No Part of the Supply Chain is Immune from the Delivery Economy

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In our most recent report, we uncovered a gap in pressure felt between executives and management when it comes to fulfilling the growing expectations of the Delivery Economy. 

The opposite can be said for all portions of the supply chain. 

The majority of respondents reported that no aspect of their company’s supply chain, including basic resources and sustainability initiatives, is insulated from the pressures of providing better, faster and cheaper customer delivery. And despite the Delivery Economy emerging as a result of evolving consumer preferences, B2B businesses aren’t immune either. 

Basic Resources Being Stretched

To operate a smooth, efficient supply chain, proper access to data, analytics, and technology resources are imperative. But the onset of new expectations around delivery is leading to a shortage of some of the most basic elements that make the supply chain tick — cost efficiency and time. 

According to our report, 50% say they’re facing the expectation to deliver goods at a lower price to their customers. More than half (54%) say this is the hardest expectation to meet. One of the key aspects of the Delivery Economy is the expectation of free or low-cost shipping. 

The supply chain is feeling strained as they are now having to find ways to process deliveries faster, with more visibility and at a lower cost. In fact, 55% say they’re facing the expectation to process and deliver goods faster; 44% say this is the most challenging expectation to meet.

Additionally, 38% say the Delivery Economy is increasing their cost of distribution and transportation. This comes as no surprise as the supply chain is now expected to deliver more goods faster due to a number of factors, such as the continued growth of ecommerce. Just this holiday season alone, TechCrunch reported online shopping on Thanksgiving hit $4.2B, up 14.5% from 2018. 

These shifts in expectations are leading the entire supply chain to take a comprehensive look at their processes. With 36% saying the Delivery Economy is making them revamp their distribution and transportation model, innovative supply chains are already beginning to take a holistic look at their operations while the rest of the industry is sure to be close behind. 

Straining for Sustainable Solutions

The supply chain is not only seeing pressure to revamp their delivery capabilities, but there is also mounting pressure to do so sustainably. According to the EPA, transportation is the largest contributor to greenhouse gas emissions (29%), right ahead of electricity (28%).

As fast delivery becomes a permanent placeholder in the customer experience and an important long-term goal for supply chains to address, companies also need to be conscious of their carbon footprint. 

Digitizing the supply chain, thus gaining more visibility into operations and procedures, is an important step toward achieving more sustainability. When operators have more visibility and dependable predictive analytics, such as accurate ETAs, they can make real-time decisions to make the supply chain more efficient and sustainable. 

B2B and B2C Companies Face the Same Pressure

While the Delivery Economy came from shifting consumer expectations, B2B companies are not immune. In fact, 94% of people who make purchases for their company said they expect the same level of customer satisfaction as when they’re making personal purchases. 

In turn, businesses are feeling pressure to shift how they operate. According to our new report, 64% of B2B companies are seeing growing expectations to process and deliver goods faster. B2B companies are also feeling pressure to offer the kind of delivery options that were once reserved for consumer brands, and 85% of B2B companies are feeling pressure to improve or expand upon delivery capabilities. 

This means faster, more transparent shipping at a lower cost is making up a key part of the customer experience for B2B as well as B2C companies. 

Present a United Front

As the Delivery Economy continues to evolve and change how consumers, no supply chain is immune from these expectations. As each part of the supply chain is dependent on one each other to operate, it’s imperative the entire delivery ecosystem presents a united front to meet changing customer demands. If not, organizations won’t be able to keep up with the Delivery Economy.

Learn more about how the Delivery Economy is impacting the supply chain.