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IRX 2016 PREVIEW The Operations in Multichannel conference

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The Operations in Multichannel conference is the focus for today’s preview of IRX 2016. It’s part of a series of previews focusing on event highlights, from the conferences to interviews with key retail speakers, and beyond at this year’s InternetRetailing Expo (IRX 2016) (April 27-8, at the NEC in Birmingham).

Operations in multichannel

Now that customers can buy online, through stores, or using a mixture of the channels, it is easier and more convenient than ever to shop. But while the shopper enjoys this new simplicity, behind the scenes retailers are dealing with ever more complex operations.

The Operations in Multichannel conference brings together specialists from leading retailers and brands to tell their stories and debate new ways forward for retail operations.

Conference director Lisa Ploude says this conference will help retailers develop their relationships with their customers. “Since the emergence of online shopping, retailers have restructured operations, models and relationships with customers and suppliers in order to achieve supply chain effectiveness,” she said. “This conference will look at how leading retailers are getting to grips with new technology and operational strategies designed to increase growth opportunities and customer satisfaction.”

John Munnelly, head of operations at the John Lewis Partnership’s Magna Park Campus, is the opening keynote speaker in the conference, on how retailers can deal with the challenges of peak trading over new events such as Black Friday. He’ll consider how supply and distribution can be aligned, and how traders can prepare for unexpected fluctuations in buying behaviour in a cost-effective way. His keynote address, Black Friday Post-Mortem – lessons to learn and moving forward for 2016, is at 10.40am.

Glen Richardson, chief marketing officer at Fruugo, will share experiences so far of how a marketplace approaches expansion. The Rise of learnings from a rapidly-growing international marketplace, is at 11.15am.

Don Maidment, head of customer services, Europe, at Panasonic, then takes to the stage to share strategies for managing multichannel aftersales and returns while reducing the impact on the bottom line. Honing post sales delivery and returns to drive loyalty and ROI is at 11.50am.

A panel of speakers then considers ways to approach operations and logistics with a view to ensuring satisfied customers. Peter Ward, chief executive of the UK Warehousing Association, is among the panellists for a discussion on Aligning operations and logistics with customer experience and business performance, at 1.05pm.

Enriche Sánchez, international business director at conference sponsor Correos, considers new approaches to fulfilling overseas orders by combining the use of both postal and parcel distribution systems in his presentation. Postal vs parcel networks, what is the best distribution channel for your international shipments? is at 1.50pm.

Professor Jan Godsell, professor of operations and supply chain strategy WMG at the University of Warwick, then takes route optimisation and delivery performance for his theme, asking how real-time visibility and tracking can help in anytime, anywhere deliveries. Operational efficiency to meet new customer expectations and drive profitability is at 2.45pm.

The closing keynote address considers how retailers can best develop strategies for selling in China, where online shopping represents a lifestyle that’s growing fast. A senior representative of Alibaba will deliver the presentation, Cashing in on the international growth opportunities in China.

The Operations in Multichannel conference will take place on April 28 2016 at IRX 2016, at Birmingham’s NEC. Find out more about the conference here, and more about IRX 2016 here. Register to visit the show for free here.

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