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Getting ahead of the curve


69


New players have created entirely new business models – with some staggering levels of success.


improving internal operations. Many retailers are in a continued state of fl ux, as they review internal processes and structures – some cases this has even included pulling away from non-core activities and disposing of non-core businesses – in order to drive effi ciency. One obvious place to look is the supply chain – as how


you get the product to the customer is as important to a business as the customer and product itself. Multichannel retail has muddied our understanding of the cost-to- serve. The key to an accurate and robust attribution of costs and value to a retail business model across all channels will undoubtedly be through the dismantling of silos and matching the way a retailer operates with the way the consumer shops – omni-channel. How do you get ahead of the curve? With greater


numbers of trading partners and sales channels, retailers now have to cope with an increasingly complex supply and distribution network. Working across their own legacy systems and new systems to meet the demands of the modern shopper, they must also contend with the systems of more trading partners. To allow the fl ow of business data and process across


so many divergent departments and businesses a common thread is required. Standardisation promotes effi ciency. The key areas to look at are how you identify, capture and share your product and transactional data. With systems that are able to communicate and


interpret data seamlessly, there is an elimination of the need for rekeying and reinterpreting data – removing as such non-value adding administrative tasks. Effective communication is a crucial fi rst step to building productive and mutually benefi cial trading relationships. With a solid foundation, retailers can work with trading


partners to improve their business processes. Technology undoubtedly has a role to play, but, collaboration is the key. Trading partners working together to harness the power of new technologies such as RFID, older ones like EDI, or harmonising processes throughout the supply chain are vital to the retail industry’s success. www.gs1uk.org


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