Communication and collaboration
Sixty-three percent of retail and supply chain professionals are still relying on manual applications like Outlook and Excel to manage complex sourcing relationships. When working with upwards of 500 new vendors each year, retailers need to realize the potential of the digital tools they have at their disposal in order to streamline communication and enable true collaboration throughout their supply chain. Digital sourcing platforms allow retailers to speed the product development cycle by bringing suppliers into the process early on, and aiding communication throughout the process no matter where each player is in the world.
With digital technology, retailers can receive information instantly and increase visibility into the product development process from start to finish. By leveraging their entire supply chain network to collaborate, retailers can create a truly innovative product more efficiently than before.
Data analysis and decision making
Retailers are already implementing artificial intelligence and machine learning on the front end, but the same technology could make a huge impact on the way they operate behind-the-scenes too. Capturing and analyzing critical data about the product development process allows retailers to make better informed operational decisions, which ultimately leads to a more efficient supply chain. These tools are all about analytics and actionable data, and retailers who leverage the information provided by these technologies can better take advantage of partnerships with suppliers and other entities, improving what works and fixing what doesn’t in established supply chain processes. When used correctly, this data could revolutionize shipping, sampling, fabrics and material selection and more.
Retailers who implement these digital technologies will have the tools necessary to simplify the product development process and make more informed decisions for the future. With a more efficient backend, retailers can focus on what brought them to the industry in the first place: creativity and collaboration.
See how digital sourcing brings creativity back into retail in the full Bamboo Rose survey report, Digital Sourcing in the New Retail Economy.