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Experts believe last-mile logistics can effectively build brand loyalty by significantly improving the customer experience.

From a global market perspective, immediate and fast delivery is becoming a critical necessity to a company’s success. In fact, a staggering 88% of consumers who participated in the 2018 Global Consumer Insights Survey, confirmed they would pay more for ‘same-day or faster delivery’. To an online shopper, the process of dropping product into a shopping cart and checking out seems relatively simple. However, the movement of transporting product from the manufacturer, to the distribution center, to the end user, is far more complex.

To differentiate themselves from the competition and build brand loyalty, companies, especially in the retail space, must focus on last-mile logistics.

Delivering to E-commerce Markets

Over the course of the past several months, Morai Logistics has highlighted a significant rise in e-commerce shopping. Statistically, this global market will continue to generate sales that reach an impressive $4.5 Trillion by 2021. Omni-channel retailing has also given customers the ability to purchase product across a variety of platforms and devices. When buying becomes more and more accessible, competition for customer loyalty also increases. Delivery has been linked to being a significant factor in motivating customer preference.

As mentioned above, today, almost 90% of surveyed customers would opt to pay extra for same-day shipping. This figure has significantly increased over the course of the last few years. In 2016, McKinsey found that nearly

25% of consumers are willing to pay significant premiums for the privilege of same-day or instant delivery.

This reinforces the growing need for companies to seek innovative delivery solutions to remain competitive and improve the customer experience. Shifting from traditional networks that include large parcel carriers, to last-mile delivery methods, has proven to be a ground-breaking move.

Last-Mile Logistics

To improve the customer experience, retailers are beginning to take a closer look at last-mile delivery. This is the final step in the delivery process and efficiency is critical in order to meet the rise in online purchases.  According to Datex, last-mile delivery is defined as,

…as the movement of goods from a transportation hub to the final delivery destination.

Business Insider describes this phase as ‘the most expensive and time-consuming part’ of the shipment lifecycle. However, it remains an important factor in improving customer satisfaction. To combat the inefficiencies of last-mile delivery, there are variety of solutions that transportation and logistics providers are focusing on. Datex outlines them as follows:

  • Robots
  • Local Delivery
  • Uber Delivery
  • Click-to-collect

Third Party Logistics providers (3PLs) are also leveraging these solutions in order to compete in an industry challenged with capacity crunches and driver shortages. There are a variety of benefits that help promote efficiency and access to real-time data. Backed by technology, last-mile logistics helps 3PLs ‘manage peak times, routes and costs’. In return, retail customers receive their packages on-time and in good condition, and shippers and retailers avoid unnecessary costs associated with inaccuracies and returns.

Brand Loyalty

To ensure customer demand and satisfaction in today’s digital marketplace, companies must seek innovative methods for transporting goods. In every organization, building positive brand loyalty should also be a key focus. Customers will pay for a better customer experience, and there is high ROI from investing in existing clients. According to Fundera, ‘43% of customers spend more money on brands they’re loyal to’.

When customers are provided with personalized solutions, they will be more inclined to return for additional business. Supply chains know that customers are demanding immediacy and transparency. Since 56% of customers exercise brand loyalty toward companies who “get them”, this should propel supply chains to invest in innovative last-mile delivery solutions.

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With an ability to offer transparency, efficiency and speed, Blockchain has been coined a ‘game changer’ in the supply chain and logistics industry.

According to Research and Markets, the ‘global blockchain supply chain market’ is will grow ‘from USD 145.0 million’ this year to n expected ‘USD 3,314.6 million by 2023’.

This statistic represents the powerful impact this global digital ledger has made on the way industries make transactions. Supply Chains are currently facing challenges as markets expand, consumer demand increases and e-commerce platforms continue to emerge. However, only 11% of organizations with a working understanding of this technology. Therefore, it’s important to investigate the benefits this technology provides.

This infographic outlines how blockchain will continue to become a valuable technological asset to the supply chain and logistics industry. In addition, it aims to outline how this technology can help organizations improve transparency, cybersecurity and efficiency.

How Blockchain Improves Speed, Security & Transparency

 

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The future of retail is growing increasingly reliant on digital technologies, which will place significant demand on transportation supply chains.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, in 2017 retail sales hit a record breaking $5.7 trillion USD. By 2020, global retail sales is expected to rise to $27.73 trillion USD. Statistics also reveal that last year, ‘an estimated 1.66 billion people worldwide purchased goods online’. This translated into $2.3 trillion USD in e-sales, a figure that’s expected to rise to $4.48 trillion USD by 2021. These figures represent a positive progression of economic prosperity and in addition also identity a significant transformation in the retail industry.

Research on the cause and effect of these figures suggest that technology is playing a significant role in where retail is headed. Recent trends indicate that both technology and consumer behaviour are two notable factors influencing these numbers. Therefore, it’s no surprise that this will have an impact on supply chains, the question is how much?

Morai Logistic has identified the benefits emerging technologies provide supply chains to meet the increase in consumer demands. This week, we look at how digitization is impacting the retail industry and how this translates into a need for greater immediacy and efficiency.

Current Trends in Retail

The retail industries transition from brick-and-mortar to online, is one of the most prominent ongoing movement today. By 2020, e-commerce sales will account for ‘16% of retail sales’, making its mark as the ‘largest channel’ in North America. This doesn’t suggest that ecommerce shopping carts will completely replace traditional physical stores. However, it does require an urgency for retail companies to adjust their strategies in order to accommodate consumer demands.

There are many factors that impact consumer behaviour. For one, the internet gave people the ability to access information in real-time, helping them make informed buying decisions. From reviews to recommendations, consumers heavily rely on digital information to guide their in-store purchases. According to the Balance, as a result of changes in consumer spending,

Retailers found they had to offer value in the form of higher service and convenience in addition to lower prices.

In order for companies to respond with convenience, low prices and gain competitive advantage, they must provide both online and in-store opportunity. Statistics on consumer spending this year, signifies that there is ‘a definite move toward online shopping’. The retail industries response to this rise in consumer demands also means a shift from a product-centric model to one that is customer-centric.

The Customer Wants More

Across a variety of industries, including both retail and supply chain, we see that the customer experience is becoming a focal business model. Customization is key to propel the buyer’s journey. According to Salesforce,

84% of customers say being treated like a person, not a number, is very important to winning their business.

With easy accessibility to products online, there is also an increase in demand for ‘instant gratification’. This translates into speed, which in supply chain is referred to as immediacy. The Financial Brand states that the ability for a company to deliver a product fast is no longer a ‘nice-to-have’ but a ‘need-to-have’. Therefore, companies must structure their supply chains accordingly.

A Retail Supply Chain

As in-store and online retail sales and consumer demands continue to rise, companies must optimize the way products are delivered. A strategic approach is necessary in order to meet growing consumer expectations, which can be summarized as follows:

  • Next-day or same-day delivery
  • Free shipping
  • Free returns

However, experts say that supply chains have not been able to keep up with this rise in retail prosperity. Worldwide management consulting firm, McKinsey & Company, states there in order to keep us there is a “need for a supply chain revolution.” What does this look like?

Retailers must improve their visibility across the entire shipment lifecycle; offer cost-effective solutions, while being able to deliver expedited shipping; restructure to achieve a ‘greater flexibility in inventory management’; and also optimize their distribution methods by incorporating optimal distribution centers (DC).

As the retail industry continues to grow and expand, supply chains will notice a progressive amount of pressure. The impact of increased consumer demand across a large scale of industries is a result of how technology is changing consumer behaviour.

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To compete in today’s digital marketplace, supply chains must build a framework that prioritizes visibility, supplier diversity, technology and the customer experience.

Survey results from ‘623 supply chain professionals across 17 countries’, concluded that one of the top industry challenges was ‘facing global competition’. Over the last two decades, the competitive landscape of supply chain and logistics has changed considerably. The process of transporting product from A to B has transformed over the years.

The definition of ‘supply chain’ has also shifted over time. This correlates to the advancement of technology. According to Supply Chain Dive,

Because of its novelty and rapid changes in the world market, supply chain remains a controversial term – shifting per the user’s needs.

Morai Logistics recognizes the current shift facing supply chains today. A rise in ecommerce has enabled consumers to purchase products anywhere at any time, which has created a need for immediacy. Consumer demand has also increased expectations relating to lower shipping rates, faster on-time delivery and complete transparency. Supply chains must be predictive, preventative and proactive to ensure that transactions run efficiently and effectively.

However, technology also helps develop advanced tools that enable third party logistic providers (3PL) to gain a competitive edge. This blog post discusses how technology can be the driver of change to your supply chain, and how companies can gain competitive advantage.

Visibility

Statistics reveal that in 2017, ‘full supply chain visibility’ became the 3rd ‘most important strategic priority’. When it comes to supply chains, consumers place great importance on transparency. For instance, online shoppers like companies that offer updates on their transactions and shipments. They want to be involved in every step of the shipment lifecycle, and receive open communication and real-time responsive. Technology provides an unceasing transmission of insight in the form of big data. Numbers can translate valuable information that can guide companies to better predict inefficiencies. Advanced analytics help supply chains achieve visibility.

Customer-Centric Approach

On August 9th, 2018, Morai Logistics released an eBook entitled Customer Service: A Long Term Strategy for Future Supply Chains. Prioritizing the customer is extremely important because supply chains directly impact when and how products are transported. Statistics also reveal that 75% of businesses considered ‘services as more important than price’. According to Forbes,

Customer-centricity is the most desired business outcome of supply chain digitization.

As mentioned above, visibility plays a significant role in creating a supply chain that focuses on the needs and demands of shippers and suppliers. In addition, technology solutions can help deploy a customer-centric strategy by offering personalized customer experiences.

Technology – Centric Approach

As mentioned above, technology has been directly linked to improving the customer experience, in addition to overall efficiency. Adopting emerging platforms will enable supply chains to leverage advanced analytics, and also improve productivity through forecasting and inventory management.

Global research icon, Gartner, states that 65% of supply chain professionals believe that ‘adopting and investing in emerging technologies’ is a competitive advantage. Furthermore, ‘90% of companies’ that are ‘operating at stages four or five maturity levels outperform their peers’. These statistics confirm that to be an industry leader in this global market, supply chains must adopt technology.

Supplier Diversity

If you want to obtain competitive advantage, incorporate a supplier diversity program into your supply chain operations. According to Supplier Diversity Canada, including ‘under-represented businesses in a company’s supply chain’, you lead as an organization that values corporate social responsibility. Companies establish credibility and promote a customer-centric model by reflecting ‘their existing/targeted customer base’.

For supply chain and logistics companies to stay competitive in today’s global market place, they must learn to adapt. By prioritizing customer-centric models, visibility, supplier diversity and technology, they increase their advantage, which ultimately benefits their bottom-line.

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Prescriptive analytics is a decision making model that can help supply chains meet the increasing demands that have resulted from the revolution of technology.

Now more than ever, the supply chain and logistics industry is under pressure to meet the unprecedented growing demands of consumers. In addition, they also must meet demands with efficiency and immediacy, while offering competitive rates and network opportunities. The impact of emerging technologies on transportation supply chains is a point of interest to a variety of industry leaders. It requires actionable initiatives that specifically analyze innovative ways for supply chains to improve their bottom line and transform to effective digital supply networks (DSNs).

Prescriptive Analytics is a critical approach toward helping supply chains achieve this transformation. Gartner Inc.defines this technology as:

A form of advanced analytics which examines data or content to answer the question “What should be done?” or “What can we do to make _______ happen?

This form of algorithmic decision making, enables companies to visualize actions that improve operations and capitalize profits. This blog post dives deeper into understanding the function and benefits of prescriptive analytics in supply chain management.

Prescriptive Versus Predictive Analytics

Advanced analytics can be described as being either descriptive, predictive or prescriptive. Their meaning can be broken down into fundamental questions that help businesses achieve an objective.

Descriptive        —————    “What has happened?”

Predictive         —————    “What could happen?”

Prescriptive       —————    “What should we do?”

In April, Morai Logistics discussed the imperative need for supply chains to improve transparency. We describe predictive analytics as a recommended technology that provides organizations with the technology to forecast and achieve real-time visibility. Joined by Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning, this suite of tools help many industries such as retail, healthcare and transportation. What’s does prescriptive analytics bring to the table?

According to Digital Journal, the global prescriptive analytics market serves numerous markets including healthcare, information technology & communications, manufacturing, government and defences, and of course transportation and logistics. They share the following insight into the growth of this market:

Prescriptive analytics market accounted for USD 1.20 billion growing at a CAGR of 30.95% during the forecast period of 2017 to 2024.

In comparison to forecasting with predictive analytics, prescriptive analytics identifies how ‘business processes should evolve or be modified’. It’s an algorithmic decision making model that analyses data in order to take action. Applying this level of analysis can help any business understand how to effectively use their ‘resources, costs and capabilities’.

Benefits for Supply Chains

Transportation and logistics is a market segment that should utilize prescriptive analytics. However, their integration is comparatively slower to other industries despite feeling the pressure of consumer demand the most. Although there is a growing need for new and improved processes, many industry leaders fear the unknown of integrating a new technology tool. Supply Chain Management Review states that implementing prescriptive analytics is ‘a crucial analytics approach’. They further reinforce the following outcomes below as beneficial to improving supply chain management.

  • Create ‘visibility between the supply chain and finance’.
  • Provides managers with advanced platforms that help base decisions on fact-based scenarios.
  • Integration of predictive benefits such as cost reductions, forecasting and end-to-end visibility.
  • Create a prepared, informed and confident workforce.

Advanced analytics is a critical tool that should be integrated into any organization looking to achieve profit growth. Supply chains must continue to embrace technologies in order to meet customer demands, while creating a competitive advantage in changing markets. Predictive analytics is important because it helps supply chains understand future risks, challenges and outcomes. However, prescriptive analytics leverages data to devise action that will improve efficiency, immediacy and their bottom line.

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Morai Logistics raises $22,420 in support of cancer research and development by marching with members of the community at the 2018 Relay for Life.

Cancer remains one of the leading causes of death in North America. Last year alone, there were 206, 200 new cancer diagnoses in Canada. Furthermore, by the end of 2018 the number of estimated new cases in the United States will be 1,735,350‘. These figures reflect the urgent need for communities, industries and governments to support cancer research and development.

On Friday, June 8th, 2018, Morai Logistics participated in Relay for Life, an annual fundraising event founded by the Canadian Cancer Society. Alongside thousands of members of the community, our team marched together to help ‘fight back against cancer’. These initiatives are a constant pillar of strength to many. However, the urgency to implement processes that effectively facilitate the preventative treatment of cancer remains.

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Arthur-Gay: Valued Morai Logistics Team Member. Cancer Survivor.

Forbes identifies patient personalization as a step toward providing optimal customer experience to patients in need of immediate and tailored medical treatment. This phenomena is growing in popularity on both the patient/customer and facility side. By 2022, it’s expected that the personal medicine market will reach USD 2.45 trillion. This will place an increase in pressure on the healthcare supply chain management industry.

This article investigates the importance of personalized medication in improving cancer treatment. It also touches on the role supply chains have in meeting the demands of this growing market.

Personalizing Cancer Treatment

The Canadian Cancer Society defines personalized medicine as the ‘use of information about a person to prevent, diagnose and treat disease’. The ability for medical professionals to determine appropriate and preventative treatment for each individual patient is a product of extensive R&D. It also helps to answer the following six benefits:

  • How likely will an individual develop cancer?
  • Who will benefit from ‘earlier screening’?
  • Which treatment would be effective, while causing less side effects?
  • What appropriate plans should be implemented to manage treatment?
  • How do research develop new treatments?
  • How do we educate patients on making the right ‘treatment decisions’?

This advanced method of understanding and identifying appropriate treatment protocol has shown a considerable advantage in preventing specific cancers. Therefore, it’s important to recognize the impact this growing market will have on healthcare supply chain management.

Challenges in Healthcare Supply Chain Management

Research predicts that the healthcare supply chain management market will reach USD 2.56 billion by 2025. As this treatment approach moves from ‘reaction to prevention’, this will enable medical professionals to offer effective treatment options’. However, research has identified the popularity of personalized medicine will place considerable pressure on manufacturers in supply chains.

Due to the complexities of this individualized approach, challenges in the supply chain manifest in an inability to match ‘scale, speed, reliability and traceability’. Supply Chain Diver indicates that this direct-to-customer approach will require:

  • Increased delivery demand
  • Specific packaging
  • ‘Increased temperature monitoring’
  • Custom clearance in transport
  • Delay monitoring by GPS-based alerts

In addition, the transportation of medication is ‘time and temperature’ sensitive, which places a critical importance on ensuring ‘cold chain is virtually error-free’. When multiple medications are shipped together but require different temperatures, certain challenges may arise. The facilitation of personalized medication creates an intricate shipment lifecycle going from manufacturer to production facility to the patient. However, research also explains that the same third party logistics providers (3PL) run throughout the entire service. For logistics companies, this means recognizing their vital role in facilitating the personalized medication market.

Community of Change

Morai Logistics is passionately dedicated to supporting cancer research and development. As a North American leader in supply chain and logistics, we understand the important role 3PLs play as a partner and advocate for the safe and efficient transport of personalized medication. Our participation in community events, such as Relay for Life, is one of the many ways our company stands with those affected by cancer.  Together, our energetic and passionate team raised $22,420 this year in honour of an incredible cause!

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The Morai Logistics Team at Relay for Life

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The Morai Logistics team would like to wish everyone a Happy International Women’s Day. We’re so proud of all the accomplishments that has been achieved leading up to this point, especially in our industry, and are excited to see the progress that the future holds for women everywhere.

To all women out there, whatever you are doing, this day is for you!

According to the report Digital Supply Chain: Creating Skills for the Future, the Canadian supply chain and logistics industry currently employs 878,000 people. Digital technologies is stated to be a contributing factor to the increase in job creation expected to happen over the course of the next five years.

However, research also identifies Canada’s ranking as the 14th nation in the World Bank’s Logistics Performance Index.

While the country’s investment in research and technology remains high, less than 41% of Canadian industries actually utilize advanced communication technologies. The report further identifies that as the integration of emerging platforms continues to rise, the need for an advanced workforce is critical.

Unceasing technological advancements in the form of artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things (IoT) and Big Data, are necessary to help companies keep up with consumer needs and demands. They’re also key to improving the countries performance in trade logistics.

This eBook takes a look at current technology trends that will have a direct impact on the transportation supply chain and logistics workforce.

What does an Advanced Supply Chain look like?

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If you liked this blog post, why not subscribe to our blog? If you’re interested in what we do as a 3rd party logistics provider, don’t hesitate to check out our services (as expressed above, we are very pro finding you the lowest total cost!). We’re also in the twittersphere, so give us a follow to get the latest logistics and supply chain news.

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With technology driving industries into the Cloud, implementing and utilizing Software-as-a-Service, or SAAS, systems could help supply chains improve the customer experience.

The Internet of Things (IoT) continues to connect and enable our world to create efficient and easier modes of communication, operations and production. Technological advancements have shown improvements for many industries. Supply chain and logistics companies included.

Research claims that “SAAS cloud computing business information systems help enterprises develop.” This prompts us to ask exactly how. This article unveils how Software-as-a-Service systems function as a benefit to the supply chain industry and what this means moving forward.

SAAS Defined

Software-as-a-Service (SAAS) is an innovative tier of cloud computing. It is projected to provide lucrative benefits for the supply chain industry. In a report written by C3 Solutions, they use this term interchangeably with ‘cloud-based system’. Businesses and customers are able to access services over a network in a simplified and easy process.

As outlined in a SWOT analysis on SAAS, the system’s ability to efficiently integrate and be easily scalable are notable strengths. In addition, a major plus for businesses who adopt SAAS is it’s “less up front cost”. Senior Vice-President of Sales & Marketing at C3 Solutions, Gregory Braun, also states that cloud based platforms “keep up with changes and advances in the technologies”. Therefore, this system has the capability to help businesses streamline their supply chain management processes.

The Benefits of SAAS for Supply Chain Management

SAAS systems provide businesses with the ability to offer more efficient services to customers by helping them streamline their data. Similar to the research found by C3 Solutions, Salesforce outlines four main benefits that this cloud-based option provides all industries. SAAS is:

  • Easy to learn, generating high adoption rates
  • Offers Low initial costs
  • Upgrade capabilities that removes unnecessary hassle for adding additional software
  • Helps your business “scale indefinitely to meet customer demand.”

While this all sounds promising, how can supply chain industries utilize this? Research has found that current supply chain management systems are more effective when combined with IoT technology. Specifically in relation to supply chains, Radio-Frequency Identification (RFID) can be optimized using cloud based software. This is primarily to “improve the collection, sharing and exchange of information.”

Therefore, SAAS systems could create efficient processes for transporting goods by offering a low cost opportunity to integrate and scale shipments.

Proof in Numbers

Although the above benefits speak to the advantages software-as-a-service (SAAS) systems provide businesses, steady market growth shows proof in numbers. According to Digital Journal, Canada joins many global leaders in contributing revenue to the SAAS market. It’s estimated that by 2020, the Global SAAS market will increase by 21%, representing $117 billion USD in annual growth.

Both Small, medium and large enterprises are adopting this software across a variety of industries including IT, Manufacturing and Healthcare. The Globe and Mail reports that the Canadian stock market is seeing a surge this year. They reported technology stocks increasing by 8.5%. These figures represent the steady progression of innovative technologies and their contributions to global economies.

Improving the Customer Relationship

In addition to being an efficient tool to help businesses optimize their operations, SAAS systems also help improve the customer relationship. Writer, Michael Krigsman, discusses how leading enterprise software, Oracle, foresees a future in the clouds. He states that as companies move toward implementing cloud software. This leads to a focus on responsiveness must be taken to meet customer satisfaction.

The Balance asks “are you getting your customers what they want, when they want it – and spending as little money as possible accomplishing that?” The answer to this could possibly be the implementation of IoT technolgoies like as SAAS. Not only does this system improve the efficiencies of data collection and transfer, it can also save your business significant costs.

If you liked this blog post, why not subscribe to our blog? If you’re interested in what we do as a 3rd party logistics provider, don’t hesitate to check out our services (as expressed above, we are very pro finding you the lowest total cost!). We’re also in the twittersphere, so give us a follow to get the latest logistics and supply chain news.

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The current structure of the North America Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) is set to change later this year. The U.S led negotiations with Canada and Mexico will determine how NAFTA will look, or if it will even continue past next year.

It’s been 23 years since the treaty was signed. In that time, it’s built up quite the legacy. Let’s looks at how this historic treaty has shaped North American jobs and trade.

NAFTA’s future might be uncertain, but its importance in global politics, economics and world trade cannot be understated. The treaty has reshaped the political economic landscape of Canada, the U.S. and Mexico by tripling regional trade and cross-border investment. That’s not to say it isn’t without its critics. However, the world will be very different if NAFTA were to be replaced.

This is why this week, we thought we’d focus on re-exploring NAFTA. Check out our infographic below for some fast facts!

How Has NAFTA Affected North American Logistics & Supply Chain?

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That’s it for us this week! If you liked this blog post, why not subscribe to our blog? If you’re interested in what we do as a 3rd party logistics provider, don’t hesitate to check out our services (as expressed above, we are very pro finding you the lowest total cost!). We’re also in the twittersphere, so give us a follow to get the latest logistics and supply chain news.