Supply chain management involves a number of factors. You have to establish strong partnerships with vendors and suppliers. Having reliable goods and services are both hugely affected by those relationships and negotiations. Tracking and verification are also major components. A delayed order or wrong delivery can set you back days, if not weeks. This impacts your bottom line, and it may also negatively affect your customers and clients and harm their trust or dependence on you. It’s not always easy to win over customers, but it’s quite easy to lose them. While retail supply chain management software can help in many areas, its biggest advantage may be in terms of speed.
Beating the Competition
It’s no secret that competition is fierce, especially in retail. Practically anyone can open a shop or sell goods on the internet. Websites go up every day, and there are plenty of business gurus who love to spread the dream of owning your own business and being your own boss. As you know, the reality is generally a bit less glamorous and much more time-consuming. It might not be exceptionally difficult to enter the market, but it’s quite challenging to command it.
When it comes to beating the competition, speed to market matters. It affects your ability to advertise and how long you have an exclusive product. The speed also plays a role in word of mouth and buzz. Early adopters can be big spenders. With the age of influencers already well established, having your company’s name associated with the latest must-have item is hugely important. If you can get ahead of the competition before they even know the race has begun, you’re starting with a massive advantage.
This idea ties directly into establishing trends. It’s not easy to do, but Etsy made handmade merchandise trendy, while Amazon helped turn the e-reader into a hot commodity. Trends never seem to last, but they’re highly valuable when they do land.
Establishing a trend is largely based on timing. Unfortunately, there’s no singular formula that will always work. The science of trendsetting is far from exact, and even large, household names like Nintendo or Microsoft sometimes make mistakes.
However, it should be fairly obvious that speed to market is a big part of making the most out of it. Shortages or delays eat into your sales and cost you dearly. Having a reliable, on-time system makes all the difference. Keeping shelves stocked isn’t always easy to do, but it’s even more valuable when it’s nearly impossible to satisfy the overwhelming demand. This is easily one of the best problems to have, especially in the world of retail.
Your bottom line should always be something that you have in mind. After a product has been on the market for months or even years, people simply expect the price to drop. Retailers largely tend to accommodate this expectation. Of course, the result is less money for you.
If you can get your product onto the market before your competitors, you’re able to have it at full price for a longer period of times. More full-priced sales translate into a healthier bottom line. This isn’t exactly rocket science, but it drives home the point. Time is important. Speed matters, and sales need to be made.
Put this all together, and it’s easy to understand why so many business leaders and analysts emphasize the significance of speed to market. Contact the experts at CBX Software to learn more about the role that supply chain management software plays.