Effective Steps For Improving a Retail Supply Chain by Sutton Hartnet

Making a retail supply chain efficient enough to make it in today’s hyper-competitive retail environment is very important. Any manager in a retail operation with responsibility for ordering inventory needs to make sure that the inventory is there but that it isn’t clogging up the supply chain or taking up space in a warehouse. This costs money, and the point should be to save money these days.

Today, a retailer selling any sort of good needs to take steps to ensure that there are several different channels set up to ensure that those goods are obtained when needed and that customers have access to them. If a retailer can’t do this, customers today quickly walk because they certainly have more than a few options for buying goods that they didn’t have just a generation ago.

This should be looked upon as an unacceptable condition by any manager in a retail operation, let alone those managers with inventory control responsibility. The solution isn’t to stock huge numbers of a good in a warehouse, though. What’s really required is understanding how to take the supply chain, reconfigure it and make it perform efficiently along all points.

Retailers today have a myriad of challenges confronting them when it comes to changing over from traditional warehouse-inventory structures to far more economical and responsive supply chain management concepts that help them keep an optimal inventory level that is not only responsive but also cost-effective.

It’s going to be very important that all people with supply input authority along the chain be on board with a single, integrated supply management program. If they’re not, it can quite often be the case that somebody, somewhere along the line will take it upon themselves to order goods that might not really be required at the end-point.

Think about it; the chances are good that there are at least 10 managers or supervisors along a typical chain, each with independent ‘purchase/no purchase’ decision-making authority. Each works in a different functional unit, and each ‘ while well-meaning ‘ can quickly cause problems. Getting them communicating with each other efficiently will be the first step.

The key concept in such supply management is to make sure that all managers and supervisors in every functional unit along the way that has responsibility for inventory procurement and management is operating from the same playbook, so to speak. The first thing to do is to figure out who along the chain has such responsibilities, of course, which can be difficult but doable.

It’s vital that retail managers today look at their retail supply and distribution chain and quickly make it work for them rather than the other way around. Reducing inventory control and storage costs is a quick way for a retailer to save significant money in a relatively short amount of time. Any retailer can be affected when there’s too much inventory laying around or not enough of it, for a fact. Controlling it will be extremely crucial if success is to be ensured.

Effectively managing your retail supply chain is a critical component to running a healthy business. From logistics to inventory management, the supply chain is the lifeline of many business operations. Learning how to employ a lean supply chain ensures the staying power of your company.

Effectively managing your retail supply chain [http://www.theretailsupplychain.com/] is a critical component to running a healthy business. From logistics to inventory management, the supply chain [http://www.theretailsupplychain.com/2009/12/24/a-guide-to-a-healthy-retail-supply-chain/] is the lifeline of many business operations. Learning how to employ a lean supply chain ensures the staying power of your company.

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