Strengthening Omnichannel Capability to Address Fundamental Shifts in Consumer Behavior
Q. What have the past few years revealed about consumer trends?
A. With the rise of e-commerce came the demand for next-day or same-day shipping with a catch—no added cost. Consumers crave the instant gratification they would have experienced from going to the store, without leaving their house, and as large online retailers began offering free shipping, this became the new norm.
This new challenge pushed businesses and logistics providers to rethink their strategy, and COVID has accelerated this challenge exponentially. As a result, businesses are decentralizing distribution and delivery networks to get products closer to the end consumer. In response, we've heavily invested ourselves to build an integrated U.S./Canada fulfillment network and expand our transportation offering to increase capacity for our customers.
Q. What are the advantages of an omnichannel solution?
A. An omnichannel solution places the optimal level of inventory in the right locations to service retail, wholesale, and end consumer markets—creating improved levels of service and reduced supply chain costs. An omnichannel supply chain is built with elasticity to handle demand shifts and seasonal fluctuations, and when done correctly, can create redundancy and reduce risk. The ability to deliver using optimal shipping methods creates new cost savings and economies of scale.
Q. How can technology enhance omnichannel solutions?
A. In an omnichannel supply chain there are many components that need to be connected, including suppliers and vendors, online and physical storefronts, and delivery channels. Technologies such as distributed order management (DOM) can be leveraged to create that connection, and drive better visibility, decision-making, and predictability. While technology is essential to connect supply chain parties—technology absent of supply chain operational know-how will have limited positive impact.
Q. The labor force has changed—how do we adapt?
A. We are seeing an increased demand for blue collar warehouse associates and drivers, as well as white collar professional talent. Incoming employees are expressing increased health and safety concerns, and we are seeing a more mobile workforce with new expectations. To compete in a sustainable way, in addition to continual refreshing of compensation and benefits packages to remain competitive, providing a positive workplace experience and meaningful culture will give you a hiring and retention advantage.
Q. How has the role of a 3PL changed?
A. Logistics service providers must shift their focus from being simply a provider of services to more of a strategic and long-term growth partner. Providers must seek mutual investments and deeper connections within the organizations they service. Growth-focused 3PLs are investing in supply chain infrastructure, technology, and talent to support growth and scalability of their customers.
Growth-focused 3PLs are investing in supply chain infrastructure, technology, and talent to support growth and scalability of their customers.
A supply chain is not just a cost center, but a strategic business competency which can either be leveraged for new sales and enhanced brand loyalty, or it can result in missed sales and damage a brand’s reputation. Outsourcing supply chain operations to a 3PL partner is a strategic decision that enhances multiple levels of a business’s value chain.
About Legacy Supply Chain
For nearly 40 years, Legacy Supply Chain has been the pioneering, mid-sized 3PL that businesses depend on to enable more control over their dynamic omnichannel supply chains—so they can stay more connected to their consumers and ultimately deliver better customer experiences.
With over 30 operations in the U.S. and Canada, Legacy provides truly tailored warehousing & distribution, e-commerce fulfillment, and transportation solutions. For more information, visit us at: legacyscs.com