Omni-challenge for retail supply chains

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Retail is going omni-channel and meeting the supply chain needs of this new environment is a major challenge. The issues will be put under the microscope at the Omni-Channel Conference in September.
What will an Omni-Channel future look like and what do organisations need to do to adjust to it? That is the question that will be addressed by Gino Goossens, director, omni-channel strategy & innovations, UK & International at Maplin Electronics when he delivers the opening address at the Omni-Channel Conference in September.

Omni-channel is about delivering a digital transformation of the business with the aim of customer experience across all channels and Goosens will look at why business should aim to create a single P&L and a single view of stock by removing existing departmental barriers and encouraging all departments to work towards a single goal.

He will consider the importance of innovation, flexibility and continuous integration, as well as identifying key stakeholders and making the architecture ready.

For many retailers, the challenge is how to move from traditional business models to become truly omni-channel. And the issue will be addressed by Dino Rocos, operations director at John Lewis, when he speaks at the Omni-Channel Conference in September.

He will explain how John Lewis changed its business model to embrace e-commerce and omni-channel fulfilment and look at the impact this has had on market share and business performance across each sales channel.

John Lewis is famed for its employee involvement and Rocos will talk about how it ensured all employees were fully on board and behind the changes.

Argos is undergoing a change to become a best in class digital retailer – this has a huge and complex impact on imports and distribution.

Las Perera, head of imports, will give an overview of the challenges and success of a large scale transformation.

Drop shipping sounds like the perfect online retail strategy, it should be good for cash flow and there is no inventory to hold. So how does it fit into the omni-channel mix?

Edward Osborne, head of drop-ship operations at Tesco Direct, will provide an overview of Tesco’s drop-ship operations development – what prompted the growth in drop-ship delivery and where does this fit into Tesco’s omni-channel logistics strategy?

He will examine the benefits of increased drop-ship deliveries over traditional methods of fulfilment and ask: does this represent a step-change?

The past couple of years have seen some massive automated warehouse projects as retailers position themselves to operate in an omni-channel environment.

John Lewis has been a leader in this and John Munnelly, head of operations at Magna Park, will consider the drivers behind warehouse automation at the Magna Park facility.

In particular, he will address the question: can automated systems facilitate a smoother transition to omni-channel operations, as well as how do you build flexibility into an automated operation?

He will also look at the suitability of automation for direct-to-consumer growth and the demands of individual orders.

A speaker from Halfords, will look at delivering a totally consistent offering to the customer. Key questions include: with customers now able to access price comparisons and product reviews and information on the move what are retailers doing to ensure they keep up?

And will creating a single version of product data across all channels lead to increased sales and customer retention in the omni-channel space?


Can you imagine a utopia when returns are not just a black hole for inventory and resources, but a bona fide revenue stream, adding value for customers and even cost reductions? Ian Towell, head of general merchandise returns at Tesco can.

He will be presenting a refreshing view of the returns channel, and how to get to that utopia.

He will consider what the priorities should be in dealing with returns: a better customer experience or cost reduction – or is it possible to achieve both?

And he will look at the complexities of operating across multiple channels and customer touch points and how these present specific reverse logistics challenges.

Click and collect has grown significantly in a short space of time to become an integral part of a retailers’ customer proposition.

How Asda is integrating non-grocery click and collect into its operations will be the subject of a presentation at the Omni-Channel conference by Michael Kosciukiewicz, senior manager online business development at Asda.

Kosciukiewicz will look at the logistical challenges to integrating click and collect deliveries, as well as the opportunities and potential savings.

And he will analyse how Asda has progressed with parcel click and collect integration and the challenges and benefits to the business.

James Harper, head of returns at Shop Direct, will provide an overview of the specific challenges facing online fashion retail.

He will look at the role returns play in maintaining high levels of customer service in the online space. And he will consider how to re-integrate returns of over 20 per cent in an effective and efficient way.

Are third party providers better placed to manage the returns process? That’s the question that will be addressed by speaker from Clipper Logistics.

He will consider if better process management offsets the costs of bringing in outside services? And who should take ownership of damaged or un-saleable product?


» Dino Rocos, operations director, John Lewis
Dino Rocos joined the John Lewis Partnership thirty eight years ago spending his first ten years in the selling environment and two years in production before moving into the supply chain. As operations director and member of the John Lewis Management Board, Dino Rocos has overall responsibility for the John Lewis primary and secondary supply chain including in house and third party national distribution centres, national and international e-fulfilment, in house and third party home delivery and the John Lewis merchandising function. Additionally he holds responsibility for defining the strategic direction of supply chain development in response to the continuing development of the broader retail proposition and changing expectations of the new omni channel retail customer.

» Edward Osborne, head of drop ship operations, Tesco Direct
Edward Osborne has worked as the head of dropship operations within general merchandise online of Tesco Direct for the last two years. Over this time, dropship fulfilment has significantly evolved and is positioned as a mainstream part of Tesco online. Prior to joining Tesco, Edward was an army officer, retiring as a Major in 2012. Positions have included; squadron commander in the Queen’s Own Gurkha Logistic Regiment, leading the global MoD Surface Freight movement contracts within the Defence Supply Chain, Operations and Movements (DSCOM) at the heart of Defence Equipment and Support (DE&S), a mix of other roles covering military communications, intelligence and operations both at home, in Northern Ireland and Afghanistan.

»  Alan Penhale, head of warehousing, Boots
Alan Penhale is head of warehousing for Boots UK, this role is responsible for all retail ‘front of shop’ supply to over 2,500 Boots stores in the UK and Ireland along with the fulfilment warehouse. Prior to this role he was design and build lead in the supply chain reengineering project which centralised and automated the Boots UK supply chain.

»  John Munnelly, head of operations, Magna Park, John Lewis
John Munnelly’s career in logistics spans over 25 years during which time he has experienced the industry from all angles both third party and in house operations with previous roles with TDG, Ryder, Littlewoods and Sainsbury’s. John has built up a wealth of experience and knowledge relating to all aspects of retail distribution, particularly specialising in operational start-ups for large scale automated solutions, transport operations, direct to customer home delivery and omni-channel fulfilment. Munnelly has managed a number of high profile and technologically advanced projects. For the past five years Munnelly has been the senior project manager responsible for the design, build and implementation of John Lewis’ new semi-automated national distribution centre at Magna Park, Milton Keynes.

» Professor Michael Bourlakis
Professor Michael Bourlakis holds the chair in Logistics & Supply Chain Management at Cranfield School of Management. He is also the director of the Supply Chain Research Centre. He has been a member of the Academic Committee of the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (Logistics Research Network) and he is also the joint editor-in-chief of the International Journal of Logistics: Research and Applications. He is a member of the European Technology Platform (Food for Life, European Commission). During 2013, he became a member of an Expert Panel for the European Commission (DG Research and Innovation) working with retailers and other academics on “Retail Innovation”. His recent research interests lie in food and retail logistics, e-business and supply chain management, sustainability and supply chain management. In 2014, Bourlakis became a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport.

» Richard Horton, head of transport development, Travis Perkins
Richard Horton has been in the logistics industry for 14 years working for the first ten in 3PLs including Ceva Logistics, Lex Transfleet and The Lloyd Fraser Group. Since 2009 he has been employed by the Travis Perkins Group where he has established from scratch and heads up the Transport Development department. With 16 individual businesses operating over 3,000 commercial vehicles in the fleet across an estate of 2000+ O’ Licence centres, Horton and his team have worked to implement transport efficiencies and customer service initiatives into the various operations. Some of the key milestones have been the implementation of satellite vehicle tracking, vehicle route scheduling and hand held terminals delivering OTIF and ePOD. In the last four years the business has realised cost savings of over £14m due to improved fleet utilisation.

» Ian Towell, head of general merchandise returns, Tesco
Ian Towell serves as business head of general merchandise returns for Tesco, a role which has evolved over the past 6 years as Tesco has expanded its GM business online, into broader and more complex product categories, and into international markets. Towell was a founding member of Tesco Direct, and has been instrumental in developing strategies which have driven improvements in the customer aftersales experience, while reducing the impact to the bottom line through more effective back end process management. Prior to Tesco, Towell worked at Argos for 4 years in business change, and before that 10 years at Sainsbury’s Supermarkets.

» Lasith Perera, head of imports, Argos
Lasith Perera has been head of imports at Argos since September 2011. His accountabilities include all aspects of Argos imports business, operations, development, strategy and Duty compliance. Prior to this, Perera served as commercial manager for Home Retail Group from January 2008 to September 2011. Accountabilities included procurement and tenders, commercial negotiations and contracts, value chain and continuous improvement. Between January 2003 and December 2007, Perera served as network planning manager for Homebase, where responsibilities included supply chain and network planning, development and strategy. From January 2000 to January 2003, Perera was Head of supply chain channel management for Woolworths.

» Guy Meisl, head of warehousing and logistics EMEA, Deckers Outdoors
Guy Meisl is responsible for the operational distribution for the UGG, TEVA, Hoka and Sanuk brands across EMEA, as well as strategic development of the European Logistics Wholesale, Retail and E-commerce solutions. Before joining Deckers he was Director European 3PL Operations at Technicolor. Between 2004 and 2009 he was Head of Logistics at zavvi entertainment (formerly Virgin Megastores). And from 2000 to 2004 he was head of European logistics at Habitat.

» Gino Goossens, director, omni-channel strategy & innovations, UK & International, Maplin Electronics

» Maureen Hinton, group research director, global retail, Conlumino

» James Harper, head of returns, Shop Direct

Where and When

The Omni-Channel Conference takes place at the NEC Hilton Birmingham Metropole on Wednesday 17th September and Thursday 18th September.

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