Omni-logistics or how to adapt your supply chain to omnichannel sales

While omnichannel is now integrated into retailers’ strategies and visions, their supply chain still needs to be adapted accordingly. This is called omni-logistics.

To react to this forum and discuss live with the Shippingbo teams about the challenges of omni-logistics, come and meet them at Technology Showcase for Retail next November 28 and 29 Porte de Versailles.

Recently emerged, the concept of omnichannel sales follows the rapid development of online sales channels, such as marketplaces, private sales or even e-commerce sites. Retailers now have a wide choice of online sales channels to invest in to distribute their products as widely as possible and open their catalog to a multitude of references, in addition to their physical store (offline sales channels).

The development of these online sales channels must be correlated with the number of consumers, which has continued to grow over the years (41.8 million French according to FEVAD, that is, +153,000 compared to 2020).

But if omnichannel is now integrated into retailers’ strategies and visions, your supply chain still needs to be adapted accordingly: this is called omni-logistics. Let’s decipher this term together and delve into its implications.

A more complex supply chain

We have indeed entered the era of commerce 3.0, that of omni-commerce and omni-logistics: an era in which physical and digital sales channels merge, where the methods given to consumers to make their purchases multiply (I order my product online and have it delivered to a store, I select my product in a store for subsequent home delivery, I modify or cancel my order at any time, I return an in-store product purchased online…)

We are witnessing a real intensification and complexity of logistical flows (orders, stocks, etc.) towards the final customer, undeniably, and, more generally, the logistics network is much more complex. Flows no longer leave the warehouse exclusively to go to the store or to the individual: they are multiple and bidirectional. They can go from one store to another, from a store to a store, from a store to a store, from a store to an individual, etc…

Merchants must be able to orchestrate these flows (regardless of their direction) to continually ensure stock is available for sale, ensuring the consumer a smooth and easy post-purchase experience. In short, merchants must be omniscient and masterfully manage this complex supply chain.

Therefore, it is essential that they have agile technologies to support them in this task.

From e-logistics to omni-logistics: what are the challenges?

The thread running through it all, of course, remains the customer experience, whose standards are increasingly raised by industry giants like Amazon.

E-logistics as we know it will have to reinvent itself to meet new standards of customer satisfaction and speed/fluidity of execution. We could summarize the challenges of omni-logistics in five points.

#1 – Exploded stocks and closer to consumers

In the coming years, the choice between an internal warehouse or an external warehouse, with central stock, far from cities, will no longer be relevant: it will be necessary to move to fragmented stocks, as close as possible to the consumer to shorten delivery times (and also to answer questions ecological). For this, it is perfectly possible to use both external (3PL, service platforms) and internal warehouses and use appropriate technology to orchestrate and forward orders to the warehouse and/or store closest to the consumer.

#2 – Prepare and ship in less than 24 hours

To explain this second point, it is important to return to the notion of time for possession. The time-to-possession (time between which the consumer places an order and receives it) encompasses 3 main phases related to the life cycle of a package:

  • the recovery phase: this crucial phase corresponds to the moment when the order is transmitted to the merchant. To shorten it, it is essential that retailers have a warehouse directly connected to their sales channels. The charge will be made in real time, without intermediaries, and an order placed at 8:00 am can start to be prepared at 8:02 am. This first phase obviously depends on the trader;
  • the preparation and dispatch phase: phase that takes place in the warehouse and which therefore also depends on the merchant and his execution speed;
  • finally, the delivery phase: depends on the carrier and the delivery promise chosen by the customer.

Of these three phases, merchants master only the first two, which take place in the warehouse. So, for them, the challenge lies in the ability to execute them as quickly as possible; that is, in less than 24 hours! In fact, today, for merchants, the issue is no longer preparing and sending in “D+…”, but in “H+…”.

In short, who will come out on top are those who can count on the right technologies to ship an order even faster than the giants in the sector.

As for operators, they will have to have a D+1 offer to remain competitive.

#3 – Consolidate the stock

It is imperative to put an end to this very sisular vision of logistics with, for example, BtoB stocks for stores on the one hand, and stocks dedicated to e-commerce on the other, all without any visibility in the supplier’s inventory. BtoB, BtoC stocks, suppliers and all warehouses must be reconciled and accessible for efficient, real-time stock management.

Likewise, the stock, if distributed over several storage areas (service platforms, warehouses, stores, etc.)

#4 – Real-time interoperability and interconnection

Promote real-time interoperability and interconnection between the various tools used to orchestrate these flows (CMS, marketplaces, stores, CRM, ERP, OMS, WMS, TMS, etc.).

#5 – Integrate a cutting edge software approach

This approach consists of choosing the technologies that are most suited to your needs and the most efficient in your fields, rather than adopting an all-in-one software package or having an inappropriate and diverted use of that software package, turning it into a multifunctional software. tool.

After multi-channel and cross-channel, we now have omni-channel and omni-logistics. Merchants won’t be without surprises, but they will be able to adapt with the right technologies, always with that in mind, as Ebay puts it, of “connecting people to the products they love, everywhere, anytime.” and without limits”.

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