As the online shopping phenomenon continues to gain in popularity across the world, more and more pressure is being placed on supply chain managers, who are now being expected to take responsibility for the entire product delivery process.

Each time a consumer hits 'purchase' for a product online, the supply chain is called into action as yet another journey is triggered.

As a result, industry experts are predicting supply chain collaboration to become an increasingly important trend within the logistics sector this year, as the simplification of the purchasing process and the need for retailers to work together in order to meet increasing demand appear to go hand in hand.

Dean Wyatt, vice president of Business Development Retail UK at DHL, expects online merchants to step up their delivery operations this year, saying: "The industry is increasingly seeing more retailers such as Aurora offering 60 minute delivery windows", Retailer Gazette reports.

As a result, Mr Wyatt insists that "retailers will need to consider how they make their supply chains shorter and less complex".

In order to achieve this, more and more companies are likely to begin working together within the supply chain, "sharing everything from warehousing and transportation to consolidating back office functions such as finance, administration and customer service".

All parties are likely to benefit as a result, with greater cost efficiencies and cash flows due to shared warehouse space, as well as greater utilisation of vehicles, therefore reducing fuel costs, delivery charges and carbon emissions.

Customers are also likely to feel the benefit of a more streamlined supply chain, with more efficient deliveries.

The British Retail Consortium is now also calling for greater collaboration with the food supply chain as it turns its attention to reducing waste.

By encouraging supermarkets to work more closely with suppliers lower down in the agricultural production chain, distribution of goods can be optimised and food waste can be reduced.

If the trend takes off this year as expected, it could add a new dimension to supply chain recruitment, with new collaborative skills becoming an essential attribute for candidates.

Cast UK is one of the country's leading professional level supply chain recruitment consultancies. Fill your next vacancy with us today!