Dynamic consumer buying patterns challenge the flexibility of supply chain management

Member News

The buying patterns of UK consumers have changed dramatically, resulting from lockdowns and travel restrictions imposed by the pandemic. The surge in DIY and home-based leisure activities and the sales of related products have boomed and seem here to stay. The dominant means of purchasing has shifted with online sales almost doubling during the first few months of the pandemic. DACHSER DIY Logistics specialist services have aided retailers in coping with both trends.   

The sudden growth in online shopping and the dynamic activity in the e-commerce economy made sales forecasting, inventory planning and supply chain engineering challenging to say the least. Previously infrequent e-commerce consumers found a new way of sourcing their DIY tools and materials. Statista reported the buying activity to have increased by more than 50%, jumping from 6% up to 14% of total sales in the first six months of the crisis, according to management consultant Accenture. More significantly, this level appears to have stabilised in the relatively less-restricted post-crisis period. 

The e-commerce boom in the DIY and household goods sector is here to stay. However, so too are the logistical challenges of delivering a huge range of products quickly and efficiently across the UK and Europe from source regions around the world. It is clear that retailers who have not positioned themselves for an e-commerce future will face particularly severe challenges. They must come up to speed as soon as possible.

Dachser’s industry solution specific for the DIY sector helps with these challenges, providing individually tailored logistics services for customers in the DIY, garden and home leisure sectors. Established twenty-two years ago, DACHSER DIY Logistics currently has an annual shipment volume of 7.7 million consignments. These figures indicate the significance of this sector-specific logistics solution and how the Dachser team continue to react to the demands placed on the DIY suppliers and retailers by the changing buying patterns of consumers.

Suppliers also experience other challenges brought about by the characteristics of an online marketplace, including irregular demand spikes that require sudden changes in supply capacity. These unpredictable order sizes can make managing the distribution difficult, for instance, direct delivery, holding inventory in intermediary hubs, last-mile delivery, proof of receipt and handling product returns.

Consequently, Dachser focuses on a range of tailored eLogistics services to adapt to the continuing digitalisation of its customer’s order processes and supply chains. Providing access to all relevant data concerning customer shipments and a system that has a direct connection with the Dachser transport and warehouse management systems, has proved beneficial to the customer. eLogistics provides quick and accessible information about all processes along the supply chain. There are numerous functions available for handling, control and transparency. Crucially in circumstances where online sales demands are immediate and fluctuating, there is the ability to track in-depth process sequences both in transit and in the warehouse when necessary.  

With variations in routing, volumes, delivery criteria and unexpected disruptions occurring, maximum transparency of the product supply chain is vital in a DIY supplier’s competitive advantage within the future of online sales.