Supply Chain Live: Reimagine Retail Delivery

project44 hosted Supply Chain Live – a new series that brings together industry experts to discuss the latest and greatest in supply chain. Our first installment premiered September 28th, and discusses the upcoming holiday season and what another year of disruption means for retail’s busiest time of year. Jett McCandless and Adam Compain of project44 were joined by Convey’s Rob Taylor and Jenny Bebout with special guest Bart De Muynck, a Research VP at Gartner. Viewers also heard from supply chain leaders from Mondelēz, Canadian Tire, Unilever, Sobeys and more.

Session Overviews from Supply Chain Live

Last-Mile Trends and Holiday Outlook

The last 18 months have brought accelerated growth to the last-mile delivery space and with it have come challenges in capacity, rate increases and more. Parcel volume has doubled in the last six years and it is expected to double again by 2026. Increased volume and rising costs have caused shippers to move from only using contracted parcel delivery companies to utilizing on-demand third-party logistics partners for the final mile, allowing manufacturers and retailers to compete with Amazon’s customer experience without building a new solution from scratch. Add in the cost of failed last-mile deliveries (about 5% of all attempted) and the last mile proves to be among the most complex and expensive parts of the supply chain.

For the 2021 holiday season, consumers are placing their orders earlier than ever before but retailers will still face delays in shipping due to both capacity and labor issues. To combat the capacity challenges, some large retailers are chartering their own cargo ships and pre-buying containers – a move accessible to very few.

The importance of visibility has never been greater as retailers and consumers alike want to know when their delivery will arrive and be notified of changes along the way. As demand increases, technology will continue to play a vital role in providing the information that drives positive customer experience.

Fireside Chat on Consumer Expectations

As we know, heading into peak season will be costly – in terms of money, disappointed customers and the way global shipping processes impact the planet. According to a recent survey, consumers are nervous as well about shipping delays and inventory issues and they expect retailers to be transparent and communicate when delivery problems arise. As customer experience determines more and more of the bottom line, creating a more efficient supply chain has become more important than ever.

As Convey joins the project44 ecosystem, retailers will have access to their full-shipment lifecycle capabilities both pre- and post-purchase as well as last-mile visibility including parcel and courier delivery all the way to consumers’ doorsteps. Convey has led the industry with these capabilities in North America and now with the project44 partnership, we will deploy them globally.

project44 Acquires Convey to Provide End-to-End Visibility

project44’s recent acquisition of Convey will help customers solve some of their largest retail challenges through broader visibility to the last mile, bringing the typical B2C customer experience to B2B for raw materials and manufacturing, and new workflow solutions to more quickly resolve customer issues. Combining project44’s expertise in the first and middle miles with Convey’s leadership in last mile visibility and consumer experience creates the first complete, predictive and, eventually, automated supply chain visibility solution.

Insight from Industry Experts

When asked about the biggest supply chain challenges facing businesses, transportation managers mentioned labor shortages, changing customer behavior, congested ports and increased e-commerce activity adding large volumes of freight to the last mile.

Their best advice for heading into the holiday season? Focus on keeping your customer promises, even if it means adding more carriers to fulfill delivery requirements or pivoting the way you work for a period of time. Make commitments and plan early to get ahead of supply shortages.

Thank you to all presenters who made Supply Chain Live a success! We hope you will join us for our next event.

Missed the event? Register now and catch up on demand!