EFT’s 3PL & Supply Chain Summit Panel Recap Pt. II

Last week logistics professionals flooded the city of Chicago for EFT’s 3PL & Supply Chain Summit. project44 leadership was featured prominently at the event, as Founder and CEO Jett McCandless and President Tommy Barnes both participated in panel discussions. Below is a recap of the second panel, check out Part I here!

Keeping the customer by web, brick, truck and drone: creating a seamless loop to close the retail ecosystem

Featuring Tommy Barnes – President of project44, Ed Feitzinger – VP Global Logistics at Amazon, Michael Kroul – President and Chief Legal and Compliance Officer at KTI, Inc., Andrew Clarke – CFO of C.H. Robinson, and Matt Howitt – VP Product at Convey.

Keeping customers returning to your service again and again isn’t always simple, especially in the retail space. Still, companies like Amazon have perfected that loop.

The Customer Experience

The panel referred to this kind of business as “direct to consumer” or D2C. Customer satisfaction is absolutely crucial. Amazon’s VP of Global Logistics was a part of the panel, and made sure to reinforce that, “We have to meet your demand, we have to keep you satisfied.”

Customers place a certain level of trust in your company, and you must reward that trust. That means focusing on the long term, not just quarterly goals. Everyone likes seeing quarterly numbers grow, but if you widen your scope you can make plans that will provide better results further down the road.

Real-time automation and Visibility

The panel shifted its focus towards the tools companies can use to assist in providing the best customer experience, thus closing the loop and getting return business from customers. As expected, this centered around replacing legacy technology with things like APIs, which can provide real-time automation and visibility.

Things like product information, visibility, and delivery all factor into the customer experience. Proper supply chain execution keeps customers in your ecosystem, coming back again and again. Customers like knowing exactly what they’re getting and when they’re going to get it.

project44 President, Tommy Barnes, stated the case for the tech revolution, “There is so much legacy technology out there. We used to muscle our way through problems in this industry, but now we don’t have to. Look forward five, seven, or ten years, automation and visibility will have decided who succeeds. It has turned into an efficiency game.”

Efficiency is a crucial element to bringing customers back to your service, and keeping them within your ecosystem. Consumers can’t see everything that is driving their experience. APIs, for example, allow for the customer to receive products quickly, know where they are at all times, and pay less for shipping. Of course those things matter to the consumer, but the vast majority of them don’t know how companies like Amazon or other shippers achieve them. Technology will make or break the seamless retail loop, so investing in the right solutions now will deliver results down the road.