Archive for Retail – Page 2

Guest Commentary: The Omni-Consumer and the Future of Transportation

The rise of the omni-consumer has changed virtually every aspect of the way retailers and manufacturers conduct their businesses. Brick-and-mortar retailers are forced to compete with alternative channels on the basis of price while also keeping their service quality high. Manufacturers are challenged to operate with razor-thin margins while still offering the innovative products and continuous updates dictated by today’s shorter lifecycles. While the omni-consumer has created new challenges in every part of the supply […]

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Guest Commentary: Three Common Distribution Mistakes Most Retailers Make

No matter their size, reach or scope, most retailers make three common mistakes when it comes to their supply chains. Faced with intense competition, squeezed profits and pressure to cut costs, savvy retailers are looking for new ways to reduce costs. One of the most promising areas for improving efficiency is in product distribution. Consider the top three distribution mistakes retailers make – and the shortest route to a smarter solution. Mistake 1: Using last […]

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Benchmarking Your Competitor: Get Your Hands on their Vendor Guide!

Do you want to understand the supply chain capabilities of your key competitors? Or gain insights into how their supply chains are structured? If your competitor is a large company, they almost certainly have a vendor guide. And if you type their name and “vendor guide” into a search engine, there’s a good chance you’ll find their vendor extranet where you can access and read their vendor guide. I did that for a large, “big […]

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Guest Commentary: Retailers and Manufacturers Must Rethink their Planning and Fulfillment Strategies

This is an interesting time to be a supply chain professional. We are seeing a convergence of revolutionary trends that are causing retailers and their manufacturing suppliers to truly re-think how they approach their planning and fulfillment strategies. Here are some examples: Multi-Channel Retailing. Not long ago, a retailer’s transportation focus was on loading trucks and shipping into distribution centers and stores. The recent increase in parcel activity due to direct consumer fulfillment is changing […]

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A Brilliant New Retail Format Supported by Last-Mile Logistics

In South Korea, Tesco has a chain called Home plus that has become the second largest retail chain in the nation. The 115-store chain consists of big discount hypermarkets similar to Walmart in merchandise, but also similar to mini-malls in that they feature numerous independently-operated smaller stores like travel agencies, fast food, and bookstores that lease the space from Tesco. What caught my attention, however, is Home plus’s e-commerce initiative. Weekly grocery shopping is a […]

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Guest Commentary: Labor Optimization in the New World

As the speed and agility of supply chains evolves, the way in which labor resources are optimized also needs to evolve in order to keep pace with the changing buying behaviors of consumers. When retailers add the ability to change where and how products are fulfilled, they also need the ability to flex resources up or down to ensure they have the right number of people to support the real-time changes taking place at the […]

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Nordstrom Profits from Improved Multichannel Capabilities

Last August, there was an interesting article in the New York Times titled “Nordstrom Links Online Inventory to Real World.” While many retailers at the time were experiencing year-over year sales decreases at stores open for more than a year, sales at the high-end chain Nordstrom were actually improving and outperforming the department store average measured by Thomson Reuters. Jamie Nordstrom, president of Nordstrom Direct, attributed the company’s success to improvements in its multichannel capabilities. […]

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A Robust Merchandising Supply Chain Requires Planogram Compliance

If your consumer goods supply chain starts at the retail store shelf, which is what many companies are striving toward, then it is very important that you understand what is occurring at the store shelf. But do you? Not according to Mike Spindler, the CEO of ShelfSnap. I subscribe to ShelfSnap’s newsletter because I think they are an interesting little (yet growing) company. Here is an excerpt from the company’s most recent issue titled “The […]

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In-store Logistics Excellence at Mercadona

As we have written about in previous Logistics Viewpoints postings, most retailers admit that they do a poor job at in-store logistics. Per our definition, in-store logistics spans from the store’s loading dock to the shelf. HBS Working Knowledge recently published an article by Julia Hanna (“How Mercadona Fixes Retail’s ‘Last 10 Yards’ Problem”) based on research conducted by Zeynep Ton, an assistant professor in the Technology and Operations Management unit at Harvard Business School. […]

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Guest Commentary: Value-Added Services Bring Flexibility to the Supply Chain

Evolving consumer behaviors have dramatically impacted the way retailers deliver products. From clothing, to cars, to computers, consumers have gotten used to getting the custom product they want, when they want it. Case and point: While Dell’s business model was one of the first to create a true build-to-order and direct-to-consumer supply chain, consumers today have the ability to buy just about any electronic device customized with the specifications they want, right down to storage space, […]

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