Bamboo Rose Blog | Retail Co-creation

Better together: Four ways retail collaboration breeds innovation and growth

At this stage in the retail revolution, retailers and suppliers alike should know that collaboration is the ultimate key to success. Organizations are only beginning to work across both internal departments and external vendors to foster an efficient supply chain that streamlines communication and production. This process increases retailers’ bottom line and allows them to better plan for international growth.


Collaboration offers vast benefits for retailers that decide to leverage their partnerships. In fact, by collaborating with other retailers, vendors, suppliers and other partners, organizations can:


– Learn how to best unite disparate systems. Just because your organization has used Excel and other outdated applications for years doesn’t mean that’s what your retail partners use. Collaborating with your retail community around how to best communicate and share product information will increase efficiency, and in turn, the bottom line.


Take apparel mega-brand American Eagle, for example: With more than 500 vendors in 29 countries, the company needed to replace its antiquated sourcing and order management systems to unify product design, sourcing and merchant processes across its internal organization. After implementing a single source of truth with Bamboo Rose, the company attained visibility into the factory readiness of its product eight days earlier and streamlined its operations across all channels.


– Avoid global disaster by understanding what items won’t work in certain markets. As retail competition continues to increase, organizations that want to expand in the global market need to do their research before rolling out new product lines. For example, if you aren’t familiar with Mexican cultural customs, you wouldn’t know that marigolds signify death there, and shouldn’t be included in design for any day-to-day products. By collaborating with external vendors, retailers can easily mitigate potential issues before they happen through working with partners in new markets they’re trying to penetrate.


– Crowdsource ideas and recommendations across partners. Collaboration allows retailers to tap into suppliers’ ideas and advice on trends, markets and big initiatives the suppliers are seeing across their retail base. As a result, retailers can speed up time to market, stay on top of trends and make more profitable operational decisions. This process allows retailers to implement ideas from several partners into the best production and supply chain strategy possible.


– Leverage real-time communication to immediately shift product design. Retailers need a single communication platform for ongoing collaboration and inspiration across global time zones. This helps companies to decide in real-time whether a certain color or style will work for a specific market and avoid issues like designing a product with a material that is unknowingly out of stock. Instead of finding this out weeks later, suppliers can share real-time feedback about which fabrics and styles will work best for a retailers’ collection.


Retailers can’t live in a vacuum and expect to survive the retail apocalypse: They must partner with their retail communities to design, develop and deliver products at consumer speed – in fact, the New Retail Economy demands it.


If it wasn’t clear before, it is now: Collaboration can improve retailers’ bottom line and increase innovation. Read how you can leverage digital sourcing to foster collaboration in your organization.