Retail Store Closings Beg the Question: Is Your Supply Chain Built to Last?

According to a recent projection released by brokerage firm Credit Suisse, more than 8,600 brick-and-mortar stores are going to close in 2017. “A quarter into 2017,” the report states, “year-to-date retail store closings have already surpassed those of 2008 [the worst year on record].”

While some of these closures are firms that will liquidate and cease to exist, quite a few companies are trying to reinvent themselves as e-tailers, relying heavily on the brand equity that they have established in the marketplace to stay afloat.

Is it too little, too late? For some, maybe. But there is hope, if the company has built its supply chain to adapt to the powerful force of consumer demand. Key takeaways from the 2015 Futures Study conducted by CAPS Research, a joint venture of the Institute for Supply Chain Management® and the W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University, suggest that:

  • Customer-centric supply management has the potential to become the most important driving force for supply management in the near future.
  • Rapidly changing technologies are driving integrations within and between organizations and enhancing visibility across supply chains.
  • The importance of supply disruptions has been de-escalated.
  • With the increasing importance of cross-functional alignment, supply professionals must further the organization’s strategy, not just supply management’s strategy.
  • Macro-level changes with customers, government and technology directly influence micro-level supply plans.

Many Transportation Insight clients see the above trends from the Futures study as current reality. While internal operations are important, the customer is already king, and operations must adapt to meet customer demands to remain competitive. Clients rely on their partnership with Transportation Insight to keep an edge, whether it’s through innovative and time-saving technology solutions, deep industry expertise, next-level analytics, customer-focused continuous improvement strategies or all of the above.

Where does that leave you? If you are already in the process of remaking your company for the new commercial world, you are ahead of the game. Retailers open to adapting new ways and engaging Enterprise Logistics partners to navigate market disruption put themselves in a position of competitive advantage to sustain profitable growth well into the future.

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