Bamboo Rose Blog | Industry Insights

Streamlining Retail Supply Chains: The Power of Tech Stack Consolidation

In the fast-paced and ever-evolving landscape of retail, where consumer demands are constantly shifting, staying ahead of the curve demands more than just innovation—it requires a strategic overhaul of operational processes. 


Bamboo Rose industry expert Alisa Jones, VP of Industry Consulting, shared timely insights into how consolidating the tech stack within retail supply chains can catalyze transformation and drive success.


The Complexities of Retail Supply Chains


Retail supply chains are intricate ecosystems involving scores of moving parts, from sourcing raw materials to delivering finished products to consumers. However, these processes are often hindered by a myriad of challenges, including disparate systems and tools, siloed processes, and a lack of collaboration across different stages of the supply chain. 


According to our recent research, a staggering 66% of retail supply chain leaders express dissatisfaction with the inefficiencies inherent in their current tech stack, highlighting an urgent need for consideration and change.


Navigating the Landscape: Understanding the Need for Consolidation


Alisa sheds light on the key challenges faced by organizations dealing with multiple systems:

1. Disparate systems & tools

2. Siloed processes and data

3. Lack of collaboration

4. Budget


Amid these challenges, however, lies a golden opportunity for change!

Retailers can unlock a ton of benefits by consolidating their tech stack. Bringing everything together can be a force multiplier in several ways. First, you can save money on administering many different applications. With fewer systems requiring overlapping data, you’ll have (ideally) a single source of truth that you can‌ rely on. And when people aren’t constantly switching in and out of different systems, productivity improves as well. 


It’s not just about efficiency, either. Streamlining operations, boosting productivity, and saving money are all crucial for success. So, if you’re in retail, it’s definitely worth considering this strategy. Less is more, right?


Understanding the Landscape: A Strategic Imperatives


Tech stack consolidation isn’t just a tactical move—it’s a strategic imperative that requires a nuanced understanding of the retail ecosystem. Alisa emphasized the importance of discovery, urging C-level executives to dive deeper into their organization’s current system landscape. “It’s really about the value that it’s bringing,” understanding the pain points and objectives specific to the supply chain lays the groundwork for effective consolidation.

Moreover, tech stack consolidation isn’t confined to the IT department—it impacts various facets of the business, from operations to logistics and beyond. While it may initially evoke apprehension among stakeholders, Alisa stressed the need to engage C-level executives across the board. By involving all relevant stakeholders, from IT to operations and finance, the consolidation process becomes more holistic and tailored to the organization’s needs.

The trend of consolidating tools in supply chain operations is gaining momentum, driven by economic uncertainty, competition, and the need for cost efficiencies. “The key challenges that we see when dealing with multiple systems are disparate system and tools…people are going to, you’re going to hear things like nothing talks to each other or we do things in one tool, and then we have to hand key in everything into the next tool,” explained Alisa.


According to Harvard Business Review, workers spend up to 4 hours per week toggling between tools, highlighting inefficiencies that consolidation aims to address. With the average worker switching between tools around 1,200 times per day, streamlining operations through consolidation becomes imperative. 


Organizations prioritizing a cohesive tech stack aim to mitigate inefficiencies and foster deeper integration with vendors, though careful evaluation of trade-offs is necessary for maintaining operational agility.

Illuminating Success Stories


Alisa shared the tangible benefits of tech stack consolidation through real-world examples. From improved collaboration to enhanced visibility and supply chain resilience, the proof points are undeniable. “Without having that centralized system, teams don’t have any true real-time collaboration,” shared Alisa. It’s a testament to the transformative power of consolidation—a shift from disjointed processes to seamless collaboration and operational excellence. Here’s a glimpse of the positive business outcomes:

Proof Point: Walmart Consolidates with Enterprise Sourcing Platform

A shining illustration of tech stack consolidation is the enterprise sourcing platform (ESP) initiative between Bamboo Rose and Walmart. The ESP will revolutionize the way Walmart does business with its suppliers. Cutting-edge technology will integrate disparate legacy systems, improving efficiencies and helping Walmart maintain its mission of everyday low-cost. Global sourcing associates will be able to centralize communication in one platform and collaborate more easily with buyers, product development teams, and suppliers, enhancing the company’s procurement and import processes. The platform will provide greater visibility across teams, enabling informed purchasing decisions on volume and cost.

Read more about it here


Paving the Way for Retail Supply Chain Excellence


One thing becomes abundantly clear: tech stack consolidation isn’t just a catch phrase—it’s a strategic imperative for retail supply chain leaders looking to thrive in today’s dynamic landscape. By streamlining operations, enhancing collaboration, and unlocking untapped potential, businesses can chart a path toward success and resilience. Tech stack consolidation isn’t just about technology—it’s about driving meaningful change and propelling retailers and brands forward to a future of success.