Building a competitive business with supply chain analytics

The Battle for Sustenance

The retail industry is in a constant war zone. From aggressive competitors to the ever-so indecisive and demanding customers, making your presence felt in this hugely saturated space is no less than difficult. The retail space is characterized by a state of unending hyper-competition. Added to that, customers expect a lot from companies. Building a sustainable brand in the retail industry requires a company to have a strong understanding of the market, their customers, geographies, competition, and of course the latest and trending technologies. The challenges are gargantuan in the face of these ever-changing factors.

They need to manage a wide array of products that are only in an increasing mode. The digital world has given birth to an era of multi-channel retailing—managing which is an onerous task but also extremely important to maintain a standing and strong brand name in the retail industry.

With globalization overtaking the world and making it more and more compact, the challenges are only set to increase. Customers, thanks to enhanced connectedness will now have information on the latest trends and all that’s buzzing and upcoming, not just locally or nationally but all across the globe. This will put intense pressure on retail companies to understand their customers and give them what they want. In fact, for brands to stay on top of the mind, they need to devise a strategy that helps understand customers, even before they understand themselves and their demands! This is indeed a tricky time for companies and they need to invest time, money, and material on trying to satisfy their customers’ demands in a better fashion and definitely more quickly than the cut-throat competition.

Do or Die: How Supply Chain Analytics Play a Vital Role

The retail industry is thus in a state of entropy and the complication will only increase. But having said that, the digital world offers great opportunities to those who are equipped with the right tools and technologies; technologies that can leverage the humungous amount of data companies have access to. Therefore, in order to stay one step ahead of the changing environment, companies need to arm themselves with the latest analytics technologies that can allow them to reap the rewards of this digital world. In short, they should be able to convert data into invaluable information. The era of machine learning and analytics has arrived finally.

Retailers are now starting to realize that Supply Chain Management is not simply about converting raw material to finished goods, but rather this function plays a vital role in building customers and thereby pave the way for a strong brand. Consumers, as we know, are no longer content with below-par treatment. They want nothing but only the best every single time. They seek high-quality products and services in a timely and consistent manner. A tough task but definitely not unachievable. If you are empowered with the most advanced analytical solutions that can help you search for data and access valuable information, you can indeed provide a delightful experience to your customers. That’s why Supply Chain Analytics becomes the cornerstone of retail Supply Chain success.

The traditional Supply Chain has a number of open ends. This calls for a complete overhaul in operations. For a first, existing automotive Supply Chain solutions that do not take into account analytics or data do not have the capacity to provide end-to-end visibility across the network. Visibility across the entire network is extremely crucial to understand the status of activities that are occurring across. By gaining a bird’s eye view through real-time dashboards, managers can quickly understand areas of strengths or weakness and take quick and business-informed decisions, thereby improving efficiency.

Visibility is important and so is integration. With heightened expectations around service and products, retail companies need to seamlessly integrate their online and offline channels and ensure consistently high performance in both. Another reason for retail Supply Chain disruption is possible if the company is unable to correctly forecast the right amount of demand. This can lead to irreversible losses and a major hit on the brand, both detrimental to a business’ success.

Putting Analytics into Action

To address all these issues and much more, companies should aim at putting analytics in action. Transforming themselves and moving ahead from reactive to proactive is what is needed in order to build sustainable retail brands. Analytics comes to the rescue at a time when retailers need to devise a strong strategy to remain competitive, understand the business, and anticipate customer behaviour.