Four ways to optimise your supply chain

Deliver better results, faster.

Written by Nick Saunders

If you’re in the business of delivery, then your supply chain is the beating heart of your business – and it is critical that you keep this supply chain healthy.

A regular review of your supply chain operations can help to reduce your costs and ultimately deliver a better customer experience. Learn about some common supply chain pitfalls, and how to overcome them. 

Demand forecasting

Do you know how and where your products are selling in the market? To give yourself the best chance of getting demand planning right, you need the granular data about how your products are reaching consumers.  Every company’s goal should be 100% inventory accuracy – without it, you may not be able to ship to your customers on-time. Lack of inventory accuracy also means that you’re buying inventory that you already have on hand, or you’re buying items you don’t need. 

Digital trendsetters

Recent research from Accenture indicates that whilst 85% of organisations have already started to or will commence within a year to introduce digital technologies required to enable supply chain flexibility, most are yet to recognise the full potential the technologies can provide.

Australian online fashion retailer The Iconic uses extensive technology to maximise supply chain systems to offer a three-hour delivery, free returns and access to over 500 brands on one platform. The Iconic bases its success on the customer experience: maximising their supply chain has led to a 60% increase in sales thanks to generations of shoppers who want their goods as soon as possible.

Their technology is based on cross-functional web and app development leads them to pick and pack more than 10,000 orders per day. 

Order fulfilment

New supply chain technologies are designed to expedite single pick-and-pack scenarios to get orders shipped faster. For example, voice technology solutions improve productivity by 25-35% and provide almost 100% accuracy. If you haven’t already, consider implementing best practice fulfilment strategies like person-to-goods, put walls, automated conveyor sorting systems or goods-to-person.

StarTrack has recently invested in new, state-of-the-art equipment that enables the processing of an extra 135,000 parcels per day across its Sydney and Melbourne facilities – meaning it can now handle more than 1.3 million parcels every day. 

Bespoke automation

Catch of the Day, an online e-commerce retailer, kicked off their operations in Australia over ten years ago. They recently implemented a state of the art automation system called ‘AutoStore’.

Prior to implementing this, they had 60 pickers walking six to seven kilometres a day to pick up 6,000 orders across 2,000 products and the model couldn’t cope with increased orders.

Since automating, they have their robots retrieve the goods, the pickers pick and a team of packers pack. They now pick 10,000 orders across up to 9,000 products with significant change to labour costs and halving in order cycle time – meaning they have the ability to get more products to customers in a much shorter timeframe.

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