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Perfect delivery: Three building blocks to success

Guest Author

By: Dominic Regan, Senior Director EMEA for Oracle’s Logistics Solutions, and Holger Klug, Director, Strategic Clients Program, EMEA, Oracle

Without a doubt every industry has been affected when it comes to supply chain disruptions, but retail and consumer packaged goods (CPG) companies have been at the center of the pandemic storm.  At its very onset, companies sourcing from Asia were forced to identify product substitutions, and sometimes even ration products, given shortages from this region.  As the pandemic spread globally, nearly every company was forced to re-allocate massive amounts of available stock to avoid regional and country shortages.  Remember the run on hand sanitizer and toilet paper in March and April?  That was just a microcosm of what the segment faced overall.  At its most extreme, companies were even forced to rethink how they service entire distribution networks, due to the perfect storm of retail closures combined with the dramatic uptake of online-ordering and home delivery.

The massive shift in consumer behavior, toward digital channels and at-home delivery, is forcing our customers to rethink strategies to sustain their brands, differentiate their offerings, and enhance customer loyalty.  To remain competitive, we believe a strategic imperative should be delivering excellent customer service paired with timely delivery – the perfect delivery.

Achieving the perfect delivery may seem like an unattainable goal.  With today’s seismic volatility in market demand and supply constraints, you will need to completely rethink your current order-to-fulfill capabilities.  Yet, the perfect delivery is achievable, and here are three key building blocks to help reach this goal:

  • Inventory & Order Orchestration
  • Logistics Excellence
  • Simplified Global Trade Compliance

Creating a frictionless customer experience with inventory & order orchestration

Today, competition hinges on creating a frictionless customer experience, from simplifying the ordering process, to accurate fulfillment, to fast and flexible delivery. These things, combined with a seamless return process, will allow you to attract new customers while locking in current customers. A frictionless experience, however, requires world-class inventory and order orchestration.  For example, friction builds when products aren’t in the right facility to fulfill an order – slowing delivery. Similarly, demand spikes can lead to stock outages creating fulfillment delays.  We saw this first-hand at Nahdi Medical, the leading Saudi Arabian pharmacy retailer.  As highlighted in a recent webcast, in one month, Nahdi Medical experienced a 20-fold increase in online orders per day.  The company was able to meet demand because of supply chain visibility and transparency, assisted by Oracle Cloud SCM.

You can achieve perfect delivery with these capabilities:

  • Omnichannel order orchestration (e.g., retail store, eCommerce, call center) to provide the right product at the right time at the right place.
  • Universal inventory visibility to centralize inventory data across all locations including distribution networks, warehouses, and retail locations.
  • Order management flexibility to ensure the proper configuration of complex products and services to optimize order fulfillment.
  • Material lead-time transparency to provide accurate delivery dates.
  • Stock management agility to respond to demand dynamics efficiently and effectively

Achieving customer centricity from logistics excellence

Pandemic-related disruptions, such as port closures, factory shutdowns, transportation shortages, and global trade conflicts, can lead to logistical delays in supply shipments.  The delays usually lead to increased transportation costs and lower customer satisfaction – major disruptors in customer centricity. (We define customer centricity as delivering positive customer experiences at the point of sale and beyond to drive profit and gain competitive advantage.)

Achieving logistics excellence requires a synchronized network of suppliers, transportation providers, and distribution centers, all working in lock-step with retailers to ensure perfect delivery of customer orders. Modern logistics techniques employ a wide range of emerging technologies, like AI/ML, robotic process automation (RPA), blockchain, and IoT, integrated with Oracle Cloud SCM to ensure timely, informed business decisions to drive customer centricity.

Tetra Pak, the global food packaging company, recently spoke of how they are streamlining their logistics processes with real-time predictive shipment visibility. Leveraging Oracle’s Transportation Management Cloud Service, Tetra Pak can now coordinate logistics on a global scale to achieve customer centricity.

To help you implement a customer centric approach, we recommend:

  • Proactive logistics plans that devise, analyze, prioritize, and deploy contingency logistics strategies to mitigate both potential and actual supply chain disruptions.
  • Rapid identification of transportation alternatives to recover from near-time or real-time disruptions.
  • Universal inventory visibility, whether in-transit or at rest, across all stocking locations – to adjust and ensure on-time delivery.
  • Minimize expedited transport costs while meeting other strategic corporate goals, such as sustainability.

Simplifying compliance with global trade

Your ability to create the perfect delivery can hit major snags when operating across multiple administrative-legal jurisdictions.  Meeting government trade regulations requires expertise in each country’s product classifications, duties and tariffs, customs documentation, trade agreements and licenses – and that’s just for starters. Gone are the days when you could wait for an order to drop off the production line before trade and compliance considerations were initiated.  Today, you must proactively synchronize the physical aspects of a shipment with the necessary trade activities to flow shipments seamlessly, on time and without fines or penalties.

We recently worked with World Wide Technology (WWT), a leading technology reseller, to revolutionize its global trade and compliance processes, including screening their products for EAR, ITAR, and Dual-Use requirements.  By unifying all processes under Oracle’s Global Trade Management Cloud, WWT has compliance information at their fingertips, allowing them to screen orders before they are physically shipped.  With plans to double their global footprint over the next five years, WWT ensures global compliance will not be an impediment to growth.

To simplify global trade compliance, we recommend:

  • Proactively screening transactions through automated trade processes to minimize sanctions, tariffs, and restricted parties.
  • Ensuring visibility into changing trade regulations to avoid unnecessary fines, penalties, and seizures that can delay shipments and increase costs.

Achieving the perfect delivery is possible and these three building blocks can set you on the journey. Visit our Perfect Delivery landing page to learn more.

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