Editor's Comment

Your starter for 10 – where is the omnichannel profit?

The next print edition of eDelivery magazine is currently being put to bed, which is one of those awful pieces of jargon people-in-the-know like to use. It’s not being given some warm milk and being read to, you understand. It is, instead, being finalised and made ready for printing and distribution.

I’ve written a feature for it based on conversations I’ve been having with people in the industry about how to avoid the worst excesses of Black Friday peak problems. One of the things that is abundantly clear is the cost trap many can fall into – high volumes of heavily discounted products that require more cost than ever to pick, pack and deliver them.

You don’t need to have been on the winning team for University Challenge to figure out that’s a pretty unsustainable set of affairs. But it’s a picture that starts to look increasingly gloomy thanks to research from JDA Software that reckons only 16% of retail and consumer goods companies are able to make profits from omnichannel retail.

Most of the investments in omnichannel are around driving the front end, and although a whopping 88% of CEOs surveyed also recognise the importance of transport and logistics, they see it as a “priority for the future.”

Let’s hope they get to the future before the future gets to them. Hope is not a strategy, as someone probably once said. Addressing the imbalance between cost, price and value is remains one of the fundamental challenges facing the industry, and this is a theme I’m confident we will return to.

Elsewhere in eDelivery, Irish parcel firm Nightline is expanding its network of Parcel Motel pick-up points, MetaPack has been named a ‘cool vendor’ by Gartner, and NetDespatch has announced customer successes with artisanal gifts company Made Lovingly Made, and the drinks brand beloved of the 1980s, SodaStream. We also have an article from Lewis Marston, CEO of Rocket Consulting, looking at how to balance your own supply chain priorities with those of your 3PL partners.

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