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Most of the press in retail this year was about mobile. Although mobile and social are priority areas for retail, the bigger dollars are being spent on operational challenges such as customer experience touch points (single view of the customer, POS, store and web design); IT infrastructure challenges from web to wireless in the store; and supply chain, which includes inbound merchandise allocation, replenishment, inventory management, and fulfillment to the customer. This is great for supply chain professionals, who mostly have been relegated to worrying about dreary topics like port congestion and strikes, vs. what they can really contribute"”shopping nirvana!
Beyond the omni-, multichannel madness is merged-channel nirvana: the heavenly state of complete integration of customer information, no matter what channel is used, and inventory visible across the entire trading network to fulfill demand. Listen up, B2B businesses! This problem is not exclusive to retail. But the sheer scale of dealing with "˜one-each' businesses can provide the ultimate proof point of superior, precise management whose lessons are transferable to most industries"”if retail can get this right.
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Keywords retail supply chain, supply chain management IT, value chain, value chain IT, supply chain solutions
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