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Logistics 2.0: 5 Innovative Technical Solutions for the Supply Chain

In this episode of Logistics 2.0 we discuss 5 innovative technical solutions to help supply chains increase speed & efficiency to help companies be more competitive in the market. Watch the video here, or read the transcript below!

Keeping up with changing consumer expectations in the digital economy can be tricky business. Today on Logistics 2.0, we're gonna talk about a crop of new innovative solutions that can help you do just that.

Welcome to Logistics 2.0. I am Karl Siebrecht with FLEXE. On this program we've talked a lot about a number of challenges facing supply chain professionals these days. Today, we're gonna talk about solutions. The good news is, there is a whole crop of new innovative companies offering new solutions, most of them technology based, to help you manage your customer interactions, really at every phase, from initial interaction on the website, all the way through product delivery. Today we're gonna look at five of those areas.

  1. Shopping carts and payments. Amazon has a pretty incredible consumer experience, from online recommendations to 1-Click checkout. It's very compelling for consumers, also very efficient for all of us. But for many of you retailers who might worry about becoming the next product line in Amazon's Basics offering, you might want to look at other alternatives to help you streamline your consumer experience. Solutions from WooCommerce and Shopify can do just this. Also on the payment side, of course, there is PayPal, which has been around for a long time but continues to innovate, and emerging platforms, like Apple Pay, that are also becoming mainstream, can really help you improve your consumer experience as well.
  2. The last mile. Fast and cheap delivery of your products to consumers is increasingly becoming table stakes. Recently, The Wall Street Journal published an article in which they quoted a survey by AlixPartners that said, "Over 50% of online shoppers now explicitly consider delivery times and costs in their purchase decision." How are you doing on this dimension? In addition to the investment that the common carriers continue to make in this capability, there is a whole crop of startups, from the Deliv to Shuttle to Uber, who are making new investments and coming up with new models and new mechanisms to help you better compete on this critical consumer promise.
  3. Automation. One of the reasons why Amazon can do such a great job delivering their products to us so efficiently is because they've done massive amounts with automation within their warehouses. But you don't have to buy a robotics company to deliver on the same expectation. There are great solutions from companies including, integrated SDI and FET Robotics. These types of third party solutions can help you drive significant efficiencies in your warehousing operations.
  4. Distribution centers. Fast and cheap delivery can still only happen if your warehouse network has sufficient scale and scope. The truth is not many companies can afford to invest, like Amazon has, in a network that contains hundreds of distribution locations. That's why many companies will turn to a marketplace model, like FLEXE, that leverages industry scale so that they can tap into that as a compliment to their existing distribution network to again enable that fast and cheap delivery to become a reality.
  5. Long and short haul transportation. So when you have this expanded distribution network, how do you get your product from origin into this network of facilities? Again, similar to how the common carriers have invested in the last mile, they've also invested in this leg of the journey. And at the same time, there is a crop of new companies from Cargomatic to Convoy to Loadsmart, that are developing more shared economy, collaborative logistics types of models to tap into underutilized truck capacity out there, to help retailers and wholesalers get these products through their supply chain much more efficiently. The new elastic supply chain will be built on innovative solutions like these. It has to, it's the only way we can keep up with changing consumer expectations while also maintaining fiscal responsibility. The challenges that face us today are unprecedented, but the new crop of solutions are more innovative than ever before.

And that's really what Logistics 2.0 is all about. If you like this content, we'd love to her from you. Also, please sign up for our email, or subscribe to our channel. That's it for this week. I'm Karl Siebrecht with FLEXE. Thank you for watching Logistics 2.0.