Shops reopening - but can the supply chain cope?

By Sian Hopwood, SVP B2B EMEA at BluJay Solutions.

As the UK lockdown is lifted, retailers must be on their toes when it comes to predicting and meeting customer demand with supply chain agility and resiliency.

With further economic uncertainty on the horizon, it’s more important than ever that retailers have visibility and control over every aspect of the supply chain. Only this way can they meet changing expectations and requirements of the customer experience, the most valuable supply chain differentiator for brands. 

Control is only achievable with end-to-end visibility from warehouse to store, flexibility to accommodate quickly changing trends, and optimisation to ensure that operations can efficiently and effectively scale. Without the right tools, retailers could oversupply before customers have truly taken to the high street again, or fail to meet demand when it arises.  

By relying on data, retailers can understand, monitor and swiftly cater to demand. With technology to automate previously manual, disconnected processes, businesses can scale operations seamlessly, with lower error rates, greater speed, better visibility, and lower cost. These benefits add up to improved customer loyalty and business agility. 

The most important factor for retailers at this time is flexibility. By using technologies which enable a reaction to changing attitudes in real-time, retailers can ease themselves into the post-COVID world without a hitch. 

Huge benefits exist for retailers that can carefully navigate their supply chain through this period: customer trust, a reputation for resilience, and the crucial safeguarding of business continuity in the long-term.

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