After a lot of lectures about the control tower theory and several examples, we used the chance during one of our guest lectures to brainstorm ideas about our own control tower solutions. Searching for something, which doesn’t exist yet is harder then you think. However, we came up with the following concept:
Not immediately clear?
… Then I will just briefly explain it to you: The main idea behind the concept is the cooperation between the offline and the online stores in order to decrease overall stock levels and costs.
In general it is important to know what a control tower concept will be implemented for, it is essential to define your goal before hand, so that you can use your control tower to the full extend. That is how we continued our concept by specifying which data is required in order to provide all potential future users with the adequate data after implementation.
The idea popped up due to several problems, we individually experienced with online shopping order, which should be returned through the offline stores. There I noticed that both shops are not directly connected with another. And from my logistics point of view, there can be several advantages from combining of both shop concepts.
Firstly, traditional shops and new e-commerce trends will be combined, which represents the agility of retailers. They need to be able to pick up trends and execute them in a way suitable to their business processes. Secondly, the customer service increases by offering the customer several options of purchasing, delivery and shopping experiences through online and offline sales channels. And last but not least firms should especially look on the (cost) advantage for themselves. Due to the e-commerce business model, stock and distribution needs to move closer to the customer and several other changes are taking place in handling and return processes.
In order to optimize those, our concept provided one solution: the full integration of the on- and offline shop by merging stock levels and therefore increases transparency. Order processes can be integrated in the system and automized based on demand. Furthermore, new options become feasible: Emergency stock replenishments between shops is a fast solution for unexpected adhoc orders, but are only feasible when stock levels are transparent and can be accessed through all parties in the supply chain. Here, you can again see the importance of collaboration. Especially because collaboration does not only take place on an external level, but can also refer to the collaboration between various shops and locations belonging to one firm. Internal collaboration is a key element and does create the basis for process optimization and for external collaboration with other stakeholders in the end. Because only if internal processes are clearly structured and aligned, the outside perception for potential business partners and for customers can be ensured.