The dream of being a retail sourcing and development professional is likely motivated by the idea of infusing your own creativity into discovering, developing and delivering products that will shape an industry – be it the next big fashion trend, the coolest DIY project element, or something to make people’s lives just a bit better. There are limitless opportunities to the combination of colors, textures, materials, etc., to design something truly amazing. Retail professionals thrive on this sense of possibility and it’s why most get into the business in the first place.
The stark reality looks a lot more like Excel sheet hell. The backend of retail involves more logistics, costing, department management and just trying to keep everything organized than most may realize. On top of that, the current speed at which retailers are expected to bring new products to market quickly diminishes the time for creativity and innovation.
But it doesn’t have to be that way, and it shouldn’t.
As technology has changed the way people shop and engage with retailers, it’s also helping the back end of the retail supply chain evolve. Intelligent product lifecycle management systems and virtual marketplaces take the logistical, collaborative nightmares out of sourcing and give retailers the time and capabilities to both find new, unique products across the globe, and bring their own ideas to life. Imagine seeing the perfect shade of pink on a peony in your garden. You think, “How great would that color be in a line of children’s clothes? But how am I going to match it?” Instead of spending hours trying to nail down the color mix, or digging up said peony to bring into the office, all you had to do was snap a picture of it, load it into your platform and *poof* specific color specs and swatches appear on your desktop.
Another scenario – you need a fresh take on dinnerware products for spring, but getting your global team nailed down to brainstorm is near impossible. Alternative? Load up your digital marketplace – it’s like a sharable storyboard of products and allows you to maintain a digital system of record for all your product planning details. With your suppliers linked into the storyboard, sampling and sourcing just got a lot faster, and everyone on your team can quickly weigh in and track ideas in a streamlined, recorded way – spurring the creative juices that so often stop flowing when process gets in the way.
Retailers don’t need to give up on their dreams of innovation for the sake of backend logistics. Technology, like Bamboo Rose’s platform, can bring creativity back and improve the processes from concept to delivery — all at consumer speed.
Learn more about Bamboo Rose and how to bring creativity back to your retail life.