Not so long ago, purchasing your annual Christmas shop in store was the norm and those who left it to the last minute could be seen frantically buying anything they could get their hands on, often on Christmas eve. Since then, the development of online and mobile shopping as well as click and collect, has not only been a savior for men around the world, but has altered the supply chain landscape forever.
Indeed, with multi-channel operations, the supply chain no longer ends at the store shelf, but at the consumers own home, and understanding these operations is becoming even more vital for delivering high customer service. Recent research carried out by the IGD not only shows that retailers have a much greater multi-channel focus than their suppliers, but suppliers also need to increase their understanding and capability if they are to benefit from growth in these channels.
As we move from recession to growth, driving down supply chain costs is still a major retail focus, and the success stories of the future will be those companies who are flexible and innovative in their consumer propositions and supply chains. Without doubt, this means that the winning companies will be those who not only have winning products but also have the ability to manage their supply chains with complete visibility and control – understanding how the customer landscape is evolving and planning their activities to serve the new markets of the future.