As more and more companies embrace the omnichannel environment, they're challenged to meet escalating customer expectations for visibility, efficiency and seamless service. A new study by Saddle Creek Logistics Services explores how omnichannel fulfillment and distribution operations are helping companies to accommodate these expectations today and plan for the future.
Saddle Creek engaged Peerless Research Group to conduct an online survey of manufacturers, retailers, ecommerce companies, wholesalers and distributors in November 2017 and compiled a report based on responses from those industry professionals who are personally involved in omnichannel order fulfillment and/or distribution for their organizations.
"Ready or Not: Omnichannel Fulfillment & Distribution" explores the current state of the omnichannel supply chain, top challenges, industry trends, the role of technology, use of outsourcing and more. Research highlights include:
• Distribution model. Data points to a growing shift toward a multi-site distribution model. Within two years, the number of companies using multiple DCs where the fulfillment source is determined by business rules for the order will more than double - up from 23.5 to 49.4 percent. Another 28.4 percent will use multiple DCs, with each primarily serving a specific geographic area or sales channel.
• Technology. While companies are using a range of technology solutions to support their order fulfillment operations, 27.8 percent of respondents say that technology limitations are one of their top challenges related to order management, fulfillment and distribution.
• Outsourcing. A growing number of companies are seeking outside help in managing their omnichannel operations. Over a third of respondents (35.9 percent) currently use a 3PL, and an additional 12.8 percent say they plan to use or consider using a 3PL in the next 12 months.
"Companies are recognizing that omnichannel requires a significantly more complex supply chain to satisfy consumer expectations," said Perry Belcastro, vice president, fulfillment at Saddle Creek Logistics Services. "Going forward, it's important to keep a watchful eye on order fulfillment and distribution operations and continually seek out opportunities for improvement in order to remain competitive."
The complete report is available at https://www.sclogistics.com/new-study-examines-omnichannel-fulfillment-challenges-trends/