The "Amazon effect" is demanding more out of supply chains everywhere - including those of furniture companies.
To address this challenge and others that furniture supply chains are facing, Furniture Today and AHFA hosted the 2017 Logistics Symposium at High Point University in High Point, NC. LeanCor Logistics' Director of Account Management, Ashley Yentz, spoke on a panel focused on clearing supply chain bottlenecks for furniture retailers and manufacturers.
Here's what she had to say about the Amazon effect, and how furniture companies can compete:
FURNITURE TODAY: Consumers have come to expect an increasing level of transparency into the delivery of their furniture. What challenges does that present to the systems of today’s logistics providers and what does that mean for the competitive landscape going forward?
Our survival against the "Amazon effect" will be measured by our ability to sense demand quickly and almost in real time. Amazon senses demand in seconds, but for many of us we are still measuring demand and performance in days, weeks and even months.
Our supply chains will only become effective if we can sense and respond quickly, and to do that we will need the demand and supply to be transparent across the end to end supply chain. A demand-driven supply chain is defined as a supply chain built for efficiently and effectively sensing and shaping demand with minimal latency in order to drive near-real time responses at the optimal level of service and cost for customers. Traditionally, most companies regardless of industry have struggled to accurately understand their demand for a variety of reasons.
The Amazon effect has increased customer expectations and reaction to demand must be biased to be forward looking. We must look forward at customer demand instead of looking backwards at historical data in order to meet and exceed customer expectations.
For an organization to be “plugged in” and looking ahead towards its customers’ preferences, leveraging the Internet of Things (IoT) is a must-have for improving demand sensing capabilities. In fact, it is estimated that by 2025, 50 billion devices will be connected to the internet. Yet, 87% of organizations aren’t leveraging this information according to a recent survey.
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