With the retail industry looking for a quick way to grip onto an upward track and away from the poor returns that have been haunting the marketplace since the recession took hold, many leaders are asking whether a short-term look going forward is needed or a long-term outlook instead.
The plethora of techniques being attempted does not help matters, but it seem that combining strategies has the ability of providing greater benefits especially when a long term focus is needed. The trick to providing supporting effective Customer Relationship Management is an essential part of this combination, especially when consumers are putting more than an additional 10 per cent on their spending capabilities for the service. With numbers of that size, customer service could be worth more than 30% of total revenue by the end of 2010 and growing just online, according to a new Ovum survey.
For a company to capitalise on that increased market space, they need to incorporate the right supply chain management solutions with cost effective IT business processes to take the greatest share of an increased marketplace. "It is about providing your customers with seamless online service oriented purchasing environment and timely management of the distribution of those goods," Alberto Franchin, Director of Logistics and Customer Service Levi Strauss & Co said.
Companies like Damco have been providing strong services in this area for more than 20 years. Kirry Mukherji, Chief Commercial Officer for Europe, said: "Over the years Damco has been extremely successful with some of the largest retailers in the world, working with them to reduce cost and increase efficiency in their global supply chains. We now have the experience, competencies, systems and procedures in place to be able to replicate this success for mid-size retailers as well. We have simplified our implementation blueprint, which has often been a barrier to entry for retailers with less scale, and adopted an incremental approach, growing organically with our customers. As they evolve to more overseas sourcing we share in that success."
"Due to the capabilities that companies like Damco can provide in facilitating the on-boarding of new suppliers and improving collaboration among our sourcing offices and their suppliers, we have implemented better business practices and reduced the administrative load of managing our supplier community. In the end, we are better able to respond to customers and to the evolving demands of our rapidly growing network of retail operations and stores." Harm Van Weezel, Tesco's commercial IT director said, explaining how critical this is to customer relationship management.
"The ability for mid-sized companies to implement a strong IT process that can manage the distribution of products to the consumer and monitor the needs of the consumer prior to purchases is essential for that company to develop more sophisticated revenue streams and start competing at a higher level."
Topics of correlating supply chain management and customer relationship management through cost effective infrastructures are major talking points at NG Retail Europe Summit for executives like The Dune Group - Justin Burzynski , Mens' product and supply chain director, Staples - Renaud Foliguet, Supply Chain Planning Director, Puma - Markus Birkel, Head of IT, Marks & Spencer - Alexandria Hatchman, Head of Supply Chain & Logistics, and Adidas - Marc Van Der Heijden, VP Global IT & Retail.
The retail industry as a whole has been one of the most proactive verticals for working together in order to develop strategies that can bring about the upward mobility the retail sector which has been missing. The consumer has become more particular about the products they would like to purchase. A mid-sized retailer needs to follow the customers' needs and provide a better service to capitalize on an increased market share, but also provide efficient product delivery to stay competitive and to get a leg up on the competition.
Will the collaboration between enterprise departments for the best customer service on a long term outlook be the strategy that enables new brands to take a seat at the top?