The retail sector has witnessed significant waves of transformation over the past few years. The widespread adoption of omnichannel retail platforms has created more incentives for the retailers to achieve operational efficiency. With customer delight in the spotlight today, retailers are searching high and low for new techniques by which they can create more value for customers using fewer resources. Ideally, a customer is delighted when they get the right products at the right time and place. To make this possible, it is crucial for companies to have an efficient retail supply chain. As far as retailers are concerned, an ideal supply chain is one that helps them to reduce waste and drive efficiency. Want to know how retailers can implement a lean retail supply chain and streamline their supply chain management? Here are a few quick tips that retailers need to keep in mind before they embark on the journey to achieve maximum value from lean retail supply chain initiatives:
Have a holistic view of your supply chain
It is vital for retailers to evaluate themselves in terms of their existing retail supply chain management facilities. It is essential that they have clear-cut answers to these questions:
- Is the company able to meet the customers’ delivery expectations?
- What is the executive team’s perception of the warehouse system efficiency?
- What are the strengths and weaknesses of the current retail supply chain?
Having a holistic view of the supply chain management of the company can help retailers identify the areas that are of priority and the ones that have scope for improvement.
Keep tabs on the inventory
Cutting short the level of stock in hand is one of the essential factors to maintain a lean supply chain. In order to reduce the lead time, retailers can work and coordinate with the suppliers. It is also necessary to keep a check on the reporting systems to ensure that they provide accurate real-time orders and trend forecasting. This will facilitate retailers to ensure that their safety stocks are minimized without any risk of a stock-out or delays that would result in customer dissatisfaction.
Improve logistics efficiency
Retailers must evaluate and review the transportation arrangements with the logistics partners to ensure efficiency and better long-term performance. They must also seek opportunities to implement service-level agreements with shipping partners to gain a level of confidence. Engaging in long-term contracts or consolidating suppliers will help retailers to negotiate better and efficient transportation solutions.
Make lean a company-wide initiative
Adopting a lean retail supply chain is more than just incorporating new techniques or investing in the latest tools. For successfully implementing lean strategies, it is essential for the senior management to communicate the vision and expectations to all employees. The workforce must be empowered to identify the scope for improvement, make recommendations, and operate in an environment that builds morale.
Update the system and software
The information available does not only come handy to manage the warehouse operations efficiently but also aid in evaluating the processes and potential changes. The existing Warehouse Management Systems(WMS) might be obsolete to keep pace with the demands of a lean operation. Therefore, companies must upgrade to the latest warehouse management software and tools to ensure the lean retail supply chain operations.