How E-commerce Growth is Affecting Supply Chains Today
Today’s economy has been heavily affected by the explosive growth of e-commerce over the past few years, creating a phenomenon known as the “Amazon Effect.” The “Amazon Effect” is an ongoing evolution and disruption to the business models of many industries caused by the change in customer expectations and shopping patterns.
The rapid growth of e-commerce is changing multiple aspects of supply chain management, not just the retail sector. Traditional methods of supply chain management with outdated manual and inefficient processes will no longer suffice. To satisfy your customers and compete in today’s saturated market, all participants of a supply chain are forced to be smarter and more agile than ever before.
Additionally, retailers are now having to manage physical stores, online storefronts, orders delivered to homes, and orders delivered to be picked up in store. As a result, the management of a supply chain has become a much more complex process. More manufacturers are utilizing direct-to-consumer and direct-to-store channels to shorten the chain, which allows them to increase speed and reduce cost.
With top-notch customer-service being the new norm, consumers expect flawless processes in customer-service, quality of product, delivery, return process, pricing, and product availability. To meet soaring customer expectations, companies need reliable solutions for a seamless supply chain management process, and more and more companies are turning to automation technology. Automation technology can be applied to many areas of a supply chain with several added benefits. Refer to our article on the benefits of supply chain automation.
More key solutions include:
- Improving inventory management
- Adding distribution and fulfillment center locations
- Omnichannel retail
- Real-time communications
- Optimizing and automating systems and processes
- Increasing transparency, visibility, and speed of all operations
- Increasing efficiency of all resources
The “Amazon Effect” and the availability of technology has clearly changed the world of supply chains. The future of many supply chain companies will depend on their adaptability and flexibility, which are no longer a competitive advantage, but a baseline standard to succeed.