Mission Critical Supply Chain with Gary Newbury

March 10, 2021



Our special guest, Gary Newbury, brings over 30 years of experience in supply chain logistics to talk about the mission-critical challenges facing retailers today. How can retailers keep up with consumer expectations of fast and free delivery without hurting their bottom line? Is in store fulfillment the future for all, or only for some? What are the top challenges in the supply chain faced by retailers today?

  • We ask these questions and more of our special guest, Gary Newbury, a retail supply chain thought leader with over 30 years of experience addressing mission-critical logistical challenges. He has served as an interim executive at organizations such as Gordon Food Service to deliver innovative, digitized, and supply chain agility. 
  • Gary knows nothing comes free, especially when it comes to fast and profitable fulfillment. He shares with us decades of experience working with retailers to find the gaps in their processes and develop strategies that work for their customers.

Conversation Rundown

[ 10:43-12:37 ] Convenience is not free.
Nothing in this world is free, not even free delivery. Both retailers and consumers need to understand that convenience isn't free. Getting something shipped to your house in 12 hours isn't cheap. Shipping continues to be one of the biggest headaches for retailers for precisely this reason. They don't know how to be both affordable and convenient without sacrificing profits. And without the right tools and technology in place, the headache won't be resolved.

[ 12:50-14:42 ] You may not want eCom, but you need to be digital.
You don't have to embrace eCommerce, but digital is not an option. Primark is a good example - they've decided to stick to brick-and-mortar instead of embracing direct-to-consumer. And the brand is still relevant, with consumers lining up for hours when stores re-open. However, Primark understands that its customers are digitally savvy. They still have the website, the social media presence. They enable their in-store team with the tools they need to be successful.

[ 17:24-17:58 ] Delivery is part of the product
Delivery is part of the product. It's part of the customer experience. Gone are the pre-Internet days when customers would judge you solely (or mostly) on the quality of your product. Today, if their BOPIS orders aren't ready, or if your shipping is too expensive, or if your deliveries are late, you've probably lost a customer. Retailers need to start thinking of delivery as an intrinsic aspect of their product, and they need to work as hard on shipping and handling as they do on product development.

[ 20:46-23:06 ] Are you providing time slots for the pickup of curbside orders?
Are you currently providing customers time slot options for their pickup? Most of the time, retailers will simply tell customers when the item is available. While the may seem like the easier option, it's both less convenient for the consumer and less fluid for the retailer. Say a customer order something at 9 a.m. and you give them the option to pick their timeslot, and they choose 5 p.m.Your team now has a lot more time and space to prepare that order.

[ 34:07-36:20 ] What can make the retail supply chain more responsive?
Real change has to come from the top. Only then can your supply chain truly be fluid. Fast fashion brands like Zara are really doing this right in terms of listening to customers, responding quickly to the demand, and reusing materials for future designs. Fast fashion is generally criticized in the name of sustainability. However, unlike more traditional brands, Zara has a fast production cycle and is able to pivot and recycle materials so that they don't have to clear unsold products.

Meet the Experts

Being a stellar supply chain expert with experience of over 33 years, Gary has handled multifaceted industrial projects on the supply chain revamp, last-mile distribution network, customer-focused strategies, etc.
His diversified project experience and proven results have set him apart as a maestro in decoding the supply chain shortcomings and put forth a perfect strategy to make it seamless for everyone involved at every touchpoint.
Recognized as a thought leader in “The Retail Supply Chains of the Future”, Gary has spent his career addressing mission-critical challenges and developing a track record of successfully delivering supply chain agility, innovation, digitization, business turnaround, and strategic transformation.

Retail Tips & Tweetables

Make sure that your digital transformation is not just a patchwork, but a planned process with strategic thinking.

When there is convenience, customers will value convenience. And if they value convenience, then they have to know there's a cost of convenience. Convenience is not free.

You may not want eCommerce, but that doesn’t mean you do not use digital channels. You’d need them to interact with digital-savvy customers.

Instead of picking it up early for the customer and clogging up the in-store space, retailers should ask customers to choose time slots to pick their curbside orders.

It is important that each one in your supply chain follows your brand vision.

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