Merchandise fulfillment variability has been on the rise for a number of years, due in large part to the growth of e-commerce. But all bets were off in 2020 as variability went off the charts. As you can see from the two included images charting the quarterly change in US e-commerce sales (year over year) and quarterly change in US GDP (quarter to quarter), variability in the recent quarters has been well outside the range of one standard deviation in each direction (light blue range) of the mean (green line). This variability is wide-spread across the economy and especially acute in warehousing and fulfillment operations. Although forecasting is always difficult, it is especially difficult during these times of upheaval in order fulfillment operations. As a result, ARC Advisory Group and DC Velocity magazine have chosen to focus this year’s survey-based research on the changes logistics operations have experienced in the upheaval of the Covid-19 operating environment in 2020; and the expectations logistics executives have about their operating environment in 2021.
Our research goal is to capture measurable insights into the rapidly changing fulfillment environment and the direction of change going forward, whether it be acceleration of existing trends, deceleration of existing trends, reversion to prior practices, or a new path forward. We ask that qualified individuals (practitioners in fulfillment operations) set aside 15 minutes of their time to participate.
Questions are structured to assess baseline (2019, pre-Covid), 2020 (Covid), and 2021 (progression to new normal). The survey inquires about changes in throughput volumes, warehouse fulfillment channels, omni-channel process flows, returns processing, warehouse labor and resource requirements, merchandise/SKU mix, and technology perspectives.
As a sign of our appreciation for your effort, we will provide qualified respondents with a summary of our research findings. Respondent privacy is assured, and only aggregated data will be published.
Click link below to take the survey.
Please feel free to reach out to me with any questions about the survey methodology or publication plans at email@example.com
Note: Image chart data from St. Louis Fed and US Census Bureau.