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Challenges and opportunities in online fulfilment


Analyst opinion: Alan delves into the results of our online order fulfilment research.

The number 61 crops up twice in our upcoming online order fulfilment research. 61 is the percentage of respondents who feel their company lags behind their competition in its ability to meet the expectations of online customers. 61 is also the percentage who felt that their functional area has limited or little visibility of the end to end costs for online order fulfilment.

Where there are challenges, there are opportunities, and I’m certain these two versions of 61% are connected. If companies were focused on meeting the expectations of customers, then I would expect they would have a good understanding of the costs involved in doing so. I would also expect that end to end cost information would be shared and made visible to key functions in supply chain management.

Perhaps online volumes are too low to justify separate measurement of costs and service levels. However, given the scale of multichannel retail in major food & grocery markets, this seems unlikely. Perhaps our research shows there is a disconnect between the activity of organisations and their measurement of this activity. For many, the online channel has been entered into hastily, with little planning, and therefore measurement is lacking as a consequence.

Either way, these statistics suggest that there are two significant opportunities to improve the visibility of online costs and increase service for online customers. You might even say that they go hand in hand…

For more information, look out for the full research paper in the coming days.

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