New Era Calls for New Tactic

A new report from the Retail Industry Leaders Association in collaboration with Auburn University, and including sponsorship from global management, technology services and outsourcing company Accenture, highlights a chief concern in the retail sector—managing the burgeoning multichannel-retailing reality.

The third annual “State of The Retail Supply Chain Report” concludes that retailers are now focused on determining their approaches to the new era of retailing in which consumers demand immediate gratification across platforms—whether in-store, via mobile phones, through tablets and so on. This reality, say report authors, is forcing retailers to seek new technologies, in particular, to fulfill customer orders.

“Traditionally, retailers have used separate operational models to move goods and fulfill orders. Now those models need to be merged so that companies can continue to deliver the products consumers want across any channel without losing efficiency or adding cost,” said Casey Chroust, executive vice president of retail operations for RILA. “This requires advanced integration and innovation and working closely with suppliers and service providers while utilizing technology.”

The report data, which combines interviews and surveys of close to 200 retail-supply chain executives, also highlights the various multichannel challenges facing retailers, including delivery methods as well as inconsistent SKU assortment.

A new solution—known as distributed order management and offered by various providers—appears to be promising, say the report’s authors. Apparently, experts are recommending DOM software as an effective response to retailers’ multichannel needs. The software allows retailers to effectively fulfill orders regardless of the customer’s point of purchase. It also allows customers to make returns at any location regardless of where the order was fulfilled.

It appears to be at least one solution that is worth looking into as businesses seek to streamline the bombardment of multichannel sales.

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