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Supply Chain Conference 2014: Collaboration And Urban Zones

Published on Sep 25 2014 10:26 AM in Supply Chain

Supply Chain Conference 2014: Collaboration And Urban Zones

The potential future of omni-channel supply chains was recently speculated by EY's Matthew Burton and Andrew Cosgrave in the Munich Hilton Park (pictured), site of the 2014 Global Supply Chain Conference.

Embedding omni-channel in routes of supply is critical for growth. To do this effectively, it is important to understand customers' needs and motivations. Click-and-collect is rising strongly, as speed becomes an essential aspect of retail (as much as price). Lead times are shortening, and the speed of change is genuinely extraordinary. Retailers are struggling to keep the pace.

Burton and Cosgrave spoke of knowing where to supply chain agility versus chain efficiency. Prague likes agility and Poland likes efficiency, for example. Which consumers to serve with what product portfolio was flagged as a key issue.

The speakers went on to explain that suppliers and retailers must collaborate to enable "seamless visibility and fulfilment". They expounded the notion that data-sharing is essential to forecasting and demand-sensing.

Dr Edward Blanco of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology spoke of the difficulties that logisticians face in urban areas. Tokyo is incontrovertibly far better than any other city in this regard, and represents the gold standard for city supply chains.

© 2014 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article written by Peter Donnelly (reporting from Munich).

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