Omni-channel fulfillment: As in the wizarding world of Harry Potter!

|August 18, 2017 0

Dheeraj Shah & Tejal Kothari

As technology becomes advanced and all pervasive, customers, today, expect retail organizations to be none less than the wizards.

However, the expectations of instantaneous fulfillment with no additional cost are driving tremendous amount of pressure on omni-channel supply chain.

Of course, the way digital technologies are augmenting supply chain today does seem no less than a slew of magical interventions that are helping flow the products through a complex supply chain network from farm-to-fork, instantaneously, at the speed of thought.

And when it comes to magic, what best comes to mind than Harry Potter? So, let us take you into the real magical world of omni-channel fulfillment, where the supply chain wizards will leverage wand like, spell like and mythical objects like interventions to fulfill customers’ most difficult expectation of instant gratification.


Welcome all to the magical world of Harry Potter.

Think of it and it shall appear! Ollivanders wands of today!

In a world that is shifting to become truly omni-channel, the focus it to constantly follow the anytime, anywhere customer and fulfill their demands, while customers of today are free to imagine their products being delivered at their doorstep by a flying object and retailers will fulfill their wishes.

How to use your harrwandwand – Take a step back, breathe and make a list of things you want. Waive your wand in a circular motion and aim at the door. Well of course the doorbell would ring. This is the next generation fulfillment reality. Retailers are experimenting to bring these thoughts to reality with next gen fulfillment trends such as Drones, Driverless vehicles, Flying cars, delivery robot and 3D printing and many more.

Amazon’s anticipatory shipping patent suggests monitoring customer behavior and applying an algorithm over this data to predict what they will buy next. Products are thus shipped in advance to regional / local warehouses before a customer has even placed an order. The race to finish is also now race to start.

On-demand deliveries are harnessing the power of crowd and flexible courier services to augment fleet capacities and shorten lead times.

Remember the marauder’s map Harry constantly referred to? How about having that for real! Retailers would love to have a copy of this map for their consumers, where they can track and trace their orders real time.

Ministry of Disruptive Technologies

While all the above sound fascinating, in reality, they would need to be appropriately adapted in the retail supply chain landscape for business results aligned to their individual benefit potential. The ministry of disruptive technologies deals with setting forth how disruptive technologies should be adapted in your supply chain network. It mandates focused efforts by all players in the supply chain to adopt these evolving changes in technology.

– Load & Route Optimizations for drones, AGVs and flying cars within TMS.
– Building on key fulfillment metrics like fleet utilization, fleet capacity management, and so on.
– Evolved third-party service models offering drones/robots/driverless trucks as a service.
– Reverse logistics to pose new opportunities in terms of dead miles reduction, utilization and cost per mile optimization.
– Dynamic onboarding of individual drivers/delivery partners in a crowd shipping world and operationalizing the whole contract and payment system in an Uber like mode.
– Ranging decisions and inventory management for new nodes like aerial warehouses.
– Packaging material and equipment availability at a node to cater to all types of delivery modes.

To be a wizard par excellence, it is important to get your spells right. Hermione grasped the levitation charm “Wingardium Laviosa” (that is, to make something fly) faster than others. Similarly, retailers who can execute their spells faster and make their supply chains adapt to these disruptive technologies will be successful in the magical battle of omni-channel fulfillment.


Next:Dueling with the unknown

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