348: How COVID Changed Last Mile Delivery Forever, with SEKO

Today I’m joined by SEKO – a friend of the show and a supply chain household name that was founded nearly 50 years ago, and has gone on to open 120 offices in 40 countries across the world.

SEKO provide complete supply chain solutions, specializing in transportation, logistics, forwarding and warehousing. Operating in over 40 countries worldwide, SEKO lead the industry with innovative and customizable IT solutions, which provide a seamless flow of information to deliver their growing customer base true supply chain visibility.

Today Brian Bourke, Global Chief Commercial Officer at SEKO Logistics, joins me to talk all about how the pandemic changed last mile delivery forever – the challenges; the opportunities; what the future might bring for the industry; and exactly how SEKO are helping their customers to navigate this changing landscape.

Guest bio:

Brian Bourke is the Global Chief Commercial Officer at SEKO Logistics. Speaking six languages, he is responsible for growing SEKO’s revenue and delivering stellar service to SEKO’s clients with global oversight of SEKO’s commercial operations, sales, account management, solution design, demand generation, and corporate communications initiatives. Mr. Bourke began his career with SEKO in 2005 after receiving his BA in Economics from the University of Wisconsin. He has appeared on CNBC, Bloomberg News and Yahoo Finance, and has been quoted in publications such as the Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, New York Times and Crain’s Chicago on global supply chain issues.




[06.49] An introduction to Brian and SEKO.

“When we’re delivering products with a white glove service, we cross the threshold into a consumer’s home… then it’s not just about on-time delivery. It’s about visibility, it’s about the experience.”

[08.20] How the pandemic impacted supply chain, boosted ecommerce and changed last mile delivery forever.

“Before the pandemic, technology was being implemented with varying degrees of success and innovation… but when the pandemic started it was a challenge to bundle together having to shut down, with ecommerce orders going up significantly.”

[10.32] The importance of real-time feedback, like reviews and star ratings; and how that customer experience data is pulling supply chain teams together with other business areas, such as marketing and finance, to enhance collaboration and improve strategy.

[12.56] A closer look at the emerging market trends for 2023, and the reverse bullwhip effect the industry is experiencing as it settles, post-pandemic.

“For the most part, lead times for purchase orders have gone back down to pre-pandemic levels, raw material supplies and costs are going down – we’re seeing a lot of positive trend lines.”

[16.53] From diversifying sourcing to improved collaboration, what companies can do to prepare themselves for the unexpected.

“What we’ve learned is that if something can go wrong, it will; it’s not a matter of if, but when. So if you think about your supply chain in that context, you can really build out your worst case scenarios and mitigation measures.”

[21.02] The power of partnership; why it can bring benefits across multiple business areas other than just supply chain; and what it’s like to partner with SEKO.

“It’s an opportunity to be, not just an extension of supply chain, but of marketing as well – that’s what a partner does.”

[26.18] The importance of offering different delivery options, and using that data to test and experiment.

“You can increase your conversion by providing more options!”

[30.02] Why the word ‘visibility’ is over-used, and what it means for last mile delivery.

[34.51] The future for SEKO.




Head over to SEKO’s website now to find out more and discover how they could help you too. You can also connect with SEKO and keep up to date with the latest over on LinkedIn, Facebook or Twitter, or you can connect with Brian on LinkedIn or Twitter.

If you enjoyed this episode and want to hear more from Brian, check out 296: Take Control of Managing Your Demand Chain, with SEKO.

Check out our other podcasts HERE.

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