Pick up your package and grab a Slurpee
It was reported this week that 7-Eleven intends to continue riding the e-commerce wave, despite being a mostly brick-and-mortar establishment. Back in 2011, the company created a pilot project with Amazon that included the installment of lockers at certain store locations. Deliveries are made directly to these lockers for later retrieval by online shoppers who are looking to avoid packages being dropped off on unattended doorsteps. Barcodes are sent per email which can be scanned with smartphones. These barcodes are then used to open the lockers at the local 7-eleven.
The pilot project must have been considered a success because many other retailers are looking to get involved in this locker project. 7-eleven has expanded its offering to include any retailer shipping with FedEx or UPS, and recently announced it will be installing special Wal-Mart lockers at six locations in Toronto. In general, the company has lockers installed in over 200 locations across Canada and the United States. Retailers are experiencing logistical benefits with this set-up and 7-Eleven is profiting from increased impulse purchases by people coming in to pick up their packages. So far, everyone involved seems to be benefiting from the locker program. It remains to be seen if 7-Eleven can continue to give up so much valuable shelf space to the lockers.
Click here for more in this story.
Do supply chain cuts indicate trouble ahead for Apple?
Apple has made the supply chain headlines once again the past couple of weeks, but this time, something is different. We have seen many articles on questionable supply chain practices regarding corporate social responsibility and worker conditions. We are also used to the headlines about potential iPhone or Smart Watch shortages due to excess demand. This time, however, the tables have turned, and reports suggest demand for the new iPhone 6S is “disappointing”.
There is no consensus on whether or not demand for the new iPhones truly is lower than expected, but shares of Apple’s suppliers are taking a hit on the stock market. There are two sides of analysts pitted against each other on this matter. On the one hand, it is reported that the new iPhone is not selling through as expected, creating high inventories and increased risk for suppliers. This is supported by the fact that Apple has lowered its component orders by 10%, according to Kulbinger Garcha from Credit Suisse. On the other hand, analysts suggest this is simply an attack on Apple from competitors, and that the company is perfectly positioned for the upcoming holiday season. This is definitely a situation to be monitored.
For more on Apple’s potential supply chain woes, click here.
Time for a customer-centric supply chain approach
PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) recently surveyed over 1,200 operations executives and released a report titled “Reimagining operations: Insights from PwC’s 2015 Global Operations Survey”. A troubling figure found in the report: just 25% of operations managers displayed extreme confidence in their delivery of customer value and a distinctive experience. Customer behavior is expected to become a disruptive factor in operations in the coming years, and 63% of those surveyed find it difficult to gauge what customers actually value.
In order to keep up with the dynamic market and changing customer preferences, functions such as marketing, sales, service and support are being included in operations planning, next to the traditional sourcing, manufacturing and supply chain functions. This is an excellent first step toward more customer-centric operations, and according to Mark Strom, Principal and Global Operations Leader at PwC, vital to future success. Over 60% of the operations executives surveyed believe cross-functional collaboration within the organization provides them with the greatest potential to achieve strategic goals.
For more on the survey results, click here.
Have a nice weekend!