As Black Friday approaches, crunch time has come for retail supply chains. This year, customer expectations will be higher than ever and businesses must be certain that they can deliver on their promises of speedy, accurate and high-quality shipping. Tech that enables visibility and collaboration is vital for smooth-running operations that not only deliver goods, but customer satisfaction too.
Sian Hopwood, SVP B2B Operations at BluJay Solutions, told IT Supply Chain why she believes that further than surviving Black Friday, businesses could reap the rewards if their supply chains are up to scratch :
“The immense volume of deliveries passing through the logistics network over this period creates an extreme peak season for all supply chain stakeholders. Faced with stratospheric customer expectations, businesses could struggle with the demand for superfast delivery or even fail to deliver at all.
“Supply chains can survive Black Friday; moreover, they could benefit from it. With such a challenge on their hands, delivery businesses must harness opportunities for collaboration and streamlined workflow. End-to-end supply chain visibility allows tracking systems to update businesses and customers alike, while data-driven collaboration between logistics partners around the world can ensure that goods can be moved efficiently and reliably through the supply chain.
“Customers gain trust in businesses that can handle even the busiest of shopping days. Indeed, supply chain professionals now see customer experience as their key focus driving innovation. Recent research from BluJay Solutions found that 61 per cent of supply chain and logistics professionals believe that customer experience will overtake cost as the top supply-chain differentiator over the next five years*. The importance of delivery in customer experience matters more than ever.
“Black Friday needn’t strike terror into the hearts of retailers. In fact, with smooth logistics, Black Friday presents an opportunity to boost not only profits, but also customer satisfaction. In the age of online reviews, one bad day could damage the reputation of a business for years to come, despite an overall good track record. Implementing end-to-end visibility of the last mile can prevent companies falling apart during peak and keep them miles ahead of the game.”
*= Research by Adelante SCM and BluJay Solutions: https://www.supplychainresearch.info/2019/