Supply Chain and E-Commerce: How Is E-Commerce Changing Supply Chain Management?
The management lies in the hands of e-commerce and omnichannel sales strategies. Customer service is more important than ever, and customers expect purchases to arrive at record speeds with free or low-cost shipping, says GlobeCon Freight Systems. As a result, e-commerce will have wide-ranging impacts on supply chain management. Fortunately, the Internet of Things (IoT), big data, and fully integrated supply chain systems have the potential to meet these demands, and e-commerce will effectively change supply chain management forever.
The Problem: Traditional Supply Chain Management Is Ineffective in Managing E-Commerce
Traditional supply chain management was based on spreadsheets and countless manual processes. Warehouse managers used to oversee somewhat reasonable-sized warehouses that were separated by channel. Although effective in the supply chains of the past, the effects of e-commerce require more than this siloed approach.
The Solution: Changing Supply Chain Management Strategies Will Push E-Commerce Even Higher
In the world of e-commerce, business-to-business (B2B) resell makes up a significantly higher percentage of conversions than business-to-consumer (B2C) e-commerce, reports Business2Community. In fact, 7% more visitors to B2B e-commerce platforms make the conversion than their customer-facing businesses. However, the power of B2C services and sales must not be overlooked. In response, supply chain managers must become more aware of their surroundings and develop a multi-pronged approach to meet both B2C and B2B needs, while operating warehouses and supply chain systems of increasing size. Fortunately, the Internet of Things (IoT), big data, and fully integrated supply chain systems have the potential to meet these demands, chain systems have the potential to meet these demands, and paired with continued growth of e-commerce, new technologies will grow smarter and more efficient.
The Reward: The Supply Chain and E-Commerce Management Will Merge With the Rise of Omnichannel
Developing a multi-faceted approach to supply chain management is a great risk to existing supply chain partners. Although beneficial in the long-term, short-term effects may be negative, such as losing B2B relationships, having trouble in meeting the demands of customers, and bringing additional costs to the company. The harbinger of these consequences is unplanned downtime and disruption. However, the evolution of supply chain management can overcome these obstacles by establishing a seamless transition, utilizing automated system testing and other features indicative of the modern supply chain. Confused? Don’t be, because the modern world of supply chain management is built on reducing risk wherever possible and using these advanced capabilities, reports Inbound Logistics:
- Increasing transparency into all operations through the internet and mobile devices.
- Omnichannel retailing, keeping customers involved in management decisions and reducing downtime by using all the resources of the company to fill more orders.
- Enhanced reverse logistics, increasing customer service and giving warehouse managers a means of handling returns regardless of their origin.
- Automated inventory systems, ensuring stock levels are appropriate, and self-optimizing slotting systems that can tell warehouse managers what needs to be moved, as well as when and where.
Be Omnichannel Supply Chain and E-Commerce Ready by Upgrading Your Systems Today
Managing the supply chain and e-commerce growth have a single, ultimate outcome: greater adoption of omnichannel practices. Warehouse managers must begin working to integrate systems, use the power of the IoT, and leverage additional artificial intelligence capabilities, powered by Big Data analytics, to create a smooth transition. Learn more about the key ways to make your operation suitable for the e-commerce and the transition to omnichannel supply chain management by visiting Veridian online today.