Although both small and large companies experience supply chain challenges, their struggles often arise out of different circumstances. That is, while small and mid-sized businesses are usually more concerned with the initial construction of their end-to-end supply chains, large enterprises tend to focus on maximizing the efficiency of the fulfillment and distribution channels they have already developed.
To exemplify this point, consider the case of Walmart, a retail industry behemoth with $500 billion+ in annual revenue, 4,700+ storefronts nationwide, and a long-established market presence. For an enterprise like Walmart, the emphasis is less on building their supply chain so much as it is on optimizing it. This focus on efficiency is what led Walmart to recently announce their next-day shipping service for e-commerce purchases. Although Walmart is already a global enterprise, they are always looking for ways to reach their customers faster and deliver an innovative buying experience. It is this type of optimization that is a top priority for many enterprise-level logistics departments today.
While companies like Amazon and Walmart make it look easy, most enterprises know from experience that the process of optimizing a global supply chain represents a monumental hurdle. For companies like General Motors with 18,000+ partners in their global supply chain, entire teams of analysts and extensive funding are required to drive meaningful change. Building a modernized supply chain also requires a fundamental shift in the technologies and strategies used by enterprises for managing their logistics.
However, the level of investment and training needed to achieve this optimization on a global scale can take years to roll out. Furthermore, if the company culture at these enterprises are slow to accept change, it can be an even larger hurdle just to receive approval for a project of this magnitude. This reality is clearly recognized by enterprise executives today, with 56% of CIOs in a recent survey listing company culture, 50% listing cost, and 44% listing legacy technology as the three most significant barriers to their company’s digital transformation.
Although the sheer size and financial strength of large enterprises may seem enough to remain competitive, the fate of companies like Sears and Toys-R-Us reminds us this is not the case. Instead, it is the rigidity of in-house procedures at these large companies that often proves to be their downfall. In an environment where constantly shifting customer preferences and lightning-quick e-commerce experiences have become the norm, enterprises are struggling to keep pace with smaller and more nimble businesses that can respond to market evolution at a faster pace. And as consumer preferences continue to shift, many enterprises are falling further behind.
In order for large enterprises to remain competitive, they need access to supply chain solutions that enable the same level of flexibility and innovation as is available to their smaller peers. They also need an environment that mitigates the risk of a new product or market strategy failing. While the risk aspect of innovation is ever-present, if a large enterprise invests millions or even billions in a failed venture, the resulting impact on revenue can be hugely damaging. Thus, gaining access to a “sandbox” where new ideas and ventures can be tested on a small scale before instituting them globally is a major plus. Enter in on-demand warehousing and fulfillment.
While the underlying need to foster innovation in a risk-reduced environment is what typically drives large enterprises to , the specific application of such models can vary widely. While not every enterprise use case is documented here, the following list highlights several of the more prominent examples that Ware2Go has witnessed over the course of the past year.
For any business interested in learning more about how on-demand warehousing could facilitate additional efficiency and innovation across their supply chain, we encourage you to reach out to Ware2Go for more information.