The Covid-19 pandemic has forced retailers to seek a better understanding of consumer behaviour to satisfy commercial trends and expand their business model. Nevertheless, the introduction of communication and collaboration technologies has become a distinction between the better and the lesser players in the industry.
Communication through high-end technologies represents a competitive advantage and a powerful tool for any retailer who manages an integrated supply chain for their providers and themselves.
To sustain communications and promote a growing supply chain, the pillars of 360º visibility and agility must be front and centre.
1. 360º visibility - In 2020, global retail reported a 6% decrease compared to the previous year. Nonetheless, 360º visibility (as mentioned in the quote from the applied intelligence executive at Accenture) seems to be one of the most important factors towards stabilisation in 2021 and 2022 (graph 1.0).
This confirms that visibility goes beyond inventory: knowing which products are available and where they are located. Executives need full visibility of all the operative assets, including products, means of transportation, and most importantly, employees. It is essential to know how many workers are operating within the production plant, the distribution centre or in home offices. This is only achievable with a well-integrated supply chain.
Full visibility, from the source of the supply to the workforce, may be applied to reinforce internal communications, make better business decisions, and achieve corporate success.
2. Agile adaptability to change - When there is a specific marketable need, analytic data must be consulted to adapt distribution to the demand within regions or strategic zones.
The best operative and technological capabilities are needed to help the organisation adjust swiftly to flowing demand in the supply chain. The ability to redirect merchandise transit in real time (Hub in transit, by Maersk) is a competitive advantage for any retailer who successfully implements it.
The great challenge
360º visibility and agile adaptability to change present massive challenges for the retail industry: the task of linking their processes through effective communication with their providers to achieve perfect synergy that competes in timing, pricing availability, and distribution.
Retailers’ solutions must follow constant innovation and target full integration of the supply chain. To achieve this, it is advisable to have a strategic ally who demonstrates reliability, adaptability, resilience and growth and possesses ascertainable experience in supply chain integration.
Moving into the future with Maersk
Aside from having the strongest and most effective infrastructure in Latin America and globally, Maersk has developed technology to a point where intelligence meets knowledge to integrate extensive information from multiple sources into a single supply chain with a superior solution that provides visibility, control and effective decision-making.
Digital migration is the present and future of integrated logistics that allows a business to adapt and innovate in the face of every opportunity within the evolving retail market.
To learn more about how your supply chain can benefit from digitalisation, download our e-book Supply Chain Management in the Digital Age for in-depth knowledge about:
- Inventory management
- Omnichannel solutions
- Sustainable logistics