Last Mile Solutions: A Revolution of the Food & Grocery Supply Chain

We’ve all been there – You walk into a store to buy a specific product, it isn’t on the shelf, so you leave and go to buy it from somewhere else. This scenario is the worst nightmare of retailers and suppliers.  

Ensuring that the food and grocery supply chain is effective and efficient is critical to retaining customers and making sales. On-shelf availability continues to be a major area of concern for both manufacturers (suppliers) and retailers, as out-of-stocks means customers walk out of a store, directly impacting the revenue of both retailer and supplier.

In order to keep the interests of both suppliers and retailers satisfied, the process that replenishes and maximises on-shelf availability must be simple and fast. In the coming years, this will be facilitated by the adoption of Last Mile Solutions (LMS) across the Australian retail industry.

Already used widely for beverages, LMS are designed to take products, whatever they may be, directly from the manufacturer to the retail floor. Implementing LMS can deliver greater supply chain efficiencies and improve on-shelf availability while reducing manual handling and shelving; ultimately improving customer experience and retailer and supplier profitability.

An efficient door-to-floor supply chain with LMS

Benefit to suppliers –  LMS like CHEP’s display pallets are designed for in-store merchandising. Manufacturers can pack off-location promotions in the warehouse, ship them through the supply chain, and wheel them into place on the store floor; enhancing branding for in store display and ensuring increased recognition and sales outcomes.

LMS can also unlock improved supply chain efficiencies due to design features like the enhanced layer stacking configuration of CHEP’s beverage trays. This allows more products to be stored within a given space, reducing the number of truck movements needed.
 
Benefit to retailers –  LMS units eliminate the time-consuming tasks of manually clearing and restocking shelves, stores can flexibly reconfigure their offerings and adapt to shifting customer needs throughout the day.
 
Instead of having to unpack cartons and manually stack products onto shelves, using a pallet jack, staff can simply wheel the display pallets into place to replenish fast-moving lines. The result for retailers is improved replenishment rates, reduced out of stock items and decreased time and costs associated with shelf-filling.
 
Benefit to consumers – LMS offers maximum stock availability for consumers by improving replenishment frequency at the point of sale. This means customers won’t leave stores empty-handed.
With a one-touch movement from manufacturer to retailer, Last Mile Solutions have the potential to enable a leaner supply chain. As a result, leading global retailers and manufacturers are increasingly adopting LMS, recognising their proven ability to improve on-shelf availability while simultaneously increasing efficiencies on the shop floor and in the supply chain.

CHEP offers a wide range of innovative engineered LMS solutions and support capabilities to help both retailers and manufacturers increase their return on investment and on-shelf availability.

To find out more about the benefits of LMS and CHEP’s range of LMS, download the whitepaper here.