Supply Chain Trends To Watch In 2018

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There are several key supply chain trends to watch in 2018.

Omnichannel Revenue Management

The retail supply chain has been going through a massive transformation. Traditional brick and mortar retailers seek to leverage their stores to better compete against Amazon and other ecommerce retailers. ARC’s Chris Cunnane does an annual survey omnichannel retail in conjunction with DC Velocity.  The main reason retailers invest in expensive omnichannel initiatives is to increase sales, increase market share, and improve customer loyalty.  Meanwhile, most retailers have trouble understanding just what their profitability is surrounding different omnichannel order flow paths.  For example, in my colleague’s latest survey a majority of retailers report they can’t even measure the financial impact of a return.

Driving unprofitable sales makes no sense.  Eventually retailers need to understand their true costs and margin based on the omnichannel flow path.  Will significantly more retailers begin tackling this problem this year?  We don’t know; that will be the focus of Chris’s next survey on this topic.  Further, if companies can measure their profitability, what are the best practices that separate more profitable retailers from less profitable ones? Solutions certainly exist in this area, but Chris’s research will also focus on process and people issues.

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