In order to manage your retail supply chain, you first need to know what it is or isn’t.

June 25th, 2010

Automating a retail supply chain is a huge challenge. If you ask your management team and employees to define yours or one in general, odds are you will get as many answers as people that you ask.

Managing a retail supply chain depending on how involved you want to become in the process includes your products and how they get to you, your consumer and the service you provide for the product post sale. This also includes all data about the product in a procure to pay process such as purchase order information, contract information and delivery coordination and status along the way. All of the above requires management of the related financial data such as payment terms and schedules and other financial data. A good place to start is to break this information down into manageable pieces and see how many people are involved in the process internally and externally and how they collaborate with each other if at all. To the extent that you can not connect the lines may include.

As a retailer, you are an obvious part of the consumers supply chain and in some cases also a supplier to other retailers. The network depends on the product but can include yourself,  raw material providers, manufacturers, wholesalers, distributors, third party logistic companies or 3PL’s, and other types of transportation companies. Managing the collaboration of your supply chain is what will ultimately differentiate you from your competition. It’s up to you.

As your procurement solution provider how they might tie all of these disparate organizations together for you.

We look forward to and appreciate your comments.

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