The Challenges for Logistics
If we were to say the logistics industry is facing a time of change, the response would probably be ‘what’s new?’.
Right now, those pressures and changes seem to be accelerating, – for example, fuel costs are more volatile, new technology such as Tesla trucks seem closer to reality, the economy is impacted by many things (not least the war in Ukraine) which influences demand, supply chains are disrupted, and customer expectations are evolving.
Distribution and last mile delivery is key to customer satisfaction and is often responsible for making or breaking the fulfilment experience. With the Royal Mail strikes continuing into 2023, increased pressure is inevitably put on company’s logistics functions and the reliance on alterative couriers, which in turn poses a risk to reputation, when going up against self-sufficient companies such as Amazon.
Let’s explore that last item in more detail.
The ‘Amazon’ Effect
The ‘Amazon Effect’ is not new. It refers to how the rise in online shopping and e-commerce has disrupted consumers’ traditional shopping patterns and in turn the retail market as a whole and has changed their expectations regarding the delivery experience.
As the world changes and technology evolves, this seems to be an inevitability. However, a key point is that it has been accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic and the periods of time we have spent in lockdowns.
This is not only affecting traditional bricks and mortar retailers as commerce moves online, but it also raises the bar for online retailers. What strategies do all retailers need to adopt to keep up with the evolution and speed of change in this market?
Amazon is setting the standards in the market, creating the bar above which consumers expect all businesses to perform. This means many things: the last mile delivery process; the speed from order to delivery, and what this means for warehouse locations, sizes, stockholding and more; tracking and reporting, and how to keep the customer fully informed about progress; how to create cost reductions for customers through things like free delivery and free returns; how to make the whole customer journey as seamless and pain free as possible; and much more.
Business Logistics is Different to Consumer Logistics…No?
It’s not just retail consumer goods that are subjected to this effect. Anyone working in buying, operations, planning or management within client businesses experience the Amazon Effect at home. Why would they not expect the same – or even better – service at work?
Few consumer purchases are truly time critical, but in business advanced and sophisticated supply chains, often operating on JIT principles, can’t afford delays. So reporting and real-time analytics is vital.
This also provides opportunities for 3PL and 4PL providers to offer their expertise, allowing businesses to have complete end-to-end supply chain management by the people who know the industry the best.
The Dependall Difference
Dependall offers flexible supply chain solutions to support multiple and complex requirements, with speed and agility, ensuring assets remain in safe hands every step of the way.
Understanding that one size doesn’t fit all, every solution is bespoke and comes as the result of an initial consultation, to not only understand what aspects of supply chain management are required, but to evaluate and advise on existing internal processes too.
From product sourcing to container destuffing, warehousing to distribution, last mile and white glove delivery, Dependall is best placed in all areas of the supply chain. With a combined storage capacity of 700,000sq. ft, space for more than 60,000 pallets and a variety of high and low bay racking plus over 500,000 sq. ft of yard space, complex requirements are easily met whether they are non-standard items of unusual-shaped goods.
The demand for 3PL and 4PL companies is increasing, with many companies now outsourcing their warehousing and logistics requirements, in order to stay competitive in their markets.
Dependall can start receiving your goods immediately after account setup, which can be completed in one day – compared to the industry standard, which can take up to 6 weeks.
All goods are managed by an inventory management system, which remains part of the fully transparent end-to-end process, with a bespoke dashboard accessible by any team member.
It is often seen that depending on a third-party logistics lengthens delivery times both from a distribution and last mile perspective, compared to the model created by Amazon that relies solely on its own fleet – something that’s not always feasible for businesses. The ‘Amazon effect’ to Dependall is a constant reminder to innovate, to continually review processes and implement technology to keep partners at the forefront of their supply chains and solid competitors in the ever changing online and offline markets.
Choose Dependall as your 3PL and logistics partner – Arrange your consultation with our team, call us on 0333 240 0780 or email [email protected]