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Fundamentals of supply chain success

We spoke to Travis Erridge – Founder and Director of TM Insight on the fundamentals of supply chain success. 

“There's been a lot of change in the e-commerce and supply chain space. Just because it's young, it's quick, it's fast. So it's important that supply chains are personalised to what customer's are trying to fulfil.

“We're definitely seeing a shift to e-commerce. So it's a really important factor for retailers to think about that platform.”

All the unknowns that our customers talk to us about are ‘how quickly is retail going to shift?’ People demand things now. People want things today, tomorrow. And it's trending towards if you can't get same-day deliveries, they'll go somewhere else to buy it. 

We're definitely seeing a shift to e-commerce. So it's a really important factor for retailers to think about that platform and how they're going to support those e-commerce channels. 

The hub and spoke model is a large-scale hub based out in traditional industrial areas. It is like a distribution centre. Fulfilling orders that are then put in trucks and taken to a spoke which is close to the customer. Typically, it's modelled to work out where population centres are, to deliver to people's houses.

“We’re seeing automated warehouses and distribution centres happening now.”

Automated distribution centres are becoming a very big part of large-scale companies supply chains. The benefits of automation are really around efficiency and speed. With fixed automation now linking with mobile automation, the robots that you see are becoming a major part of warehouse design around the world. We're seeing automatic warehouses and distribution centres happening now, not in the future. It will continue to evolve and change into the future, but a lot of customers are doing it right now.

The challenges facing customers are very similar. How they can cut costs and most importantly serve their end customer efficiently with speed. You have to look at the entire supply chain to understand what that is. Look at how they source the product right through to how they deliver to the shelf. And whether that's through an e-commerce channel, click and collect, or whether that's a store channel. They all have challenges."