The Value in Having a Digital Supply Chain

The Value in Having a Digital Supply Chain

Credit: Getty Images by yoh4nn The modern retail supply chain has been placed under immense pressure from the digitally empowered consumer. Consumers have the reach through super computers masquerading as phones, the voice via social media and the omnipresent internet, all leading to a heightened level of expectations. Consumers now expect retailers to meet their needs not only at the product level, but also at the ancillary service level tied to the product. These services include where and when the product is fulfilled, as well as the return aspect of retail. Retailers not only have to meet their customer needs around the right product, at the right time, and for the right price, but also in how that product is fulfilled and the overall experience. So, what should retailers and consumer-facing brands do? The answer is to look to the supply chain to carry the weight to meet consumer expectations. Adding a digital element to physical assets creates a true picture of the network. The modern retail landscape requires a greater view of the supply chain and the flow of inventory from source to consumer. With digital technologies such as RFID, IoT, enhanced serialization and Wi-Fi, there are a growing number of ways in which supply chains can digitize the physical inventory and the assets flowing through them. This means that supply chains can finally bring clarity to what were otherwise physical objects. Simply put, as more inventory and assets are digitized, retailers will have a greater understanding of what’s available and where it’s available. Whether it’s inventory at the supplier level or on the store shelf, the complete picture of inventory is the basis of improved fulfillment. Knowing more precisely where and in what quantities inventory is being held allows the retailer to better meet its customers’ demands. […]

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