Skip to main content

The world of retail seems to have been turned upside down in recent years. Similarly, the supply chain has experienced many disruptions, some of which are only beginning to be felt by consumers today. So it’s no surprise that the intersection of these two worlds is bearing consequences. Read on to learn more about supply chain management, how it impacts retailers, and the best practices for retail supply chain management that can help ease disruption.

What Is the Supply Chain in Retail?

When we talk about the supply chain, we are referring to how goods make it from their most basic components through manufacturing, distribution, and into the retail or e-Commerce world. Specifically, the retail supply chain describes the path of those goods bound for retail shelves and display racks. This includes the food we buy at the grocery store, the electronics and appliances we purchase from our favorite big box stores, and the dolls and games we buy at toy stores, among many other things.

What Broke the Retail Supply Chain?

It’s no secret that the pandemic has had vast and far-reaching effects that have touched nearly every aspect of modern life. While other aspects of our lives return to some semblance of normal, in the world of retail and the global supply chain, these effects are still being felt. According to Forbes, the pandemic was merely the straw that broke the proverbial camel’s back.

Other reasons they give for our current supply chain predicament include: 

  • Retailers’ reliance on the best deal rather than the most reliable suppliers
  • Ongoing disruption in the trucking industry
  • A failure to adopt modern, digital operating models
  • Ineffective risk management strategies

But all is not lost. Many retailers and suppliers have learned from the difficulties encountered in the past few years. Retailers and shoppers alike are beginning to see the importance of locally produced goods, and many brands have finally embraced digital opportunities they had been reluctant to use. How can your brand protect itself and make the best of the retail supply chain? Read on to find out.

Best Practices for Supply Chain Management in Retail

Just as embracing technology has helped struggling retailers find customers, it’s also an answer to their supply chain woes. The truth is, without a crystal ball, nobody can predict the next pandemic, the next shipping route blockage, or the next shortage of parts or ingredients. But technology can help you create a more resilient supply chain that will see you through whatever the future may hold. 

If you want to take hold of your supply chain management and be set up for success, no matter the global economic climate, you must embrace technology. Employ analytics and supply chain planning software to help you make informed decisions that will serve your business well. 

To best succeed at this, you need a software partner that understands the ins and outs of the retail supply chain and can help you plan for the future. You want a multi-echelon inventory optimization system, allowing you to see your entire supply chain network holistically and ensure you’re getting the best efficiency and profitability available. And you need all of this to integrate and synchronize with sales and operations planning to ensure your whole organization is on the same page.

Fortunately, Blue Ridge offers all this and more, with the analytics and benchmarking to ensure you always have the data you need. Our solution can help you tame your supply chain and prepare for tomorrow. Learn how we’ve helped other organizations like yours. Request a demo today to see how we can help!