Commerce Trends

by Manhattan Associates

Supply Chain – it’s just the back office plumbing, isn’t it?

Definitely essential but not very sexy … That’s probably the most common view of one’s supply chain. It’s just there and it manages the flow of inventory behind the scenes. But oh boy, in today’s retail environment it is so much more … It’s exciting, it’s differentiating, it’s powerful, it’s directly connected to your customers and it can make or break your business.


Your supply chain is the key to ensuring you’re in the right place at the right time serving the customer where they want to be served – online, in the store – flexing to adapt to whatever the customer throws at it – pick up in store, same day delivery – get it right and you can directly impact the bottomline of your business, get it wrong and you may as well go home now.


With your supply chain becoming ever more influential over the success of your business, it is now a capability that sits firmly in the boardroom and helps drive seismic shifts in company direction. With 63% of UK shoppers preferring retailers that offer 90 minute delivery despatch and 60% desiring 2 hour click ’n collect, it is imperative retailers steer from the top and drive the necessary change programmes internally to respond to market needs. The way consumers shop has changed and their expectations are rising by the day, fulfilment is at the heart of this evolution.


So what are we talking about here? We’re talking about using the supply chain to get the product to the consumer whenever, wherever they want. Enterprise Order Management is the cornerstone of technology that makes this complexity a reality … single view of inventory across your network in real-time … this visibility enables smarter and more profitable decisions about where and when orders are fulfilled.


Suddenly your supply chain is no longer behind closed doors, it’s online, it’s in the store and you have to open it up to your front line staff and more importantly, your customers. After all, a happy customer is one who returns time and time again.