In Modern Retail Supply Chains, Visibility Matters

by Scott Vigneault, on December 14, 2017

What can make the retail supply chain quick and visible?
What can make the retail supply chain quick and visible?

Companies shipping goods around the world with increasing volume and velocity can only operate at their peak efficiency if they never lose sight of the items. Striking such a balance between speed and traceability is one of the primary issues facing the modern retail, manufacturing and logistics sectors. Enterprise labeling systems may help businesses get the insights they're looking for.

Measuring Demand and Reacting
Supply & Demand Chain Executive recently highlighted the rise of demand-based supply chains. Every organization participating in such a grouping, from retail outlets to the companies responsible for product components, is exchanging data through automated systems to gain an accurate picture of consumer demand.

The systems being replaced by demand-based strategies typically focus on forecasts, shared via spreadsheet. When data is consistently and digitally transmitted, retailers and their supply chain partners gain foresight into their next required area of focus. Accurate insights have positive effects at every level, with less waste among suppliers and manufacturers and a greater ability to keep right-sized inventory.

Data from End to End
Becoming truly efficient and effective at running a demand-based supply chain model requires automated information from sources all the way to the point of sale. Industry Week named this kind of extremely granular data as a requisite for modernizing supply chain operations, alongside the ability for different tiers of organizations to communicate with one another.

The two sides of communication, the technical ability to collect the data and the willingness to share it between partners, are both essential. Organizations that master both of these elements are well on the road to modernization.

Labels Make Goods Visible
When an enterprise labeling system extends from raw materials suppliers to manufacturers and all the way to retail outlets, there's no need to re-label shipments and less chance of items becoming misplaced. The constant feed of data from these labels is the fuel for more responsive supply chains.

For more on labeling in today's global supply chain, check out report co-sponsored with VDC Research.

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Topics:Consumer ProductsRegulatoryRetailLabelingLogistics