Before diving into the many intricacies involved in supply chain optimization strategies, many retailers will benefit from taking a step back from their supply chain to understand how well the virtual connections are working within their trading partner community. As today's supply chains extend further across the globe and challenges increase in complexity, addressing the informational aspects of the supply chain can be a shortcut to quick wins in cost avoidance and operational performance.
Electronic data interchange has been helping companies share information since the 1970s, but some retailers are still not leveraging the technology's full potential. For immediate benefits related to functions such as inventory control, logistics management, and shipment security, retailers should continue to focus on improving vendor compliance, deepening integration, and extending the use of detailed data elements in documents like the 856 Advanced Shipping Notice and the 850 Purchase Order.
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