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Is Your Retail Distribution ERP Software Flexible Enough?

September 4, 2013BY AMS Editor

Flexibility will be the key for retail distribution ERP software as distributors adapt their operations to meet more specialized demand.

An article on the Supply Chain Management Review website outlines substantive transitions that are occurring in the industry and how distributors are adapting to them. Rising consumer demands and omni-channel selling are requiring retail distributors to raise the bar in order to compete.

Demands for same-day delivery and ship-from-store services mean retailers need to adapt their supply chain networks. Some experts predict that the transformation could lead the retail supply chain to be “unrecognizable from the infrastructure that exists today” within five years, according to the article.

“Brick-and-mortar stores are becoming more than just a point of sale — they’re an essential component of the supply chain as pick-up/drop-off locations for e-commerce orders,” Kris Bjorson, leader of Jones Lang LaSalle’s retail/e-commerce distribution group, tells Supply Chain Management Review.

The article points to some very interesting changes in both the manufacturing and retail supply chains. In both industries, the rules are evolving in ways that are game-changing. These changes are going to require a new breed of agile retail distribution ERP applications that support these shifting paradigms.

Some key changes include omni-channel selling, make-to-individual orders and modular virtual manufacturing floors that span multiple business partners. Essentially, private and commercial buyers are demanding products that are made to individual specifications and are available quickly and from many points. This is especially true with luxury buyers. They’re paying a premium price, and in return they expect a high degree of personalization in what they purchase.

To meet these demands, retail distribution ERP applications must have the ability to quickly configure custom versions of products and have those specifications give rise to custom work orders. This ensures that the product is sent out to the manufacturer with the correct instructions and made to that customer’s unique specifications.

Change is coming fast and furious for retail distributors. The right technology is necessary to respond to today’s supply chain challenges and remain competitive.

Source: Supply Chain Management Review, June 2013

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