CSCMP's Supply Chain Quarterly
December 09, 2018
Forward Thinking

RILA and Auburn University release supply chain study

Executives are keeping up with omnichannel demands by turning to business analytics, integrated operations, and monetized capabilities, report finds.

As they hustle to stay competitive in the fast-moving retail supply chain, logistics executives are mastering strategies such as integrating operations across channels, using analytics to drive their decisions, and monetizing their business capabilities, according to an industry report released today.

This seventh annual "State of the Retail Supply Chain" report gathered insight through interviews and online surveys with America's top retail supply chain executives, according to its lead authors at Auburn University's Center for Supply Chain Innovation and the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA), in partnership with Supply Chain Quarterly's sister publication, DC Velocity.

Preliminary results released in February showed that the pressing need to learn how to handle omnichannel fulfillment profitably is reshaping retailers' supply chain strategies. Industry leaders in the study said their priority for the coming year was to control supply chain costs so they could stay on top of broad changes such as online shopping, changing consumer preferences, and the explosive growth in the number of e-commerce competitors.

Now published in its final form, the study finds that the digital transformation of the retail industry will require companies to adopt three crucial supply chain capabilities:

  • enhancing order fulfillment capabilities,
  • incorporating extensive use of stores for fulfillment, and
  • applying end-to-end supply chain planning.

"Adapting to the hyper-competitive landscape requires supply chain capabilities that attract customers and grow the business," Brian Gibson, the executive director of Auburn University's Center for Supply Chain Innovation, said in a release. "Supply chain executives must integrate operations across multiple channels, use analytics to drive supply chain decisions, and monetize supply chain capabilities."

To obtain more in-depth analysis of the front-burner issues facing America's retail supply chains, readers can obtain a copy of the report from RILA.

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