The retail supply chain takes on an increased level of importance to support the retail omni market demands the market place and the velocity of these changes.  The supply chain provides the foundation for supporting the revisions to shopping and purchasing through increased flexibility in services and capabilities. The critical focus for the supply chain in this support is the flexibility to quickly and efficiently react to the changing demands in supporting the procurement and delivery on products to the consumer.  Since a key factor driving the retail omni market is related to consumer demands to support changes in shopping and purchasing the supply chain provides the foundation to support these demands and this in turn means that the supply chain must increase flexibility and the spectrum of capabilities to support these demands.


One of the market demands that I see as driving the changes are revisions to the product life cycle and these revisions to the consumer demands will require increased flexibility in the entire supply chain to support the changes to the product life cycle.  These consumer demands produce a discontinuous product life cycle that must be tracked closely to understand and react and then the reaction time to adjust will be dramatically shorter. The requirements on the market place and the supply chain are similar and very swift in the omni market as a result of the velocity of change supported by technology.  The market place no longer allows much time for retailers to review, understand and then react to the changes demanded by consumers. 


The discontinuous change demands from consumers on the retail omni market require a robust continuous improvement and collaboration practices across the entire supply chain.  The change cycle though is a continuous cycle without time to take a breath. These changes and especially the velocity and nature of the changes require the retailers and their entire chain to be engaged in a continuous analysis and forecasting of the changes. This requires increased collaboration across the entire supply chain from supplier to end customers. 


It seems to me that the nature, especially the discontinuous nature of the changes, are driving reduced and similar discontinuous change cycles in both services and product life cycle.  This type of market place requires a higher level of collaboration and increased engagement from the supply chain to reduce the time to react to changes. This shortened change demand cycle, in turn, requires a shortened procurement cycle to react to react to the changes in consumer demands.  These changes in consumer demands, especially including shopping and purchasing demands, also requires increase flexibility in the omni market practices and capabilities to allow the retailers to react. This all results in a highly flexible and reactionary omni market that is disrupting the success of the large legacy retailers.


And now for the audience participation portion of the show…

ECommerce will have wide ranging impacts on both the retail and manufacturing sectors.  How can you focus these abilities to improve the consumer's experience? Improving the consumer’s experience will require a re-evaluation of the sales channels, the manufacturing channels and practices and the supply chain channels and practices from the raw materials to the consumers’ homes.  In order to ensure and maintain success in this new reality you must harness the tools and capabilities in many new areas. How can you support these continuously changing requirements?