CSCMP's Supply Chain Quarterly
Technology
February 21, 2020
Forward Thinking

Tech companies join forces to help retailers modernize their supply chains

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Salesforce, Publicis Sapient, IBM Services, project44, and Flooid collaborate to help solve returns, omnichannel, and logistics challenges—and ultimately improve the retail shopping experience.

A handful of technology companies are joining forces to help retailers accelerate their digital transformation and ease challenges associated with returns, omnichannel business, and logistics—all via an open technology platform from IBM, the company said during the National Retail Federation's 2020 Big Show, taking place in New York this week.

The project includes Salesforce, Publicis Sapient, IBM Services, project44, and Flooid, which are developing solutions available on IBM's recently launched IBM Sterling Supply Chain platform. The solutions are designed to address the growing importance of providing consumers with a "quick, frictionless shopping experience," the companies said. 

The partners will integrate new and existing services on the Sterling platform to help retailers modernize their supply chains and take advantage of new technologies that can accelerate their digital transformation. Integrated services include Salesforce's Commerce Cloud, Service Cloud, and Marketing Cloud; order management and returns services from Publicis Sapient; transportation and supply chain visibility services from pproject44; and omnichannel capabilities from Flooid, according to the companies. 

"The retail industry is poised for a renaissance as companies move away from siloed and legacy applications towards scalable, enterprise-tuned platforms that can holistically address customer-facing and supply chain operations challenges," Jeanette Barlow, vice president, offering management and strategy, IBM Sterling, said in a statement announcing the partnership. "This shift is likely compounding the industry's need to quickly innovate across traditional functional domains and deliver new capabilities that span operations and even third-party supply chain partners. To create the seamless and personalized experience customers expect and provide a true first-mover advantage, companies should modernize supply chains on top of open platforms that can harness technologies such as AI, blockchain, IoT, and hybrid cloud. Our relationships in this space can help our clients to make this shift more quickly."

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