The Three Things Supply Chain Leaders are Prioritising for Christmas

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By Published On: November 5, 20210 Comments

What are the three leading priorities for supply chain leaders in the months moving forward? The answer may surprise you.

According to a report from Australia Post, it’s all about e-commerce, sustainability and digitisation.

Supply chain shortages have run rampant worldwide in the last few months and are currently presenting issues for the global economy. The report showed that 57 percent of supply chain leaders said that these issues would play a central role in delivering and determining their overall digital strategy.

According to Gary Starr, the Executive General Manager Business, Government and International at Australia Post, it’s critical to have a strong and resilient supply chain when enabling growth and success in a post-pandemic world.

“Supply chain disruptions are a growing challenge, and it is important businesses have processes in place to weather potential impacts, while also continuing to improve their speed and flexibility, reduce costs and manage their logistics and fulfilment to ensure they can meet the needs of their customers,” he said.

E-commerce growth is currently topping 76 percent for the 12 months to September 2021, he continued. When compared to the same period two years ago, the growth opportunities are unmissable. Perhaps unsurprisingly, 70 percent of respondents said they have ramped up their e-commerce capabilities in the last two years.

Nearly nine million Australian households made an online purchase in 2020, which is a ‘phenomenal’ rise for online retail of more than 57 percent YoY. Moreover, this trend isn’t showing signs of slowing, even as Australian states leave lockdown measures and loosen restrictions. The report found that more than five million Australian households are continuing to make online purchases every month – this is up 1.1 million compared to the average in 2020.

“What we are seeing with our clients is that the world is changing faster than ever before and businesses across all industries, whether they are selling into consumer or business markets, must adapt quickly to thrive in the ‘new normal’,” said Craig Albiston, National Logistics & Distribution Lead, Deloitte Consulting.

“The value and flexibility of e-commerce has also accelerated, benefiting those who have pivoted to serve the needs of their increasingly online and digitally connected customer base. Many clients moved rapidly to boost their online and eCommerce capabilities across B2B, B2C and D2C, but are also now making the longer-term investments needed to integrate their responses into a whole of business, omnichannel customer experience proposition,” he said.

For Supply Chain Leaders, Sustainability is a ‘Given’

One of the main priorities for supply chain leaders in the lead up to Christmas is the need for sustainable practices. Often called out by many businesses, supply chains have been called out as a ‘key enabler’ to improving sustainability and the social impact of their operations. Ethical sourcing and sustainable practices in this instance can include the products and services they supply and source.

“Supply chains are increasingly understood to mask a business’ true sustainability footprint. But suppliers can also be your secret weapon in reducing social and environmental impacts,” said Susan Mizrahi, the Chief Sustainability Officer at Australia Post. According to the report, nearly half of the respondents said they’re piloting the development of circular supply chains.

Furthermore, almost half of respondents in the Australia Post E-Commerce Industry Report said they want recyclable packaging, with 30 percent saying they’d prefer carbon neutral delivery and 28 percent saying they’re happy to wait a little bit longer for delivery if were to reduce environmental impact.

What Next?

As sustainability becomes increasingly imperative worldwide, Power Retail is aiming to drive awareness, encourage and celebrate sustainable practices throughout the entire retail industry.

Power Retail has partnered with The Purpose Agents to create the Power Retail Sustainability Index, to drive awareness and encourage sustainable practices throughout the entire retail industry.

The Power Retail Sustainability Index consists of a questionnaire, derived from the triple bottom line theory, whereby companies should be working toward achieving positive results with regard to three bottom lines:

Profit: The traditional measure of corporate success

People: The measure of social responsibility when doing business

Planet: The measure of environmental responsibility when doing business

The 28-question benchmarking survey opens the opportunity for retailers to thoroughly assess and discuss their social responsibility and sustainability initiatives. This will be done across three topic areas – Company Ethos; Business Operations and Value Chain; and Business as an Agent of Change.

Responses to each question are rated on a scale from one to five. Scores will be tallied to determine the ranking on the Sustainability Index, and Power Retail will revisit these rankings continuously to chart the movement of sustainable practices in e-commerce.

So, does your business deserve recognition for its sustainable practices? If you think your company works towards a positive impact, this is your moment to recognise your hard work. To take part in the Power Retail Sustainability Index, submit your company’s practices today.

The e-commerce landscape is changing. With a Power Retail Switched On membership, you get access to current e-commerce revenue and forecasting, traffic levels, average conversion rate, payment preferences and more!

About the Author: Power Retail

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