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Supply Chain Insights

Transforming supply chains is not just about the physical, it’s about the digital too



Written by Tom Fitz-Walter, Executive Director Supply Chain TMX

Over the last year there has been an onslaught of disruptions to supply chains across the globe. When COVID-19 first hit, supply chains around the world halted and organisations had no idea where their inventory was. Today, with global freight issues and massively blown out lead times, visibility and flexibility in supply chains remains a significant challenge.

These disruptions have seen the “just in time” supply chain philosophy thrown out the window for “just in case”.

Safety stock metrics for many companies have shifted and they are holding more inventory, which supply chain management would have penalised in the past. Having inventory and knowing where it is located is becoming more important than leaning out operations, which is bringing about a shift in focus from the physical to the digital supply chain.

Traditionally supply chains have been viewed to follow a linear path from designing a product, sourcing the materials, producing the product to fulfilling it and so on. Now with a digital supply chain, all these stages are integrated through internal and external systems to provide visibility in the whole value chain. The result is real-time analytics for smarter decision-making, data-backed predictions and more dynamic processes.

While some supply chains are only just starting their physical transformation, ongoing disruptions are now also pushing supply chains to digitalise quickly, with those that haven’t started either journey are about to be left behind.

Old legacy systems not keeping up

While systems such as Warehouse Management Systems, Transport Management Systems and Enterprise Resource Planning models are all well-established, they are all separate components that do different tasks. 

Most organisations can relate to all these systems, therefore are already engaged in digitalising elements of their supply chain. However, companies can no longer only have visibility in parts of their supply chains. Organisations need to be able to track in real time the entire process from the point of origin, transit on shipping, to the distribution centre and in the case of online all the way to the consumer’s door. 

Integrating the physical and digital supply chain

The advancement of an organisation’s physical supply chain needs to synchronise with their digital supply chain. Supply chains now require interconnected systems that all interact with one another to provide full end to end operational visibility.

This will enable real time analytics for rapid data-backed decision-making enabling organisations to be flexible and responsive, especially in the midst of ongoing disruption in global supply chains.


When data is shared between the production and operations team, it enhances the research and development of a product. By integrating these functions through shared live data, a product’s design can be refined to create more efficient and seamless production processes.


While advancements in materials handling equipment have automated tasks, digital supply chains enable the automation of complex decision making.

The centralisation of a company’s data onto one platform that is backed by cloud-based planning systems, big data and artificial intelligence can significantly improve a company’s planning capabilities.

An interconnected digital supply chain can enable real time analytics for rapid, more granular and informed decisions.


The sourcing and procurement stages can become automated and predictive through digitalisation.

Greater visibility in a company’s supply and costs and external data in prices can make sourcing more predictive, which could enable automatic replenishment orders, payments and exchange of goods.

With transactions becoming more automated, they can also be easier to track through technologies such as blockchain.


The manufacturing process can be improved beyond just physical advancements through smarter decision making.  

Visibility in a company’s supply chain through technologies such as asset tracking and data on external factors such as the environment or consumer behaviours can enable quick decision-making on fast moving or lagging stock and whether to ramp up or stop production.


Digitalised systems synced with warehouse and fulfilment operations create the continuous real-time insights and data needed to enable dynamic fulfilment.

Visibility of inventory and how it’s being impacted by seasons, weather or buying trends would inform fulfilment strategies and enable companies to pivot quickly on where inventory should be stored on any given day. 

For an omni-channel company, this would inform whether inventory is stored in the distribution centre, dark store, micro fulfilment centre or stores to be picked up or delivered directly to the customer.


In the age of immediacy consumers expect fast and reliable deliveries, with digitalisation key to achieving this in an efficient manner.

This starts from having control towers tracking assets from the ship to the last mile delivery van. Information throughout this journey needs to be digitised, with processes triggering automatic information sharing ensuring the product is always visible and accessible to the company but also the end customers.

Digitalisation harnesses the ability for an organisation to have data at their fingertips. This visibility in operations enables real-time analytics for smarter decision-making, predictive analytics and more dynamic processes, ultimately driving a more competitive supply chain critical to a company’s profitability and success.  

The key is to start by reviewing the holistic supply chain and performing a digital diagnostic. This identifies where the opportunities are for an organisation and supports the roadmap to implementation. An organisation’s digital strategy may take years to implement, therefore it’s important to initially focus on change that will provide the biggest wins.  

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Supply Chain

bp and Uber sign Global Strategic Delivery Partnership



  • bp and Uber sign a new global strategic convenience partnership aiming to make more than 3,000 retail locations available on Uber Eats by 2025.
  • The partnership extends current local arrangements in Australia, New Zealand, Poland, South Africa and the west coast of US, adding the UK and eastern US in 2022 and with plans to launch in other European markets from 2023.

Today, bp (NYSE: BP) and Uber Technologies, Inc. (NYSE: UBER) are announcing a new global strategic convenience delivery partnership, extending their existing local arrangements to reach more consumers across the world. Together, the partners will offer a huge range of quality convenience products, including fresh and prepared ranges, from select retail locations.

bp is the first convenience retailer to team up with Uber Eats on a global level and aims to have more than 3,000 retail locations available on the delivery platform over the next three years. The partnership supports bp’s goal of growing its access to customers and expanding its delivery footprint, in response to soaring demand for food, groceries and everyday essentials brought to the door.

The new partnership covers retail sites in Australia, New Zealand, Poland, South Africa and the west coast of US. Sites in the UK and eastern US will be added to the app for the first time this year, with plans to launch in other European markets from 2023.

“We’re thrilled to team up with Uber Eats globally giving us the opportunity to reach many more consumers online in addition to those who currently visit our retail sites. We’ve seen how the pandemic has accelerated customer demand for delivered convenience and this partnership will allow us to scale up quickly on the Uber platform. And for the first time, we will be able to offer delivery options to existing customers on our own BPme app by the end of 2023,” said Emma Delaney, executive vice president customers & products, bp.

With 20,500 bp retail sites across the world and 550 million customers living within 20 minutes of a bp retail site, the partners see enormous opportunities for growth. bp sites offer a range of products tailored to local markets which may include hot and cold drinks, food-for-now options as well as staple groceries, fresh produce and ready meals, plus wine, beer and flowers.

  • In the UK, customers will be able to access a range of Wild Bean Café, and other branded food and products via Uber Eats – with the first 120 sites due live on the platform by the end of June.
  • In the US, the offer will be made available to bp’s network of independently owned retail locations to support the growth of their businesses. The goal is to make it easy for these partners to sign up to the Uber Eats platform and access benefits based on bp’s scale.

bp will benefit from Uber’s global brand and operations footprint, best-in-class technology for dispatching orders, and more than 4.4 million drivers and couriers on the platform worldwide.

As part of the agreement, Uber Eats and bp will work to introduce delivery options onto bp’s own app, BPme – initially planned to be available in the UK, US and Australia by the end of 2023 – powered by Uber Direct. This new offer will allow bp to directly connect its customers to delivery riders, making Uber Eats the trusted partner in fulfilling these orders. Since 2019, bp has seen a three-fold increase in users of the BPme app, with 16 million active loyalty users worldwide.

“With more than 20,500 locations around the world, bp’s reach is enormous—making them critical partners as we pursue our ambitions of helping consumers across the world get what they need delivered to their doorsteps,” said Pierre Dimitri Gore-Coty, Uber’s SVP of Global Delivery. “We are proud to support this next phase of the company’s convenience growth through this delivery partnership and look forward to deeper collaboration in the future.”

bp and Uber already work together in mobility with bp providing electric vehicle charging for Uber’s ride-hail drivers. The companies will explore other areas for future cooperation in convenience, including opportunities to utilize low carbon delivery methods to fulfill orders from bp sites.

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Supply Chain Insights

Officeworks to own and control Distribution Network.



Officeworks invests in supply chain capabilities, will own and run it’s distribution centre.

Officeworks has changed its supply chain strategy in the wake of COVID-19 issues, with a view to owning and controlling a network of distribution centres across the country.

“When I joined we had a different strategy around our supply chain,” Officeworks managing director Sarah Hunter told The Australian, referring to the company’s previous outsourcing strategy.

“So we’ve worked really hard now to build our supply chain capability. We were in the process of outsourcing it, we are now in the process of building that capability.

Officeworks recently opened Australia’s first solar-powered robotic distribution centre in Derrimut, Victoria.

“We started in Victoria, and we have had approval to build, now board approval to invest, and we are building a new, similar (distribution centre) operation in Western Australia. That’s exciting,” she said.

“Looking at our capital expenditure three, four, or five years ago it’s a material step up in our investment in our supply chain.

“Most importantly for us as a business is that every team member who worked at the old facility has been completely retrained,” she said. “We have 120 team members who are now fully trained in how to work in an automated state-of-the-art environment.”

The need to control its own distribution became clear during the pandemic.

By December, Officeworks saw 46 per cent of its business come from online, including click and collect. Now it needs to move to retain this growth at a cost effective scale.

“We have created a facility that’s not only more productive, it’s going to enable our online business to grow in Victoria and into NSW at the rate that we expect our online business will grow.

“So now we have the capacity, the cost per pick is materially lower because it’s much more productive. It’s a win-win scenario for us. We’ve kept everyone employed with really great job security. We’ve scaled them up to work in the supply chain of the future.

“And on top of that, we now have the capacity for growth in Victoria that frankly we were struggling with through COVID.”

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E2open Acquires Global Multi-Carrier E-Commerce Shipping Software Platform Logistyx Technologies for $185 Million



Combination brings complementary cloud-based solution and global multi-carrier e-commerce capabilities to E2open’s networked, end-to-end supply chain operating platform

E2open Parent Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: ETWO), a leading network-based provider of a cloud-based, mission-critical, end-to-end supply chain management platform, has acquired Logistyx Technologies, a leader in global parcel and e-commerce shipping and fulfilment technology.

With the combination, E2open enhances its global footprint for multi-carrier e-commerce shipment management, offering companies a complete range of shipping capabilities needed to scale and respond to growing market needs.

“We are excited to welcome Logistyx Technologies’ team, clients, and capabilities to E2open,” said Michael Farlekas, chief executive officer at E2open. “The demand for e-commerce shipping capabilities continues to grow as companies look for more flexible and cost-effective ways to deliver products to consumers. This combination makes E2open the most comprehensive and integrated shipping solution provider, which covers all shipping modes including ocean, air, road, rail, and parcel, and is powered by a global network of carriers and logistics service providers. Logistyx is complementary to E2open’s existing platform, enabling E2open’s world-class clients to orchestrate their supply chains from demand to fulfilment, to supply.”

“We are excited to welcome Logistyx Technologies’ team, clients, and capabilities to E2open”

Michael Farlekas, chief executive officer at E2open

“The Logistyx team is thrilled to combine with E2open to enable more companies to ship smarter and benefit from the largest supply chain platform and network available,” said Geoffrey Finlay, chief executive officer at Logistyx. “We provide our customers, which include top retailers, manufacturers and logistics providers, the automation, visibility and flexibility needed to simplify global fulfillment and compete in an omnichannel world – all within a one-stop, connected platform.”

Compelling strategic benefits to accelerate growth

The Logistyx combination with E2open accelerates subscription revenue growth and unlocks strategic benefits for clients, including:

  • Increased reach as a global leader in transportation management for parcel shipping: Logistyx’s global parcel system augments E2open’s direct-to-consumer e-commerce offerings, creating a complete global footprint for multi-carrier parcel management.
  • Enhanced global parcel carrier network: The combination adds a carrier library of over 550 global carrier integrations including UPS, FedEx, DHL and USPS, to E2open’s leading network. The solution manages the carrier certification process to keep clients in compliance, while making it easier to compare and review spot rate options, which is critical in a capacity-constrained environment.
  • Expanded client base: E2open’s client base will be enhanced by Logistyx’s strong global enterprise clients, which include many of the world’s leading retailers, manufacturers, and carriers.
  • Augmented product offerings: Logistyx’s clients will benefit from a combined portfolio that will not only expand shipping modes beyond parcel, but also enhance upstream capabilities to better orchestrate manufacturing, distribution, channel and trade operations.

Transaction Details

E2open acquired Logistyx Technologies for a total purchase price of $185 million ($250 million AUD), including $90 million paid in cash at closing and the remaining balance to be paid in two additional installments at 90 days and 180 days post-closing. E2open has the option to finance the remaining payments through cash or a combination of cash and E2open stock issued to sellers, at the company’s discretion.

The transaction was unanimously approved by E2open’s Board of Directors. Additional details about the agreement will be contained in a Current Report on a Form 8-K to be filed by E2open with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”). For other related investor relations disclosures and presentation materials, please visit the investor relations section at

Financial Highlights

In calendar year 2021, Logistyx grew in line with E2open’s current growth rate and achieved approximately $40 million in revenue. The combined business is expected to be accretive to E2open’s current organic growth rate given the cross-selling opportunities the combination creates.

The combination reflects a purchase price of approximately 11 times adjusted EBITDA when anticipated cost synergies are fully realized, which are expected to be within 18 months of closing.  E2open will include the full impact of the acquisition on revenue and adjusted EBITDA in conjunction with fiscal 2023 guidance, which will be provided with the fourth quarter earnings release scheduled for late April.

Berenson is serving as exclusive financial advisor to E2open, and Troutman Pepper is serving as legal advisor to E2open.

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