Retail Executive

SEP-OCT 2017

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with a product on the shelf. Instead, he focuses on not only product availability but also refined, dynamic trade-offs among deliverability and margins. "The supply chain is no longer just about reducing cost; it's about changing the customer experience," he says. "In our most automated system in Canada, it takes under 15 minutes from the time an order comes to our distribution center for processing to the time it's sent to the outbound network. That's be- cause we've invested in optimizing our DCs, and as a re- sult, they have become more effective (i.e., reduction in de- lay, reduction in backlogs during peak seasons, etc.). Our supply chain feels its super power is invisibility — if we do our job right, no one will know we're there, and that's just what we want. Our team coined the motto, 'Extraor- dinary is the new ordinary.' We do it for the customers." THE NEED FOR SPEED IN THE MODERN RETAIL SUPPLY CHAIN A fast, nimble supply chain is the key to keeping pace with ever-changing customer demand. Caldwell agrees by stating, "Companies need to find ways in which they can differentiate themselves in a fragmented market- place. Consumers are demanding tailored experiences not only in-store but also online, including customized products, personalized packaging, and tailored inter- actions. Being nimble requires a company's supply chain to anticipate customer needs. Understanding what your customers want and communicating to them regularly will help, whether it's delivering more SKUs or quicker delivery times. HBC's all-channel model utilizes many levers to meet customers' fulfill- ment needs: store fulfillment, direct shipping from vendors, and increased DC capabilities with inventory visibility across the supply chain. We have specifically invested in robust automation to allow increased stor- age of SKUs in a vertical case shuttle and the ability to pick orders more than five times faster than our legacy pick environments. This translates to more accurate and faster customer experiences." Caldwell and his team realize the supply chain is a com- pany's most important supporting role. Yet, he does not view the supply chain in a singular, linear flow ending PRIMARY BARRIERS TO FULFILLMENT COST RECOVERY SOURCE: RILA The State of the Retail Supply Chain report 2017 65% 18% 18% 29% 38% 32% 61% 33% 6% 50% 3% 47% 6% 32% 62% Competitors Willing To Absorb Costs Corporate Strategy to Pursue Mkt Share Variety of Fulfillment Options Provided Inability to Measure/Allocate Costs Rapidly Changing Supply Chain Processes Major Barrier Moderate Barrier Minimal Barrier We own our product; we touch the product; we buy the product; we guarantee the product. RETAILEXECUTIVE.COM SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2017 16 EXCLUSIVE RETAIL FEATURE Executive By E. Harris THE MODERN SUPPLY CHAIN: EXTRAORDINARY IS THE NEW ORDINARY

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