Improve in-stock positions
In an industry where products may be sourced anywhere in the world, delays in the global supply chain can threaten product availability. A demand-driven value chain is required to synchronize supply-chain resources and prevent costly stock-outs. According to AMR Research, demand-driven businesses achieve 90% fewer stock-outs than the peer average, and 17% stronger order fulfillment.
Ensure better customer service
Retail companies are driven to more accurately predict market demand and improve overall retail supply chain operations to realize ever-more-aggressive merchandise plans. Comprehensive views of demand compiled from multiple sources are required for companies to reliably predict future needs. Re-planning must be accomplished quickly as new market intelligence is available. Many supply chain teams now create product-level customer and channel forecasts to compete more effectively and improve customer service levels.
Optimize merchandise planning and retail allocation
Modeling the retail distribution network, automating and optimizing merchandise planning, assortment planning and allocation strategies (based on historical data and trend analyses) all combine to produce more accurate and timely demand-based performance across all retail channels and verticals. Merchandise planning must work hand-in-hand with allocation to optimize and automate operations from the chain level to item – store – week level.
Support promotional events effectively
Advertised discounts, special merchandising strategies, in-store coupons and other programs are used to help specialty retailers motivate consumer spending. To successfully protect margins, companies vying for buyers’ attention need to compare multiple factors as they design promotions and marketing programs. The effects of price discounts and advertising should be analyzed. Profitability and margins rely on the ability to accurately calculate promotional lift and optimize inventory investments. For best results, the marketing plans should be tightly integrated with forecasting, distribution and logistics planning.
Improve in-season replenishment
In an effort to reduce inventory risk and improve in-season replenishment, companies competing in the specialty retail industry must organize, optimize and synchronize the supply chain. This involves modeling, selecting and coordinating the right suppliers, production partners and distribution resources. A collaborative technology platform is required to enable optimized efficiency and real-time visibility into supply chain activities. Capacity constraints, scheduling limitations and other critical issues need to be proactively shared and acted upon to condense cycle times. Real-time information sharing via the Internet is essential for successful retail supply chain management.