Intelligent Retailers – those who acquire the tools for tracking their customers and competitors in real-time – will be fortified for what is shaping up to be a historic battle for hearts, minds, and wallets of the customer. Make no mistake. Intelligent Shoppers are calling the sh
Bob Dylan’s 1964 lyrics “The Times They Are A-Changin’” may be even more relevant now as they were then. With rising inflation, geo-political uncertainty, and lingering effects of the pandemic, consumer needs and behaviors continue to evolve. The traditional retailer-supplier relationship of collaboration at a distance will not deliver mutual success in a fast-changing market. Retailers and suppliers, paraphrasing Dylan, “better start swimmin’ or sink like a stone.”
Retailers and suppliers can no longer afford to “collaborate” with distance between them. For decades, the lack of true collaboration and trust stemmed from not wanting the other to know too much about their business or customers to have the upper hand in trade deals and negotiations. Consumers today are increasingly price sensitive and demanding more valuable promotions. Real collaboration is required to earn and win a greater share of their wallets.
Categories of Collaboration
As retailers and suppliers collaborate on each of the important aspects of trade, they will find new areas of value to tap that can drive improved supply chain efficiencies, increased revenue, profit, and, ultimately, customer satisfaction.
Consider this: when a supplier has a fully accurate view of a retailer’s inventory and purchase requirements at each location, the production runs can be tuned to the actual quantities required, minimizing overproduction that, in turn, reduces the supplier’s costs. When supplier costs are reduced there are opportunities to extend those savings to retailers, and the customers they are both serving.
Collaboration often includes annual and quarterly planning, and these are key checkpoints. Strategic sessions provide both parties with the ability to align their business objectives. Retailers should also work to collaborate rapidly, systemically, and in many cases, autonomously across these additional activities:
Indeed, the times are a-changin’ and with these changes — persistent public health concerns, mounting inflation, the retail technology gap, separating the retail behemoths and a rising crop of Davids — the path forward requires improved depth and speed of sharing information between trading partners.
As retailers and suppliers move to a more complete approach to collaboration, new opportunities will surface to improve the value chain, reduce costs, improve service to the consumer and offer differentiation that consumers appreciate and reward.
Indeed, the times are a-changin’ and with these changes — persistent public health concerns, mounting inflation, the retail technology gap, separating the retail behemoths and a rising crop of Davids — the path forward requires improved depth and speed of sharing information between trading partners. As this is achieved, both partners will enjoy reduced manual effort and improved accuracy. In the end, the collaboration will ultimately improve the top and bottom lines of their balance sheets. Consumers also win, but only when retailers and suppliers set aside the bias and practices of distance between each, and truly work together with the common objective of driving consumer value.
About Kevin Sterneckert, DemandTec Chief Strategy Officer
Kevin partners with our customers and across the DemandTec team to develop strategies to drive growth through solutions that empower retailers and manufacturers with advanced capabilities that unlock new value and competitive opportunities.
With more than 35 years of industry experience in retail technology, including extensive hands-on pricing and merchandising experience at HEB, Walmart and others, Kevin combines forward-looking industry visionary insights with the pragmatic grounding of a seasoned practitioner, including previously serving as a senior leader of DemandTec in its start-up days. With a range of successful prior executive leadership roles at retail technology companies including Symphony RetailAI, JDA (now Blue Yonder), Predictix, and Oracle, as well as several years as Gartner’s Research Vice President and Lead Analyst for the Consumer Value Chain, Kevin provides a unique and expert point of view to focus on high-impact solutions that will enable retailers to succeed in a fast-changing landscape, today and in the future.
A pioneering leader in retail pricing, promotion, and markdown technology for decades, DemandTec is ushering in the new era of unified autonomous merchandising. With Unify by DemandTec — the industry’s first — retailers can unite their data, systems, internal teams, and collaborate with suppliers to generate profitable revenue growth with the power of AI.
From food to fashion, DemandTec partners with more than 700 customers around the globe. To learn more, please visit us at www.demandtec.com.