The retail environment has still not been able to fully appreciate the potential of seamlessly linking supplier and retail store. Supply chain collaboration model is not something entirely new in the retail industry; however, when it comes to building a long-term alliance between supply chains and retailers, the objective has mostly failed. While trying to figure out the factors responsible for such repetitive failure, experts have churned out the following issues:
- Lack of proper resources and failure to capitalize what’s available
- Failure to comply with the terms and conditions in a collaboration
- Lack of investment to run retail-supply chain effortlessly
- Inadequate technological support
In order to overcome the burdening constraints, retail businesses and suppliers should start collaborating without any further delay. Additionally, the collaboration should be materialized in a phase-by-phase manner. The three key factors that may play key roles in making the collaboration successful are:
Information collaboration between retailers and suppliers is one of the major cornerstones, in the specific context of integrating these two domains. Communication and information sharing are the fundamentals when it comes to seamless complementing between retail and supplier. Collaborative information exchange, thus, would require EDI or Electronic Data Interface and business process management. As the ultimate goal is ensuring two way visibility, this key strategic development between retail stores and suppliers would allow them to view accurate data and better visibility of associative operations, leading to improved decision making.
Process collaboration is the next key strategic development that retail businesses and supply chains should opt for. A neatly weaved process collaboration allows all parties in the partnership to receive real-time insight of the performance. Accordingly, it becomes easier for them to develop mutual strategies in improving the existing processes or take practical decisions in more effective running of the same. Process collaboration affects almost all associative domains of retail industry, namely:
o Product and promotional management
o Inventory management
o Order management
o Finance management
o Space and performance management
Process collaboration would empower both retailers and suppliers with automated and quicker decision-making at every crucial point of supply chain, such as better workflow, improved sales projection and more transparent view of key factors, affecting overall sales.
Wish to reach a new business horizon through retail and supply chain success? Let data speak for you. And this is the point where you should let analytics come in. Retailers and suppliers should start inclining on data analytics more than ever before, as analytics deliver role-based insights to strategists for better decision making. Furthermore, the reflection received is not mere insight but granular level insight, which allows businesses to understand their product, promotional methods and customers better. The ultimate result that supply chain and retail strategists enjoy is the capacity to formulate product and marketing strategies with personalized touch, contributing to higher footfall and conversion.
In the End …!
The industry experts have opined that collaboration among retail brands and suppliers should be such that they would appear as a single entity despite the difference in modes of functioning and origination. The results of such collaboration should result into an array of benefits from conversional and operational perspectives, such as
- Up to 15% increase in overall sales conversion
- Forecasting and sales projection will be up to 10% less erroneous
- Produce launching process should be faster up to 60%
- Up to 20% savings on material expense
The benefits of an effective retail-supplier collaboration goes beyond the above-mentioned points and are visible in domains, such as, reduction in product cost, better product visibility, improve brand awareness and brand loyalty among customers, and boost revenue margin.