new ways to keep customers happy, according to DHL Supply Chain Innovation and Product Incubation Vice President Mark Patterson.

"These services are particularly popular with web-savvy buyers of groceries, fashion and electronics who can’t wait at home during the day for deliveries and prefer to pick up goods at a time and location that is convenient for them," Patterson says.

"These two trends are working together to not only change the number of packages that need to be delivered the ‘final mile’ to customers’ homes but also the amount of stock delivered to stores.

"In this case of e-commerce, more items are going to homes and fewer to stores. Click-and-collect services are working the other way, placing a bigger burden on shops’ storage capabilities.

"Retailers will need to address this issue as demand for such services increases."

DHL Supply Chain has undertaken a social media project in its Swedish supply chain called MyWays, as that Government aims to reduce vehicle congestion and emissions.

The scheme is available as an app on tablets and smartphones, allowing MyWays members to collect goods for others in exchange for points.

"Customers sign up for this delivery option when purchasing goods online, then local MyWays members are notified when parcels need to be delivered," Patterson says.

"Members who might take that route normally to college or university for example offer to pick up and deliver the packages, which earns them credits that can be exchanged for cash.

"This innovative project connects users socially in real time and benefits the environment."

Patterson expects to see a rise in cloud computing which is set to improve resiliency, saying it allows logistics and warehouse operators to set up operations quickly in areas that do not have an established infrastructure, creating a ‘warehouse in the cloud’.

"As long as there is a physical site, you can access software and data that’s in the cloud and set up operations," he adds.

"This drastically speeds up the time taken to deploy IT systems and get operations up and running as well as improving your supply chain’s long-term efficiency, resilience and agility."

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