We outline the two key drivers marketers should focus on in aligning their digital strategy in the face of the Coronavirus crisis.
By Zelda Tupicoff, COO, Prime Creative Media
We outline the two key drivers marketers should focus on in aligning their digital strategy in the face of the Coronavirus crisis.
By Zelda Tupicoff, COO, Prime Creative Media
As commerce, in general, has become more competitive and advances in technology continue at breakneck speed, an efficient supply chain is crucial for the survival and success of your business.
With Industry 4.0, the suite of new technologies such as artificial intelligence, robotics, sensor technology and data analytics are transforming how businesses operate with their trading partners and consumers. Australian businesses can make their supply chains more efficient by reducing costs and boosting their competitiveness. Many of these technologies are underpinned by GS1 standards, the most widely used supply chain standards in the world.
While most companies are aware that ‘supply chain improvements’ are needed to drive efficiencies across the whole of their business operation, managers and business owners often don’t have enough expertise to start implementing practical steps.
GS1 Australia’s extensive Network of Solution Providers is available to help member businesses implement GS1 standards quickly and accurately, from barcode labelling through to data warehousing.
“GS1 partners have expertise in helping companies improve visibility across their supply chain as implementing traceability and anti-counterfeit measures is a key challenge facing manufacturers and their suppliers.”
Introduced more than ten years ago, GS1 created the Alliance Partner program to connect business members with solution providers that have a thorough knowledge of the GS1 system and to share its vision of delivering tangible supply chain benefits for its members.
Today, around 20,000 business members from more than 20 industry sectors can take advantage of the pool of knowledge and expertise within the Alliance Partner community. All partners in the network are trained in GS1 standards and implementation across a range of industry sectors including retail (apparel, general merchandise and food & beverage), healthcare, freight and logistics, and rail.
The GS1 community offers businesses a complete suite of products and solutions to help them build efficient and effective supply chains, from barcoding of products (printers and labels), software like Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) messaging for purchase orders and invoices and Enterprise Resource Planning for procurement of goods, through to data warehousing and warehouse management systems (WMS).
Some further benefits that the GS1 Alliance Partner community can bring to a business include:
Additionally, GS1 partners have expertise in helping companies improve visibility across their supply chain as implementing traceability and anti-counterfeit measures is a key challenge facing manufacturers and their suppliers.
Businesses have many opportunities to connect with the Alliance Partner community and find the right solution provider for their needs. To help businesses readily find GS1 partners, the Solution Providers Directory is available at www.gs1au.org/what-we-do/solution-providers/find-a-solution-provider. Visitors can search for a provider and contact them directly by submitting the short request form. From the directory you can view a description of the solutions offered by each of the Alliance Partners, together with their contact details and a link to the company website.
Business members can also meet face-to-face with many of the Alliance Partners exhibiting at events and training sessions hosted by GS1 Australia across the country. One of the key networking opportunities for businesses to connect with the Alliance Partner community is at GS1’s premier conference, NEXUS, which is held every two years and brings together supply chain leaders from industry, government trade associations and the GS1 business member community. Additionally, the popular one-day Barcode Basics for Your Business is held regularly and is available for GS1 business members and non-members.
With the pace of change in business showing no signs of slowing, connecting and consulting with a GS1 Alliance Partner can help improve your business efficiency, profitability, safety and security.
For more information about GS1 Solution Providers or if you’re interested in becoming an Alliance Partner, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit https://www.gs1au.org/what-we-do/solution-providers/.
Coles has signed a strategic partnership with Microsoft to use cloud-based technology to transform shopping for customers, make life easier for workers and improve productivity across the business.
This is the latest in a series of global partnerships and developments through which Coles is building its technology and digital capability.
The long-term strategic partnership is founded on Microsoft Azure becoming Coles’ cloud platform, which will enable Coles to drive simplicity and efficiency in its operations by migrating its applications to Azure.
Together with Microsoft, Coles is building an enterprise data platform in Azure that will power advanced analytics across Coles and enable the rapid deployment of artificial intelligence (AI) technology to drive innovation in physical stores and through the supply chain.
The use of Azure AI services will improve Coles’ ability to use a variety of customer data to drive decision making and better tailor its range to meet the needs of customers and how they like to shop. These decisions will be based on deeper data analysis from its proprietary research, Flybuys and customer transactions.
In addition to more personalised customer service, a key part of Coles’ Smarter Selling strategy is in its stores, where workers will be provided with a range of new tools that will transform how they work, such as removing manual tasks for repetitive activities like stock management and price markdowns. These changes are designed to boost productivity and allow them to focus on the things that matter most to customers.
Coles’ technology and digital capability
Recent announcements from Coles have included:
Oct 5, 2018: Two new ambient automated distribution centres to be built by German automation specialist Witron as part of the modernisation of Coles’ supply chain.
Feb 12, 2019: Coles implementing SAP systems to transform store support functions in the areas of HR, indirect procurement and financial reporting.
Mar 1, 2019: Coles partners with Optus to rollout a high-speed network, driving store efficiencies and innovation.
Mar 26, 2019: Coles enters partnership with Ocado to bring its online grocery platform, automated fulfilment and home delivery to Australia.
In early April I had the opportunity to visit Promat 2019 in Chicago. Promat is North America’s largest materials handling equipment and systems exhibition, featuring over 950 exhibitors and 150 educational seminars. Read more
Standards in the digital era are evolving just as fast as new digital technologies on a local and global basis. We have seen GS1 standards evolve over the last 25 years to meet industry needs.
GS1 standards have always adapted and transformed to align with new technologies and to support new industries and processes that did not even exist when GS1 was created. Industries such as online marketplaces are driving the development of new standards to build smarter supply chains and enable the connection between business and consumer in the physical and digital world.
The rise of and success of GS1 standards
GS1’s work with barcodes has been one of the most successful examples of international adoption of standards for business. Why are the GS1 standards are so successful and why does the GS1 system remain the most widely used identification system and supply chain standard in the world? The answer is in the common language that GS1 standards provide to make it easier to do business with trading partners and customers.
GS1 has been established for over forty years. The first GS1 barcode was scanned in 1974 at a checkout in the US with the purpose of getting shoppers (consumers) through the checkout faster, giving them better service. This first scan reshaped the supply chain forever and established the foundation that facilitates business today.
The GS1 barcode is the most well-known component of the GS1 system and most people associate us as just the barcode people, but what we provide is a global identification system – and that’s what our members subscribe to when they join GS1.
“We are at a very exciting time of change and we are looking forward to supporting our members and assisting them on their own evolution of improvement and implementation of digital technologies.”
The GS1 system is an authenticated, valid and verified system that is globally recognised and has become embedded in so many companies’ operations and processes. And with the internet world transforming the way we live, the GS1 system is a fundamental component to support the millions of transactions that happen each day. The humble, yet incredibly powerful barcode, is well entrenched in our daily lives and we don’t even realise it.
Evolving technology provides more scope for the use of standards
Standards have always been an integral part of the international business world and supply chain, and will continue to do so in the interconnected world of today and into the future. As changes in technology continue to accelerate, the evolving role of standardisation in technological innovation is changing, too.
As we evolve the GS1 standards in the business-to-business space, the business-to-consumer layer continues to emerge and the GS1 standards are uniquely placed to support and connect these two together. Businesses have been responsible for evolving the GS1 standards over the past 40 years, and the consumers of today are now also impacting how the standards are leveraged because they want more information to help them make better purchasing decisions, and they are using barcodes on a product to gain access to this information.
Although there are various mobile apps available for this that draw information from the many places via the web, consumers are putting pressure on organisations for accurate and real-time information. This is where the GS1 standards connect and facilitate the physical and online supply chain, along with providing a means to ensure accurate data and information for the consumer.
GS1 standards connect the consumer and business
Ms Schmid explained why the power of the GS1 barcode and the information behind it is becoming much more important to consumers beyond the familiar beep at the checkout.
“The GS1 barcode is a bit like the Intel chip in a computer. It runs the computer and does everything you want the computer to do, seamlessly. The GS1 identification used in barcodes or in the exchange of data is just like an Intel chip, seamlessly integrating supply chains between businesses and consumers across the world. It integrates and connects the consumer with the information they want to know. Industry has a part to play in making sure the information is trustworthy in a collaborative world where information is more visible and more accessible.
As a consumer, I recently had to get a part replaced for my refrigerator. Having called the service centre, they requested I provide them with the date of purchase, where I had purchased and when, none of which I had. They asked me to find a serial number for the item, it was on the inside of the door printed in the smallest writing possible that I had to twist my head to be able to read it! At that point I was imagining being able to scan a barcode on the inside of the door that in an app, would identify my refrigerator uniquely. This can be done today with a GS1 number, called the Global Trade Item Number (GTIN), and a serial number, all possible in today’s GS1 system. All I would then have to do is scan it into the app and all the information they wanted would be provided, easy and simple.
The GS1 system facilitates the connection of all the information at our finger tips in our world today, with more simplified access, making our daily lives easier.
Most consumers today also want detailed information before they purchase a food item including allergy information, gluten free, sugar free, provenance, organically certified and much more. We need to have a system that enables the consumer to be able access this information and feel confident that the information is trustworthy. This is where GS1 standards fit perfectly connecting unique product identification and organisations to provide trustworthy information about the product through the supply chain.
Data accuracy is crucial
New and emerging technology is important for any size of business today with the rise of the digital era, however, the accuracy of data is the number one issue that seems to be overlooked.
GS1 has data quality frameworks for various processes such as data synchronisation but ultimately, it’s important to help GS1 members have the right things in place in the systems including access to technologies to help them make that journey of ensuring their data is accurate and remains accurate. GS1 provides members with tools and support for data accuracy which is becoming more achievable with newer technologies.
Implementing new standards in the digital era to embrace quality data is an important foundation for the transition from old to new.
There will always be new standards being developed and enhancements to the existing ones, depending on the needs of industry. The GS1 product identification standards certainly sit in the digital age already today. The only real change that needs to happen is in the world of the internet. We are heading towards integrating our identifiers on the internet, so the consumer can leverage this quality data and information beyond the point of sale.
Data accuracy is also crucial in healthcare. In-home patient care is increasing, so what a wonderful way to validate that the patient is taking the right medicine at the right time by a simple scan of a GS1 barcode that is underpinned by GS1 identifiers.
These types of evolutions for creating standards are happening all the time – we don’t create standards for the sake of creating standards.
“We are also seeing a change in the profile of our members. Our corporate members, who are often at the leading edge of technology, may have challenges moving from a legacy system to a new system and new standards. In contrast, there is an opportunity for our smaller members who aren’t constrained by legacy systems, to leverage the GS1 system’s flexibility. They can have an authentic GS1 numbering system and adopt new standards, because as the future evolves and the internet synchronises with the use of our identifiers, the opportunities for small business are enormous with less barriers.”
Vision for GS1 members
The priority for GS1 Australia is to make sure all members, particularly small to medium size businesses, understand the value and the opportunity the GS1 system can bring to them in both the physical and digital world.
We are at a very exciting time of change and we are looking forward to supporting our members and assisting them on their own evolution of improvement and implementation of digital technologies.
Sue Schmid is the head of customer relations and standards office at GS1 Australia. For more information on GS1 standards please contact Sue Schmid at email@example.com.
Automotive and industrial supplier Schaeffler Australia has welcomed its global parent company’s acquisition of Autinity Systems, an IT company that specialises in machine data recording and evaluation.
Condition monitoring of machinery and equipment as well as digital networking in production are of great interest to both Schaeffler’s internal and external customers throughout Australia and New Zealand, said Mark Ciechanowicz, Industrial Services Manager, Schaeffler Australia.
These include key Schaeffler Australia markets, among them bulk materials handling; mining and energy production; food, beverage and primary processing; and broader industrial and road and rail machinery systems.
The company noted that the purchase of 100 per cent of Autinity shares, completed this month, is an important step in implementing Schaeffler’s global and local digital agenda, with Autinity specialising in digital condition monitoring and machine data recording.
“Schaeffler has been using software solutions by Autinity for many years now,” said Ciechanowicz. “The acquisition of this company will help us to intensify our collaboration and accelerate further developments in the fields of machine data recording and condition monitoring. Both topics are essential elements of Schaeffler’s digital agenda, which are in strong demand both from internal and external customers.”
By 2021, more than a billion parcels will be sent in Australia per year, according to the second annual Parcel Shipping Index from global technology company Pitney Bowes. The Index measures volume and spend for business-to-business (B2B), business-to-consumer (B2C), consumer-to-business and consumer consigned shipments in 13 major markets including Australia, Germany, China, the UK and the US.
This year’s Index projects that the Australian parcel market will grow 9 to 12 per cent from 2017 to 2021 (CAGR), with more than a billion parcels sent per year in Australia by 2021.
It also shows that Australia experienced double-digit growth in parcel volume from 2015 to 2016, year on year, increasing by 13 per cent to 794 million.
The Index found that parcel spend in Australia grew by four per cent to reach $9 billion in 2016 – but while parcel volume and spend are rising, start-ups are disrupting the parcel market, increasing competition and driving down revenue per parcel – with an eight per cent yield per parcel drop attributed to the entrance of more non-traditional carriers into the market.
“The Australian parcel landscape is in the midst of great growth and disruption,” said Stephen Darracott, Country Manager and Director, Pitney Bowes ANZ. “We anticipate even more parcel volume growth with the e-commerce revolution taking hold in Australia. Individuals will have more choice about delivery times and service options over the next year. Meanwhile, businesses should be undergoing a digital transformation of their mailing and shipping workflow to focus on more efficiency and inbound and outbound tracking capabilities.”
On average, the other 12 major markets studied have grown 4.3 per cent annually since 2012 and are projected to grow 4.5 per cent to 5.4 per cent annually through 2021.
“The continued rise of e-commerce globally is keeping the parcel shipping market strong through 2021 as consumers are increasingly looking to online shopping for convenience, price and availability of products from around the world,” said Lila Snyder, Executive Vice President and President – Global E-commerce, Pitney Bowes. “As consumer expectations continue to rise, shipping technology and service providers will need to help retailers and marketplaces meet those demands.”
Globally, the Parcel Shipping Index predicted rapid growth and last-mile delivery challenges will drive innovation across markets, and the rise of parcel lockers and new delivery models like crowd-shipping, on-demand delivery services, evening and weekend delivery and drones.
The widening gap between customer demand for improved online shipping experiences and retailer capabilities is leaving businesses vulnerable, according to new research from Australian shipping and fulfilment software platform Temando, as the arrival of e-commerce giant Amazon later this year promises to revolutionise the online market on a never-before-seen scale.
Temando’s annual State of Shipping in Commerce survey found that while 65 per cent of Australian consumers stated that they abandoned their cart due to the high cost of shipping, 61 per cent of Australian retailers struggle to manage the increasing cost of carrier rates. What’s more, 57 per cent of shoppers will buy from competing stores when retailers fail to provide relevant shipping options to suit their needs.
Carl Hartmann, Co-founder and CEO, Temando, said as the competition is heating up between local retailers and the coming of Amazon, there’s a golden opportunity to drive innovation faster on local shores.
“Smart retailers have their foot on the gas and are using the arrival as a huge opportunity to streamline their processes, optimise logistics and embrace digital transformation to put them in a prime position to not only survive, but thrive,” said Carl.
“Shipping is sometimes overlooked in favour of marketing and packaging, but as we enter a post-Uber age, it isn’t just a ‘back end’ issue anymore, but a front-and-centre priority to enrich customer experience and fuel growth.”
The survey identified three major areas for improvement in the local delivery offering – shipping experience, smart technology and order platforms.
In-demand shipping options that cater to convenience such as ‘specified time slot’, ‘same-day’, ‘weekend or afterhours’ and ‘hyperlocal’ was found to be offered by less than a quarter of retailers currently, and a negative shipping experience would put off 59 per cent of customers from shopping with that retailer again. Eighty per cent of the 1,279 shoppers surveyed noted that they would purchase again if they enjoyed the shipping experience, and free shopping would entice 68 per cent of shoppers to do more online shopping.
“We’ve found Australian shoppers react more strongly to shipping experiences compared to American shoppers,” said Hartmann. “New alternatives to standard and express delivery has been largely unmet this year compared to 2016 which opens up enormous opportunity for retailers to re-imagine their retail operations and create meaningful, cost-effective customer experiences.”
Over half of the 258 retailers surveyed acknowledged that technology platform compatibility is an issue, with 58 per cent finding integrating carrier services into their systems a key challenge. While shipping and fulfilment automation was recognised as a challenge by almost half of those retailers surveyed, only 29 per cent are planning to invest on improving these issues in the next 12 months.
When it comes to international shipping, 72 per cent of retailers grapple with the accuracy of costs, with only 21 per cent having the ability to charge all applicable duties and taxes for international customers in the cart.
“Using smart technology to streamline processes will help to remove some of the key fulfilment challenges retailers are facing now and in the future. How businesses evolve with this changing landscape will influence how far their business grows, and how fast they scale,” said Hartmann.
One in four shoppers are using their mobile devices as their primary shopping tool, with Millennials the highest adopters, at 48 per cent, while Gen Z sits at 29 per cent. Access to a wide choice physical and online stores has given rise to two behaviours: webrooming (looking online, buying in physical store) and showrooming (looking in a physical store, buying online) which is engaged by 65 per cent and 51 per cent of shoppers, respectively.
“The race for customers is not going to subside and with the imminent arrival of Amazon, Australian businesses should be embracing the challenge, said Hartmann. “With future growth opportunities existing in the ability to cross borders, its vital that delivery networks and retail operations work seamlessly together to satisfy the customer while managing the bottom line.”
Companies are embracing digital innovation as a tool to help them manage future supply chains, as found by a recent global study carried out by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) in collaboration with Standard Chartered Bank.
The study surveyed individuals in senior executive, senior management and C-level or board roles in 13 countries in early 2017.
The report found that companies will pursue a stronger embrace of innovation over the next five years to help their businesses adapt to potential disruptions and intensifying competition.
‘Rebooting supply chains: Shorter, smarter and more sustainable?’ found that 93 per cent of companies surveyed recognise the importance of innovation in supply-chain management.
Furthermore, 55 per cent of companies described digitisation as either an important or very important five-year objective for their supply chains.
Companies also reported a need for greater visibility across their sourcing networks, with 54 per cent stating that achieving complete transparency about where and how their products are made is an important or very important goal.
Companies expect operational improvements and innovations will help them reduce the length and complexity of their supply chains. Forty-nine per cent of respondents said they expect their supply chains to become shorter and simpler in the next five years.
However, the study concluded that shorter supply chains may not necessarily be more simple, particularly for consumer-facing industries, where customisation and personalisation are becoming important trends.
Kevin Plumberg, Editor of the report, said, “We don’t expect supply-chain complexity to relent anytime soon when it comes to doing business internationally. However, digitisation of supply-chain information, increased transparency and more internal collaboration between functions can help companies with global supply chains become more efficient and effective.”
The global digital logistics market, most recently valued at US$10.26 billion ($13.4 billion) in 2016, is expected to reach a value of US$16.36 billion ($21.4 billion) by the end of 2022, growing at a projected CAGR of 8.1 per cent between 2017 and 2022 according to a new report from Orbis Research.
Orbis defines digital logistics as the use of advanced technologies and communication in logistics to reduce operating costs and improve supply chain integration, increasing overall efficiency, performance and quality. “Smart logistics gives companies a superior performance by optimising the costs, reducing inventories and providing flexible operations,” the company said. “This market is expected to see massive demand in coming years.
“Increase of e-commerce sales around the globe is driving the digital logistics markets. The need to provide optimised and fast operations is creating large demand for digital logistics solutions. However slow adoption in some countries is hindering the growth of this market in some regions.”
The report, ‘Global Digital Logistics Market By Type of System, Services, Industry, Geography, Trends and Forecast 2017-2022’, considers key trends that impact the industry and profiles of companies such as IBM Corporation, Advantech Corporation, Oracle, Digilogistics, Hexaware Technologies, Samsung Electronics Co, Tech Mahindra, JDA Software, UTI Worldwide Inc. and SAP AG.