Be a League Apart with Supply Chain Analytics
If you are a part of a retail business, then you will very well have an idea of how dynamic and challenging the retail industry can be. In order to cinch success, and be at the top of the game, retail businesses have to endure the constant complexities and myriad variables that affect business on a day to day basis.
In order to stay one step ahead of the competition, any retail business needs to keep into account increasing competition, high customer expectations, ever-changing technologies, and much more. The digital era, every day brings into for new ways of carrying out business.
One such example is the introduction of multichannel retailing. So now, on top of the already existing challenges of dealing with heavy competition and finicky customers, retail businesses also need to worry about their e-commerce business and digital marketing.
They simply cannot pay attention to one section of business and ignore the other, because after all, all channels are related to that same brand and form a cohesive part of it.
A retailer mainly focuses on four core activities and they are Planning, Buying, Procurement/Production & Allocation. The planning team reviews past performances and is responsible for drafting a merchandise plan, within the set budget.
Next up, the buying team works with planners, designers, and the production team to decide the right mix of color and size for each style. The production team is responsible for purchasing orders. Then comes the allocation wherein the allocators, by judging the store performance, determine the optimum mix of products to be stocked in the store.
So as you can see, even a simple retail business needs to incorporate these four critical activities of planning, buying, production, and allocation. Traditionally, retail businesses would execute these couple of activities more or less based on experience.
Their decisions would be more about ‘gut feeling’ than anything else. It was all about making decisions based on ‘what you feel is right’ rather than taking a more scientific approach. Today, this idea has taken a backseat, and this is much needed. Now, because of emerging technologies, new ways of doing things have emerged.
Customers have become more demanding than ever before and competition has increased manifold. Retail businesses cannot afford to simply take important supply chain decisions based on plain and simple intuition. Taking tough business decisions to outsmart competition requires much more than instincts. It requires a potent combination of instinct and science.
Supply chain analytics is the answer that retail businesses are looking for in order to out-maneuver external variables and come out as winners. There has never been a better time than now to leverage the amazing amounts of data that businesses have access to.
Data analytics doesn’t really force businesses to give up instincts, but rather, sharpens decision-making by adding the much needed rational and logical touch. Leveraging data to take supply chain decisions can really give your business the much-needed push.
Forecasting is doing the rounds in the business environment. Forecasting is difficult to implement in the retail business because of constantly changing customer tastes, styles, demands, competition, and much more. Supply chain analytics lets business take the advantage of forecasting through its predictive analytics capabilities.
Businesses can leverage data mining, machine learning and much more to greatly improve their planning, buying, production, and allocation activities.
There is always a trade-off between price and quantity. Keeping price on the higher side can lose you customers whereas keeping on the lower end can lose your margins. Prices also depend on whether the product can be sourced easily or how long its shelf life.
Thus, based on varied parameters, charging the right price is absolutely critical. Price optimization techniques can help retailers come up with the best price that suits the business as well as customers.
Price optimization takes into account these factors, takes into consideration historical data and much more and zeroes in on the best possible price to be charged and at what time. A great advantage, retailers now armed with such advanced tools can rightly price their products and not lose cash or customers.
It is absolutely essential for a business to leverage data when taking business decisions. Data analytics empowers retailers to convert data into useful information and that can power business to succeed. Advanced analytics can indeed set you apart and give your supply chain operations a technological push.