The other day I was wrapped in a conversation about speed and it reminded me of a very interesting blog post in the Harvard Business Review I read last year about General Electric applying concepts of Lean Startups to appliance design. The part that resonated with me is the emphasis on speed.
Allocation processes and their supporting technology are getting a fresh look by retailers of late.
So, why are Allocations so important? Spotting the big product trends is critical for the retailer’s brand. But just as important is ensuring merchandise gets to the right channels and store locations in the appropriate quantities to gain happy customers and higher revenues.
Predictable financials are as much, if not more, important today as they were 25 years ago. Today’s sales and operations planning (S&OP) process encompasses people, process and technology to create a business plan that will deliver the predictable financials executives seek.
Recently, I sat down with Karen Francois of Caribou Coffee to discuss their supply chain journey. This company’s supply chain transformation is impressive and enviable and I encourage you to watch the webcast, Caribou Coffee – More than Counting Beans, to learn more about how this manufacturer, distributor and retailer is progressing towards a robust sales and operations planning (S&OP) driven organization.
With a multitude of emerging tools and techniques available to support and expand business, it is an exciting—and challenging—time to be a retailer. Consumers want a seamless omni-channel shopping experience which requires more functional capabilities than ever before.
Segmentation strategy is a hot topic, especially in the supply chain. For many companies the focus is to isolate a handful of key customers and then lump all of the rest together. It’s a bit like a naïve Pareto analysis. For example, many CPG companies will segment Target, Wal-Mart, Other. Durable goods companies might segment Home Depot, Lowes, Other.