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The role of logistics in the digital ecosystem

Industry views | 09 February 2018

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By Paul Durkin, Director of Home & eCommerce

The logistics model was built on the concept of a chain, much like a relay race where products would pass from manufacturer, to logistics company, to retailers and finally the consumer. However, the logistics model is in the process of evolving to be less of a chain and more of a connected and dynamic network.

We, as logistics providers, are increasingly becoming a proactive part of wider networks and no longer a single link within a longer chain. As the amount of data generated by these emerging networks proliferates, sharing and evaluating it across platforms and players is becoming the norm. It is now beginning to resemble a finely tuned ecosystem where all participants are, in some way, linked to each other.

Partnerships between providers, such as the one we recently announced with Virtualstock, are one way in which these logistics ecosystems are emerging. Virtualstock, a SaaS provider, supports our integrated Supplier to Consumer (S2C) functionality allowing one retailer to sell goods from another retailer or manufacturer without the need to physically hold the stock themselves. This functionality is made possible by combining Wincanton’s physical network and supply chain experience with Virtualstock’s cloud-based platform.

Using our wealth of experience and presence at the centre of the UK economy, we can configure solutions such as these to meet the needs of today’s consumers by aligning ourselves with new types of digital technology. With traditional supply chains leaving the potential for annoying gaps in visibility, the new digital ecosystem of networked collaborators provides visibility throughout the process.

In this new era of the digitised supply chain, the fundamentals of what supply chain needs to do have not changed.

You can read more about the Digital Ecosystem in this week’s chapter from the Wincanton Guide to the Digitised Supply Chain. Download chapter 2, and catch up on last week’s chapter, here.