Contributed by Charu Gupta
Today, retailers having chain stores and numerous distributors face a big challenge of giving best services to their customers and making timely delivery of products. This problem can only be solved once a retailer’s supply chain is responsive enough to meet the consumer’s growing demand.
A retailer needs to strike a balance between maintaining a high level of service along with low costs. As the retailers have spread their wings globally using multi-channels and have also ventured into new categories, the supply chains have become much more complex and hard to handle. This calls for understanding the complete supply chain process and identifying the loopholes and cost occurring points in the whole cycle.
DMAIC process by DHL which stands for Define, Measure, Analyse, Improve and Control is an ideal way to understand the supply chain. As you can’t control, what you can’t measure, retailers need to know the rationality behind each supply chain activity.
Integrated Planning is another approach which could be helpful for the retailers in a big way. Unlike in traditional approach, where each supply chain partner whether it is at retail level, distributor level or manufacturer level creates a forecast of its own needs independent of its partners, in integrated planning forecasts are being shared between the trading partners with the goal of effective collaboration throughout the supply chain. One of its distinct advantages is that it provides scope for re-calibration.