In retail, competitive advantages or inefficiencies are likely rooted in the supply chain. The risks associated with ever-changing customer demands present an enormous challenge to retail professionals who don’t proactively collaborate with suppliers. One of the most important factors contributing to supply chain success or failure is transparency.
As consumers demand higher quality products with more personalization, the supply chain becomes more complex and demanding. Globalization is also heavily influencing the retail industry, creating heightened competition. At the same time, it opens the door to new possibilities for collaboration – possibilities that will most effectively come to fruition through digital means. A global network of partners cannot efficiently collaborate using phone calls, spreadsheets and other obsolete tools that create more opacity than transparency across organizations and suppliers.
How digital = transparency
Widespread digitization offers the tools to increase supply chain transparency through streamlined collaboration and communication. The tangible benefits of using digitization to increased transparency in the retail supply chain include:
- Uncovering and eliminating inefficiencies, leading to lower expenses
- Streamlining processes through collaboration, allowing for faster go-to-market times
- Better analytics, allowing for intelligent optimization of the supply chain
- Improved sourcing relationships, creating greater agility to satisfy changing consumer demand
Processes that were once bottlenecked by the limitations of an analog-era supply chain are now being streamlined to bring products to market faster. Transparency through digital tools allows retail professionals to collaborate throughout the product lifecycle, from design right up to the point of purchase.
As with most disruptive technology, laggards will get left in the dust as proactive leaders seize on the digital opportunity. It’s this radical transparency that sets successful organizations apart today, making those that don’t adopt visibility-enhancing tools struggling to keep up competitively with the rest of the industry.
As the retail industry continues to move at a breakneck speed, innovate or die is true, but not entirely instructive: Innovation in the retail world needs to be sparked by the adoption of digitization and the embrace of transparency. For companies to innovate and truly flourish, it all needs to start down at the roots – the supply chain.
Interested in streamlining your logistics? Learn more about going digital.