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Inventory / Merchandising / Supply Chain

Supply chain challenges are mounting for many retailers, especially those operating in multiple regions of the country and abroad. Consumers expect to be able to order and purchase products via any channel, then have them delivered to their channel of choice – and quickly! New technologies are providing the ways and means for merchants to deliver on the promise of omnichannel excellence. Now retailers must find the best ways to implement new solutions to stay competitive.

BBQ Guys Optimizes Shipping Choices To Streamline Fulfillment Processes

Maintaining clear communication is vital to retail success, but this can be a challenge for fast-growing companies with an expanding roster of suppliers, workers and carriers that need to stay in touch through a range of channels. In the case of BBQ Guys, this has meant continuously connecting hundreds of suppliers while maintaining 15% to 20% annual revenue growth for nearly 20 years. “Whether it's from a customer standpoint, a vendor standpoint or a supplier standpoint, no matter who it is, we always want to be easy to do business with,” said Corey Tisdale, CEO of BBQ Guys in an interview with Retail TouchPoints. "We've grown to over 600 suppliers, and we always did business with these suppliers however they wanted in the past, so we had basically 600 different processes that were all variations of a similar theme. We got to the point where being able to effectively communicate in a timely fashion with all of our vendors and customers was really becoming a struggle because of how fast we're growing.”

How Retailers Can Compete With Amazon At Its Own Supply Chain Game

While few things remain constant in retail, the customer always comes first. And in today’s Amazon Prime world, customers demand faster, cheaper and more convenient fulfillment options than ever before. Retailers are scrambling to keep pace, offering everything from pre-selected delivery slots and buy online, pick up-in-store (BOPIS) to two-hour delivery windows in an effort to provide the seamless, channel-less experience customers expect. Yet retailers are struggling to accurately determine what, when, where and how much customers will buy. To beat this real-time “last mile” supply chain challenge and successfully compete with Amazon, retailers must take a page from the retail giant’s own playbook and leverage their stores as one unified distribution center to achieve massive margin gains. 

Boutique La Vie en Rose Implements Unified Systems To Fuel International Growth

Earlier this year, executives at Boutique La Vie en Rose realized that its backend systems weren’t capable of supporting the retailer’s plans for growth. While the technology infrastructure for the Canadian lingerie, loungewear and swimwear retailer had been adequate for decades, healthy omnichannel growth required replacing legacy systems with more modern tools.

TrueCommerce Acquires Supply Chain Management Platform Provider ecUtopia

TrueCommerce has acquired fellow cloud-based supply chain collaboration and visibility platform ecUtopia for an undisclosed sum. With the acquisition, TrueCommerce gains a strategic technology service that strengthens its commerce network in several market segments, specifically home furnishings and apparel. The TrueCommerce solutions are designed to help retailers connect their business across the supply chain under one global network, integrating processes including Electronic Data Interchange (EDI), inventory management and fulfillment, as well as e-Commerce hubs such as digital storefronts and marketplaces.

How Retail Inventory Efficiency And Accuracy Impacts The Customer Experience

As omnichannel retailing requires greater and greater precision, the stakes surrounding inventory accuracy — or the lack thereof — are increasing dramatically. According to a report from the International Council of Shopping Centers, an estimated 151 million people visited a mall or shopping center over 2018’s Black Friday weekend. The vast bulk of spending volume for the weekend — 88% — went to omnichannel retailers, i.e. brands with web sites the consumers at least had the opportunity to shop before entering the store.

Why The Retail Supply Chain Demands Digital Transformation

Digital transformation is at the top of the agenda for many retailers; however, this is only the beginning of the retail industry’s efforts to embrace digital change. According to a 2018 report by SAP, only 22% of retailers investing in digital transformation were within the planning stage, and 55% were still running pilot schemes. Evidently, there was still a long way to go, as only 3% of retail businesses had completed digital transformation projects. Consumer demand has shifted, with fast-changing preferences seeing consumers demanding the products they want, when they want and where they want them. Today’s consumer lives in an ‘always-on’ world, driven by connected technologies centered around convenience. The retail sector has been slow to keep pace with this changing consumer demand, and unless it can accelerate the pace of digital transformation, the gulf between consumer demand and satisfaction will only grow wider, placing customer loyalty at risk.

Establishing Zero Distance Supply Chains – A Survival Necessity For CPG

(Left: Takshay Aggarwal, Middle: Manish Varshney, Right: Kishor Gummaraju) The key mission of every CPG company is to deliver its brand promise. The Baby Boomer generation drove the growth of packaged goods and made companies like Kellogg’s, P&G and Kraft Heinz household names and darlings of Wall Street. While the growth in the last three decades has been good, this engine has been slowing and has come to a grinding halt in the last five years, in the range of 0.6% to 1.0% growth. In addition, stocks of major CPG companies hit 52-week lows in a roaring stock market.

Kroger Says: Houston, We Have Autonomous Delivery

Kroger is expanding its self-driving delivery pilot to two Houston stores in spring 2019. Kroger and robotics company Nuro have operated a self-driving grocery delivery service in Scottsdale, Ariz. for a Fry Food Stores location since August 2018, serving a single zip code with an autonomous vehicle fleet and completing thousands of deliveries, according to a company statement. Customers in four Houston ZIP codes served by the new program will be able to place orders for same-day or next-day delivery via Kroger.com or the Kroger mobile app, based on time slot availability. The service, to be available seven days a week, will carry a $5.95 flat fee, with no minimum order requirement.

Rituals Cosmetics Deploys Supply Chain Software To Enhance Product Visibility

  • Published in News Briefs
Rituals Cosmetics, a European home and body cosmetics retailer with 730 stores around the world, has selected Logility Voyager Solutions to establish a robust sales and operations planning (S&OP) process, improve service levels and enhance visibility across its omnichannel operations. The retailer also is leveraging the AI-based software platform to:…
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Direct-To-Consumer Brands Set To Soar In 2019: 3rd-Party Logistics Firms Help Fuel Growth

We’ve all heard the radio ads and seen the TV commercials — from socks and bedsheets to bras, hair color and more — brands that are bypassing Amazon and major traditional retail and online resellers by selling direct-to-consumer are revolutionizing the retail industry. This trend will continue in 2019 as direct-to-consumer brands expand beyond e-Commerce to brick-and-mortar. Despite predictions of a “retail apocalypse,” it’s evident that both online and even brick-and-mortar retail is alive and well, especially when compelling and experiential. Why are these brands so successful? Because they’re listening to their customers. Today’s customers expect an excellent product and a personalized experience, and successful brands are taking note. But there’s more: According to Epsilon research, eight out of 10 customers prefer to buy directly from a brand when shopping online. They want choices, but not too many. They want ease of access and demand top-notch customer service. Customers want it all, and to stay competitive, brands must deliver.

Rise Of Returns: How Retail Can Combat Its $351 Billion Problem

The next time you think about returning an item to Amazon, be forewarned: Return too many items in a year, and you might just be exiled for good. Retail returns have become such a nightmare that even the world’s third largest retailer has recently made waves by changing how it handles customers the company thinks abuse the system — despite touting a free and easy returns policy.

NRF2019: Innovation Lab Showcases Frictionless Self-Checkout, Facial Recognition And Last Mile Transparency

Photo credit: NRF For the third year the NRF Big Show put a spotlight on its top innovators, giving attendees tools and ideas for solving consumer needs in 2019 and beyond. The eclectic, hand-picked group of 50+ startups — broken out into customer convenience and customer experience sections — showcased new ways for retailers to manage some of their most pressing concerns, including: Removing friction from checkout; Providing targeted content to shoppers using facial recognition; Offering personalized assistance, whether in-store or online; and Adding transparency to last mile delivery.

CCC Footwear Boosts Margins, Sell-Through With Planning And Markdown Optimization Solutions

CCC Group, a Polish footwear retailer that sells more than 50 million pairs of shoes annually in 1,200 stores, has leveraged Oracle Retail Merchandising and, Planning and Optimization solutions to boost its gross margin 4.2% and increase inventory sell-through rates by 7.1%. The technology provides CCC Group with new business processes designed…
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