For 83% of warehouse managers’ their top priority is to lower operations costs. This is not unusual when you consider the massive shift occurring from brick & mortar retail to e-commerce. The footwear industry is a prime example. No longer is going to the mall for a pair of shoes a consumer’s first choice. Many consumers now prefer shopping from the comfort of their home or the convenience of a mobile device.
By 2018 over 1.35 billion online originated deliveries are expected to be made annually. Clothing and footwear are expected to maintain the highest percentage of these deliveries. As the volume of these orders continues to grow, so will the importance the last mile delivery. The “last mile” is defined as the movement of people and goods from a transportation hub to the customer’s door. With online retail making up 10% all purchases, supply chains have adapted to address the challenges of omni-channel fulfillment. But as consumers discover more options, and demands in terms of speed, cost, and convenience increase, this last mile can create new obstacles.
Each year Americans spend $20 billion on footwear. The industry as a whole has grown over 4% in the past five years and that trend is expected to continue. At the same time, the landscape for how consumers are shopping for and purchasing shoes has changed. Shoppers now have more options, more demands that have resulted in shifting preferences from a focus on price to a focus on convenience. This new criteria is forcing supply chains across all industries to shift priorities and resources to meet these demands. Cost savings and operational efficiencies have taken a higher precedent than ever before.
For 83% of warehouse managers’ their top priority is to lower operations costs. This is up 5% from 2014 according to a Peerless Research Group Survey. This is not an unusual focus when you consider the massive shift occurring from brick & mortar retail to e-commerce. The footwear industry is a prime example. No longer is going to the mall for a pair of shoes a consumer’s first choice. Many consumers now prefer shopping from the comfort of their home or the convenience of a mobile device.
Creating an environment of visibility has never been more necessary than it is now. The ability to create, share and leverage information between partners is now integrated directly into fulfillment technology. This new development is made possible by the cloud. Just as the cloud makes accessing your personal media from anywhere easy, platforms across a variety of supply chain management applications are also reaping its benefits.
The key link that connects products to customers is fulfillment and distribution. While inventory management can go a long way in offering the widest array of styles and sizes, an optimized warehouse and distribution operation can allow you to achieve and maintain a better selection product on the shelves. With technology like a cross-belt sortation system and multi-faceted processes, productivity and capacity can be improved in your current warehouse space.
Logistics operations, like many other things, are constantly evolving. This is especially true for the footwear industry. As technology creates new opportunities for consumers and new efficiencies for companies, it can also introduce new challenges.
Finally, five o’ clock has rolled around at the end of a long day. After gathering your laptop, notes and sunglasses, you are greeted at the front door of your office by a clap of thunder and a torrential downpour. You see your car about 20 feet away and before you begin to negotiate the puddles and lightning, you pull your key fob from your pocket, unlock the driver’s side door and count your lucky stars you don’t have to fumble with your keys and briefcase trying to fit the key into the door lock as you become inundated with rain. This is just one of the modern conveniences made possible by radio frequency identification technology, or RFID. Even though the shoes on your feet are now saturated, thanks to RFID tags your footwear and apparel supply chain doesn’t need to end up underwater.
Shoes are essential. They are the only part of us that is in constant contact with the ground. In the same way that tires are essential to a car’s performance, footwear impacts almost every phase of our lives. From that first pair of soccer cleats to those uncomfortable dress shoes, and every pair of running shoes in between, footwear is a ubiquitous and essential ingredient of each day.