Editor's Comment

Editorial: Dreaming of relaxing for summer? Nonsense – it’s time to plan for peak!

So the school holidays have officially begun and many of us are winding down for the summer, looking forward to a break away and a few weeks of slightly less frazzled activity than normal. I know I’m certainly in need of a holiday. For retailers planning for peak however there is no respite. It needs to a continuous process of planning and amendments to ensure retailers and their carriers are best able to meet the ever more strenuous demands of their customers over their busiest periods of the year. This week we run the first in a series of interviews that will suggest ways in which retailers can best work with their partners to prepare for such busy trading periods with a view from Jon Ormond, director of hub and depot operations at Hermes.

Also preparing for an expansion of its business is Whistl, which announced the opening of a new Bolton super depot this week as the company builds for future growth.

For those companies that are on a growth curve efficiency is key. Retailers need to get items to their customers as quickly and cost effectively as they can. At electricals retailers Buy It Direct however that was being hampered with the old system in operation by the retailer. The company has now replaced its previous paper-based delivery system with a cloud-based management system and explains the benefits in a piece this week.

Reacting to customer change is a must and as a result it’s increasingly customers themselves that are in the driving seat. The latest report from LCP Consulting suggests this is particularly true in the supply chain arena where successful retailers are those that are focussing on five key areas – most of which exploit the benefits of a customer-driven supply chain.

Instore retailers are trying to understand the role that technology plays in replicating the online shopping experience. A second piece of research this week suggests the important role that instore technology which allows customers to self-serve, check availability of stock and order for home delivery is, as most retailers agree they are not doing enough to replicate the online experience.

For the latest understanding in what your customers want from you, and where the market is heading, make sure you grab tickets for the eDelivery conference on 5 October. The show is co-located with InternetRetailing Conference which means you actually get two shows for the price of one. Can you afford to miss the early bird offer that will get you in?

 Image credit: Fotolia