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Emerging Options for Omni-Commerce Logistics Strategy

Every week I’m interacting with more and more e-commerce professionals whose day to day job is coming up with the best methods of delivering Omni-Commerce solutions for their customers.

One thing I can say is there seems to be a lot of angst, confusion, and misinformation out there, so I thought it might be helpful to share some of the best practice options, opinions and trends that seem to be emerging.


Those of you who know me are aware of my work in coining and developing the ‘Matrix Commerce’ concept, however I’m sure you’ll have noted today that I’m using term Omni-Commerce. This is simply a reflection of blunt reality, before any firm can even think of accomplishing a full Matrix Commerce implementation, they and their organizations will have to master and implement the basics of Omni-Commerce logistics. Think of how mountain climbers get to the summit of Mount Everest, the first step in that trek is to get to Base Camp and when it comes to implementing Matrix Commerce in your organization, the first step or Base Camp is to effectively implement Omni-Commerce logistics. Continue Reading »


Get to Know SCI Logistics Infographic

Check out the first infographic from SCI Logistics! Cheers!


Omni-channel Challenge Elevating the Role of Retail Supply Chain Professionals

Not only is the biggest challenge facing retail supply chain professionals today to solve the Omni-commerce Logistics Puzzle, it may also represent an excellent opportunity for supply chain professionals to elevate their roles in retail organizations.

Several of the omni-channel related presentations I attended referenced the central or critical role supply chain pros must play on an ongoing basis in order to successfully develop and roll out sustainable omni-commerce business in their organizations.

Not only are the logistics requirements to physically support such a dynamic and diverse set of delivery options for customers more complex than faced in the past, but also the inventory deployment, management, replenishment and overall order and supply chain management challenges are further complicated and magnified when serving the growing number of omni-channel consumers. Continue Reading »


Search Underway for Port of Los Angeles Executive Director

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti today announced the launch of a global executive search to fill the the top post at the Port of Los Angeles. Under Mayor Garcetti’s direction, the Los Angeles Board of Harbor Commissioners established an ad hoc search committee to oversee the process, which is comprised of Harbor Commission President Vilma Martinez and Commission Vice President David Arian.

“The Port of Los Angeles is a critical economic driver of our region and plays a central role in L.A.’s reputation as a global city and leading Pacific Rim trade gateway,” said Mayor Garcetti. “We are seeking a highly experienced and dynamic leader with a strong track record of success – a true collaborator and visionary who can lead the port’s growth and international trade efforts in the years ahead.” Continue Reading »


UPS Delivers Lower Profit Forecast After Holiday Rush

To make up for the holiday rush, UPS utilized 85,000 temporary employees, 30,000 more than planned.

Agence France-Presse

NEW YORK – UPS on Friday slashed its fourth-quarter profit forecast after the company hired 30,000 extra temporary employees due to an unexpected increase in holiday deliveries.

UPS expects to report earnings of $1.25 per share, below the $1.43 forecast by analysts. The company said full-year earnings will be $4.57 per share, below its previous forecast of $4.65 to $4.85.

“U.S. results were negatively impacted by the challenges of the compressed peak season coupled with an unprecedented level of online shopping that included a surge of last-minute orders,” the company said.

To make up for the holiday rush, UPS utilized 85,000 temporary employees, 30,000 more than planned. Continue Reading »


Beware the Ship-From-Store Spin Cycle

Seems like every so often there’s a new trend that takes the retail and e-commerce world by storm and the latest of these seems to be Ship-From -Store.

An omni-channel nirvana being pumped by systems companies, and falsely supported by ill conceived surveys of analysts alike, the best thing since sliced bread this year is apparently Ship-From-Store.

On the surface Ship-From-Store sounds like a great idea. Buy some really expensive new systems and voila every one of your hundreds or thousands of stores is suddenly a fully functional fulfillment center. Continue Reading »


In Search of the Carbon Neutral Supply Chain

Supply Chain Network is taking an active role in assisting companies in their quest to deliver a Carbon Neutral Supply Chain. Check out our Create a Carbon Neutral Supply Chain article to learn more about real actions your organization can take to move toward this lofty goal.

Beyond the positive impacts such an action can have for future generations and on the general health of mankind’s home, there are now emerging positive business reasons for pursuing this goal. Some initial projects in this area that have been carried out by SCN Partner organizations have identified a 28% reduction in Carbon Emissions and at the same time a 9% reduction in related supply chain expense. Continue Reading »


Omni-channel Emerging as Top Retail Logistics Issue

December is now upon us and before we know it we’ll be starting off 2014 right, which means it won’t be long until we’re all gathering in San Diego Feb 23rd to 26th for RILA Supply Chain 2014.

Last year in Florida at RILA Logistics 2013, the topic of multi-channel was discussed with 5 related presentations delivered where the challenges of the coming omni-channel revolution were laid down.

RILA Supply Chain 2014 will highlight this ongoing evolution from a discrete multi-channel stream to a full track entitled Omni-channel which includes the 4 interesting presentations identified below: Continue Reading »


Does Canada Need a Chief Logistics Officer?

A few years back the Government of Canada introduced the role of Chief Technology Officer or CTO, which ultimately resulted in the formation of Shared Services Canada.

Since that time progress has been made on the elimination of redundancy and standardization across the government which process continues to roll out.

IT services, applications and servers are of course a very significant cost to the government and ultimately the people of Canada. Likewise, logistics the physical handling, storage and transportation of any materiels or related services needed for the Government of Canada to serve citizens costs 10′s if not 100′s of millions of dollars annually. Continue Reading »


CommerceHub Hires John Hinkle as Executive VP of Production Systems

CommerceHub, the industry leading merchandising and fulfillment platform for retailers and suppliers, recently announced that John Hinkle has joined the company as Executive Vice President of Production Systems.

Hinkle has assumed responsibility for the company’s technical operations and production system infrastructure, which last year alone powered more than $6 billion in retail sales for North America’s largest online retailers and suppliers, including QVC, Costco, Staples, Walmart, Home Depot and many others. CommerceHub’s cloud-based solution connects online retailers with suppliers to dramatically expand assortments and grow revenue.

Hinkle most recently served as the Chief Information Officer and Head of Americas Operations at Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. (Nasdaq: TTWO). There he led the creation of high availability geo-redundant data centers, built an online gaming infrastructure that supported millions of concurrent users for Grand Theft Auto, Max Payne and NBA 2K titles, consolidated multiple global enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems, and transformed product distribution to an effective third party logistics (3PL) model. Before Take-Two, Hinkle served as Chief Information Officer of Trans World Entertainment (Nasdaq: TWMC) and spent several years in leadership roles at GE.

“CommerceHub has ambitious plans, and as we continue to rapidly grow our network of retailers and suppliers, it is critical that we continually innovate our platform to ensure scalability and reliability for our customers,” said Frank Poore, Co-Founder and CEO of CommerceHub. “John has an impressive track record and we are very much looking forward to his contributions.” Continue Reading »


My Recent Abomni-Channel Retail Experiences


The entire retail channel is ablaze these days with talk of Omni-channel retail. Who’s doing it right, what are the best logistics strategies to support and the like.

Well those of you who know me will agree that for a retail guy I’m really not that much of a shopper. And funnily enough on two recent store visits to different retailers in the Greater Toronto Area I experienced not one but two abomni-channel retail trainwrecks.

Recently I went to a store in Newmarket around 4 pm to get two products with my son. He had seen the products on the retailer’s website and site did not say it was only available online so we went to store to pick one up. Continue Reading »


E-Commerce Success in Canada Depends on Power of Two

Customer demands for more rapid and cost effective e-commerce delivery seem to be increasing on a daily basis. In fact not a week goes by now without my speaking with retailers and etailers that since the dawn of e-commerce have successfully serviced Canada from one fulfillment operation for the country and are currently rethinking this model.

In most cases their national fulfillment operations are either positioned in Toronto or Montreal, as well as some in Vancouver, which up until now have been totally acceptable solutions. However, it definitely appears the days are numbered for a single e-commerce fulfillment operation being a viable customer delivery experience solution for all of Canada.

Depending if your customer delivery service level goals are next day metro markets or same day will determine the appropriate the number of e-commerce fulfillment operations you will need coast to coast in Canada. For many what I’m calling the ‘Power of Two’ will be the most logical next step with the addition of a second e-commerce fulfillment operation in either Eastern Canada or Western Canada depending on location of your current national site. Continue Reading »


FedEx plans more capacity cuts

FedEx, the express parcel and logistics operator, said it would make further capacity cuts and would see only modest profitability gains in the coming year as it continued to suffer from a sluggish global economy.

The company made the projections as it published figures for the fourth quarter of its financial year, to May 31.

Overall net income for the fourth quarter – which included a $100m charge for aircraft retirements – declined 45 per cent to $303m, on revenue up 4 per cent to $11.4bn. Earnings per share fell 45 per cent to 95 cents.

In the core FedEx Express business, the company reported quarterly operating income of zero against $281m for the same period last year, on revenue up 3 per cent to $6.98bn. Continue Reading »


UPS cuts outlook on soft demand

UPS shares tumbled Friday after it predicted disappointing second-quarter earnings and reduced its profit forecast for the full year.

United Parcel Service Co. and rival FedEx Corp. are suffering as customers increasingly trade down from expensive priority shipping to slower and less expensive options. UPS expects this and other trends to continue.

Shares of UPS fell $5.33, or 5.8 percent, to $86.12 in trading Friday. They dropped as low as $85.78 earlier. via Associated Press. Continue Reading »


Business Networks: Changing the Buyer-Seller Dynamic

Chances are you’re already on Facebook, LinkedIn and other social networking sites that connect you to the relationships, Web services and activities you need to run your daily life. And you’ve experienced first-hand their power to connect you to the right people and opportunities faster. But how networked is your business?

The answer can be a major determinant to your success. In fact, findings from a survey conducted by McKinsey and Company found that two-thirds of the more than 3,200 companies surveyed are using social media and business networks to improve their business. Those doing so most aggressively are seeing significant competitive, cost and profit advantages: “Networked enterprises were 50 percent more likely than their peers to have increased sales, higher profit margins, gain market share and be a market leader.” Continue Reading »


Create a Carbon Neutral Supply Chain

As consumers become increasingly environmentally selective, companies are recognising that they need to optimize their supply chains not only in terms of the traditional levers of cost and service level, but also in terms of carbon emissions. Aggressive carbon targets are being set at board level and logistics managers need to ensure that their supply chains are able to achieve them. Unfortunately for most companies, simple operational changes alone will not be enough and before companies start making sweeping changes to their supply chains, it is critical that they plan and understand these changes properly.
Continue Reading »


Going Omnichannel in Orlando & Reaching the Item Level RFID Tipping Point

Just about every year the RILA Logistics Conference is one of the best Events I attend and pleased to say #RILALogistics 2013 was no exception.

Great sessions and excellent networking provided me with many insights and opportunities to take home and build on going forward as direct positive outcomes from the event.

As described in my advance post Mission: Maximize Learning in Multichannel & E-Commerce this was the Track focused on and pleased to say that this mission was accomplished.
Continue Reading »


Mission: Maximize Learning on Multichannel Retailing & E-Commerce

In preparation for this year’s Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) Logistics event in Orlando February 17-20th my first task was to review the program and determine priorities for which sessions to attend.

In my mind the most significant challenge facing retail logistics professionals bar none is the rapid rise of multichannel commerce and all associated complexities and surrounding issues. With this in mind I am now a man on a multichannel mission for this year’s #RILAlogistics event! Continue Reading »

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