Thursday, 27 November 2014

Managing Your Supply Chain in the Face of Multi-Channel Retailing

Authored by Mickey North Rizza

Lately, the retail landscape has been evolving so rapidly that it seems as though markets can barely get used to one way of selling, when a whole new form of commerce erupts. Cue multi-channel retailing: the game changing phenomenon that requires a seamless customer experience across all of a retailer’s selling channels.

As multi-channel moves from innovation to necessity, CPOs have been forced to rethink how their supply chains are organized. Networks have been scrutinized carefully to determine the best ways and places to store inventory, as well as ship it at breakneck speeds.

The key to a successful multi-channel strategy is total supply chain visibility. Having end-to-end visibility in your supply chain, and technology in place to manage it, allows you to: 

1. Increase customer satisfaction. Knowing where every unit of merchandise is across stores and distribution centers makes it easier to provide the fast delivery and pick-up options that consumers demand.

2. Reduce costs and increases sales. Inventory visibility allows you to examine whether your product is moving in a cost-efficient manner. Selling misplaced items online or in alternate stores can reduce markdown costs and inventory write-offs.

3. Manage risk. Total visibility in your supply network aids in identifying potential shortage and quality problems along the supply chain. The earlier you’re able to recognize these issues, the faster you can take action before it gets out of control and affects multiple distribution channels.

How are you tackling multi-channel retailing?

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