Very large retail companies have lots of systems and lots of data, very small retail companies have lots of paper in lots of places. So where do you suppose it is the easiest for retail procurement professionals to get their work done? The answer today is neither.
The problem today is that there is so much retail data available that buyers and category managers could easily suffer business paralysis by data analysis.
Below is just a partial list of systems and places where data resides that is meaningful if not critical to sourcing professionals. Most of you can probably add to this list pretty easily. The unfortunate issue that confronts retail procurement professionals daily is that most of this data is not integrated in any way and even at very large companies, to much critical data is sitting on local employee desktops or even worse in their heads. And that is not what we mean by a neural network.
1. ERP systems
2. Enterprise Data Warehouse systems
3. Replenishment systems
4. Financial reporting systems
5. Demand Planning systems
6. Purchase Order management systems
7. Distribution and Logistics systems
8. Merchandise management systems
9. Retail Planning systems
10. Local employee desktops
11. Contract management systems
Number two from above the enterprise data warehouse is probably the most logical place to bring all of these data sources or elements together within one logical data model that drives the master data source integrated with a s business reporting and busyness intelligence front end. Small companies may never make it to this level, but if they can find a business partner that offers these solutions in a SaaS format it will be much better than the current; Hey Joe, how many of these did we order last year?
We look forward to and appreciate your comments.