Lester J Wan speaks to Prashant Dadlani, CEO of blu, a retail logistics and fulfilment provider in Singapore, to find out more about how the company is transforming retail logistics in the republic.
Digital disruptions have left the retail industry aroundthe world reeling in a state of uncertainty. Aside from factors such as manpower and overhead costs, one major challenge to retail businesses has been the fragmentation of the logistics chain. Retailers have had to engage multiple industry players and invest substantially, for various parts of the flow, in order to meet logistical needs — from transportation and warehousing to distribution and last-mile delivery.
According to bluWorld (blu), last mile delivery, albeit a significant factor in customer satisfaction, is often the least ecient leg of the supply chain and accounts for 28% of the total cost of the moving of goods.
Founded last year, blu claims to be the rst retail logistics and fulfilment player to oer same-day collection of orders to consumers in Singapore. But to focus on just that would be to focus on the tip of the iceberg of this retail revolution.
An end-to-end solution
Enter Prashant Dadlani, CEO of blu, who had written an opinion piece in Singapore’s The Business Times last December. He says what is needed to lift retail is a seamless end-to-end work and a convergent system streamlined to enable today’s consumer to easily order, purchase and collect the items that they today’s consumer to easily order, purchase and collect the items that they want on the same day, at a location of their choice. is sounds like a tall order but Prashant has been walking the talk.
“What blu offers is a holistic end to-end suite of retail solutions catering to each part of the retail chain, in order to help brands to integrate the way they manage orders, inventory, deliveries and the overall experience for customers,” says Prashant.
Through a cloud-based integrated dashboard system that synchronises with the client’s full site inventory and order catalogue, and processing system, blu is able to take care of all these components. An end-to-end suite of solutions manages and impacts the whole chain of processes — one can deal with all the parts of the chain to improve them, especially in efficiency and productivity.
Nonetheless, a prevalent problem is that businesses look at retail and logistics independently. Now, with retail evolving and growing online in e-commerce and m-commerce, the question is: How does a retailer survive in both online and offline spaces? Prashant says retail is about inventory management and the move to more saleable channels, and the answer is simple: Have an integrated solution. The whole process needs to be tangibly connected and productive
What makes blu unique is that it is involved in the whole scope or chain of processes, and it employs automation across the spectrum.
Transforming retail logistics
According to blu, e-commerce delivery lead times in Singapore average about three days. The integrated and automated blu platform, Prashant says, enables it to be the first in Singapore to offer same-day collection of orders.
Through this automation and integration, from order placement to fulfilment and last mile, blu’s solutions speed things up. Its cross-information and convergent process accelerates the workow and keeps costs down. Prashant says this “revolution in all aspects of the value chain” is the rest step and opens the doors to other possibilities, such as dealing with returns.
He adds, in this current age of retail, four things are of utmost importance: Convenience, flexibility, cost and speed. Omni-channel retail with these characteristics is only possible with a solutions partner such as blu to enable this.
The company’s goal is to help its clients, many of whom are SME retailers, to easily and quickly adopt integrated solutions to enhance their businesses.
Currently, there are 35 bluPort collection points in Singapore and all are conveniently located, including at Cheers convenience stores, Esso petrol stations and shopping malls in the heartland.