It’s time to take a platform approach to your retail supply chain
Today’s connected consumers are demanding more from retailers than ever before – buying and returning items all at a click of a button or shouting an instruction to a voice assistant.
While for the consumer the process is relatively simple, the supply chains supporting this in the background are becoming increasingly complex with many different moving parts.
If retailers are to have any chance of keeping up with customer demand, they need their supply chains to become more flexible and dynamic. Research from Retail Week shows in 2019 almost a third (29%) of retailers admitted to not having true visibility of their supply chain. However, retailers clearly recognise the need to invest in their supply chains, with the same research revealing investment is growing as 41% of retailers are investing between 11% and 20% more in their supply chains than they did three years ago.
There’s no silver bullet
When it comes to transforming the supply chain, a one size fits all approach simply won’t work. As Darren Jones, head of logistics strategy and development at Sainsbury’s noted, it’s dangerous to think you can make your own ‘silver bullet’ supply chain technology solution.
Companies such as Amazon and Ocado have invested in building their own supply chain technology. This not only ensures a great deal of control over their systems but also gives them the option of serving as third-party providers for other companies. However, this not only takes a huge amount of time, but a lot of investment and heavy lifting. After all, we can’t all be big players like Amazon.
So, what can retailers do if they aren’t building their own solutions, or are still heavily reliant on legacy systems, which they can’t simply just rip and replace?
Building on solid ground
Fortunately, new advances in technology are enabling smaller retailers to gain many of the benefits of their larger competitors. The use of Machine Learning is delivering optimisations across the whole supply chain. Delivered on the Cloud, with increased use of APIs and microservices, retailers are able to integrate and develop new capabilities more quickly and efficiently than ever before. This promises to have a transformative effect on supply chains. Through taking more of a platform approach to their supply chains, retailers can connect their core enterprise and SaaS-based applications together, uniting planning, execution and delivery capabilities from end-to-end. Furthermore, by joining their supply chain digital assets together, retailers can consume, enhance, supplement, mine and analyse rich data sets to detect previously unseen insights across their supply chain network.
Ultimately the Holy Grail of supply chains is to see the future with perfect clarity, as this will allow retailers to make more accurate and profitable business decisions, managing unforeseen disruptions in real-time and avoiding issues before they happen. By linking the whole supply chain, retailers can ensure that challenges in one area to not have implications on another. A platform can contribute to that mission by providing rich pools of clean data, which an artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) engine can consume. Indeed, Gartner’s 2019 CIO survey revealed that 48% of organisations expect to have deployed the technology in some way by 2020. One area for example where AI can be used by retailer is forecasting and demand planning, using data from footfall through to sales figures and even the weather.
Through creating a more integrated and autonomous supply chain, retailers will be able to more intelligently predict and shape demand, fulfil faster and provide a seamless customer experience – all of which are the key tenets for retail success.
By Wayne Snyder, VP Retail Industry Strategy EMEA at JDA Software
For more information on all topics for Procurement, Supply Chain & Logistics - please take a look at the latest edition of Supply Chain Digital magazine.
The Ultimate Procurement & Supply Chain Event
Global eProcurement leader JAGGAER has been announced as the latest sponsor for Procurement & Supply Chain Live.
Recognised as a Leader by Gartner in both Strategic Sourcing and Procure-To-Pay, JAGGAER’s direct and indirect eProcurement solutions help over 1850 customers, connecting to a network of 4 million+ suppliers in 70 countries.
From September 28th-30th, Procurement & Supply Chain Live gives you the opportunity to network with C-level executives, gain insight from industry pioneers and walk away with actionable insights that accelerate your career. By the end of the week, we promise you’ll have the skills to solve the world’s most pressing supply chain and procurement challenges.
Whether you attend virtually or in-person, you’ll strategise how to cope with global disruption, learn from industry pioneers - including newly announced speakers Chris Shanahan, VP Global Procurement/CPO at Thermo Fisher Scientific; Jim Townsend, Chief Procurement Officer at Walgreens Boots Alliance; and David Cho, CPO at University of Massachusetts - and walk away with tips, tactics, and tangible connections.
How to Attend
In a COVID-disrupted era, we know that the majority of people would rather avoid travelling for events─why take the risk, right? In response to the continued disruption, BizClik Media Group has decided that Procurement & Supply Chain LIVE will offer the best of both worlds through hybrid accessibility.
That means you and your peers can attend the event in person or virtually ─ with no disadvantages for people who choose not to make the trip to the Tobacco Dock venue.
Procurement & Supply Chain LIVE will be held at the Tobacco Dock in London, an industry-leading venue that is renowned for delivering world-class events. For attendees’ peace of mind, the venue is working to the government-endorsed AEV All Secure Framework, alongside mia’s AIM Secure and ‘Good to Go’ accreditation, they will ensure that we achieve a COVID-secure environment to facilitate all of your networking needs.
Our physical venue is both historic and stunning, but it has no bearing on the information that you and your peers can gain from the event. You can still absorb it all, interact with other attendees, and enjoy the conference experience on your alternative, virtual platform.
The platform will feature live feeds from all of the stages, as well as virtual networking areas. So, if you want to avoid travel, it’s not a problem! You can still get involved and enjoy the entire experience from the comfort of your own home.
New Speakers for Procurement & Supply Chain Live
VP Global Procurement/CPO at Thermo Fisher Scientific
Shanahan is Vice President, Global Procurement/CPO for Thermo Fisher Scientific in Waltham, MA. He joined the company to lead efforts in leveraging scale in the marketplace, develop capability and processes across the company, while transforming the supply base. He co-authored the Procurement Leaders Handbook, and holds a Master’s in Business Administration from Open University in the United Kingdom.
Chief Procurement Officer at Walgreens Boots Alliance
Townsend leads Walgreens procurement (Goods and Services Not For Resale). Prior to joining Walgreens Boots Alliance, he worked for Anglo American and General Electric also within commercial procurement. He has worked overseas extensively, in both manufacturing and retail environments. He holds an MBA in Strategic Procurement from the University of Birmingham, UK and a Bachelor’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering.
CPO at University of Massachusetts
Cho is Chief Procurement Officer for the University of Massachusetts, Unified Procurement Services Team (UPST), comprising strategic sourcing, contracts, supplier management, procurement operations, accounts payable, travel services, and customer service that provide quality service to the UMass system. Cho has 25-plus years of strategy and operations management consulting and industry experience. He was formerly Global Head of Sourcing and Vendor Management at BlackRock.
CLICK HERE to order now and make the most of our early-bird offer. Ticket prices increase over 50% soon!