Retail Logistics

The retail industry

becomes more and more complex and IT-support may easily follow, i.e. with a mix of systems and a myriad of interfaces.

This equals not only high costs, but also reduces agility.  Anything new or any change is complicated and takes time.

Keyword “ANY”

The new key word for all changes seems to be “ANY” = the consumer will be motivated by any type of impact, choose any touchpoint to the retailer, buy any type of product – and expect efficiency for any process combination.

A new Market-side model is required, often called Omni-Channel logistics.

Container impact

The container, offering close to no-cost transport, has revolutionized competition, example IKEAcalled the flat furniture company. And add further cheap communication via the internet.

Supply-side logistics is both stretching out to any-where and has become more complex.

Process mix

Products generally tend to have shorter life-cycles. The traditional Continuous Replenishment Processes (CRP) will be complemented or replaced by Push-processes, single item restocking – or just direct delivery from central warehouse. And Retailers tend to span products with different nature; adding complexity due to metric conversion, product “built”, 2+ dimensions, serial number – guaranty, direct delivery – the list expands.

We focus on logistics / ERP – all within the red line – and the 6 major interfaces show how Softbase will fit into the Application map. These interfaces are all of a loosely coupled nature, allowing integration flexibility.

Omni-Channel

Consumers have changed behavior, due to the WEB, social media and mobile devices. Example: young consumers become aware of product via an ad, scan barcode and become interested, visit a sample store, share image with a friend – choose a variant, not on stock – and have product delivered next day to collect point. The same consumer will most likely next act differently – but expect a similar experience.

Business-to-Employee (B2E)

Company owned / affiliated physical shops will have a “PC”-device for Apps, direct coupled to corporate IT. The on-shop “PC”-device provides functionality for processing of complex orders (as a superset of the WEBshop) – and may further also handle distribution of marketing info to shop-devices, timerecording and other services to employees – become a portal.

The DATAMODEL is the key-component, the database is derived from this – and all functionality is built on this basis. The “Product Definition System” impact the Datamodel, WEBshop and Media management – but product data must be reflected by the Datamodel and next the central Database.

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