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Rethinking Your Supply Chain Network Design

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Supply Chain Network Grid

6 Questions Retailers Should Ask

To gain a competitive advantage in today’s omni-channel world, a supply chain has to have the right balance of cost and service level. If you haven’t looked at your network strategy recently, you could be sacrificing service to customers or spending too much. The increasing complexity of a multi-channel supply chain can result in a multitude of inefficiencies.

A successful supply chain network design will give retailers a competitive advantage. A new network strategy is something all retailers should consider, but there are some questions to ask yourself to find out when it is necessary to reevaluate an existing plan.

  1. Did you recently implement a ship from store strategy?
    Many retailers are using stores to enable ship from store strategies. This gives retailers a competitive advantage and allows customers to save time and money.
  2. Has your company merged with another retailer or acquired another brand?
    In order to optimize the supply chain and leverage all facilities, a new network strategy should be implemented in order to guarantee that optimal service levels are met and that the time it takes to ship orders to the customer is reduced.
  3. Have you experienced a recent geographic expansion?
    It is important to reach competitive levels to maintain your expansion plans. An updated network model will let you know when that time occurs and provide direction to optimize your new expanded geography.
  4. Are you utilizing a “store in a store” strategy?
    Store in a store strategies are becoming more prevalent. Most of the time when a store in a store gets put into place, a new supply chain network design is required.
  5. Have you recently reassessed your inventory flow path?
    Retailers are always looking to reduce unnecessary inventory throughout the supply chain. If your assortment or outbound profiles change, reassessing your network strategy would make sense to guarantee that no time or resources are lost throughout the process.
  6. Has it been five or more years since your last supply chain network design strategy was implemented?
    A reevaluation of a network strategy should take place at least every five years. There are usually changes that have occurred during that period of time.

If you answered yes to one or more of these questions, it is time reevaluate your supply chain network design. Implementing a new network strategy will save you time, eliminate waste and reduce costs for a number of areas in your supply chain.

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