- THE MAGAZINE
According to a new white paper, “The Future of E-Commerce in the U.S.,” from Exel Inc.’s parent company, Deutsche Post DHL, online sales continue to show tremendous growth worldwide. Essentially, retailers continue the transformation from the classic brick-and-mortar store into brick-and-click companies with an integrated multichannel strategy.
As a result, supply chain flexibility has become a key factor for U.S. retailer success, positioning Columbus, Ohio, to benefit from the e-commerce growth.
“Columbus is one of the most attractive locations in the U.S. for a national one-facility e-commerce distribution center,” says Dan McNutt, VP of operations at Exel. “For retailers who are looking to service e-customers across the country, distribution from Columbus allows merchandise to reach 50 percent of the U.S population next day by ground.”
The Deutsche Post DHL white paper futurecasts eight trends that are developing in the U.S. e-commerce industry including a focus on mobile phones, omnichannel retailing and flexible delivery options, among others.
“These trends have caused a fundamental shift in the retail supply chain landscape,” says McNutt. “Retail supply chains now require different processes needed to fulfill online orders and a more diverse skill set in terms of the labor.”
According to Exel, Columbus has been able to respond to these trends quickly thanks to: a large skilled labor pool; management talent procured from Ohio colleges; a growing economy that attracts quality management; and the region is home to some of the nation’s Top 100 retailers, attracting excellent retail talent.
“Because of the large footprint we have in Columbus, we can leverage a very large and adaptable labor pool for the benefit of all our customers,” says McNutt. “We actively flex labor between facilities on our campus locations to meet varying supply and demand needs of our customers. The ability to adjust for seasonality and volume volatility quickly and cost-effectively ensures high levels of service and helps the bottom line.”
With large campuses in most metropolitan areas, Exel offers retail supply chain services including supply chain analysis and design, forecasting and demand planning, and reverse logistics. In North America, Exel has more than 300 facilities, with nearly 100 million square feet, and more than 20,000 associates.