Is Your Supply Chain Built To Keep Up With Consumer Demand?

Andy Cariveau
By: Andy Cariveau
Date: September 19, 2016

Retailers need to be selling as much of their stock at original prices as possible, and yet nearly 30 to 40 percent of all fashion products are sold as markdowns. How can you make sure your supply chain is aligned with the demands of consumers to minimize waste and increase profits?

Work in Real-Time for Real Results

In today’s world, it is essential to have up-to-the-minute accuracy on supply numbers. Long gone are the days of being able to work with static programs with manual data entry, which increase lead times and chances for error. Automating repetitive tasks gives more time to invest in smoother operations and social collaboration among different teams.

Another important note on working in the now: look to increase where you are engaging with customers. Increasing reach through new channels, especially digital, increases top-of-mind awareness, leading to customer base growth and less price drops on stock.

Keep Your Friends Close, Keeps Your Suppliers Closer

It is essential to have close relations with all parts of your supply chain. Being able to send real-time data both to and from suppliers helps develop better lead times on stock replenishment and improves your stock on hand, reducing waste. These lower lead times will follow with supply being better aligned with demand and being able to offer more on trend items to consumers who have many options and lower levels of loyalty.

The Customer is Always Right

The key to success in any retail setting is to take the time to know the consumers. Learning more about your customers will help understand their wants and needs while helping better plan new inventory and how much stock to have on hand. Engaging with the consumer directly, through social media, live events, or surveying is key to increase accuracy on forecasting.

Another greatly underutilized tool by retailers is paying attention to Big Data. Analyzing buying trends, merchandising strategies, and prior and current sales reports will give useful insight into where time and resources should be allocated to meet consumer demand.

Want to learn more about Avaap’s Retail Merchandising Financial and Planning Solutions? Get in touch!

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