Updated: Jun 14
As global turmoil ravages supply chains, the Dallas-based company is helping businesses grow by increasing their productivity.
When you step into any retail store offering an assortment of inventory, you have the supply chain to thank for it. The network between a company and its suppliers, or its supply chain, is integral to the distribution of products and goods consumers expect to see on shelves.
It's estimated that the global supply chain market size value is $15.85 billion and will experience a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 11.2% from 2020 to 2027. In other words, the supply chain industry is booming. Following the disruptors from the pandemic, companies are looking for ways to streamline the process and have improved systems at the ready.
One Texas-based company is doing just that. Mercado Labs, headquartered in Dallas, is a supply chain company featuring a cloud-based platform to help businesses connect with their network in the supply chain. The result? A new and exciting way for companies to do business and avoid disruptors and delays that impact the final delivery of products to consumers.
Identifying a Streamlined Process
Like most industries, the supply chain has experienced modernization with the advent of technology. Over the years, evolving processes have helped companies work more efficiently and identify optimal ways to deliver the products consumers rely on daily.
"Mercado is a cloud-based, digital import order management system (iOMS) designed to connect buyers and sellers across the first mile," Mercado Marketing Manager, Kayleigh Hansen, said. "The platform creates a digital order that enables brands to automate the planning, purchasing, and shipping of their imports, resulting in increased efficiency and remarkable outcomes. Something that's never been possible end-to-end in the supply chain before until now."
According to the World Economic Forum, due to the pandemic, many CEOs say that supply chain issues pose the biggest threat to the growth and scalability of their companies.
"During the pandemic, importers faced challenges that they had never faced before, and C-suite executives began taking a closer look into their supply chain operations in a way they had never had to," Hansen said. "CEOs who once were dragging through supply chain meetings started busting down the doors of their supply chain execs. With factories in Asia shutting down, raw material shortages, container blockages, and more, a lot of importers were lost when it came to next steps."
Evaluating First Mile Standards Through Technology
Industry professionals observed that the bulk of investment in supply chain strategies was made in the "final mile," or the last stage of the supply chain. The final mile is described as the difficult final step in transporting people and packages from hubs to their final destination. However, not enough retailers focus on delivering the best experience for their customers, which begins in the first mile.
"We've seen retailers focus heavily on the final mile (aka delivery to customer/consumer) over the past decade. And that's no bad thing, right? Companies like Amazon have led the charge in creating a genuinely customer-first business experience," Hansen said. "But with no first mile strategy in place to complement the final mile, retailers are turning a blind eye to the 80% of the supply chain where the production and movement of their products take place. If it breaks in the first mile, it'll be broken in the final mile."
Through the leadership of CEO Rob Garrison, the Mercado team has sought to help businesses create a solution to "connect the missing link in their supply chain." As the leading online importing platform, Mercado connects businesses' supply chains with those responsible for making and moving their products with the automatization of the global supply chain. Its innovative platform enables companies to plan, buy, and move their products online easily, as digitization is at the core of Mercado's strategy.
"Never in history has there been a better time to be an innovator. You have a toolbox full of tools at your fingertips that will enable you to get your message out to the world affordably and easily," Garrison said. "Markets and messaging used to be constrained and/or expensive, and you now have the potential to reach the majority of the 8 billion people on earth...If you have an innovation or are an expert/innovator yourself, the whole world is sitting just outside your digital doorstep."
How Companies Do Business Has Changed
With delays and economic factors forcing more scrutiny on supply chains, the work of Mercado is vital as companies look to boost efficiency and improve resilience to optimize delivery to their customers.
Mercado's platform helps monitor supply chain visibility and other sought-after outcomes like brand protection, enhanced shipment visibility, and increased sales margins. Through a unique leadership team of industry experts, Mercado reduces the disruptions in the supply chain process through its modern approach.
"Even in 2022, the supply chain is analog and disconnected — specifically in the first mile," Hansen said. "Here at Mercado, we envision a future where large and small importers can communicate effectively with the people who make and move their products to enhance operations, increase sales, and protect their brand from unforeseen shocks and challenges."