Tim Proome, General Manager of supply chain services, Tarsus Distribution
What does it take to compete in a world where customer service is probably your most important metric? When it comes to logistics, it’s about delivering the right product, in the right quantity and the right condition, to the right place at the right time, for the right customer at the right price. Sounds simple right?
B2C Has Changed B2B Forever
That’s what people have come to expect in the business-to-consumer (B2C) retail sector, where you can order the latest smartphone online and have it in your hands the next day. Consumer expectations are now requiring business-to-business (B2B) companies to reprioritise digital technology investments, and because B2B relationships are more tightly knit than those in B2C, poor service integration can be disastrous to IT companies. Taking three days to deliver an order is simply no longer an option.
Reassessing the Supply Chain
What’s called for is a re-evaluation of the supply chain, as well as how businesses manage their logistics and distribution. The very notion of the speed of delivery has changed. Companies are having to ask whether they have the experience, the resources and the infrastructure to service their customers in this new world.
A digital warehouse management system (WMS) enables real-time data gathering and inventory management. It directs supply chain employees to where an item is, giving them instructions on what to do with the product and takes the guesswork and human error out of the equation completely. It ensures that customers can only order items that are available and in sellable condition. This master data ensures that any product that does not meet standards is rejected by the system before it can be dispatched.
It offers inventory serial number tracking, which tracks each item in the warehouse, through its unique sequence of digits. It tracks each item throughout the supply chain — from manufacture and transport, to sale, delivery, warranty and support, right up to the point of destruction at the end of its life.
An Investment in Infrastructure and Digitisation
Tarsus Distribution’s third-party logistics (3PL) offering boasts a 99.9% success rate in terms of serial tracking, and the data that is sent to our vendors and suppliers every month. This degree of trackability can be a critical differentiator for business enabling you to maintain visibility over products. During Black Black Friday in 2017, Tarsus Distribution averaged 13 minutes per order from the digital receipt to handover to the courier partner for delivery.
A massive investment in terms of time, resources and capital is required to change a supply chain from linear to a complex network, including warehouse infrastructure and digital warehouse management systems that enable the level of superior logistics required to compete. That is why it makes sense to outsource to a 3PL provider who has done all the legwork, amounting to tens of thousands of working hours, and is dedicated to enabling customers to focus on their core business.
Companies that fall behind in areas such as digitisation of interactions with suppliers, channel partners and customers run the risk of becoming irrelevant.
Click here to read an interesting article we found on the importance of innovation in the supply chain.