Cargo plane being loaded with boxes

Cargo plane being loaded with boxes

Writing by Yiping Hao, August 6, 2018

The Challenge

Consumer trends seem to move at the speed of light while the retail industry lags behind and struggles to catch-up. Meanwhile, the competition within the retail industry is fierce, as direct competitors fight for Man pulling truck with rope market share, as well as, battle ecommerce giants like Amazon, Etsy, Wish, Zappos among many others. Since most of the manufacturing moved overseas about 30 years ago, the retail supply chain and retail sourcing hasn’t changed much, as retail supply chain costs fluctuate, it still takes many months to produce and deliver a new product from initial concept to market. However, it is necessary for retailers to focus on order management systems, accurate predictions and ordering expectations to ensure on-time delivery. Developing and delivering products to market fast will create enormous value if retailers can figure out the right products, for the right markets with the right quantity during peak trends.

The Solution

There is lots of space to improve speed to market and also create a responsive retail supply chain. A small number of large retailers elect to use aircrafts to deliver new products from their distribution kids racing go-carts centers (DC’s) to their stores weekly, which helps to increase speed-to-market and move much faster than the competitors who deliver by boat and train but this can be cost prohibitive to most in the industry. Some U.S retailers have also shifted the majority of production from Asia to Central America, aiming to increase speed-to-market market this way. However, like air freight, moving production can be cost prohibitive to most. Nevertheless, there is a solution that is working and very cost effective when calculating ROI – more retailers today are turning to product lifecycle management solutions (Retail  PLM) and supplier relationship management program technologies, which is the process of collaboration, collecting and analyzing data during the development of product from concept, through the production, sampling, quality, compliance and delivery of manufactured private label products. The ultimate purpose is to improve, automate and streamline the flow of product/production information from the retail sourcing arm to the suppliers/factories. Supply chain automation will reduce the retail supply chain costs, cut lead times and manage the critical path, which can accelerate the time-to-market and cut 20 – 30 days out of the concept to delivery cycle times.

 What is Retail PLM?

Product lifecycle management tools combine with retail sourcing software is a comprehensive retail supply chain platform that supports a retailers unique product innovation, supplier sourcing, development, production, quality and delivery processes. Retailers gain visibility and agility and are able to execute on their strategies to meet consumer expectation. Retail PLM software can help retail companies formulate better ideas, manage product pipelines and lets retailers collaborate across functional, organizational and geographical boundaries.

 The Benefits

In many industries, especially the retail industry, increasing speed-to-market is an important competitive advantage, which could bring increase market share and bring immediate success and profits to the business.

  • Mitigate costs and also increase revenue margins across all product categories.
  • Increase efficiencies within internal and external product management, buying, sourcing, quality and vendor management.
  • Become more familiar and react faster to market trends to gain more opportunities.
  • Stay one step ahead to the other direct competitors in the industry.
  • Deliver products to market ahead of consumer expectations.

In summation, retail PLM and strategic sourcing software solutions offer numerous benefits including the coveted speed-to-market. In addition to the speed also come increased visibility, communication, and reliability; streamlined quality assurance and guaranteed compliance with societal and regulatory standards also act as immense benefits. To learn more about today’s retail sourcing, PLM Software (retail PLM) and supply chain management software (SCM) tools or for more information about CBX Software please Contact Us and if you like what you read, please follow CBX on LinkedIn.

Writing by Yiping Hao, August 6, 2018
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