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Recap: Manifest 2024

Feb 16, 2024 - Cart.com
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This year, Manifest was packed. Almost 5,000 attendees showed up in Las Vegas to discuss supply chain and logistics, and where the industry is headed. The event produced some fascinating and insightful conversations. Before we dive into our takeaways and highlights, we’ll give you a rundown of the overall experience.

Who was there?

Manifest 2024 had more brands show up this year. It captured the critical role fulfillment and logistics play in ecommerce. There were also a lot of partners and consultants in attendance. It was nice to see a strong mix of businesses, supply chain professionals, carriers and more.

What was the vibe?

There was a great energy this year. The focus has shifted from cost-savings and pandemic recovery back to supply chain thought leadership and innovations. A surprising amount of capital is focused on the logistics industry right now – setting 2024 up to be a great year. The only concern consistently mentioned was the potential decline of consumer demand over the next year and how that would affect the industry.

Cart.com + Manifest 2024

cart-booth-manifestAt Manifest, Cart.com had a booth and hosted an executive cocktail hour. Chase Zieman, our Chief Data Science Officer, was part of a panel: From Logistics to Customer Data – Understanding the Ins & Outs of Expansion. Our senior fulfillment team, Lars Anderson and Scott Divita, reported having many great conversations throughout the week, speaking to attendees and partners from across the industry. Through their discussions, they identified three trending topics.

Key takeaways

As always, Manifest featured an array of exciting innovations, important panels and up-and-coming technology. Additionally, the event captured what’s trending:

Sustainability and growth

Brands and businesses are looking for resilience and sustainability. Since strategic partners are a big part of scalability and success, entities are asking, are our current partners the right ones down the road? Manifest was a great place to explore solutions that supported operations both today and in the future – and what works for achieving short-term gains while also building long-term resilience. With the right collaborations, businesses can efficiently navigate challenges and adapt to changing market demands. Focusing on developing the right partnerships ensures a streamlined supply chain that can effectively support business expansion and sustained success over time.

The importance of data and visibility

Manifest called attention to the cost of inaccurate data, not just as monetary but how it affects real-time visibility and customer retention. Many businesses still operate without the ability to extract or use critical data. Moreover, supply chain data becomes fragmented and siloed across different systems and platforms without robust integrations and the ability to aggregate data. This fragmentation hampers visibility and makes it difficult to gain actionable insights. As a result, decision-making processes are hindered, leading to inefficiencies, missed opportunities and increased operational costs.

However, even having a single source of truth, while good, doesn’t mean it’s the right source of truth. Data quality and governance are crucial for ensuring accurate insights and decision-making, as the adage "garbage in, garbage out" emphasizes the direct connection between input data quality and output results. Poor data quality can lead to flawed analyses, misleading conclusions and ineffective strategies, highlighting the importance of robust data management practices in maximizing the value of organizational data assets.

The right solutions are essential for unlocking the full potential of supply chain data and driving strategic decision-making. The goal is true omnichannel visibility: Gaining real-time granular-level data into inventory, logistics and more. Breaking down data silos, like fully connecting the dots between marketing, web analytics, storefront and supply chain in a harmonization layer allows for unparalleled insights you cannot get any other way. As an example, how does your marketing spend of a specific campaign impact sales at the SKU level, or how should your media strategy change based on inventory levels? Connecting the dots across the ecommerce value chain allows operators to more tightly manage inventory turnover and marketers to effectively optimize budgets – both of which maximize the return on working capital.

How customer expectations are shaping the industry

There’s a lot of talk about the Amazon effect. Customers expect fast and free shipping as the norm, including one-day, same-day and sometimes delivery in as little as 15 minutes via drone. This puts immense pressure on the industry to do the same. Businesses must optimize logistics operations by strategically locating fulfillment centers closer to target markets. They can also leverage advanced technology, such as automation and predictive analytics, to streamline processes and reduce shipping times. Additionally, establishing partnerships and diversifying your network with reliable carriers and negotiating favorable rates can help offset shipping costs while maintaining competitive delivery speeds.

A big thanks from Cart.com

Thanks to the attendees who took the time to stop by our booth and talk with us – and everyone at Manifest for making it an outstanding event. We’d love to continue the conversation! Contact our team today to talk more or for information about how Cart.com can help you with fulfillment and logistics.

 

 

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