Mind the boom: Inside Australia’s evolving omni-channel logistics sector


Omni-channel logistics is the logical heir to to the throne of multi-channel commerce. In the omni-channel approach, formally siloed sales channels are converged to deliver goods more effectively and improve the retail consumer experience. While this adaptation sounds complex, it’s worth noting that nearly one in five of the world’s top 250 retailers can already fulfill omni-channel demand in a profitable way (CBRE Group).

Australian logistics operators who can evolve quickly will be able to stay one step ahead of local competition and use technology and logistics sector expertise to optimise their supply chain. Keeping pace with the world boom in omni-channel commerce options is no longer an ideal to aim towards – the future of the sector is here, now.

How are we moving towards omni-channel logistics?

Omni-channel logistics are increasingly leading Australian retail down a familiar path. This is because omni-channel commerce actually replicates traditional retail outlet supply models based around local distribution points for retail goods (think local corner stores). Over time, the supply chain shifted from operating across numerous local outlets to single, massive hubs of commerce. But now, omni-channel logistics is reverting the supply chain back to these numerous individual outlets.

This trend is expected to contribute towards employment growth in courier and delivery services of around 3.1 per cent per annum through to 2022, according to IbisWorld. Local proliferation will also be fuelled by increased interest in e-commerce nationwide, with tangible knock-on effects expected on the in-store shopping experience too.

CBRE estimates that 34 per cent of in-store sales in Australia will be web influenced within the next 18 months, showing the tangible effect formerly separate sales channels will have on one another in omni-channel logistics.

Online shopping will be a major part of omni-channel logistics, making customers able to purchase and pick up from retail outlets ans warehouse stores alike. Online shopping will be a major part of omni-channel logistics, making customers able to purchase and pick up from retail outlets and warehouse stores alike.

Why is the omni-channel the future of Australian commerce?

Effectively, the omni-channel supply chain offers retailers the chance to integrate previously siloed sales channels into one cohesive, data-driven strategy. Retailers are crossing between multiple technologies and channels as they shop, so refining your business’ retail outlets are key to meeting this shift.

For many Australians, a few days’ wait is no longer an option – Pricewaterhouse Coopers (PwC) claims 60 per cent of customers won’t order online again if delivery doesn’t meet their expectations.

Courier and delivery services employment is set to grow by around 3.1 per cent per annum through to 2022.

But, at the same time, neither is a long journey to a single retail outlet – CBRE statistics show nearly one in three customers claimed retailer location was a deciding factor in their final shopping decision. CBRE further claim that most Americans will be no more than 20 miles from any e-commerce distribution centre by late next year.

The future of Australian commerce depends on offering as many local outlets for retail purchasing as possible, while still optimising these facilities for storage, delivery and e-commerce orders. This is where the challenge begins – and where Cohesio and 360° Supply Chain Consulting can help.

How Cohesio can guide your business into the omni-channel age

PwC’s 2017 Global Omnichannel Retail Index shows Australia’s development has progressed by 3 per cent between 2015-2017. Omni-channel growth is happening nationwide, whether your business is onboard or not. In order to keep pace with ongoing changes in the sector, you need to work with experts in the logistics space such as Cohesio.

We’re better equipped than ever before to help your business prepare for omni-channel change thanks to the introduction of our new 360° Supply Chain Consulting service. We can help develop an end-to-end supply chain solution for your organisation that streamlines existing distribution channels and lays the groundwork for expansion into new ones. Our experts can work with your business to analyse existing infrastructure and offer methods for improving:

  • Supply chain optimisation and development.
  • Sales and operations planning.
  • Inventory management.
  • Data analytics and systems modelling.
  • Distribution centre solutions.
  • Existing automation solutions.
  • Legacy IT framework.
  • Stakeholder engagement and project change management.

You can’t prepare your business for an omni-channel future without first looking back to where you’re coming from. 360° Supply Chain Consulting offers that expert eye.

With Cohesio's services, we can help remodel your warehouse and optimise it for omni-channel logistics. With Cohesio’s services, we can help remodel your warehouse and optimise it for omni-channel logistics.

As well as our new end-to-end consulting option, Cohesio has a range of hardware and software solutions to drive change forward once you’ve gotten the ball rolling.

Robotics, voice-activated inventory systems and drones are just some of our operational hardware choices that can be used to optimise your warehouse storage, drive upskilling in your workforce and streamline the operational supply chain.

We also offer software solutions such as ignito retail automation. This software is applicable with any sales channel, from mobile cloud platforms and bricks-and-mortar retail outlets, affording one cohesive data system to optimise your supply chain. Some of ignito’s features include:

  • The ability to collate data from multiple sales points.
  • Automating administrative and stock-related tasks.
  • Managing the entire retail click-and collect process.

A total overview of your logistics supply chain for a total overhaul of your sales channels. That’s what we offer. Touch base with Cohesio today and we can break it all down over a coffee or beer.