UK/EU Focus on Fulfilment: Digital Week

UK/EU Focus on Fulfilment: Digital Week

18 May 2021 - 20 May 2021

10:30 am - 12:30 pm

Zoom – BST

Meeting description


Individually tailored learning & networking experience for Heads of eCommerce & Omnichannel, Supply Chain, Warehouse & Logistics Directors, Heads of International, COOs, Heads of Fulfilment and Delivery.

Retail delivery has really been put into the spotlight over the past 12 months. The global pandemic will change the world forever. But what will this mean for retail? Are there longer term scenarios that you are basing your planning on? What do other people think the retail landscape will look like as the world moves out of lockdown? Is this something you need to think about now?

Some of our members are experiencing unanticipated spikes in demand, others the exact opposite. Many are concerned about their high street presence, a few about their survival. And everyone is dealing with new and unforeseen pressures on their inventory, supply chains and resources. Now more than ever, retailers need to harness the capabilities of their 3PLs and other fulfilment partners to create agile, cost effective fulfilment strategies domestically and overseas, that truly cater to the demands of their customers. But it is SO much easier said than done… There is a lot to talk about!

Over the course of three days, in bite-sized and curated pieces, you will participate in Digital Roundtable discussions, curated 1-1 “meetings” with peers, on-demand stories from some of members, and on-tap help from the partners making it all work for you.

If this Digital Week focus is a top priority for you book now to request to join the discussion. Once you have selected to join, and your request is accepted, you will receive a notification in “My Notifications” in your profile confirming your booking!

Following this acceptance a member of The Retail Hive team will reach out to schedule some time in your diary to understand more about your specific needs and send you the calendar invite with all the details you need.

You can review all your meetings and status of your bookings in “My Meetings” on your profile page.

Your Peer Group Is Your Secret Source – Closed doors, Open minds, Chatham House Rule applies.

Topics of discussion include:

  • Final Mile Innovation
  • Customer Experience of Delivery
  • The Role of the Store
  • Navigating Returns
  • Large Item Delivery
  • Warehouse Management Systems
  • Collaboration
  • Optimising Inventory, Space and Resource
  • Automation & Robotics
  • Sustainability in the Supply Chain
  • Supply Chain Agility
  • Cross Border Fulfilment & Returns
  • Investing in Supply Chain Talent

Detailed breakdown of Roundtable topics:

Final Mile Innovation

From drones to liveried couriers; lockers and curb drop off there are innovations aplenty in final mile as this crucial part of the supply chain comes increasingly under the spotlight. Ensuring a high level of customer service and flexibility, along with cost control, takes a large element of strategic planning. It’s vitally important that end-to-end planning doesn’t stop once the delivery has been handed over to the final mile courier. During this session members will share their approaches for final mile, success stories and lessons learnt as the nation turned to online shopping and home delivery, experiences ensuring couriers/ outsourced provider live the company values. 

Customer Experience of Delivery

A host of new customers are now buying online and key to the question of retention is their experience of fulfilment. So it is all eyes on delivery! One of the few opportunities in an online customer journey for the customer to interact with a real person is when their goods are placed in their hands, and this is where a premium experience can be given. So how are retailers using this window to drive experience, engagement and loyalty? During this session we will discuss: how delivery models have changed; managing customer expectations on delivery; minimising the risk of getting the delivery experience wrong; plans for final mile and delivery promise after lockdown; personalising the delivery experience.

The Role of the Store

Lockdown saw stores on the high street transformed into hyper local DCs as retailers adapted quickly to meeting unprecedented eCommerce spikes and accommodating the resulting demands on their distribution network. The movement to fulfilment from store is a trend that is here to stay as it offers hyper local flexible delivery options with greater control over the brand experience for customers who are now used to faster, more personalised and greener delivery options. During this discussion we will dive into how to make fulfilment from store a sustainable part of fulfilment strategy, investigating technology, space, inventory and organisational levers that need to be in place, ship from store as a loyalty driver for VIPs.

Moderated by Gophr

Navigating Returns

The increase in online has brought with it a deluge of returns which will has given rise to a number of pressures. Not least of which will be how carrier networks are absorbing the additional pressure of reverse logistics. During this discussion we will share plans for how to get returned inventory back on sale; prioritising orders vs returns internally; managing inventory throughout the returns process; tips for working with returns solution providers to increase speed and efficiency; evolution of returns promise to customers and who carries the cost.

Warehouse Management Systems

Unprecedented spikes in demand from eCommerce coupled with reduced warehouse capacity means that retailers are looking to fulfil online orders from all available pools of stock. WMS and greater inventory visibility will clearly help drive efficiencies in the system enabling orders to be fulfilled quicker and cheaper, whilst reducing times for delivery and returns process. WMS have shot to the top of the shopping list for many retailers and during this discussion members will share: What solutions are out there? What selection criteria are others applying? Are there alternatives to consider? What systems are others using – pros & cons? What else is required to ease the pressure?


Retail fulfilment is a space that abounds for opportunities for collaboration. And in fact during the pandemic we saw some great examples of retailers sharing space, resource, supply chain capacity and sometimes even inventory. All the in the interests of getting product to customers, but underpinned by a genuine desire to help one another. During this discussion we will explore: Commoditisation of supply chain and warehouse capacity; how others have achieved efficiency and benefits of scale through partnership and collaboration; what is the appetite and next evolution of supply chain collaboration? How to select partners & affiliates; controlling experience & brand promise.

Optimising Inventory, Space and Resource

During this discussion retailers will share what actions they’re taking to increase output from their DCs and improve productivity. We will discuss: shift patterns and profiles, activities that can be removed from DCs, expansion of physical space, process engineering, making best use of stock, putting stores back into play and other solutions to increase output.

Automation & Robotics

Automation and mechanisation has become an important opportunity for many, and an easy investment decision. How has the business case for automation changed? We will discuss: What elements of DC operations can and should be automated? What solutions are others exploring for conveyoring, auto-bagging, pick/pack? And how quickly can these be implemented? How are other deciding between robotics for all or part of warehouse? And what are the downsides of automation?

Moderated by Grey Orange

Sustainability in the Supply Chain

There is no denying the increasing demand from customer for retailers to embed sustainability into delivery and increasing numbers of customers make shopping choices based on environmental impact. What are some of the product and processes other retailers are adopting to make supply chain more sustainable, how is this being communicated to customers, and what is the impact on the top line and on the bottom line? During this discussion we will share insights around: measures to reduce the environmental and waste impact of fulfilment operations; corporate attitudes and policies on fulfilment sustainability; is it sustainability profitable; and how can it be used as a driver for customer engagement and loyalty?

Supply Chain Agility

With the unforecasted demand spikes and troughs that we have seen throughout the pandemic, those who had agile supply chains and operations fared best. Whilst agility is a cultural trait, it is also something that comes from great relationships with suppliers and carriers. And agility can also be built into supply chains with tools for visibility and adjustment. During this discussion we will invite retailers to share their lessons learnt about agility and measures that they are taking to improve flexibility in the future: managing risk in your inbound and outbound supply chain; working collaboratively with supply chain partners; identifying opportunities for efficiency, sustainability & service improvement; options for matching demand to fulfilment capacity to meet peaks and reduce costs off-season.

Cross Border Fulfilment & Returns

With a changing landscape for eCommerce in international markets driven by Brexit, the global pandemic and ambitious growth strategies from UK retailers, there are a host of fulfilment considerations that need the right partners, and proper resourcing in order to protect margins. There are few easy answers and in this discussion members will brainstorm: What are the moving parts you need  to put in place? Stock & inventory visibility on an  international level; Selecting partners & carriers; Localised DCs and warehousing; Meeting customer promise and  communicating that promise; Omnichannel fulfilment in new markets

Investing in Supply Chain Talent

Throughout the pandemic we heard some really fantastic stories about keeping staff safe, secure and motivated – and in many cases provided teams with the opportunity to step up and create solutions. We saw unprecedented levels of empowerment and delegation of decision making to DC teams while warehouse staff and delivery drivers have been hailed as unsung heroes. So what does this mean for supply chain staff as we move out of lockdown? How has their profile changed within your business and how do you plan to build on this?

Large Item Delivery

Large item shipments are different than lean supply chains for manufacturing and retail delivery, with items fulfilled just in time. Large-format deliveries are impacted by the supply chain slowdowns precisely because they require custom handling or may be “made to order” items not usually held in inventory. And now that customers are buying furniture, garden ware, white goods etc online having a resilient solution that meets customer expectations without eroding profit margin is vital. During this discussion members will share: models and costs for large item delivery, resourcing, partner selection, customer communication and pricing.


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