Omnichannel flexibility, sustainability lead logistics priorities

Dan Berthiaume
Senior Editor, Technology
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Logistics executives plan to invest in technologies that provide convenient, efficient and sustainable order fulfillment.

According to a new survey of high-level logistics executives from retail and supply chain enterprise software provider Blue Yonder, 59% of respondents, including 71% of those in consumer manufacturing, plan to offer flexible delivery windows for online orders to maximize sustainability throughout the supply chain. Close to half (48%) of all respondents plan to implement and/or enhance their warehouse management systems (WMS) and cloud infrastructure (48%).

In addition, 38% of respondents said that maintaining and optimizing convenient fulfillment options (such as curbside pickup, BOPIS, at-home delivery) is the most important factor for enhancing consumer experiences post-COVID-19. Other technologies respondents plan to implement or enhance include:
•    Artificial intelligence (AI) and/or machine learning (ML) 42%;
•    Sales and operations planning (S&OP) and/or sales and operations execution (S&OE) 42%; and,
•    Transportation management systems (TMS) 41%.

The survey also reveals that 57% of respondents plan to invest in more sustainable upstream operations (materials sourcing, suppliers, and manufacturing) to maximize sustainability throughout the supply chain. In addition, 54% plan to invest in workforce management technologies and 51% plan to invest in enhanced workforce training procedures in the next 12 months.

“As many companies were ill-prepared for the mounting pressures of delivering enhanced consumer experiences caused by pandemic-induced e-commerce surges, logistics executives are turning their energy and resources to meeting new and rising expectations,” said Fab Brasca, group VP, global solutions, Blue Yonder. “To compete in this consumer-centric world, companies will have to adopt technologies that not only provide efficiency, but real-time visibility to meet skyrocketing customer expectations.” 

The Logistics Executive Survey was fielded online for Blue Yonder by a third-party provider and collected responses from more than 150 C-suite and senior executives across manufacturing, retail, 3PL, transportation, and warehousing, with responsibility for logistics and manufacturing operations in the U.S.