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4 ways retailers can improve supply chain management

Jennifer Lonoff Schiff | June 9, 2015
Supply chain experts share their tips for tracking and expediting inventory in today’s 'I-want-it-now,' multichannel retail world.

3. Become a part of a B2B e-procurement network. "B2B [or e-procurement] networks can help companies predict supply chain disruptions and act quickly to adapt business processes," says Sundar Kamakshisundaram, vice president, Procurement and Business Network Solutions, Ariba, an SAP company. "Businesses need to know their entire supply chain not just their suppliers, but their suppliers' suppliers, too," he says.

Using a B2B procurement network can "help [retailers] move from responding to risk to proactively predicting it to create advantage and get ahead of supply chain disruption," he says. That's because "business networks, and the cloud-based technologies underlying them, have made it possible for more efficient buyer/supplier collaboration."

4. Make sure your marketing and supply chain teams are in sync. "When executing a promotion, a lot of retailers overlook the alignment of the supply chain and marketing teams, which is crucial [if you want] to successfully launch a promotion," says Pat Sullivan, senior vice president, Promotions Management, HAVI Global Solutions, a consulting company. By having marketing alert the supply chain team ahead of time that a big promotion is coming up, "the supply chain team can determine how much product is needed to prevent falling short [and] how the product will be shipped," minimizing, or avoiding, delays or disruptions.


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