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Streamline Your Retail Supply Chain, Actions To Take in 2019

Retail Supply chain

Chinese New Year is now behind us and 2019 is in full swing, retailers need to take proactive steps now to ensure their supply chain is ready to accommodate changes in consumer behaviour. Remember: It’s not online versus physical retail anymore. Forward-thinking retailers need to think about how to make online and offline work together seamlessly.

Shifting consumer behaviour and managing customer expectation, together with the geopolitical and economic events are making everything a little uncertain at the moment. But your logistics partner is here to help.

In the US, many retailers are worried about how tariffs will impact the sector. According to eMarketer, the additional fees on goods from China could raise production costs for merchants, thus slowing down growth among merchants who can’t absorb the costs.

Over here there’s the issue of Brexit, and recent research has shown that a quarter of small retail businesses in the UK are feeling fearful of Brexit implications, not surprising with so much uncertainty and mixed messaging flying around.

This is the time a partnership with a good, reliable logistics provider will help, we’ve been in business for over 15 years and our experienced TPS Global team offer advice on all aspects of European and International freight, logistics and customs procedures as well as consular support facilitating your supply chain every step of the way. We’ve offices in Aylesford, Kent and Salem, USA.

Rest assured we are planning and preparing for Brexit to ensure that whatever outcome is agreed, we have supply chain solutions in place, for freight, storage and distribution across Europe and Worldwide. Enabling our retailers to concentrate on delivering the service that their customers now expect.

Choice and flexibility — particularly at the last mile — is more important than ever

According to PSFK, “82% of consumers say that they are more likely or much more likely to purchase from a brand that offers multiple delivery options.”

Yet according to Shippo’s 2018 Shipping Report, only 1% of ecommerce businesses offer same day or next day shipping. However, it’s good news that two-thirds of small and medium sized businesses offer some type of free shipping.

Very few retailers have the warehousing and supply chain capabilities of Amazon or Walmart, but with the right strategies, technologies and partnerships, it’s easier than you think to offer services such as same day delivery to customers.

Back office solutions and innovations will be at the forefront for many retailers

The backend of your retail operations may not be as sexy as customer facing initiatives, but in 2019 you will need to invest in your back office in order to thrive.

From warehouse operations to inventory management, more effective logistics to enhanced customer service and more, consumers are demanding a more efficient, more personalised service from merchants than ever before and retailers must embrace these realities.

A core focus for retailers must be on welcoming technology to help make more proactive decisions in all aspects of retail operations. Start by evaluating your processes and technologies to identify areas for improvement. Specifically, are there any inefficient tasks or steps that are preventing you from providing the best customer experience possible?

For instance, if you’re unable to offer a seamless shopping experience between your ecommerce site and brick and mortar store, then perhaps it’s time to integrate your online and offline systems.

There are plenty of software systems, online management tools and ecommerce platforms available to make life easier and at TPS Global we can integrate with them to streamline supply chain operations, our Operations Director Barry Broughton is always happy to advise.

We see a lot of businesses operating their online and offline stores separately — for example running a Shopify site and then using spreadsheets and paper receipt book logs to track inventory.

This limits growth and efficiency, whereas centralised, streamlined operations in the cloud enable smooth tracking and stock management across multiple channels, saving valuable time and reducing human error.

Ecommerce activity is pushing retailers’ offline operations and stores to become more flexible, the goal is to remove friction from the customer’s purchase and fulfilment experience.

It’s important to have the tools in place that can grow with your business — and they need to have the automations, integrations, and scalability that your business operations rely on.

Please contact us on +44 (0) 1622 237979 or if you would like to discuss any aspect of your supply chain operation.


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