Retail Supply Chains Must Deal with Ceaseless Evolution

by Maureen Perroni, on July 28, 2017

The complex retail supply chain calls for extreme visibility.
The complex retail supply chain calls for extreme visibility.

The act of selling goods to customers is inevitably tied to technology's progress. As digital experiences have become commonplace in consumers' lives, expectations of speed, service and responsiveness have grown. Retail partners at every level of the supply chain, from production to delivery have had to take a careful look at their internal systems to make sure they're fast enough - and integrated enough - to cope with the needs of modern shoppers.

Serving today's audience

To operate in today's retail setting, sellers, manufacturers, logistics companies and more have to acknowledge that their roles and relationships are changing. Marcus & Millichap, in a recent Globe St. article, presented the results of its latest national survey of industry. The research found companies are changing their approach to space use, buying up more warehouses and distribution centers.

The source explained that the new real estate strategy is a response to an online-first retail climate. Shortening the last-mile delivery time of particular products may mean more warehouses and greater supply chain complexity, with less focus on the traditional, store-based retail model.

According to eDelivery, customers themselves are now the focal point of leading retail strategies. Every element of a supply chain can be tuned up to deliver a higher level of service, responsiveness and attention. The news source pointed to LCP Consulting research which found organizations are struggling with the infrastructure challenges that come with large-scale change. Retailers need to find ways to ensure they have stock where it's called for, when it's needed.

Intelligently stocked warehouses are the heart of modern retail.Intelligently stocked warehouses are the heart of modern retail.

Delivering the goods

The secret to a more effective and interlinked supply chain is visibility and accurate labeling. If brands don't know where their items are at all times, efforts to create new and more complex webs of warehouses and fulfillment centers may lead to confusion rather than improvement. This is one area where standardized labeling comes in, ensuring that products are always accounted for consistently and accurately as they move through networks.

For more on the benefits of Enterprise Labeling for an efficient supply chain check out our report on "Enterprise Labeling - A Supply Chain Strategic Imperative."

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Topics:Consumer ProductsSupply ChainRegulatoryRetailLogistics