The Pace Logistics Lab

Exploring Today’s Marketplace Through the Lens of Logistics

Providing a Competitive Advantage to Retailers

It’s 2020 – a new decade and the world continues to change as ever.  Advances in technology and shifts in consumer demands shape America’s supply chains.  Retail is emerging with an urgent need for better forecasting, increased visibility, better systems integration, and a more agile and efficient supply chain operation. 

Today, a large part of Pace’s final mile and sortation services are dedicated to our retail customers (or our retail partners, as we prefer to think of them).  This includes e-commerce, traditional brick-and-mortar retail, and omnichannel retail.   

Our sort and seg (for pool distribution) services that launched in 2019 currently serve traditional brick-and-mortar retail businesses, but they are complimentary to Pace’s final mile network and are easily transferable across industries.

According to the eft by Reuters Events 2020 State of Retail Supply Chain Report, over 30% of retailers indicate that forecasting is their greatest planning challenge, followed by a need for better visibility at 23.1%, and a desire to react more efficiently to changes at just over 16%.   About one-tenth of retailers claim that they were also challenged with systems integration.

Roughly half of the Logistics Service Providers who were surveyed by Reuters predict a long-term shift towards increased home delivery – a forecast supported by 58.9% of Tech (and other service providers) who also agree.

However, less than one-third of retailers and manufacturers see increased home deliveries as a long-term trend.  Likewise, more LSPs and Tech partners predict same-day deliveries to increase over the long-run while only 18.5% of surveyed retailers agree with this prediction.  

We are in the midst of major transformation in the retail landscape. And, we have players like national brands, specialty retailers, off-price retailers, and new direct-to-consumer brands all competing for market share.  Rapid advancements in technology and shifts in consumer spending habits are changing the playing field.  According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, online spending grew 300% from 2000 to 2018. 

Conversely, during that same time period, in-store retail sales dropped by 50%.  Over 5,500 retails stores closed in 2018, and by July of 2019, over 7,500 retail stores had already closed that year – including familiar brands like Payless, Charlotte Russe, and Gymboree.  

The choice seems clear – make smart adaptations or plan an exit strategy.

As for Pace, we choose to adapt.  2019 was a year of change, and we are setting the stage for 2020 to be even more transformative.  We are reallocating our efforts to meet the demands of the new retail landscape and adapting all aspects of our business, from culture to technology and from sales to operations, to position ourselves and—more importantly, our customers—for success.  

Since it is retail (including the e-commerce world and the evolving omnichannel brick-and-mortar world) that makes up the largest concentration of Pace’s services, we consider it our responsibility to meet the developing needs of our customers and also to lead the charge in adapting responsibly and successfully to the new retail era.  

Here are some ways Pace has adapted for success:

Pace is partnering with Airship, a custom mobile app and software development company to create an app for our drivers. Here is our first mapping session!

Recent Adaptations We’ve Made at Pace

  • Restructuring and diversifying our book of business 
  • Improving the integration of Systems and Operations 
  • Merging Talent Acquisition and Carrier Relations into one unified Recruiting Department
  • Investing in new, strategically located warehouse and dock facilities to meet growing demand and keep inventory closer to its destination
  • Advancing our technology, such as developing the Pace App for drivers
  • Creating a new Sales Operations Manager role to analyze and evaluate growth opportunities and drive the RFP Process
  • Publishing more content for our customers and our drivers, including biweekly email newsletters and audience-focused blogs
  • Investing in Sort and Seg for Pool Distribution as a featured skillset and service offering 

At Pace, adding value means understanding and addressing head-on our partners’ current pain points.  Back to the bar graph above representing results from eft by Reuters Events 2020 State of Retail Supply Chain Report, we mentioned that 30.9% of retailers state that forecasting is their greatest challenge, followed by a need for better visibility at 23.1%, and a demand to react more efficiently to changes at just over 16%.  We believe Pace adds value for our partners by addressing each of these top challenges, and we continue to improve the way we do so.

During 2020, Pace is enhancing the ways our Systems (IT) and Operations functions are fully integrated.  We know this focus will help us maximize efficiency and add a competitive advantage for our customers by allowing better forecasting, improved visibility, and smarter, faster reactions.  

Further, over the last year, Pace has developed a Core Competency Strategy.  This is a simple tool that clearly identifies the unique areas where Pace provides a competitive advantage for our customers.  By providing proactive technology solutions, and customized logistics solutions, we are positioned to help retailers meet their greatest challenges in today’s changing landscape.   

The bottom line is this: Pace is aligned with retailers.  

We are fully committed to (and quite obsessed with) the changing demands of the retail marketplace, and we would like our retail partners to lean on Pace as a trusted leader as the retail supply chain continues to evolve.  

Solving Logistics Together.

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