Retail Industry Consulting Solutions

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Tompkins International’s retail consultants focus on end-to-end supply chain solutions in the retail industry, with offices in North America, Europe and Asia.

Through this global presence of resources and offices, Tompkins’ retail supply chain consultants can assist with solutions that address the key initiatives and trends affecting the retail industry in today’s environment.

Tompkins is a supply chain execution firm that fully addresses supply chain challenges as well as helps retailers move forward with profitable growth by truly understanding the market and being able to both cut costs & increase revenue.

Retail Trends That Drive Change — The retail industry faces many challenges: space leasing and housing issues, tight credit, the overall strength of the economy and the uncertainty and low confidence of the consumer.

Shopping patterns are shifting: consumers are spending less (by delaying or downsizing purchases), visiting fewer stores, shopping closer to home, and moving to more pre-shopping on the web and on-line shopping.

Both buyers and suppliers are stocking less retail inventory, and supply chain disruptions are becoming more of an issue. Retailers are ordering later and consumer behavior is more difficult to predict.

Consolidation is occurring in some cases, and the newly merged brands and chains are driving huge synergy and reducing retail supply chain costs through integration of supply chains. Some retailers are selling off non-core divisions or underperforming units to concentrate on their main focus.

Global trade and risk issues also come into play — including compliance with trade limits and quotas, establishing accurate Country of Origin designations, import costs/duties, gray market goods, value-added taxes, and penalty exposure in Europe.

Driving retail supply chain costs down while maintaining or improving service is critical to every retailer’s success. The Amazon Effect: The innovations of Amazon make up one of the tipping points retailers must respond to. Learn more in this video on The Amazon Effect and what it means to you.

The key factors that retailers are focused on in today’s market are:

The Asia Opportunity — Do you know how to leverage the huge Asia opportunity? China and Asia present unique supply chain challenges as the region shifts from being the world’s factory floor to a booming global marketplace. Learn more about Asia supply chain excellence.

Reducing Retail Supply Chain Costs — Many retailers are aggressively working to reduce the cost impact of getting product through the Buy — Make — Move — Store — Sell process. Labor, facilities, fuel, and physical and IT systems are all part of an intense focus for any retailer driving real impact to the bottom line.

Retail inventory is an important area with across-the-board reductions and cross channel inventory optimization — all of which impact costs, cash position and the balance sheet. Discontinuations and inventory positioning decisions result from economic-based forecasts. For more on retail inventory, read the article “25 Ways to Lower Inventory Costs.”

Retailers are driving initiatives such as crossdocking, facility relocation, and operations / systems upgrades to enhance the flow of their supply chains.  Watch this presentation on the top 12 real estate trends that result from major supply chain transformations taking place today.

Strategic sourcing and procurement optimization also help achieve reduced cost in a low-margin industry. In some cases, the cost reduction need is so great that sacrifices are made on service levels for low margin products.

Improving Product Availability — Reduced lead times and lower origin to customer inventory levels are stressing retailers to accurately predict, manage, and position inventory optimally — the right product, quantity, place, and time — to meet ever-changing variable customer needs.

Stock-outs equal lost sales and possible customer defections. A customer today will go to another competing store and find what they want if they cannot get it at their first stop.

As recognition of change in expected demand occurs, retailers and suppliers must have seamless visibility, improved communication, and much faster speed of delivery of goods to maximize sales and margins.

Get a quick look at the powerful impact demand-driven supply chains can bring to your customer satisfaction and operational value in this short video from Jim Tompkins, CEO of Tompkins International, and Greg Brady, CEO of One Network.

High margin products, seasonal goods and upscale brands are especially in need of fast, efficient, and cost-effective supply chains.

Retail Supply Chain Solutions

Managing and executing world-class retail supply chains in the global environment of the 21st century has become one of the most challenging executive tasks in the industry.

The effectiveness of retail supply chains can make or break a company and dictate if the retailer will flounder or flourish. Mistakes along the way will impact shareholder value and company image, and will determine long-term success or failure.

Global supply chains will continue to be complex in this retail environment in which supply chain innovations are required, and near perfect execution is a must.

In order to survive, retailers must excel. Otherwise, market share, ownership, and viability will be changed at the individual company level.

Whatever the need for transformation and optimization of your retail supply chain, Tompkins has the experience and breadth of services to assist you in achieving your goals. From supply chain strategy development to full implementation, our team is uniquely qualified to meet your challenges.

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