The supply chain is a critical element of delivering quality customer experiences. Nordstrom recently re-imagined its supply chain with customers at the centre to create a delivery and logistics process that gets customers exactly what they need, when they need it. In order to build a new approach to the supply chain, Nordstrom had to let go of the historical concepts of what a supply chain can do and set out to create a system that can evolve with changing customer demands and help customers engage with the brand on their terms. One size doesn’t fit all, which means the supply chain needs to be customizable for each customer. This meant finding ways to optimize its supply chain for customers instead of the traditional cost or transportation considerations by looking at three opportunities: flexibility to adapt to its customers’ evolving needs and change; space in having existing physical assets in areas where customers live and operational simplicity to increase productivity and decrease the time it took to train and onboard employees by using intuitive solutions.
With these opportunities in mind, Nordstrom’s revamped supply chain leverages its existing physical space, as well as new technology like robotics and automation, to quickly deliver products to customers. On the west coast, for example, Nordstrom has implemented a combined solution of Attabotics and Tompkins Robotics within its supply chain to modernize the storage and sortation of products that uses up to an estimated 90% less footprint within its facility. This technology allows the company to store and sort product orders more efficiently, ultimately getting these products into the hands of customers faster. It also enables its employees to focus on what’s of the most importance for customers which is inspecting the product quality, order accuracy and packaging before these orders are shipped.