Since we started publishing DC Velocity more than 10 years ago, one of our primary missions has been to bring readers insights into emerging trends that will affect the way products move through supply chains. Along with bringing our audience regular stories on the here and now, we like to look over the horizon as well.
In this special report on one of the most important trends emerging in the retail industry, we take a close look at omnichannel commerce.
What is that, you ask? Good question, and our hope is that this multi-part report provides both an answer to that question and insights into how companies are grappling with it.
To develop this report, we teamed up with ARC Advisory Group to conduct a survey of readers of DC Velocity whose companies are tackling the many issues that arise when retailers move to the omnichannel model. In the first section of the report, Steve Banker of ARC and Editor at Large James Cooke examine the results of that survey and offer insight into what it all means. (ARC is also offering a more detailed examination of the omnichannel survey results in a separate report.)
The results of the survey are not surprising: Retailers face a number of logistics challenges in making omnichannel distribution work and making it profitable. This is true both at the distribution center and at the retail store. Banker and Cooke's story shines a light on what those challenges are.
The second part of this report takes a close look at how one company, women's fashion retailer Chico's FAS, has shifted its operations to meet those challenges head on. Omnichannel commerce has become central to the company's strategy. CEO Dave Dyer recently told analysts, "The lines between store sales and online sales have become irrevocably blurred. We are channel-agnostic at Chico's FAS." Of course, translating strategy into action requires tools and tactics and operational savvy. In our story, also reported by Cooke, we look at how the company is making use of material handling technology at its distribution centers in Georgia to meet the demands of omnichannel fulfillment across its four brands.
Finally, Cooke, who is our supply chain technology specialist at DC Velocity and also is the chief editor of our sister publication, CSCMP's Supply Chain Quarterly, offers his own perspective on how the adoption of omnichannel strategies by a growing number of retailers will affect fulfillment operations at distribution centers and what may be required. In his essay, he looks well over the horizon at the future of robotics in the DC.
Omnichannel Special Report: