Mothers and grandmothers all over the world extol the virtues of patience, but those teachings seem to fly out the window with people's Veruca Salt-like mentality. In today's world of instant gratification, smartphone users can find out facts and movie titles with a few swift strokes of the touchscreen, but this has also spilled over into the way we look at commerce.
When we have the entire Internet at the tips of our fingers, we expect to have all of our other needs met instantaneously as well. Waiting 30 minutes or less for a pizza even seems like a stretch. Now that online retailers are seriously investing in same-day deliveries for goods ranging anywhere from groceries to leather belts, how will this change the way we look at our traditional supply chain?
Right here, right now
We have yet to develop the technology that allows us to print out goods we order online, though the 3-D printer is certainly getting close. Until the day arrives when we don't even require a middle man between us and our purchases, same-delivery is the best option for those who can barely wait to be in possession of their newly purchased products.
This specific service will require warehouses to stay well-stocked with popular items while niche products will have to be automatically monitored to ensure that consumers will in fact receive their purchases within the promised window. Fulfillment centers will need to have specific software systems in place to help keep track of such products and this process may not be cost effective for some companies, but as The Wall Street Journal pointed out, businesses like Amazon, Inc. and Wal-Mart are largely willing to pay high premiums to expedite delivery operations.
SupplyChainBrain recently reported that customers who wish to keep close tabs on their deliveries can follow their route using an application that is very reminiscent of the Uber ridesharing app. Even though people can track packages as they pass through check points, they may soon have the availability to monitor every stop along the route before the package reaches their door.
Possible procurement problems
While these opportunities will be very exciting for consumers who like to have their goods on the same day as their purchase, this could result in some issues for manufacturers. The normal process for gathering the materials, producing the item and shipping it out to fulfillment centers and stores takes different amounts of time depending on the supplies and product in question. However, with same day deliveries on the horizon, we could see a shortage of some goods while centers attempt to keep up with the demand.
Just as Apple Watch production increased and shipment dates moved farther into the future when customers began to preorder the item, other companies could see a similar problem in response to customer interest. One solutions for this potential issue is fostering relationships with more suppliers to fulfill the need, though not every enterprise can afford this option. Of course, these are just possibilities and perhaps the supply chain will be able to adapt to the influx of immediate deliveries, although there are bound to be some delays as same-day delivery trials become more popular.
In the end, the supply chain may not even change very much from what we know now, though it can be expected to evolve as time goes on. It will be fascinating to see how manufacturers respond to the shift of the manner in which consumers want their products delivered.Now that online retailers are seriously investing in same-day deliveries for goods ranging anywhere from groceries to leather belts, how will this change the way we look at our traditional supply chain?