What are the key multichannel priorities for supply chains?

Supply Chain 2014-2015The evolution from a supply function serv­ing a traditional store-bound model towards omnichannel retailing is arguably one of the primary reasons why the supply chain function has assumed an increasingly pivotal role.

As published in Retail Week & DWF Supply Chain: Trends and Innovations in Retail 2014-15 report

To be fit for purpose, retail supply chains have to adapt to the retail environment and there is certainly no more significant factor influencing the shape of the UK retail sector than the advent of multichannel and now omnichannel retailing.

Adapting the supply chain in response to multichannel or omnichannel developments was identified as the most pressing priority currently facing their teams by 40% of the supply chain di­rectors interviewed for the report. Furthermore, when asked what their priorities are specifically in the multichannel arena, 33% say enhancing or expanding fulfilment options. This priority is linked to the director’s desire to be more responsive when reacting to retailing trends, with 27% claiming improving agility and responsiveness ranks as their top multichannel priority.

DWF Chart21 P14

Crucially, the retailer responses make clear the evolution from multichannel to omnichannel which clearly has ramifications for the supply chain function. The transformation to omnichannel is “key”, says the distribution director of a leading high street retailer. “It is important be­cause it is about the future and the new behaviour of consumers. And that entails infrastructure and systems development.”

Indeed, some retailers see managing the shift from multichannel to omnichannel smoothly and effectively as the primary challenge for the supply chain team. A logistics director at a special­ist retailer says: “Multichannel and omnichannel are constantly on our minds and omnichannel is the thing we are aiming for.”

Watch out for our next blog post which will look at why customer service is a key priority for multichannel supply chains.

If you have any questions or would like more information, please contact Hilary Ross Partner & Head of Retail, Food & Hospitality sector.

This information is intended as a general discussion surrounding the topics covered and is for guidance purposes only. It does not constitute legal advice and should not be regarded as a substitute for taking legal advice. DWF is not responsible for any activity undertaken based on this information.

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