The Friday Report: November 22nd, 2019

Quick wrap up of a few hot topic newsworthy stories in the supply chain logistics industry

Bow-Wows Bluster and Bemoan Walmart In-Home Grocery Delivery

What is the latest hazard of working for Walmart?  If you are a member of the grocery home delivery team, running into dogs in homes can be hazardous to your health.

Walmart initiated a trial of an in-home grocery delivery service last month in Kansas City, Pittsburgh and Vero Beach Florida.  Using an app, the customer provides information on whether or not they have a dog, inside or outside the home.  In a few unfortunate instances, the customer misinformed Walmart as to the location of the canine.  In these situations, the Walmart team member stopped the delivery, dashed out of the home and called the customer to request that they “resolve the dog issue” before food could be loaded into their refrigerator.

Walmart personnel selected for the in-home delivery service team must have a minimum of one year of service with the company and successfully pass background checks, motor vehicle record checks and go through extensive training.

Target Teeters Towards Top with Help from New Tech

With the debut of its store-centered e-commerce fulfillment strategy, Target has been able to reduce costs by 40% and plans to fulfill two-thirds of its e-commerce orders from its retail store locations in 2019.  The new technology is now actively being used for 15% of Target’s products which represents 20-30% of total replenishment.

The adoption of new technologies including inventory planning software and automated technologies in some of its distribution centers has enabled Target to:

  • Streamline replenishment in a manner that keeps backroom stock levels low
  • Minimize labor to handle receiving
  • Ship pre-sorted goods to stores so that product can be moved quickly to the sales floor
  • Reduce stockouts

Lowes Leverages Infrastructure and Technology Investments to Transition to New Model

Planning to transition from a retail store-based home delivery model to a market-based model, Lowe’s has been working towards the development and implementation of a “trued omnichannel ecosystem”.  With its announcement of a $1.7 billion investment in infrastructure and technology, the company will transform its supply chain over a five-year period.

Lowe’s has already opened two new bulk distribution centers and three crossdock terminals to alleviate pressure off retail stores in making deliveries to customers.  This helps to keep goods in stock in retail stores, minimizing stockouts.  Increasing in-store inventory by more than 15% in Q2 2019 also helped to remediate the stockout problem.

The company has identified that improving omnichannel capabilities is critical in expanding its online sales.

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