Shekar Natarajan’s logistical revolution at Quiet Platforms is gathering steam, bringing sports-focused merchant Fanatics on board as it takes on the shipping giants with a new approach.
The logistics company uses a collaborative model, pooling the orders of brands that use its platform to let them access logistical capacity at need while the mega players, like Amazon and Walmart, lock into their own commitments independently.
“We’re committed to collaborating and leveraging shared assets to offer more sustainable, scaled supply chain solutions that free innovators like Fanatics to focus on what they do best — providing a great customer experience all the way through fast, convenient home delivery,” said Natarajan, who in addition to leading Quiet is executive vice president and chief supply chain officer of American Eagle Outfitters.
The idea behind Quiet is to help brands tap into the scale needed to navigate the global logistical game while also positioning inventory closer to consumers and drive efficiencies.
Kohl’s, Peloton, Steve Madden, Li & Fung and more than 50 others are on the platform now, alongside Fanatics.
Natarajan told WWD that Quiet is picking up momentum, signing up new names and bringing on more tech talent.
“The industry on a whole has basically committed to capacity,” Natarajan said, referring to ships on the ocean as well as delivery infrastructure closer to the consumer.
“It creates a little bit of a challenge because those prices are already set for the market,” he said. “The Walmarts of the world, the Wayfairs of the world, they have committed to ocean capacity into ‘23, ‘24. That kind of sets the trend in the market.”
That could cause a crunch for bigger players who overcommitted if consumers modulate in the face of inflation, war and continued pandemic.
“The next two years, we are definitely going to see a slowdown in demand,” Natarajan said.
The logistical solution for the relatively little guy, he said, is Quiet, which “creates a condition for the Uberization of supply chains.”
But Natarajan is still getting started and wants to continue to evolve the platform and the shipping experience, for instance eliminating multiple deliveries from different carriers to homes on the same day.
“My goal is to leave the world in a better place,” he said. “What I really care about is the unsustainable practices in the supply chain. We are reimagining logistics in a very different way than what Amazon has, what Walmart has. We’re reimagining how the world of logistics needs to be for the future 20 years out. It’s Amazon [in the e-commerce lead] today, but it’s somebody else tomorrow.”
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