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This content is taken from the RMIT University's online course, Business Futures: Understanding Omni-channel Retailing and Supply Chains. Join the course to learn more.
Designing omni-channel supply chains
Designing omni-channel supply chains

Designing omni-channel supply chains

We have explored the role of technology in the last mile delivery, logistics and warehousing in omni-channel retailing and how to meet the operational demands within the omni-channel context. These features are key ingredients in the design of an omni-channel supply chain.

In essence, successful omni-channel retailing empowers customers to choose how, where and when they shop, then provides a consistent and seamless experience across a multitude of touchpoints. Probably the biggest challenge for most companies in omni-channel commerce is their omni-channel supply chain network structure.

The importance of order fulfillment has made supply chain the backbone of omni-channel purchasing and retailing. The design, setup and execution of the omni-channel supply chain are critical and will determine the ultimate customer experience.

There are a couple of things an omni-channel supply chain designer needs to consider:

  1. Embracing the real time visibility of customer decisions
  2. Going beyond traditional retail stores to consumers’ homes; the omni-channel strategy cannot be an afterthought. Retailers and consumer product suppliers need to reengineer their supply chains to achieve agility and flexibility to meet the demanding expectations of the omni-channel world.

Despite what has already been mentioned, there is no shortage of suggestions on how an omni-channel supply chain should be designed. In broad terms, the main strategy is to align supply chains to meet myriad customer demands.

Once that has been achieved, supply chain networks should be optimised. This involves using big data analytics (examining large data sets to unearth market trends, customer preferences, hidden patterns, unknown correlations and other insightful consumer information) while deciding the locations of stores, warehouses and distribution centres.

This nine-minute video “omni-channel Banking powered by SAP Hybrids”, shows how banks may use omni-channel to increase service quantity and quality to enhance customer satisfaction. It also shows how technology develops innovative marketing programs to provide more personalised banking experiences to customers.

Think about how omni-channel supply chains differ according to product/service, location and cost.


Let’s start brainstorming! Choose a product range and identify a diverse target market.

Using a Mind map, brainstorm and create an alternative omni-channel supply chain strategy that incorporates global markets.

Share a link to your mindmap with other learners in the Comments area.

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This article is from the free online course:

Business Futures: Understanding Omni-channel Retailing and Supply Chains

RMIT University