Retailers are evolving, and supply chains must evolve with them. The application of omnichannel in manufacturing primarily focuses on the collaboration between suppliers, or vendors, and distributors. To understand this relationship, we have to consider its driving forces, how it affects omnichannel experiences, and what it means for warehousing capabilities and capacity.
Keeping up with customers’ demands has natural implications for business-to-business sellers, including manufacturers. Key applications of omnichannel in manufacturing include increasing end-to-end visibility in material availability; however, many companies overlook ways to improve manufacturer-warehouse relationships, thus they are unable to push operations beyond availability and reliability of supplies, reports Talking Logistics with Adrian Gonzalez. Manufacturers still using disjointed processes and operating in functional silos are unable to keep up with demand.
Manufacturers must fully embrace the best practices of omnichannel to ensure their buyers, including resellers, retailers, distribution centers, and warehouses, have access to stock. Since customers rarely interact directly with manufacturers, it is up to the retailers to pass information along to manufacturers. This relationship can be expanded further using drop-shipping, as described by Aberdeen Essentials, leaving manufacturers to navigate the shipping process to get stock directly to consumers, eliminating middle-land warehouse managers. The same challenges exist in trying to move products closer to consumers, ensuring all shipping options are available, including parcel, LTL, full truckload, and even white glove service, when applicable.
The world of retail has changed, moving from being sales-rep-centric to being web-channel-centric, but that does not mean that retailers should focus exclusively on e-commerce platforms, reports Digitalist magazine. Instead, retailers must make the internet an integral part of all interactions, including the use of the Internet of Things (IoT) and automated technologies to improve inventory management processes.
Aligning expectations and best practices for omnichannel in manufacturing and warehouse helps companies achieving several key goals of successful omnichannel implementation, including:
As the world moves closer to an omnichannel shopping standard, retailers will continue to roll out new improvements and personalized features to make shopping more enjoyable and tailored to each consumer. Therefore, manufacturers must follow the natural progression by partnering with retailers in greater endeavors and collaboration to move products faster, at lower costs, and through all possible channels. Even if your suppliers and manufacturers have not yet required improvements benefiting omnichannel in manufacturing, this is going to happen soon.
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