Effect of Improvement in High St Retail Logistics on British Customer Loyalty
Effect of Improvement in High St Retail Logistics on British Customer Loyalty 3
Challenges facing logistic operations 3
Impacts of improvement in high street retails 6
Strategies changing the face of logistics 8
The retail industry is one of the most flexible industries. It is easily affected by technological advances and economic turmoil which tend to reshape its landscape. Therefore, the modern consumer is faced with a lot of different and more complex expectations for the product provided in the market. The boundaries that once strongly barred physical and virtual space are slowly being out phased where the retailers have come to confusion on their role in serving the consumers.
Faced with online competition, as well as the global economic downturn, many high-street retailers have been facing a slow decline, with declining numbers of shoppers coming through their doors. The improvement in the high St Retail logistics has made customers more loyal. In this report, I will seek to identify challenges facing logistic operations, and then determine the indicators of British customer loyalty in relation to High St retail logistics. The paper will also cover the impacts of the improvement in High St retail logistics.
Challenges facing logistic operations
In the last decade, there have been several challenges that have been facing logistic operations in various sectors.
i) Customer expectations
The tastes and preferences of the customers have prompted a shift in customer expectations. According to a study by the BVL international supply chain, the factor of changing customer expectations as identified as the leading factor that challenges logistic operations (Fernie, et al., 2010). This particularly applies to the firms that tend to adopt changes in technology or adapt to changes in the economy at a slower rate. Traditional measures have failed in efforts to target customers.
ii) Cost pressure
It’s the general trend of many consumers to always expect low costs. Cost pressure has emerged as a remains the main criterion for customers. The suppliers have therefore had an uphill task in trying to offer reduced costs in the light of the increasing customer expectations. It also proves had among key factors being increasingly discussed in the media such as sustainability, social issues or risk mitigation capabilities (Lowson, et al., 1999).
iii) Networked economy
The world economy has significantly evolved. Companies were used to considering themselves as independent entities in the market. They often managed interfaces that directed supplies and customers themselves. However, the modern economy required much more than that. Collaboration with partners has proven to be the better option in order to try and extend the supply network. In these partnerships, each party is expected to integrate their processes and systems, thereby shifting their focus on a network thinking rather than individual.
Logistics performance has been seen to deteriorate significantly when measured by delivery reliability. This has all been seen to stem from the factors of greater volatility, increased customer requirements, and problems dealing with infrastructure. Globalization has forced companies to adopt a new transport system. This has seen many companies’ logistics capability being influenced by poor transportation infrastructure. Globalization has greatly influenced other trends thus increasing complexity (Fernie, et al., 2010).
v) New technology
With new opportunities in investment, there comes a need for new technology. This is necessary especially in the sector of data analysis. This has led to problems that hinder the development of capabilities around comprehensive handling and connecting data in an intelligent non-negligent manner. Companies that have already adopted these infant technologies have already started realizing the increased gains. However, some technologies need to be well materialized in order to offer a level competition ground.
vi) Talent shortfalls
The field of logistics is dependent on many variables. Talent shortfalls in this field are expected to occur in the near future. These inadequacies have been witnessed at various levels; such as the planning, controlling as well as operational levels. This is worsened by the fact that some countries experience shortfalls occurring as a function of demographics (Capon & Hulbert, 2007).
The market has been in a turbulent wave over the last years. Financial and economic crises have then added salt to the wound. The demand and supply sides of the market have also contributed to the market turbulence, considering fluctuations on one part also affect the other part significantly.
viii) Sustainability pressure
The world economy has always been governed by laws and regulations. Already, a very high percentage of companies have been battling and trying to be up on standards on green issues. Corporate social responsibility has also complicated logistic operations as there remains a great void in the manner off deployment of those strategies.
ix) Increased risk and disruption
Many companies in their logistic operations have recognized the importance of mitigating internal and external issues. The ‘chameleonistic’ market characteristics has seen a rise in the number of risks surrounding demand and planning. The process of instituting strategic framework has proven to be a lengthy process (Piercy, 2012).
Impacts of improvement in high street retails
Therefore, there have been numerous strategies introduced to boost themselves as well as prepare themselves with these emerging trends. Top companies are also seeking to exploit these to gain a competitive edge in the market. The winners in the process are those that attain the best relationships with their customers (Fernie et al, 2010).
The first improvement made in the logistics sector is prioritizing talent management as a priority for growth. These companies have developed a strong affinity to hire, retain and incent individuals with strong analytical and team-building skills. This is done with an emphasis on communication, agile decision making and the complete ability to work in a highly multicultural environment.
The top players have also constructed a global governance process constraining persons to a high standard of behavior and conduct. However, there is ensured space for integrated planning and enough room to be able to maneuver around regional issues among the global business strategies. These standards have been fruitful, in that they are procedures and policies that bring the right outcomes and properly align plans throughout the supply chain.
Technology roadmaps were initiated. These initiatives were meant to drive better capabilities in product and services pricing in innovations that will seek to meet and exceed customer expectations. The innovations in technology are always conceived in the light of customer satisfaction. They provide an incentive for the customer involved to make decisions in an integrated manner.
The leading performers have also managed to come up with a precedent that seeks to create network partnerships, outsources relationships and bundled products and services with main global partners. These has then resulted in a number of key capabilities that prove hard to replicate. Due to past experiences, organizations are slowly recognizing that they cannot do it alone and that those with the most efficient and capable network of suppliers have a higher chance of succeeding in their logistic operations (Fernie & Sparks, Logistics and Retail Management: Insights Into Current Practice and Trends from Leading Experts, 2004).
Strategies changing the face of logistics
Investing in green initiatives has also pushed the top performers. This is done by using the policy of leaving the environment in a better condition than they found it; done using the terms of carbon footprints and other global standards. Apart from the main objective of customer loyalty, there are other specific areas that the top performers in logistical operations focused on. These include process, technology, network and community (Harrison & Hoek, 2008).
Organizations have seen the need to develop a strong main set of policies and procedures in their daily operations. These however must be engineered to meet any situation globally as well as culturally. The organization has therefore embarked on promoting persons who grasp the concept of their culture through mentoring, shadowing and a good deal of educational opportunities that provide plenty of training. This improved retention capabilities in the process allowing innovation and new means and modes of working to flouring in global networking.
Workers who have strong analytical and rational foundations are in a position to be hired more by logistical operators.These individuals are able to use data to define environmental conditions, and act on their logical interpretation of this data. The top companies also seek managers who can deliberate the long-term impression of their decisions, not just the direct situation in front of them. Topperforming companies also prefer experts who have deep acquaintance in a specificarea, and thus have the capability toassess the situation.Finally, they want persons who have ability to work in unacquainted global environments as well as individuals who are prepared to work in a global setting (Capon & Hulbert, 2007).
As organizations expand globally, the need for a global viewpoint is also important, and this is increasingly harder to find. This therefore presents the challenge of identification and recruitment of individuals across multiple channels. The process requires a positive and broad mind in order to succeed in it.
Less successful enterprises are more likely to be a stand-alone logistics organization and less likely to be part of the procurement organization. Logistics has proven to be a main global process with the means of its independent governance. Although procurement has often reflected logistics as simply a purchasing activity, there is a strong necessity to distinguish the types of logistics subjects that need a different approach. This has therefore warranted the close coordination between procurement and logistics, with logistics playing a more or less consultative role.
Technology has seen many persons leveraged to provide insights, visibility, and promote an action oriented culture. High streets and town centres play a vital role in supporting communities and boosting local growth. We live in a world that is increasingly reliant on digital technology (Lamming, et al., 2008). Technology investments that have a direct tie to user requirements, customer responsiveness, and accountability for results have the best promise of being adopted successfully. The retailers are investing in a concrete foundation of healthy logistics and supply chain data, through confirming that their data systems can track events, transactions, and form a strong data-based analytics foundation.
Customer responsiveness, accountability and user requirements are often the key things to be met in technological innovations. Globalization in technology has seen an end to end integration as well as global material visibility. Planning processes have been integrated in order to produce a masterpiece of analytic tools that will in turn prove viable in future. It also enables tracking of events beyond first tier suppliers, and provides a real-time update of key performance indicators used to ensure optimization of supply chain plans (Harrison & Hoek, 2008).
The interdependencies of globally interacted supply chains means any commotion at a node radiates throughout the network. One of the most important aspects of networking is end to end integration. Retailers have to thereforeinitiate measures that see the increased sharing of tactical market data. Other distinguishing features is that they are sharing information across a broader arc of supply chain members. Logistic decisions therefore are made with respect cost to serve analytics.
In the retail sector, it has become important for customers to be aware of environment. Therefore, active establishments are reconnoitering new ways to screen and measure transport networks, end of life product strategies and packaging. Corporate social responsibility is establishing its position as a more important part of logistics strategy (Fernie et al, 2010). Organizations will increasingly need to work both vertically and horizontally with other agencies to form industry coalitions and government partnerships that will make the world a level playing field and one that continues to reduce its carbon footprint over time.
Organizations are holding their suppliers to one global standard when it comes to labor and human rights violation. The community has increasingly being made part of the logistic strategy, thereby enhancing customer retention. Improvement in the supply chain management CSR has been established as a pillar of strengthening logistic operations (Fernie & Sparks, Retail logistics: changes and challenges, 2009).
The high street retailers who followed the above strategies have seemingly excelled in improving British customer loyalty. Retailers were once the passive recipients of products allocated to stores by manufacturers in the hope of purchase by consumers and replenished only at the impulse and timing of the manufacturer. They have now emerged as the key controllers of product supply in major markets.
Retailers have become the channel captains and set the pace in logistics. Having protracted their channel control and focused on corporate efficiency andeffectiveness, retailers have thenattempted to engender a moreintegrated, cooperative, andcollaborative position in manyaspects of logistics and supplychain management. The high level of retail product brand penetration has enabled them to build up store loyalty and diversify into other businesses.
Having enhanced the competence of their own logistics operations, many retailers have instigated to cooperate diligently with suppliers to exploit the efficiency of the retail supply chain as a whole. With these initiative, the consumers are more satisfied. The overall focus on getting a more competitive edge in Britain has therefore greatly boosted the logistics departments. The retail supply chain is definitely getting more complex, so it’s no surprise that the logistics industry has also evolved dramatically in recent years, and even the industry terms have begun to change.
All in all, it is evident that the rapid evolution of high St retailers has greatly impacted the loyalty of consumers in the UK. Strategies implemented have had a profound effect on customer activities resulting in an increasing level of trust ultimately resulting to consumer loyalty. The retail supply chain is now adjusting to a wider and more diverse variety of just about everything
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