Omnichannel supply chains will become the norm inthe post-COVID-19 world — and businesses must reinvent the various steps intheir supply chain to breakdown the organizational silos, bridge theoffline-online gap, and invest in digitization to meet the new demand patternsof the post-COVID-19 era.
At Shadowfax, we have beencontinually refining our 3PL services to combat the chaos of the currentsituation. We have been able to manage fast, flexible, and reliable delivery services across the country.
As part of our continuousresearch and development process, we have also identified five ways in whichbusinesses can enable omnichannel supply chains to prepare for the newworld order and future crisis by leveraging tech-enabled logisticsservices.
The 5-Step Guide To Setting up an Omnichannel Supply Chain
1. Create a Unified Supply Chain
Jack Ma, the founder of Alibaba, coined the term “new retail” to describe the merging of offline and online retail channels to create an integrated supply chain. In the present scenario, an integrated supply chain is the need of the hour, because it can help in optimizing logistics through a wealth of cross-platform data in the following ways:
- As more people are expectedto spend time shopping online with a predictable decrease in-store footfalls,an integrated supply chain will also allow companies to analyse sales data andother digital channels to make accurate predictions about demand and supply.
- Sales data, coupled withreal-time inventory insight, can be used to enhance distribution andpre-emptively move products to various locations so that they are available atthe right place at the right time.
2. Use a Virtual Agent for Better Support
Chatbots based onartificial intelligence are being widely adopted across industries forautomation and better support. In supply chain management, a virtual agent orchatbot can be used for many functions, such as:
- A single point of contactfor internal and external queries related to invoices, purchase orders, productlocation, etc.
- With a real-time view intothe inventory and integrated online demand and logistics, your chatbot caninstantly pull out thousands of data points from these three sources to answerquestions related to demand and supply, accurately.
- Eventually, the bots canalso be trained to manage customer demands by asking a set of pre-emptivequestions and automatically taking the desired actions that are pre-fed intothe system.
3. Integrate Your Supply Chain with Digital Logistics for Fast and Accurate Deliveries
Supply Chain with Digital Logistics
Building a robusttechnology platform complemented by a network of efficient last-mile delivery partners across hundreds of cities in India canfacilitate fast, affordable and efficient deliveries across industry sectors.At Shadowfax, we have enabled the following across India seamlessly:
● Hyperlocal deliveries for food, groceries, and medicine in less than 90minutes
● Same-day deliveries in the same city across 150 areas
● Partnered with local kiranastores for a more extensive delivery and warehousing system
● One-day intra-city deliveryservices
Innovation powered AI andML-based delivery logistics are capable of streamlining your demand and supplychannels, leading to fast and affordable deliveries.
Through digitization, wecan build transparency at every step of the supply chain automation through atechnology-powered logistics platform that can be used for intelligent workallocation, parcel tracking, integrated payments, and electronic proof ofdelivery, seamless reverse pick-ups with QC, and more.
4. Provide an Interface for Customers to Track Orders and Pay Online Seamlessly
The period between orderingan item and receiving it is an often-cited pain point by customers. The reasonis that most companies send a dispatched notification to customers, but there’sno further update until the customer receives his or her product. Today, at atime when most consumers are avoiding offline retail, this process becomes evenmore worrisome as the anticipation is quite high.
We suggest two ways to kill this anxiety in your customers:
(i) Provide your customerswith real-time visibility into the shipping process.
Track Orders and Pay Online
- By using advancedtechnology like IoT and smart sensors, both the end-customers and shippers canbe made aware of the location of shipments via SMS alerts and emailnotifications to improve the last-mile delivery system significantly.
(ii) Enable digital payments
- Integrated payments make iteasier to collate financial data and cross analyze revenue from differentchannels.
- For customers, the abilityto pay using digital payment channels like UPI or digital wallets at their doorstep lets them enjoy the convenience andsafety of COD without actually having to deal with real money.
- You can think of a QR scanning feature on your delivery app (like we do) that can be used for makingpayments for COD shipments via UPI by scanning a barcode, instantly at thedoorstep.
5. Provide Value Added Services like Analytics and Reverse Logistics
Technology-enabledlogistics don’t just make the supply chain ecosystem more visible but alsounlock a wealth of supply chain analytics by creating a unifiedsystem that integrates inventory monitoring, digital payments, sales analytics,restocking, and customer relationship management.
For merchants, this:
(i) Improves the overall delivery system
(ii) Empowers them with actionable data that can be used for optimizing inventory, sales, marketing, etc.
At Shadowfax, we offer several value-added services to our clients like:
- Electronic proof ofdelivery
- Integrated payments
- Dynamic doorstep QC forreverse pick-ups to enable direct shipping
The result is a fullyintegrated supply chain with connected offline and online channels andlogistics — leading to fast, efficient and reliable deliveries with minimalhuman intervention.
If you wish to future-proofyour supply chain and build a lean and efficient ecosystem for retail sales inthe post-COVID era, partnering with a tech-first 3PL company can help you bring aboutthe transformation. Get in touch to know more.