Many retailers have dreamed about integrating merchandising with the supply chain. Now that technology has caught up with the vision, even companies with world-class retail supply chains have the opportunity to more effectively operate their supply chains in an agile, digital way. How? By using predictive merchandising analytics.
Merchandising and supply chain integration
Involve your executives. Such a large-scale transformation of processes and organization requires the highest level of executive commitment. Only when the organization agrees on the level of investment, time, and resources required can the change be sustainable and generate timely results.
Pick the right KPIs and metrics. Measuring and tracking joint performance with strategic KPIs enables joint accountability that can lead to a more optimized assortment range, availability, efficient retail supply chain service, and an improved customer experience across all channels.
Make every project a joint project. Consumer demand is in a constant state of change. These changes, when not understood across the entire retail value chain, can lead to sub-optimized decisions. When this occurs frequently across multiple business lines, it can contribute to transformation fatigue across the organization.
Review your hiring model. Much of today’s workforce is looking for multiple experiences, bite-size projects, and new opportunities to grow. With the rapid advancement of technology and customer demand, the workforce playbook is shifting to a more flexible way of working (iflexible hours, ability to work remotely, etc.).1
How can these capabilities help unlock transformation opportunities for retail supply chains?
As retailers create an integrated merchandising and supply chain capability, they have the opportunity to unlock a variety of new opportunities that can potentially make the company more efficient and profitable while providing additional value to customers. Here’s what retailers can do to help build it:
Integrated planning is the future of predictive merchandising analytics
Integrated planning enables you to see and proactively operate across the network, to collaborate at the appropriate time with your suppliers and customers, and to use all the data and analytics in the ecosystem to identify the most appropriate channel to meet and exceed your customers’ needs. This could translate to:
And this phase is only the beginning. The digital supply chain continues to learn from every order, which means that over time, your entire supply chain—not just individual links in the chain—can continue to see improvement and continue to provide insights across the entire organization’s value chain.
Move your retail supply chain forward
Developing a more integrated way of working across the enterprise entails a significant amount of cultural change. This shift requires executive support, a long-term vision, and, often, plans vetted by industry experts. As you begin your journey to an integrated supply chain, consider the following:
After careful assessment of the strategic options and their impact on the culture and organization, it’s time to be decisive. A significant roadblock to most journeys is taking the first step. Pick an area of your supply chain and get started…today!
Clearly picture not only the future integrated supply chain, but also understand the present; having a baseline of current KPIs is a critical part of development.
1 Jeff Schwartz et al., “What is the future of work?”, 2019, https://www.deloitte.com/global/en/services/consulting/services/human-capital.html
Jeff Schwartz et al., “The future of work: The augmented workforce”, 2017, https://www2.deloitte.com/us/en/insights/focus/human-capital-trends/2017/future-workforce-changing-nature-of-work.html.
Deloitte Consulting, “The workplace of the future is flexible and connected–but managers are still failing to set a good example”, July 12, 2018, https://www2.deloitte.com/ch/en/pages/press-releases/articles/the-workplace-of-the-future-press-release.html.