The Connolly Supply Chain Initiative of the Year award was won by Argos after launching its same-day Fast Track delivery service.
Innovations in the supply chain have come thick and fast as the growth of services such as click-and-collect shows.
As customers expect more than ever in terms of retailers’ delivery options, the judges felt Argos’ Fast Track same-day delivery initiative raised the bar
“This is an industry-leading breakthrough with significant industry-wide implications. Argos delivered this initiative ahead of its competitors and delighted its customers in doing so”
Argos acknowledged that its focus on its check-and-reserve in recent years had resulted in less focus on its delivery offer and caused it to lag behind competitors, so it created the Fast Track service in response.
The Fast Track nationwide same-day home delivery service made 20,000 Argos products available for same-day delivery.
Differentiating itself from some retail home delivery offers that focus on big cities and urban areas, Argos’ initiative is available nationwide to 95% of UK households, from London to Inverness.
The retailer offers four delivery time slots throughout the day for shoppers to choose from, starting at 7am until 10pm. Argos also provides three cut-off times for same-day delivery – the latest meaning that shoppers can order an item at 6pm and have it delivered to their home the same evening.
Argos’s flexibility and focus on customer convenience was a significant differentiator for the judges.
One said: “This is an industry-leading breakthrough with significant industry-wide implications. Argos delivered this initiative ahead of its competitors and delighted its customers in doing so.”
To create the service, Argos leveraged three core aspects of its business. The retailer’s IT systems underwent changes in voice operations and warehousing management, and there was the introduction of Paragon’s dynamic routing solution and electronic proof of delivery for its drivers.
Argos’ supply operation and systems meant 163 delivery hubs across the country were replenished, rather than operating through one central site.
The retailer involved 25 teams across its operations division to deliver this initiative, varying from store operations to distribution and procurement.
The technical challenges required Argos to offer order slots across various channels while booking deliveries and optimising routes in real time.
Argos hired 3,300 drivers for the Fast Track venture, and vans are loaded and depart with merchandise in less than 45 minutes.
“Argos’ initiative was a strong response to the consumer and competition. It’s a proposition that will push other retailers to raise their game”
The retailer’s use of its existing estate to deliver an innovative supply chain initiative impressed the judges. At a time when online giants are delivering supply chain innovations at pace, the judges agreed that Argos’ scheme was both disruptive and well-executed.
One judge said: “Argos’ initiative was a strong response to the consumer and competition. It is a proposition that will push other retailers to raise their game.”
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