A major concern for retailers is the growing challenges in the supply chain. As they look to amplify their growth and expand in new markets, they need to take a hard look at their capabilities and determine if they were enough to support global competition. In order to support their existing and future business objectives, they need to identify these supply chain challenges and practice more flexible management processes.
- Forecast of new products. This is the biggest challenge among retailers in the United States, where most new products are developed and launched. Compared to other countries, the US has higher proportions of new products in its collection. Part of the forecasting challenge may be related to lack of visibility. Many retailers claim they have not achieved full visibility.
- Collaboration with suppliers. The second largest of the supply chain challenges is better collaboration with suppliers. Retailers experience troubles with increasing availability without increasing stockholding. In fact, US retailers with more than one sales channel are less likely to operate a single stock pool.
Visibility and collaboration are very important in achieving an effective supply chain. Gone are the days when pricing, features and brand recognition were the only things that set retailers apart from their competitors. In addition, expansions to new markets introduces localization, taxation and invoicing burdens. With so many supply chain challenges, companies need to optimize their supply chains in order to stay competitive.
An optimized supply chain can address many pressures. It can also reduce costs, increase transparency, support legacy and new products, and lower risks. With that, companies can easily access information to make better business decisions. They can also have a transparent supply base to identify reliable suppliers and quickly assess their ability to meet legal, safety, quality, environmental and financial expectations and regulations.
Supply chain optimization is only possible with the right technology platform. In today’s global supply chain, companies need a platform that support their existing products and adapt for new offerings. They need a platform that accommodate invoicing, taxation and other critical functions to stay compliant. More importantly, they need a platform that accommodates multiple business models to help them reach international markets.