Retailers that take the lead and deal with supply chain issues ahead of time will reap the benefits, says Greg Petro, chief executive of First Insight.
Supply chain disruptions show no sign of abating any time soon.
The sooner retailers understand that delays, backlogs and shortages will be a part of business as usual going forward, the sooner the industry can implement strategies to help navigate and mitigate the bite to their bottom line.
Becoming data-driven is key
While the damage has already been done to this festive season – as a Wall Street Journal article pointed out back in October, “If it wasn’t on the water four weeks ago, it’s not going to be here for Christmas” – we can learn from this completely problematic supply-and-demand curve.
The system may have been broken by the unprecedented shutdown of the world, but if manufacturers and retailers can take one lesson from this, it’s that they need to be more data-driven to mitigate future supply chain disruptions.
Take the guesswork out of manufacturing, buying and marketing by integrating solutions such as digital product testing and voice-of-the-customer data.
These analytics can help connect consumer demand, price elasticity, suggested promotional offers and optimised merchandise assortments to remove a lot of risk that comes with a time-intense design, manufacturing and shipping process.