Business Exchange Trends – Retail Supply Chains

supply chains

The Problem with Today’s Retail Supply Chain

The last decade has been a time of great change. Technological advances have allowed trading partners to exchange information at rapid rates. Now, partners have more access to information than ever before. At the same time, customers want more out of their shopping experiences. They are no longer happy with waiting to get items. They want to get their items immediately. A lot of supply chains have not been able to meet the demand. Fortunately, this can be fixed. First, businesses need to recognize the issues. Then, they can make adjustments.

Lack of Distribution Centers

Companies cannot fulfill people’s need for instant gratification unless they have lots of distribution centers that are ready to ship items immediately. A few well-placed distribution centers allow companies to get items to customers within two days, but many customers expect more. That means companies need to increase their distribution centers so they can get items to people within a day.

Poor Cross Channel Coordination

Retailers often separate their supply chains. They have one supply chain for their online business and a second supply chain for their brick and mortar business. That means that each part of the supply chain only gets half of the information it needs to provide the best services to the customers. Combining the supply chains can help retailers meet customers’ needs. For instance, if a company combines the supply chain, it can then offer in-store order fulfillment to cut down on shipping costs and speed up the fulfillment process. Combining the supply chain will also allow companies to transfer products to save money. Not only will that save money, but it will help businesses keep up with the growing demand for products online.

Lack of Participation by Vendors

Vendors can play a big role in the new retail supply chain strategy. Drop shipping and inventory management can become a part of the vendor’s duties. For example, a company can use a vendor that offers drop shipping to lower warehouse costs and speed up order fulfillment. Customers will be happy because they get their items quickly and the business will be happy because it did not have to deal with ordering and shipping.

Businesses have to stay on top of the changing supply chain. The easiest way to do that is with supply chain management software like Appterra. Appterra ensures that all trading partners have the information they need so they can make necessary changes to the supply chain. That makes transitions much smoother.

Charlie Alsmiller

Throughout his career, Charlie Alsmiller has focused on customer problems in difficult industries such as Energy and Telecommunications. Prior to starting Appterra in 2005, Alsmiller was VP of Global Operations for Allegro Development, a leading provider of software for the energy sector. He has also served as president of OmniSpace Technologies, a leading SaaS provider that he founded in 1999. He spent over 10 years in the consulting world with Price Waterhouse and Deloitte Consulting, where he participated in a wide variety of projects for very high profile clients. Mr. Alsmiller holds a BBA from Baylor University in Management and Information Systems and a MBA from the University of Dallas in International Business. Specialties: Technology ventures, Enterprise Software, Contract Negotiation, International Operations, Private Equity, Product Management, Strategic Alliances, Software Implementation, Software Development

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