Commerce Trends

by Manhattan Associates

Supply Chain and the Boardroom…..Do they Mix?

Admittedly I might have a very biased opinion on this. But how do they not?

Fulfilment is becoming (if not already) the competitive battleground.  Retailers are pushing their last order times back further and further, challenging their rivals to do the same. Consumers are pulling the supply chain to them as they want their purchases yesterday, well I do anyway.

But it’s easy to get caught up in the hype.  Fundamentally the supply chain does need to be efficient and not erode profit margins through expensive fulfilment choices. However, the way I shop and my expectations about receiving my orders has changed and retailers need to address it….the board needs to address it.

Group Of Business People Having Board Meeting Around Glass Table

It is no longer a question of which channel is performing the best, who is awarded with that sale, is our website responsive.  It is far greater than that.  It’s about allowing me and my shopping companions the ability to shop and interact with you how we want and getting our orders to them as quickly and profitably as possible.  There is no room for silos when you are trying to create a seamless experience for the customer and a single view of them for you.

The supply chain plays a fundamental part in this…it allows retailers to be agile, flexible and meet the wants of the customer and the needs of the business.  A single view of inventory, in real-time, erodes the need for physical separation of stock for channels, it allows retailers to fulfil any order, from anywhere and profit everywhere.

Making inventory available for me to buy means less mark downs, more sales…..it’s what the board wants, expects.  But it has to be on their agenda to achieve it.