E-Commerce Evolution Grows Supply Chain Globalization and Visibility
This article first appeared in Supply & Demand Chain Executive June 2020 issue. Author: Brielle Jarkel, featuring Scott Dunnington, Open Sky Group
Over the last 20 years, e-commerce has emerged as a dominant aspect of the supply chain industry and continues to put pressure on brands and retailers for product availability and shorter delivery time. How did we get here? To recognize where we are, we must acknowledge where we have been.
- What started the e-commerce evolution?
- How has it evolved over time?
- What challenges is the supply chain industry facing today?
- How will it continue to challenge and shape the supply chain industry in the future?
In Supply & Demand Chain Executive’s recent article “E-Commerce Evolution Grows Supply Chain Globalization and Visibility,” several industry experts address those very questions, including Open Sky Group’s Director of Client Services, Scott Dunnington.
Scott’s e-commerce insight
Scott specifically references the start of the e-commerce evolution and some of the initial changes that were made in an effort for the supply chain industry to adapt to the emerging e-commerce environment. He states that e-commerce started as small package delivery, shifting suppliers to less-than-load (LTL) shipping, but it has since multiplied exponentially, causing companies to shift to a multi-channel approach. In 2010, companies tried to achieve an order-anywhere, fulfill-from-anywhere process and shifted in 2015, to building dedicated e-commerce fulfillment centers. According to Scott,
“Time will tell how it all plays out, but one trend from all of this is for warehousing to become multi-channel with wholesale, e-commerce, club-outlet, subscriptions, etc. All fulfilled from the same facility. Transportation is obviously affected, as both how product moves between facilities and the last-mile delivery have changed dramatically to support this new model. Product returns and the associated reverse logistics are also much different in the high-order-count world where product is returned directly to the shipper instead of to stores for collection and return to the warehouse.”
Scott references only a few of the ways the supply chain industry has adapted to the e-commerce evolution. Other industry experts interviewed for the article discuss:
- Moving offshore
- The Amazon experience
- Growing e-commerce
- COVID-19’s impact on e-commerce
To read the full article, visit Supply & Demand Chain Executive. The website may require registration to access the full content.