Rexel's expertise helps create value for customers in an era of Amazon Business disruption, says Maxwell Gabin, manager of the company's San Diego site. Rexel, he says, is ready to answer specific questions, picks up calls in three rings or fewer and offers competitive delivery options.
Self-service ordering, inventory management and a mobile app are among the e-commerce offerings paying off for US Foods and changing how the company does business with customers. "We make our technology available to customers wherever they are, including a basement restaurant or a walk-in cooler," says Gene Carbonara, the company's e-commerce and digital director.
Logistics teams are using digital twins, internet of things technologies, blockchain and data analytics to stay relevant in an increasingly connected world, Yasaman Kazemi of Esri writes. "Supply chains that adopt transparency, comprehensive analytics, and cognitive technologies will have a distinct competitive advantage," she writes.
Companies can take steps when implementing reverse logistics to increase customer satisfaction with the returns process and the potential of future sales, advises Jake Rheude of Red Stag Fulfillment. These tips include posting a clear return policy so customers don't feel cheated, giving a quick survey to learn how to prevent future returns, and offering opportunities to exchange items or get store credit.
Black Friday return rates of up to 30% lead to billions in lost revenue and rising carbon emissions as returned items are handled, shredded and burned. A survey of 300 retailers found less than 50% of returned items could be sold at full price.
The Environmental Protection Agency will waive some regulations to allow auto dealers to send recalled Takata air bag inflators directly to a certified disposal facility rather than to Takata warehouses. The EPA is taking the action to try to keep the inflators out of the municipal waste stream and prevent their resale.
Daimler Trucks North America, in partnership with Filament, is using blockchain technology to improve its vehicle remanufacturing programs. A USB device called Blocklet records data from the parts supply chain as part of the initiative.
Amazon has launched a website called Second Chance that informs customers how to repair, recycle or return old electronic devices. Customers can send in old devices for trade-ins or free recycling and can also connect to customer service for 90 days after buying an item through the site.
Excellence is a priority at the Clorox Co., said Chief Product Supply Officer Andy Mowery, while explaining how the company's small size allows it to remain agile and respond to shifting demands. "Fundamentally, it's about executing, driving that continuous-improvement mindset and no matter where you are and what you're making, having that workforce that is super excited about what they do every day," Mowery says.
Connectivity, intelligence and automation are three key areas for industrial companies to focus on when exploring digital opportunities for the value chain, according to this McKinsey & Co. analysis. The most successful pilot projects, the authors write, begin with tangible, easy-to-measure goals and a clear vision with a multistep road map.
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