Agile Retail Experiences Need Agile Supply Capabilities
Updated: Jan 11
We’ve recently built and launched a new Agile Retail Fulfilment Centre in Milton Keynes – iD’s infrastructure investment. Yep, we’ve done that. Right in the middle of the Covid-19 pandemic, right in-the-midst of the most uncertainty our retail and brand experience business has ever faced. But we believe this is a vital move to make sure retail and experiences can survive and thrive in the future, so here’s why we did it.
The launch of our new fulfilment centre coincides with the launch of our Agile Retail product – the future of physical stores. We’re going to change the way retail stores work, making them future-fit and a positive attribute for the decades ahead.
One of our core channels in the Agile Retail ecosystem is Logistics – if we are going to help brands and retailers transform how they run retail stores, we need to be able to help service those products to customers in new, agile, and nimble ways, and our FC lets us do just that.
Retail supply chains are cumbersome, expensive, fragile, and expensive. Innovation costs a lot of money and effort, and if you’re a brand that doesn’t yet have retail stores, supply chain and logistics can turn off the opportunity with the flick of a cost estimate.
So, let us think about what Agile Retail supply chains need to be able to do - we need to be able to:
Get products to store – whether they be temporal or long term in nature
Get products to customer doorsteps – for a functional delivery or, increasingly, for an experiential moment
Move products around to support brand experience activations – be they physical, digital, large scale or small
Service e-commerce order, click and collect, Amazon lockers, and a hundred other emergent channels
Handle returns and reverse logistics quickly, efficiently and seamlessly
Create new fulfilment packages; blending products to create new products for consumers looking for something extra
And so much more, including hundreds of things we don’t even know about yet!
Our new fulfilment centre has been designed to be as flexible as brands and retailers need them to be. It has been organised to ensure that; stock, materials, equipment, and product can all be where they need to be. We want it to manage both when they need to be there and packaged how they need to be. Whatever needs to ‘happen’ to a product, our FC can deliver it. Go on – challenge us!
Even more importantly, our new facility is central to our Agile Retail product, and the partners that we work within running physical stores. The key to being an Agile Retail brand in 2020 and beyond is operating risk-free, fractional supply chains. Our ability to deliver supply chains with maximum flexibility, reduced risk and complexity, no CAPEX or commitment and a fractional logistics service, should help more and more brands and retailers revolutionise the cost base and customer service of retail stores!