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Don't Call It "The Customer-Centeric Supply Chain"

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Last week I attended the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals’ annual conference (CSCMP) here in Denver. I do not always go every year because I have found in the past that while there are lots of great sessions and topics of discussion, they serve my inner supply chain geek, and not so much my inner retail geek.

 This year was a lot different. Retailers and manufacturers were presenting on the same panels. Walmart talked about their eCommerce operations in Mexico. Target talked about their sourcing process – at a time when sourcing out of Asia, particularly for apparel, has its issues – as in, human rights issues. Macy’s presented on their RFID initiative in stores. And even Tesla had a retail story to tell, as they described some of their customer-facing initiatives (“owner experience”) and the impact some of those strategies are having on supply chain.

Why was retail such a force at CSCMP this year? Have retailers finally awoken to the realities of supply chain management that most manufacturers have had to deal with on a daily basis? No, it wasn’t really about that. I mean, sure. Retailers are getting much more savvy about transportation in particular – a topic where retailers are learning they can have more control and gain more benefits as a result. And they are increasingly manufacturers themselves, even if that manufacturing is on a contract basis with third parties. Retailers are facing a lot of the same manufacturing issues that manufacturers are, no matter who owns the plant and equipment.

No, actually Tesla is most emblematic of the reason why we’re all going to hear about retail and supply chain a lot more over the next few years: because it’s all about the customer...Read more on bluemaumau.org

Last modified on Tuesday, 05 November 2013 13:16

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