5 Actions to Navigate Through the Retail Landscape
Taking these steps will allow your supply chain to adapt to consumer behavioral shifts, omnichannel fulfillment demands, and heightened delivery standards.
The constant evolution of the retail climate has produced a market that requires nimble solutions with enhanced precision. Suppliers and retailers have been pushed to adapt to behavioral shifts, omnichannel fulfillment demands, and heightened delivery standards by consumers—and it doesn't appear that it will slow down any time soon.
To better prepare your company for the journey ahead, here are five actions to position your supply chain for the impact of market volatility.
1. Have a durable network for omnichannel fulfillment.
As retailers expand buying channels and adopt creative solutions like "click and collect" services for their customers, your supply chain inevitably becomes more complex. Now, you must ensure the order is routed and fulfilled to meet your customer's demand. To do so, suppliers must try new approaches with a full perspective to not only deliver for customers, but to do so in a cost-efficient manner.
In today's climate, sophisticated data analysis and real-time supply chain insights are imperative to effectively manage the complexities of an end-to-end supply chain.
2. Understand retail compliance.
Compliance requirements vary depending on which retailer you're doing business with. The nuances that go into labeling, pack slips, and delivery windows are all defined by the retailer—making it imperative for suppliers to fully understand all the dynamics that go into adhering to these requirements. Not only will mastering these compliance standards protect your company from costly chargebacks, retailers favor suppliers they know they can count on.
3. Make sure you have end-to-end visibility.
In order to operate as efficiently as possible, you need full visibility into your entire supply chain. This can be done with a fleet of GPS-enabled containers backed by a comprehensive warehouse management system (WMS) and transportation management system (TMS).
These technologies will keep a pulse on your inventory and help forecast demand to make sure you have the right amount to fulfill retail orders quickly. The effective data sharing between these two platforms gives your business the detailed information it needs to govern your product from manufacturing all the way to retail.
4. Focus on the right KPIs.
It's important to understand how your brand fits in relation to the specific retailer. Focus on metrics that benefit the account as a whole such as capacity utilization, velocity, movement, and on-time performance.
In other words, demonstrate that you understand a category by adding value to the retailer, so you also help their business thrive. Focusing on these metrics gives your business an advantage over your competitors and may lead to account expansion.
5. Look for continuous improvement.
You may be asking, "What does a continuous improvement process look like?" Generally, this entails a consistent cadence of operational reviews, helping identify key issues and concerns within business operations and yielding invaluable data for further improvements.
Integrating the latest logistics technology into your supply chain can deliver a thorough process analysis and produce advanced transit modeling capabilities to further refine your supply chain operations.
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