How to Manage Retail Supply Chain
20-05-2017 00:00:00
How to Manage Retail Supply Chain

A Supply Chain is a link comprising of all participants in the making and delivery of a product, right from the manufacturer and the smallest distributor to the end customers. 


From procuring raw materials, process and distribute them and deliver to customers, the chain should be smooth and fast. Retail Supply Chain management is an end-to-end process of planning and moving merchandise of retail organizations. Every supply chain makes use of certain functions such as warehousing, to store the goods; transportation, to move the goods to markets and distributors, to ensure the goods reach a large number of retailers. 


The management of a retail supply chain varies from that of other supply chains as the products move quickly resulting in low cycle time. The products also need to move continuously through the chain and one loose end can damage the entire chain. 


Thus, retail supply chains stress on time management and this factor is crucial in today’s retail market as out of stock, delays in delivery or damaged inventory situations can cost the retailer his customers. Every individual in the supply chain needs to perform his/her role effectively for the product to reach the customers. 


Supply Chain Management in the Retail sector can be made easy with the help of Point of Sale (POS) Software. 


1.    With the help of a Cloud POS, inventory can be recorded and stored and the retailer can be notified in case of low stocks. Accordingly, he can contact the supplier and replenish them. Stock can also be traced through the help of a POS Terminal and the retailer knows when to expect delivery too. Recording and tracing transactions also makes it easier to revisit earlier transactions in case of sales returns. 


2.    Since all transactions are recorded on POS Systems, they help in analysing demand for products and accordingly, supply can be altered. The market forces can also serve as the basis for trend analysis that can be used to develop future products.


3.    POS machines such as barcode scanners and thermal printers make recording and identifying inventory easier. This assists in the time management factor of the retail supply chain where warehousing and transportation functions can be performed faster as the inventory is easy to keep track of. 


4.    Other POS Peripherals such as Magnetic Stripe Readers, Touch Screen Monitors and Cash Registers also assist the retail supply chain. Magnetic Stripe Readers eliminate the need to carry cash in hand by the suppliers of retail products and thus, funds can be transferred through bank accounts. Touch Screen Monitors and Cash Registers also assist in delivering a faster billing experience to customers. 


Retail Supply Chains are a must today though they are dwindling in size with the advent of online distributors. POS Software and Hardware can assist these supply chains in their logistic activities as well as at their billing applications by making the process faster, error-free and smoother. With competitive standards rising every day, POS Softwares can effectively manage the stability of a retail supply chain.

-K Ramanathan

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