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What Is Retail Supply Chain Management?

March 18, 2022 Kevin Baxter

retail supply chain management

Retail supply chain management refers to the how behind a retail supply chain, as in the coordination of the logistics activities that get a product from raw material to customer. Some activities involved in retail supply chain management include:

  • Creating and executing a shipping strategy
  • Incorporating freight and logistics technology
  • Tracking changes in supply and demand
  • Inventory management
  • Managing costs
  • Ensuring speedy, reliable product delivery
  • Quality control
  • Maintaining strong partner relationships

Practicing effective retail supply chain management is vital to optimizing each logistical step that goes into a retail supply chain. Falling short in even one area can lead to gaps that cause product delays, thus jeopardizing customer retention.

Why is retail supply chain management important?

Retail supply chain management is important as a company's retail supply chain itself, which is in essence the lifeblood of a business. Also known as retail SCM, successful retail supply chain management ensures logistics operations are optimized throughout a supply chain, from raw material to customer in the product cycle. Doing so the right way - with consistency - can lead to

  • Customer Service Excellence

  • Reduced Operating Costs

  • Reduced Inventory Requirements

  • Improved Supplier & Vendor Performance

  • Improved Financial Results

  • Improved Order-to-Cash Cycle

Even though there is an initial time and financial investment involved, designating staff - or a qualified third party logistics provider (3PL) - to handle retail supply chain management yields many of these benefits, saving your company both time and money in the long run.

What is CX in the supply chain?

CX in supply chain terminology refers to customer experience. Building a retail supply chain strategy on the idea of creating the best CX goes a long way toward a successful long-term business. Some key CX tenets to offer are visibility into the entirety of the supply chain, transparency, communication and general availability. When customers feel a company's product is available when they need it without delivery or inventory issues - and/or the company is responsive when there are issues, they tend to keep coming back to that product/retailer. On the other hand, if the customer experience is negative, as in, they feel there are issues on a regular basis and the company is not responsive, they'll find somewhere else to take their business. Business leaders understand this, and are prioritizing CX in their retail supply chain management strategies now, if they hadn't been before.

Learn more about the retail supply chain, retail supply chain management and customer experience in our video:

As mentioned above, successful retail supply chain management and optimized CX requires resources, and the best resource for many companies is a 3PL, also known as a logistics service provider or LSP. An LSP's sole focus is improving and optimizing a company’s supply chain. So outsourcing this function makes a lot of sense for a lot of companies, allowing them to focus on their business.

If you're ready to take the next step, at InTek Freight & Logistics, we can help. Just tell us what you need and we'll discuss how our expertise can help with the unique shipping challenges your business faces. Rather do a bit more research first? View our Freight Guides for comprehensive articles and eBooks on all things freight and logistics.

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