Online fashion seller Lulus is one of a growing group of brands that are expanding their in-house logistics setups to speed delivery and improve the customer experience. "We can't rely on outside players to serve our customer the way we want to," Lulus co-founder and CEO Colleen Winter said.
Metro Cash & Carry will delay the launch of an e-commerce program for India's small shops until July, the German wholesaler said. Setting up a business-to-business system for the country's kiranas is more complicated than creating a consumer-based service, the company said.
A recent report projecting that retailers must close 75,000 stores by 2026 due to e-commerce is misleading and ignores key industry trends, according to IHL Group Retail Analyst Greg Buzek. IHL predicts that online will be 25% of the total retail market by 2021, but 80% of all of retail will still have a store fulfillment component. Read more.
Rebound co-founder Phil Smith predicts growth and innovation in reverse logistics, particularly in Southeast Asia. "For an efficient returns process, it is important that we recognize the way people live and the flexibility they expect from a modern shopping experience," he says.
One of the benefits of a warehouse-management system is the ability to track the location and condition of returns, with such data potentially helping predict high-volume periods, writes SnapFulfil executive Chris Anton.
Toyota is promoting vehicle electrification with free licensing on its patents and technical support for manufacturers for a fee. "If they can in any way increase public willingness to move beyond internal combustion, and if [the public views] hybrid as a first step, that helps Toyota," says John Paul MacDuffie of Wharton Business School and the Mack Institute for Innovation Management.
The increasing interconnectivity of supply chains makes them inviting targets for hackers as technology grows sophisticated. "It's very common for companies to get caught, not because of what they've done in-house, but because of the clients and suppliers they're connected to," says Shane MacDougall of Mosaid45.
Substantial advances in supply chain efficiency will only come from mapping and modeling human workflows, writes Jon Kirkegaard. "The greatest need, and highest return on investment, lies with processes that can't be automated using centralized technology," he writes.
Safety should be a concern that permeates every stage of manufacturing, and this is where control system integrators can help, writes Steve Beyer. He discusses a few key safety environments for system integrators to think about.