Former Walmart exec Gemma Kubat joins Target supply chain team
Target has added Gemma Kubat to its supply chain team, with the former Walmart exec taking the position of senior vice president, supply chain engineering and activation.
Kubat will lead the design, activation and ongoing management of assets that support Target’s global supply chain and logistics network.
She will report to Target’s executive vice president and chief supply chain officer, Arthur Valdez Jr.
Kubat’s previous retail leadership experience includes human resources, finance, innovation, strategy and logistics. Most recently, she served as vice president, global business services for Walmart. Prior to that, she worked for the British supermarket chain, Asda.
“We’re bringing together stores, digital channels, technology and supply chain to make shopping at Target even easier and more convenient,” said Valdez.
“Gemma’s talent for applying advanced solutions across large organizations is exactly the right fit for Target as we continue transforming our supply chain to meet the needs of our guests.”
Target’s strategy to leverage its network of more than 1,800 stores includes completely transforming its supply chain and logistics capabilities.
The work has been integral to offering guests free two-day shipping nationwide, same-day delivery shopped by Shipt in 150 markets and the rollout of Drive Up services.
“Success in today’s retail environment requires a supply chain that’s both cost effective and nimble to provide a convenient shopping experience,” said Kubat. “I’m excited to join the Target team and be a part of its differentiated approach that is leading the industry in fulfillment options for guests.”
Kubat will join Target August 6.
Pandora and IBM digitise jewellery supply chain
Pandora has overhauled its global supply chain in partnership with IBM amid an ecommerce sales boom for its hand-finished jewellery.
The company found international success offering customisable charm bracelets and other personalised jewellery though its chain of bricks and mortar retail destinations. But in 2020, as the COVID-19 outbreak forced physical stores to close, Pandora strengthened its omnichannel operations and doubled online sales.
A focus on customer experience included deploying IBM’s Sterling Order Management, increasing supply chain resiliency and safeguarding against disruption across the global value chain.
Pandora leverages IBM Sterling Order Management as the backbone it its omnichannel fulfilment, with Salesforce Commerce Cloud powering its ecommerce. Greater automation across its channels has boosted the jeweller’s sustainability credentials, IBM said, streamlining processes for more efficient delivery. It has also given in-store staff and virtual customer service representatives superior end-to-end visibility to better meet consumer needs.
Jim Cruickshank, VP of Digital Development & Retail Technology, Pandora, said the digital transformation journey has brought “digital and store technology closer together and closer to the customer”, highlighting how important the customer journey remains, even during unprecedented disruption.
"Our mission is about creating a personal experience and we've instituted massive platform changes with IBM Sterling and Salesforce to enable new digital-first capabilities that are much more individualised, localised and connected across channels and markets,” he added.
Pandora’s pivot to digital
The pandemic forced the doors closed at most of Pandora’s 2,700 retail locations. To remain competitive, it pivoted to online retail. Virtual queuing for stores and virtual product trials via augmented reality (AR) technology went someway to emulating the in-store experience and retail theatre that is the brand’s hallmark. Meanwhile digital investments in supply chain efficiency was central to delivering on consumer demand.
“Consumer behaviour has significantly shifted and will continue to evolve with businesses needing to quickly adapt to new preferences and needs,” said Kareem Yusuf, General Manager, AI Applications and Blockchain, IBM. “To address this shift, leading retailers like Pandora rely on innovation to increase their business agility by enabling and scaling sustainable supply chain operations using AI and cloud.”
Yusuf said Pandora’s success was indicative of how to remain competitive by “finding new ways to create differentiated customer experiences that protect their enterprises from disruptions to help mitigate risk and accelerate growth”.