The dramatic changes in consumer behaviour and their impact on the supply chain came under scrutiny in an IntraLogisteX conference presentation by Tom Rose, head of international operations at Spar International.
Spar operates 12,777 stores in 48 countries, supplied by 242 distribution centres.
Customers are now web native, they are well connected, well informed and they want a personalised service, said Rose. He highlighted the way social media has been displacing traditional marketing pointing out: “What people say to each other is key.
And he traced the way retail had moved from traditional shops, through supermarkets and e-commerce to today’s retail market where knowing the customer is critical. To serve that customer means optimising the supply chain to be low cost and operating online and physical networks as one.
He gave the example of how consumers are starting to use mobile apps to build shopping list during the day. The purchases can either then be delivered to the consumer’s home or the app can show the consumer the fastest way to get around the store.
In this new environment, said Rose, availability is critical. The supply chain must be able to get the right product to the right place at the right time.
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