Digital and Omni-Channel Transformations: What if You’re Missing the Essential Ingredient?

The digital transformation is underway. However, it goes beyond the customer front-office. It also includes a profound transformation of an organization and its operations, in particular the supply chain. This is an essential factor if you wish to keep promises made to clients. As a result, the digital transformation is of the logistics sector is vital.

Every IT player is saying the same thing: time for a digital transformation. You need to go omni-channel, digitalize shops, etc. But, could this perspective be overly focused on the front office? It’s aimed at marketing or sales departments and as a result it misses an essential ingredient.

If you digitalize customer relations without transforming your operations, and in particular your supply chain, then you risk making promises you can’t keep. If you’re logistics aren’t up to speed, then it won’t work. The fact companies now have to be customer-oriented means they have to undergo major changes in terms of organization.

A successful omni-channel transformation thanks to a digital, high-performing supply chain

An omni-channel transformation breaks down the barriers between front-office and backoffice. In fact, silos go against the goals of this transformation. A customer wants to be able to check a product online, reserve it, try it in the store, and then finally pick up a different product in another store thanks to a click&collect sale (or why not have it delivered to your home…).

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For businesses this means understanding and mastering an entire purchasing experience with real-time information about available stock and where a product is located. It also means having IT systems that communicate to organize the delivery of an order.

The growth of omni-channel sales (web to store and store to web) with the option for home delivery, a local pick up location or in-store purchase, means warehouses have to adapt to remain efficient. This includes revisiting storage and prep locations, combining B2B and B2C stocks, creating specialized circuits, etc.

Transportation is also impacted because the digital transformation requires quicker reaction times, real-time information and paperless processes. Physical stores are also disrupted by the need to change their management of stock (click&collect) and how they handle the return or exchange of products bought on the web.

The impact on the IT system is also important and has to be anticipated. This means taking into account and improving capacities for big data, ERPs, order management systems, WMS, store logistics, mobility tools, etc.

The omni-channel transformation profoundly modifies a company’s organization, store concept, IT system and employees. Jobs and tools have to evolve to keep pace with changes. You have to accompany this change by ensuring various departments collaborate (marketing, supply chain, sales, HR, IT, etc.). This will enable you to take a step forward in terms of digital maturity and omni-channel distribution.

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