‘Conquering the Omnichannel Challenge’

A recent SupplyChainDigest presentation by JDA Software VP Vali Fayen, IBM Commerce’s Janet Wall and supply chain guru Dan Gilmore, titled “Conquering the Omnichannel Challenge,” was truly eye-opening.

SupplyChainDigestIn short, omnichannel is more than “in.” It’s the one thing that retailers are going to need to pay attention to in order to succeed in today’s world of rapidly changing customer behavior, ever-improving “last mile” options and evolving mobile technology options.

Gilmore (an old friend of ATS), perhaps, put it best: “I’ve been in this industry for 20 years, and for the first time, what we’re working on here is The Hot Thing.”

Some highlights from the webinar:

The Stakes Are High

Said Lowes Logistics SVP LeRoy Allen, “Multi-channel commerce is a game-changer. It will create retail winners and losers.” And when Walmart’s global e-commerce president Neil Ashe was asked by a board member about how much time and money would be spent on omnichannel, he replied: “It will take the rest of our careers and as much money as we’ve got. This isn’t a project. It’s about the future of the company.” You don’t need us to tell you that this is a big deal!

The Impacts Are Felt Across the Supply Chain

Omnichannel isn’t just a challenge (or opportunity) for retail. Its impacts are real across the supply chain, as logistics, drop shipping requirements, timing needs (even down to customer order times!) and more change every month.

It’s About Marrying Digital & Physical

New channels are emerging rapidly, from Tesco’s virtual stores inside subways to television ordering and even fully robotic retail outlets. Note the trend: It’s not just e-commerce that’s on the rise; customers exist, shop and engage in both the digital and physical worlds. Tomorrow’s truly successful retail outlets and supply chain practitioners will create a seamless brand experience across both spaces.

… And Retail Stores Aren’t Dead

“Bricks,” said JDA Software CEO Bal Dail, “are the new black.” And NYU processor Scott Galloway has warned that “pure play etailers without physical stores are doomed in an omnichannel world.” The physical store is not going away!