Supply and demand is constantly changing, even on an hourly level. This can be hard even in traditional markets and supply lines, but the growing demand for same-day delivery with two-delivery as the default maximum means you have to have the supply available both locally and immediately. In order to use an omnichannel supply chain model effectively, you need two key streams of data: inventory and anticipated sales.
- Make sure you have live records of your inventory. Whether your warehouses, retailer locations, and central warehouse operate through centralized checkpoints or you operate within an internal Internet of Things to know when goods are moved and where, you need the information live. This is the only way to place new orders with your suppliers on time, especially if there's a sudden spike in demand.
- Invest in good analysis software. While spikes are both good, if you have the supply ready, and bad, if you aren't prepared to support it, most of your distribution won't be the result of a sudden surge. Instead, demand for your products will be based on the aggregate lifestyles and habits of your customers. You need the previous weeks and seasons of buying patterns to anticipate demand before it happens. While this is true throughout the year, it's even more vital as the Christmas shopping season approaches. An omnichannel approach can get your products on the shelves faster, but only if you anticipate how much you need to send.
Changes in the way companies distribute their goods and do business are happening every day. An omnichannel supply chain is just one of those changes, and it's one of the best ways for physical stores to stay competitive with online shopping.