The image of modern retail started with brick-and-mortar stores and has transformed into sophisticated supply chain models that optimize customer experience through each encounter. While companies like Amazon have led this transformation, others have struggled to keep up (see the collapse of former giant Toys R Us). Challenges retailers face include:
Supply chain planning v1.0
Before e-commerce, simple supply chain planning and tracking methods were more than enough for most retail businesses. Items left distribution centers and were sold in physical store locations. If both ends kept track of their inventory, then all of the numbers added up. In contrast, modern retail has incorporated components of internet sales, multiple distributors, local and foreign manufacturers, and warehouses located across the country. Customer expectations are also higher than ever before, and today’s supply chains must adapt and be flexible to any situation.
Next-gen supply chain planning
Retailers are expected to have an omnichannel supply chain, which isn’t a supply chain at all. It is an intricate, flexible, dynamic artform that dictates the survival of any retailer that sells products and services across more than one platform.
Being able to have a real-time view of the supply network from factories to delivery and ultimately the final destination is key to achieving next-generation supply chain planning. Through best-of-breed technology, Vanguard IBP can run “what if” scenarios, which analyze a company’s ability to meet demand if certain situations occur in the future.
With sophisticated, data-driven capabilities, companies can optimize results based on informed analysis instead of gut-feelings-based decision making. This analysis is drawn from baseline forecasts using state-of-the-art demand forecasting software (like Vanguard Software). Vanguard gives companies the ability to automate workflows, optimize safety stock, and minimize inventory holding. Additional features that market-leading solutions leverage include AI (artificial intelligence) and ML (machine learning), as well as other advanced analytics.
By implementing a leading planning and forecasting software solution, true collaboration is achievable across departments, along with improved forecasting accuracy, as well as the elimination of human error. These benefits yield more responsive, profitable, and dynamic supply chains, which enable corporations to be leaders versus laggards. Learn more about the value Vanguard brings to your business; request a demo today.