Transportation Disruption Podcast Episode 2: Ecommerce and the Supply Chain Inversion

"Ecommerce really does throw all of our longstanding logistics and supply-chain principles, all our strategies, out the window: Things like scale, consolidation and centralization don’t work in the new model.” Brian Gibson, Executive Director at the Center for Supply Chain Innovation, Auburn University Harbert College of Business

Remember the old ads on TV for mail-order products? They would always end with something along the lines of, “Plus $4.99 for shipping and handling, allow 4-6 weeks for delivery.”

Now imagine how fast a modern consumer would bolt if they were either asked to pay $5 for shipping or wait 4-6 weeks. Now imagine asking them to both pay AND wait! There would be violence in the streets.

The ecommerce boom has dramatically realigned consumer expectations. Driven by huge brands with billion-dollar coffers, free shipping became free 2-day shipping, with next-day and same-day shipping close behind.

Businesses with rock-solid distribution chains designed for the old brick-and-mortar model are caught scrambling to keep up. They’re striving to provide Amazon-level service without Amazon-level budgets.

Where does it all end? Businesses either have to innovate or vacate to the bigger players. Our panel this episode is here to help you do the former. We take a deep dive into how businesses are getting creative with supply chain logistics, how tech can make a major difference, and more.

Listen to Learn

  • How businesses are creating flexible new distribution models to meet ecommerce demands
  • How to begin influencing consumer demands and adjusting expectations
  • How businesses are using transportation management systems to meet the challenge
  • How to begin integrating the supply chain to boost efficiency and consolidate distribution channels

In the episode

HOST: Chris Shaw, Manhattan Associates

PANEL: Brian Gibson, Auburn University Harbert College of Business | Gregg Lanyard, Manhattan Associates | Herman Guzman, Deloitte

Our panel this episode features special guest Brian Gibson, Executive Director at the Center for Supply Chain Innovation, Auburn University Harbert College of business. He’s joined by Gregg Lanyard, Director of Product Management and Strategy, Transportation & Logistics at Manhattan Associates, and Herman Guzman, Senior Manager at Deloitte.


7:40 – “Retailers and other ecommerce companies are trying to move closer to their customers to support the shipping demands”

12:52 – “We now have technology to collect much more data about the consumer, about his or her buying patterns, about the preferences, and, of course, their purchase frequency”

15:47 – “The pendulum has swung too far towards giving the consumer exactly what they want, when they want, with no repercussions to the detriment of the organization.

21:42: “You have got to have visibility across your network. So you have to look at an enterprise-level inventory as opposed to store inventory versus DC inventory versus in-transit inventory. We have to have a system that can help us look at one inventory for our organization.”

26:40 – “One specific piece of technology that is worthy of mentioning, and that's available today at the heart of most TMS’s is a strategic network modeling. Modeling entails simulation and optimization that really helps test and better predict changes”

To learn more and discover the five key areas where a TMS can help drive efficiencies and ensure supply chain ROI, check out our TMS ROI Whitepaper.

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