Editor's Blog

Supply Chain Mayhem - Avoid It

Written by Scott Koegler
Published on Friday, 11 November 2016
holiday shippingIt's hard to believe that the Holiday season is near - or that for those participating in retail, the season is already well underway. Is it too late to think about making this season better? If you haven't already made the infrastructure and system changes you've been contemplating this year then the answer is likely to be Yes! But there may still be a few things you can do at this late date.

Be mobile ready
If you're not yet ready for your mobile-enabled customers (and they're bound to represent a good percentage) get at least some portion of your web site enabled for mobile devices. While it may seem that every web site is now 'responsive' and automatically adapts itself to the device being used, this is not an automatic change. Test your own site by viewing it from multiple devices in both horizontal and vertical modes. See if it displays properly, but more importantly, are the menus and buttons visible and functional. Some sites will compress to the right size but the functions and text are so small they can't be easily selected and touched. 

Get your visibility nailed
It goes without saying that your holiday orders are already in process. That's old school and would be a rookie mistake to be late on order processing. But there's plenty that can go wrong between order and delivery, especially during the heaviest shipping volume time of the year. We've been harping on supply chain visibility for a while now, and if you still need a push to test and fine tune your processes and reporting, this is the time. Once your first orders leave their shipping docs you're at the mercy of others. Know where your orders and have alerts and sequences of actions tested and ready.

Get ready to be the best
Even if you don't expect to be at the leading edge of your digitization this year, make the commitment to be the very best in your category next year. Look around at your competitors and see how they are handling the digital transformation, then compare it to yours. Listen to what your customers are asking for and complaining about, and put plans in place to get ahead of the issues next year. 

If all this alludes you as you ramp up for this season, make it easy on yourself and listen to your kids. They are likely to be some of the best social commentors you will find. Not only are they up to speed on the use of technology but they are likely to be brutally honest about what you (and your competitors) are doing wrong.

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Editor's Blog

The ec-bp Editor's Blog is Scott Koegler's forum for communicating with readers of ec-bp.com. If you're involved in managing the supply chain in any way check Scott Koegler's posts for updates on significant events and an ever-evolving commentary on best practices in the supply chain.

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