Logistics specialists DHL Supply Chain has hosted a roundtable with some of the UK’s top retailers as it looks to find ways to overcome challenges and issues identified ahead of the Christmas peak.
Retailers including House of Fraser (HOF), John Lewis and Marks & Spencer are collaborating with delivery suppliers in order to ensure consistency with their brand promises and that the service level reflects those expected from well-known high street stores.
As multichannel offerings continue to increase and improve, retailers with a digital presence are keen to provide a seamless link between all their services and are seeking way to identify an industry-wide delivery standard.
Paul Richardson, Managing Director of DHL Supply Chain, Fashion, chaired the meeting and was pleased with the enthusiastic support of so many top retailers .
“This is a great way to tackle shared concerns and generate lasting solutions,” he said.
“Clear communication and collaboration with all stakeholders involved in the fulfilment processes of multichannel retail is required. Downstream, emphasis needs to be placed on managing customer expectations in a clear, open and honest way.”
Earlier this year, HOF signed a deal worth £85 million with DHL Supply Chain which has seen its existing Milton Keynes distribution centre become dedicated solely to items purchased via its website and Simon Waine, Head of Multichannel Logistics at the retailer, welcomed the latest discussions.
“House of Fraser views carrier services and performance as an integral part of our multichannel offer and experience for our customers,” he explained.
“We are therefore delighted to be involved and influence improvements through tactical initiatives and strategic thinking.
“We see a joined up approach between carriers and retailers to be a key enabler for step-change, particularly for peak trading and weather contingencies. Our customers expect us to be working in this manner.”
Attendees at the roundtable agreed that encouraging greater communication and transparency from carriers to both retailers and customers in terms of capacity and delivery time is essential, while carriers working with retailers around stock forecasting and predicted volumes will also speed up the delivery process.