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Video: 2020 Retail & Logistics Trends & Predictions

FLEXE executives weigh in on some of the biggest trends and predictions for the retail and supply chain industries in the coming year.

Earlier this year, we asked four FLEXE executives what the biggest opportunities in retail and logistics are. Hear their perspective on delivery promises, supply chain sustainability, drone delivery, and how we can make a positive impact as the supply chain and logistics industry evolves and is transformed.

Be sure to keep an eye out for our full 2020 Retail & Logistics Predictions report in January!

FLEXE executives featured:

Watch the video or read the transcript below to learn more. You can also find the video on YouTube here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bl3gWcEGvUY&feature=youtu.be

The below transcript has been slightly edited for clarity and brevity.

Fast, free shipping

Dave Glick:

The biggest trend in logistics has to be the move from week-long shipping to two-day shipping, to one-day shipping, to multi-hour shipping.

Karl Siebrecht:

We all have this expectation that when we order something online, we should get it tomorrow, or maybe today, and it should be free.

Dave:

You know, it's hard to out-Amazon Amazon, and at least meet the bar that they've set. Companies have to find a different way.

Karl:

It's not that we've reached this destination, and now we can solve to build all the logistics required to get to that destination. It's that the destination, those consumer needs, continue to change. And that rapid, continuous change is incredibly hard for mature organizations that have literally billions and billions of dollars of infrastructure built in a fairly rigid way.

Megan Evert:

But the reality is that what you did to get you where you are is not going to get you to that next level, and so it's up to us (FLEXE and digital logistics solutions) to convince customers that there is a better way.

The [supply chain] industry is not known for cutting-edge technology. It's also not always very intuitive, and so again, it has to be something that people can easily understand and master quickly, and that's not always been the case.

Karl:

You know, Marc Andreessen's quote, "Software is eating the world," has proven to be very, very true in sector after sector of the economy. It's just starting to become clear to people that that is going to be equally true in logistics.

Logistics is over 8% of GDP, and is the very early stage of software technology adoption. So that is fundamentally the biggest opportunity—how software, and particularly data-driven software platforms, can add value and innovate in logistics.

Sustainability in logistics

Deirdre Runnette:

We have an obligation to shareholders, we have an obligation to employees, we have an obligation to the world, to make sure that we have a customer in 10 years, and in 40 years, and the opportunity to serve our employees during this time period as well.

This time period requires us to be a lot more reflective and think holistically from a long-term perspective in a way that we haven't before. So it is important to think about profitability over the long term, and sustainability over the long term, and they are inherently coupled. We just have to view them that way.

When I think about what FLEXE is doing every day from a sustainability perspective, we are actually using remnant space, and by operationalizing extra space in warehouses, we're reducing the need to create other warehouses.

We are reducing an environmental footprint that can make a huge difference over time, and in addition to actually offsetting costs that so many of our retail customers have to spend as they look to grow out their infrastructure.

The drone invasion

Karl:

I'm skeptical of drone delivery and what that would look like over a city and sound like over a city. On the one hand, I feel like I'm not surprised by what technology can do. I still find myself continually surprised by new inventions that come out.

Making an impact

Deirdre:

We know that companies are expected to take larger stands on social issues. We know that companies are being asked to do more and think about more in ways that they never have before, and it is such an exciting time, because we can actually participate in a larger way, and make a bigger impact in the world.

You can learn more about the FLEXE leadership team on our Company page.

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