Large retailers are BRANDS by themselves and now tend to sell a mix of products with a quite different nature. And for many products that “nature” is changing fast; especially towards shorter product life cycles – ultimately a product is shipped only once.

The next shipment may be a similar product, but not identical – perhaps also from a new vendor. Or the same product is supplied from a different source, new identity, same thing.

Consumer protection measures, environmental guidelines and more returns, together this generate a need for handling of product identity – down to the single item with a serial number. For guaranty, recall, repair – return for any reason (like WEBshop returns).

The product life cycle

The focus moves from the continuous supply and monitoring to ensure functionality for intro /allocation of new products to channels – and decision support and procedures for transfer to secondary channels like outlets (a planned, positive approach to reverse logistics).

Example of new mix: a consumer becomes aware of a textile product, visit a sample-shop, test size and select color – and have the right product available at collect point next morning. Assuming 5 sizes x 5 colors, then the sample store will need just 1/5 of items to cover the consumers need for test of size and select of color – and may consequently offer all designs, at limited space and due to the procedure secure a low rate of returns.

Identification and tracking

The aftermarket services, compliance obligations and returns all depend upon “Big data” capability. The comprehensive Datamodel and the Oracle Database technology support this.

Unified functionality shall be achieved in order to secure employee efficiency and consumer convenience.

Product metrics / units.

Again, for the convenience for consumers and employee efficiency, we shall also pursue similarity for handling of very different products – like furniture, textiles, house/garden products – as many retail chains operates with a very broad span of product types.

But sells all via WEBshop to any consumer – and expect employees in physical stores to handle any mix.