In the last year, the world as we know it has changed dramatically. That is perhaps most evident in the way logistics and transportation networks have been forced to evolve. We’ve seen a massive shift from what was historically a product-push distribution model based on planning, to a customer-pull product phenomenon based on demand. Malls and stores are closing or scaling back while online shipments are rapidly growing. Customers have come to expect two-day delivery of goods as well as free returns, while many consumers are abandoning brands they’ve used for years in favor of immediate availability and fast home delivery.
So, what have companies done to address this ever-changing model?
As the pandemic took hold of the world, many businesses had a limited number of distribution centers that could handle e-commerce, which led to many of these companies finding themselves scrambling or unable to meet customer demand. One MercuryGate client was able to address the sudden shift in purchasing habits with some ingenuity, and the help of the cloud-based TMS. This large home goods retailer watched as its e-commerce product stock in their distribution centers was depleted, only to see their shuttered stores still full of products. Our SaaS-based transportation system enabled the company to pivot and start shipping out of their stores as local e-fulfillment centers.
Returns add to last years disruptions
Another big challenge that many businesses saw over the last year was the high rate of returns – sometimes as much as 30%, which isn’t uncommon in e-commerce. This means that not only do businesses have to deliver goods to customers quickly and cost-effectively, they also must have a way to pick up products for return and deliver them back to the right place. In fact, many businesses pushed out return dates through January to allow parcel carriers time to recover from the transportation bubble in November and December.
How final mile is adapting to the changes
There’s more to learn about why the TMS is so critical in today’s disrupted supply chain
Our webinar The Role of the TMS in the Supply Chain: 2021 & Beyond hosts industry leaders from Moen, Translogistics, and Capgemini in a real-world discussion on stories about how they’ve adapted to manage disruption. During the webinar they also reveal how they’re achieving end-to-end supply chain visibility with the MercuryGate TMS.