Sale outlets are undergoing a profound, twofold transformation. From a purely commercial environment it has become a logistico-commercial place with surface areas, personnel time and information systems that are increasingly dedicated to those logistics activities at the end of the logistic chain.
Originally, the sale outlet was a place of commerce. The logistics footprint has always been present (stock), but it continues to expand, so much so that it is now perceived as a logistics pollution, diverting energy from the main function of commerce. The causes of this logistical footprint in outlets are numerous:
- Minimum orders imposed by suppliers (increase in surface area for stock).
- The number of receipts for supplies delivered directly from suppliers or via warehouses.
- Order preparation for the client.
- Reconfiguration of lines.
- Managing returns.
The implementation of local regional warehouses or cross-docking platforms makes it possible to drive a large part of logistics operations carried out in distribution centres upstream of sales outlets.
With the arrival of Omnichannel, everything changes again. New and multiple infrastructures have developed with drive in, collection from automated and non-automated distribution points and with customer options as to proximity of sales outlet.
- It is necessary to rethink sales outlets logistics:
- The use of sales outlets as distribution points in order to improve client service.
- Policies to supply sales outlets according to product purpose (linear or counter sales, customer collection or delivery in situ).
- Improved reliability of stock levels to enable fulfillment of online e-commerce promises at the sale outlet.
- Implementation of BCP (Business Continuity Plan).
- Enhanced surveillance and multi-sites.
- Extension and industrialization of order-preparation systems and deliveries from sales outlets.
- Increased control of returns management. The returns process requires that a client’s problem can be identified at the most relevant point in the Supply Chain.
- Organizational deployment clarified in its sales-outlet logistics component, revealing and developing the logistics companies connected to the sales outlet, either under its direct control or outsourced.
- Shared logistics activities between sales outlets in close proximity (shared stock reserves, shared repackaging etc.).