Managing a retail supply chain is often a complicated and time-consuming process. Over the past few years, abrupt changes in consumer demand have frequently left retailers with either an abundance of inventory or product shortages.
Along with manufacturing and shipping disruptions, these fluctuating levels of consumer demand have led to retailers looking for better ways to keep on top of inventory tracking and current inventory levels. Staying competitive will involve continuously improving your retail supply chain by embracing new technology and other advancements.
What are the top 5 challenges in the retail supply chain?
The main challenges in the retail supply chain include changing consumer demand, inventory visibility, increasing prices, labor shortages, and operational inefficiencies.
Improve Inventory Tracking
Effective inventory tracking is essential for good overall supply chain management. Inventory tracking involves multiple elements, including keeping track of current inventory levels, inventory from suppliers, tracking customer returns, and monitoring damaged goods.
One way retailers can help improve inventory tracking is by implementing the right technology. Various software options can help organizations track and view inventory levels, whether they store their inventory in one warehouse or dispersed throughout multiple locations.
Technology can also help retailers forecast demand more easily, know when to re-order, and identify fast-selling and slow-moving items. This technology allows more accurate purchasing and stock decisions to optimize inventory levels.
Well-designed business forms are another tool businesses can utilize to help improve inventory tracking. Purchase order forms, sales slips, service forms, and shipping forms can help to avoid delayed deliveries and incorrect or incomplete orders.
Discover a few of Safeguard’s most popular business forms:
- Purchase Order Forms – Keep accurate records of orders and improve your company workflow with the easy-to-use format that lists important details.
- Sales Slips & Sales Books – With plenty of space to record sales, credits, special orders, returns, and more, keep track of more details than a cash register receipt.
- Service & Repair Forms – Create handy individual forms ready where and when needed.
- Shipping & Receiving Forms – Easily track shipments, repairs, and inventory. Ample fields allow you to communicate shipping details, including notes regarding any hazardous materials.
Create personalized business forms that work specifically for your company. Customizing forms with all the critical information fields you need is easier than you think.
Boost Supply Chain Resilience
Supply chain disruptions can potentially be detrimental to business owners. Reports show that 76.6% of companies experienced externally caused disruptions to their supply chains in 2022. These supply chain disruptions, which can occur for countless reasons, can affect businesses in practically every industry.
To overcome these disruptions, research shows 43.7% of companies believe increasing local sourcing will help strengthen supply chains in 2023. Choosing the right supplier sourcing strategy for your business should consist of consideration of your needs and priorities.
There are distinct advantages to choosing a multiple supplier strategy for your business, including:
- Reduced Risk: By spreading your business across multiple suppliers, you are less reliant on any one vendor, which can reduce your organization’s risk of supply disruptions.
- Increased Flexibility: Multiple suppliers can give you more flexibility to cope with unexpected events. It can also give your business more flexibility regarding price, quality, and other factors.
- Competitive Pricing: Competition between suppliers can give the buyer more bargaining power, resulting in better pricing and more favorable terms. Competition may also act as an incentive for suppliers to improve their costs or services.
Your Advisor Can Help Improve Your Retail Supply Chain
Safeguard has extensive services and products to help you get what you need through a network of strategic vendors. Another way to successfully navigate the supply chain and get the promotional products you need is to buy “Made in USA” products.
While some specific product categories may be more likely than others to experience supply-chain shortfalls, your Safeguard Advisor can help you get a head start with your ordering timeline, manage these supply-chain shortages, and avoid inventory issues.
At Safeguard, we know your business can thrive with the right products, services, and planning. By working with an advisor, you can receive expert help that makes managing and marketing your business easier and more effective. Contact us today to get started.
- Retailers must continually improve their supply chain by embracing new technology and other advancements.
- 5 key challenges in the retail supply chain include changing consumer demand, inventory visibility, increasing prices, labor shortages, and operational inefficiencies.
- Well-designed business forms are a tool businesses can utilize to help improve inventory tracking.
- Choosing the right supplier sourcing strategy can improve the retail supply chain.
- Safeguard has extensive services and products to help you get what you need through a network of strategic vendors.