Traversing The Last Mile Barrier

Contribution by Sonia Kallat – Associate Manager at Bristlecone

Investments in business automation technologies are made by organizations as a means to reach a goal, the objective being overall success of their business. So if the solutions deployed do not deliver the required end results then there will be no realization to justify the investments. Last mile connectivity of enterprise systems is a barrier for many retail and consumer products supply chains, as there are multiple entities involved including suppliers, retailers, third party logistics service providers and all the other stake holders in the chain.

Business partners in a supply chain are important nodes of the chain and each one is operating independent businesses and business units. They all need to come together as a single virtual entity to ensure that products and services reach the consumer. It doesn’t matter to a consumer whether he shops in a store or online. All that they want is a consistent streamlined experience.

In the last few years, the business scenario has changed tremendously to accommodate mobile, social media and retail store channels. Buyers have the flexibility and convenience of shopping through multiple channels and multiple options to choose the solution that is best fit for them. This is prompting consumer product supply chain companies to adopt omni-channel approaches.

When different entities come together and trade together the Last Mile Connectivity must be ensured. By Last Mile Connectivity, I mean, connections to various systems that are run by entities who are outside your network. These connection are essential for smooth information transfer and streamlined business operations. There are multiple business and IT drivers that directly affect the last mile connectivity. Business drivers including Mergers and Acquisitions & New Product Introductions, and IT drivers such as implementations of new supply chain systems, warehousing and transportation systems, as well as maintenance of existing applications in the form of upgrades, patches, etc. have a direct impact.

Despite all the internal and external market scenarios providing a seamless Omni-channel experience to customers is key. It is very important to have a comprehensive supply chain integration solution roadmap that is easy to rollout, manage and provide agility. Ultimately, your business success depends on the availability of timely and accurate data about your products and services reaching your consumers. Vice Versa, actionable insights on how customers’ purchase your products can help transform your business strategies and generate higher value returns.