Who & Why
eDelivery Conference – fulfilling the multichannel promise
“Creating options and providing robust solutions” could be the mantra of the multichannel professionals responsible for “S-O-L-D” – Supply Chain, Operations, Logistics and Delivery. As delegates know, the infrastructural aspects of multichannel retail are creating new capabilities that our marketing colleagues can turn into customer promises. Immediately ‘after the buy button’ we’re involved once more in fulfilling those promises – delivery, service, returns management: at the customer’s home, work, collection points and of course in store.
As we look across the InternetRetailing IRUK Top500 multichannel retailers we see the increasing role that S-O-L-D plays in success. This takes two forms: the first is in offering new capabilities to set our businesses apart; the second is in the ruthlessly consistent execution of those services. Across the board, all of our retailers in the Top500 have improved year on year and so the competitive drive is to maintain progress, running with the leading groups and not being outpaced by nimbler, more capable peers.
It is against this backdrop of improving performance that we have extracted our theme for the second annual eDelivery Conference: PRACTICALITY. The conference track names “Availability” and “Experience” are the two strands of the much needed practical approaches to deliver the right product to the right customer at the right time.
We have noticed that as channels merge and disappear in the consumer’s mind, so the notion of ‘availability’ has stretched. From simply “being in stock when the customer visits”, we now see products in terms of whether they are “in service” to the customer. If she doesn’t need an item for a few days then a product might be ‘in service’ or ‘within promise’ even if we don’t have it in stock… Drop-ship, 3rd party vendors, just-in-time replenishment, extended ranges, ship from store, selling goods that are in the returns process, and other practices work together to allow us to say ‘yes’ to more of the customer’s demands. In the “Availability” stream we will investigate the many approaches created by leading retailers to increase the ROI on stock holding, reduce the cost to serve, reduce customer disappointment… in short, how to make the customer as happy as our CFO!
The second stream recognises the contribution of the operational side of the business to delight and service the customer. Rather than remaining a ‘back-office’ function, the “Experience” track highlights how eDelivery professionals are a new direct-to-customer team, directly impacting the customer’s experienced. Whether enhanced product handling and packaging, customisation and special orders, final mile (final moments) delivery experience, returns handling especially for VIP customers, replacement and repair as well as customer service… the eDelivery professional has a more extended contact with our most profitable customers than do our digital marketing colleagues! In this stream we’ll illustrate the approaches of the best retailers and uncover their techniques, success metrics and importantly their plans for further development.
Our scope at eDelivery is a pan-European one, reflecting the fact that the major networks and suppliers already operate across borders. Consequently our speakers will be drawn from the leaders in Europe.
The two conference tracks will be supplemented by a parallel-running roundtables track, focused on specific techniques, tools and focused challenges. The roundtables provide a practical, deployable learning track to supplement the inspiration and best practice in the two conference tracks.