Designing supply chains that respond rather than react can better position businesses to scale as e-commerce sales surge.
For businesses looking to compete in the e-commerce economy, crafting supply chain infrastructure that can keep up with surging demand is essential. What’s more, e-retail strategies have to evolve as the industry evolves. With China alone bringing in $672 billion of e-commerce sales, shippers need to ensure that their logistics operation can serve their business well on an international scale.
That’s where demand-driven logistics comes in. Too often, shippers rely on outdated shipping infrastructure that reacts haphazardly to market events. In a fast-paced and quickly evolving e-commerce landscape, this can leave businesses in the lurch if their supply chain isn’t equipped to effectively manage change.
With demand-driven logistics, a combination of smarter technologies, clearer workplace communication, and stronger business relationships come together to offer shippers greater control over their supply chain. In a field as competitive as e-commerce, that type of advantage counts.
Strategizing for Every Scenario
When shippers have end-to-end visibility over their operation, they’re better positioned to prepare their business for crunch times. Without demand-driven logistics, for example, companies might be caught off guard if a supplier is experiencing delays or if consumer orders are higher than average.
Shippers who have invested in a responsive supply chain rather than a reactive one will have confidence in their ability to meet either scenario. Thanks to a full suite of tools, demand-driven logistics can help companies maintain normal operations during each.
With the former, end-to-end visibility through order and warehouse management systems (OMS and WMS) will allow for enough time to prepare, either by finding short-term partnerships elsewhere or dipping into reserve inventory. With the latter, intelligently integrated transportation management systems (TMS) can allow businesses to optimize fleet deployment and design the most cost-effective routes to navigate higher order volume.
Streamlining Internal Workflows
For e-commerce businesses that adopt demand-driven logistics strategies, the benefits aren’t just felt by customers. Instead, better infrastructure makes things easier on your own team as well. As various management systems provide more detailed information on orders, warehouse inventory, and transportation assets, key stakeholders at every stage of your operation will have the data they need on hand to make important decisions.
If road closures or extreme weather events have made certain routes unavailable, for instance, a network powered by demand-driven logistics will make it easier for employees and drivers to craft alternate plans. Considering that shippers of every size and scale need to meet short fulfillment deadlines if they want to retain customers, the value of a more streamlined internal operation can’t be overstated.
Strengthening Collaborative Partnerships
If e-commerce companies hope to succeed, they need to control logistics costs so that they don’t get passed on to customers. In a marketplace dominated by giants such as Amazon and Walmart, it can be a challenge to keep these expenses down.
By developing more open and collaborative business partnerships, businesses can make sure they’re putting customers first. Working with suppliers and logistics providers, for example, can make it easier to sequence orders in a way that will allow key fulfillment deadlines to be met. Without the level of communication and coordination afforded by demand-driven logistics, the costs of disorganized logistics might have to be shifted to consumers — something no e-commerce company wants.
After more than 20 years in international shipping and logistics, Primary Freight has the resources and expertise businesses need to scale. With an award-winning customer service team, state-of-the-art facilities, and cutting-edge technology, we can offer e-retailers top-of-the-line attention at a price point that works for them. If you’re interested in what demand-driven logistics could look like for your operation, we’re ready to help.
To learn more about Primary Freight’s award-winning shipping and logistics services, give us a call today at (800)-635-0013.