As they get ready for Multichannel Merchant’s 2014 Operations Summit, taking place at the J.W. Marriott in Indianapolis April 22-24, one thing merchants and vendors agree upon is that direct-to-customer operations have become more complex, and important, than ever before. So, we’ll see many solutions aiming to make merchants’ jobs less complex, across all operational areas.
Green Mountain Consulting, provider of a parcel spend management solution, points out that the role of operations is changing because of advanced technology, the ever-evolving consumer demands. They remind us that the silver lining in these complexities, combined with needs for business intelligence and analytics, is that supply chain management now has a seat at the executive roundtable.
We see more vendors taking suite approaches that require less complex integrations with vendors like NetSuite, Pitney Bowes, and Newgistics. Karen King, Manager, External Communications, Digital Commerce of Pitney Bowes, acknowledged that global ecommerce can be complex and that they aim to make it simpler with one suite of solutions saying, “Our full suite of logistics web services will help make it easier to deliver goods to online shoppers in international markets.”
The contact center has become more complex, as traditional call centers have added email, live chat, and now social media customer care. Global Response, a call and contact center services provider, will be there with its Social Media Customer Care Expert available to answer questions about the complexities of how to use social media to monitor and care for customers.
Even in the material handling area, we see new equipment being introduced to help with the complexities of omnichannel. BigJoeForklifts.com has created a new compact vehicle to address a wide variety of tasks where a stock ladder may commonly be used called the J1-Joey. “Joey” can pull a cart that is designed to help at “click and collect” operations, pick and pack DTC operations, or meet a variety of omnichannel material handling needs. Joey will actually be in the Operations Summit “Connections Zone” exhibit area.
And for those attendees that are overwhelmed with the complexity of it all, there will be companies, like Fifth Gear, that offer the ultimate in making your operations less complex – let them do it for you. If you are looking for some fun, Fifth Gear and their client, PetBox, will be having a meet-and-greet and “photo op” with Blue III, Butler University’s live bulldog mascot and PetBox’s official spokesdog. Also, if you are attending Operations Summit, Fifth Gear has a great blog on how to have fun there – http://www.infifthgear.com/2014/top-dos-operations-summit-attendee/
The Operations Summit offers more than 50 exhibitors and sponsors that specialize in serving DTC operations. More than 500 attendees will be looking for solutions to make their companies less complex and more successful.