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eDelivery Conference Preview: Achieving availability for all


Availability is everything in retail. Efficiently replenishing a network of stores can be challenging enough, but today retail supply chain professionals are dealing with all the complexities of omni-channel. With this in mind, the first ‘stream’ of the eDelivery Conference locks down on the issue Availability. This, the first of two streams during the day (October 11, 2016) will examine how the rapid growth of online retail has impacted traditional stock control, supply and returns models. And of course there’s a big focus on meeting the customer service expectations of the ‘Anywhere Consumer’.
The speakers for this track are well positioned to explore and explain the latest approaches for achieving efficiency, responsiveness and agility. These are the UK’s retail supply chain trailblazers who spend their working days challenging, flexing and adapting traditional organisational structures, in order to prosper from new opportunities for innovation and growth.

Big questions to be raised and wrestled with include: Where are the future opportunities? How can costs be reduced? Where is the ROI and how are traditional models being reshaped to address new demands? Delegates will hear first-hand how leading retailers are getting to grips with ensuring availability in the omnichannel world, learning to implement international growth and cross-channel delivery, and what they are achieving with big data, intelligent sourcing, returns management and collaborative working.

Models for the 21st Century

Setting the scene will be Katie McQuaid, Director of Fulfilment by Amazon – giving valuable insights into the workings of the ultimate 21st Century retailer. She’ll be getting to the root of what customers want, how they want it and knowing where to invest to deliver success. Her line is clear: Investing in back office systems has been Amazon’s route to success, and these systems must be designed to support orders and fulfilment, while offering a totally joined up experience for the customer.

Royal Mail delivery customer serviceContinuing this theme will be Roger Morris, Head of Royal Mail Parcels at Royal Mail. In recent years the parcel business has been transformed and Roger is the man to update on how the latest technology is now driving efficiency and helping UK retailers expand in both the domestic market and overseas.

Innovations around boosting product availability and customer reach are taking place at Marks & Spencer too. Head of Operations Ricky Wilson will look at how M&S is working to ensure consumers have access to their purchases on time and via a host of convenient services. He will also reveal how M&S is using Click & Collect – now a huge part of M&S store operations – to meet and exceed new customer demands.

Have you ever considered returns to be a business opportunity? Delegates can hear Ian Towell, Head of Returns, Tesco, explaining how robust strategies for returns management can enhance customer engagement, and ultimately impact the bottom line. He’s a man obsessed with service innovation, and it will be fascinating to hear his take on this.

The Availability stream also looks into agility in the supply chain – in line with the long held belief that flexibility to meet unexpected peaks and troughs in demand can boost profitability. Walter Blackwood, has vast experience in this area and offers 5 Things Every Retailer Should Know to Maximise Performance in his presentation. Walter is ‎Omni Channel Logistics Expert at ‎W&MB Consulting Ltd, and a former Logistics Director at Mothercare, so really knows his stuff.

Share your views at an Interactive Roundtable

For a chance to put forward you own views and share knowledge, don’t miss the Interactive Roundtable Discussions that will be taking place before lunch. The aim of these brand new roundtable discussions is to bring together the brightest minds to share successes, admit to failures (off the record!) and challenge conventional thinking.

Find more detail on the Availability Stream here

Register to attend the eDelivery Conference here

Image credits:

  • SJP Publishing
  • Royal Mail Group image library

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