This month, we're celebrating Transport Month and commending our fantastic transport team for the exceptional work that they do. In September 2017, the Barloworld Logistics Manline Mega team took on their biggest challenge yet, transporting a 33-metre luxury house boat from Zimbabwe to Namibia. A fascinating journey and huge accomplishment that we're proud to announce has been nominated in the 2018 Logistics Achiever Awards for this ground breaking initiative. The awards ceremony is being held tonight, 11 October 2018.
Recession proofing your business with smart supply chain decisions
Recently, South Africa entered a technical recession for the first time since 2009, with Statistics SA revising the growth forecast downwards to 2.6%. There is no doubt our economy is taking strain thanks to burgeoning fuel prices, exchange rate volatility and weakened business confidence, and while the public is still grappling to understand the impact of the news, arguably the first area to be impacted will be consumer spending. The tightening of belts will have a direct knock-on to industry thanks to a decreased demand for goods and services in most sectors. For companies, an economic downturn is by no means easy, however, re-evaluating supply chain strategy to improve efficiency and flexibility, and more so to capitalise on hidden opportunity, can go a long way in helping to weather the recessionary storm.
Supply chains have evolved from moving limited goods in close proximity to moving complicated products across complex global networks. From moving finished products along the Silk Route in pre-historic times to fully automated warehouses making use of robotics, driverless trucks and drone deliveries, supply chains have always played a large role in the progression of society and will continue to connect the world in unimaginable ways.
It is increasingly clear that the modern consumer is immensely digital, global and indeed influential, with access to products, services and companies at their fingertips, 24/7. This digital revolution has infinitely increased competition, consequently pushing companies to not only innovate products but also how they deliver those products to their consumers. Thanks to digitisation (and the ability to “go viral) modern consumerism is subject to a heightened sense of trending – with products suddenly, and aggressively peaking in demand – often most unexpectedly.
As human beings, our experiences not only define us, they substantially shape our relationship with the world. This is particularly true when it comes to brand loyalty and purchasing behaviour. Customer loyalty, satisfaction and purchasing behaviour can be linked to and stimulated by, the emotions a customer connects with a brand, and these emotions can be directly linked to the experiences a customer has. While brand experience has deep roots in marketing, the supply chain has a real impact on where and how a product is presented to a customer. For example, there are few things more likely to derail a purchase than a customer finding the item they are ready to purchase is out of stock, or not available in their preferred size. Factors such as the failure to meet the need for immediate gratification, or interruption of the buyer journey can become a deterrent away from a brand, particularly if such instances reoccur. Expectation and experience are tightly bound to marketing, but it is the supply chain that ultimately ensures product availability and access, and these factors need to work in conjunction to create a brand experience that delights customers and builds lasting relationships.