Top tips for merchants to cut waste
Kristina: Why do retailers need to ditch legacy sourcing solutions?
Sue Welch, CEO, Bamboo Rose: The retail industry has been slow to adopt innovative backend digital technologies that are required to keep up with competition. Outdated sourcing solutions are simply too slow for today’s retail world. Consumers want quality products quickly and for a low price. In fact, most retail and supply chain professionals are still using Excel to manage their sourcing process and some rely exclusively on email or handwritten notes. Product design, development and delivery are complicated processes, and to make it happen at consumer speed, Excel and handwritten notes just don’t cut it.
Kristina: How can retailers identify and eliminate waste and inefficiencies?
Sue: While many organizations tend to focus on inefficiencies that occur in the last mile of the supply chain – when products are getting delivered to their final destinations and in store — fewer are taking an honest look at the first mile and the product development process.
Retailers are working with generic Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) software that is not catered to retail processes or worse, is based on Excel spreadsheets and linear processes. Some are skipping PLM software altogether and using spreadsheets and email.
Kristina: What about the supply chain?
Sue: All along the retail supply chain, professionals can find inefficiencies by asking themselves, “Would I shop like this in my personal life?” If the answer is no, that means that there is probably a better solution – one that mimics the consumer shopping experience. Retailers need social, connected, collaborative approaches to product development.
Retailers have already invested in front-of-store technology to engage and delight consumers, but the same effort has not been made on the backend. Consumers want technology that saves them time, makes the shopping process more convenient and produces faster results. The only way for retailers to meet these needs is to implement the same approach to technology in their backend processes, too.