Fresh Success in Retail: Improving Supply Chains with Managed Procurement Services

Fresh Success in Retail: Improving Supply Chains with Managed Procurement Services

In today’s competitive marketplace, a retailer’s success can hinge on the strength and agility of its supply chain. But, oftentimes, much of the focus is on the actual transportation of goods, with less emphasis on critical back-end management that can bring end-to-end visibility, efficient processes, and cost savings to the supply chain. Without the right technology capabilities or distribution expertise, retailers might face a number of challenges.

Do any of these circumstances sound familiar to you?

Fragmented supply chain visibility

Retail stores serve a wide range of product and service categories, with multiple departments and store locations needing to restock everything from perishables to general merchandise. But if each department or location is running its own show, visibility to those needs, processes, and costs can be quite fragmented. And can you truly manage what you can’t see?

Lack of operational effectiveness

In addition to visibility issues, silos between departments, store locations, or both can also cause sluggish processes, add time-consuming tasks to employees’ heavy loads of responsibilities, and slow the pace of goods getting to market. Are your procurement and supply chain processes up to speed?

The solution

To begin seeing what you may be missing in your supply chain, you need technology that can provide a wide range of functions and integrated solutions, such as real-time, end-to-end visibility, standardized ordering, efficient fulfillment processes, customized reporting, and data analysis.

Whether you are a standalone retail operation with external distribution or a multi-unit national chain that is self-distributing, inbound and outbound visibility is crucial to a well-managed, consistent supply chain. With the right technology capabilities, visibility begins when a department or location places an order and ends when all data from each department, location, and supplier is captured, organized, and analyzed. This brings the complete supply chain into focus, aggregating purchase information, policies, pricing and supply chain costs, terms, and performance of suppliers.

Consumers today are all about convenience, and these on-the-go shoppers are clamoring for time-saving items like cut-and-ready fruits and vegetables and meal kits. But while these items trim prep time for consumers, they can add tedious cutting and packaging tasks to store employees’ already busy days. Identifying and adjusting inefficiencies throughout the supply chain can make all the difference in streamlining processes, better engaging employees’ time, and maximizing the freshness and quality of product for consumers.

Final thoughts

It takes the right blend of sophisticated technology and deep supply chain expertise to achieve end-to-end supply chain visibility and quantifiable business improvements, including increased quality and consistency of product, enhanced supplier relationships, cost savings, and better experiences for your customers.

Robinson Fresh delivers these results through managed procurement services. Connect with a Robinson Fresh expert to learn how this comprehensive, scalable solution can support your business.

Tony Hinderer

Tony Hinderer - Retail Strategy Manager

Tony Hinderer is a retail strategy manager for C.H. Robinson and has been with the company for more than a dozen years. Tony is an expert in retail supply chains and has provided solutions to retailers both large and small throughout a variety of supply chain functions. In his free time, Tony enjoys traveling, spending time on the water, and hiking.

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