To overcome today’s retail challenges, digitization in the supply chain is essential. However, retailers are very slow in this process of supply chain digital transformation.
The retail sector has seen a massive transformation in terms of technology. Technology has supercharged the shopping experience of customers. eCommerce giant Amazon has launched its grocery store, Amazon Go where the need for checkouts has been removed. Buyers have to just go to these stores and grab what they want, making the previous hectic experience of grocery shopping much easier. The VR technology in the fashion retail industry has also taken the shopping experience to a whole new level. With VR mirrors, shoppers can try on clothes virtually and can access more information about the product.
Beyond making the shopping experience of customers more convenient, in order to satisfy their customers truly, retailers must also ensure that the customer experience, retailers are providing to their customers are actually their customer’s need. Retailers should blend technology with their sector according to customers’ needs and demands.
Supply Chain Digitization’s Top Barriers
A digital platform that collects and analyzes real-time data from across the supply chain network makes businesses quick and efficient. It allows making informed decisions and ability to react to opportunities and risks when they occur. Digitization in supply chain protects businesses from getting impacted by risks and increases profitability.
With a cloud-based SaaS platform, supply chain operations and management become quick and effective as there are no servers to own, operate or maintain; you just need to plug-in and you are ready to go. Supply chain digitization is not a single step process. In digitization, the most critical area can get addressed first; once the benefits are evident, retailers can move to the next step of it. For retailers, it is important to ensure that the SaaS platform they have chosen supports the modular approach and allows them to choose combinations of solutions that are suitable for their business requirements.
Maintaining Communication and Collaboration
In manual supply chain management, there is a lack of visibility in data processing because data passes through different archives representing each stage of the supply chain. A cloud-based platform eliminates these archives and provides the functionality of chats and messages which helps in improving communication and efficiency at every step of supply chain.
Chat and messaging functionality helps in building connections with supply chain professionals and enables collaboration with stakeholders outside of the network. It also encourages sharing of ideas and allows retailers to stay up-to-date with the latest supply chain trends, technological developments and trade.
Lack of Skills
There is a common misconception about supply chain digitization – digitization in supply chain requires a new set of skills. Cloud-based SaaS platforms are designed in such a way that people will easily use this technology. The user-interface of SaaS platforms enables supply chain professionals to work more effectively and efficiently.
Integration of Various Systems
Supply chain management platforms must integrate with the technology systems used by retailers. The cost of integration of some of the platforms is high and the time taken can be lengthy. A platform worth investing in will easily integrate with the existing work system without any high-cost demand and lengthy time requirements than planned to commit. A right platform should easily integrate with the existing ERPs, constantly transferring live data from the data points to the single dashboard, providing a holistic view of supply chain management.
The Bottom Line
While the transformation of digital supply chain may seem massive in terms of cost and the time it requires for integration, these barriers can easily get overcome if retailers invest in the right platform. A cloud-based SaaS platform with great user-interface and simple integration will enable retailers to make better decisions and drive profits and improve customer loyalty in this digital era.