Having the right product displayed at the right time is crucial for retail store success. Yet, it’s a universal challenge facing a wide spectrum of modern retail environments, from traditional high-end and fast-fashion stores to seasonal and pop-up shops. What’s causing this issue?

In general, supply chains continue to tighten and float is reduced as companies work to cut costs and improve margins. This can increase inventory turn ratios that may negatively impact store performance by leading to inadequate inventory levels and a possible decrease in sales.

More specifically, the following retail industry drivers, which are exacerbated by the lack of visibility, are creating pressure at the store level.


Delivery Complexity

Many supply chain networks today are using a hybrid transportation model consisting of multiple modes such as LTL, parcel and pool distribution. As a result, inbound deliveries for retail stores are growing more complex.

Managing multiple carriers with different schedules and delivery windows makes planning and staffing for deliveries more difficult. To reduce uncertainty and increase planning efficiency, leading retailers have implemented dynamic visibility tools to help streamline inbound store deliveries.


Compromised Store Performance

Increasing delivery complexity has intensified poor visibility, which in turn has compromised store performance.

Without visibility, stores are unable to staff properly and can continually over or under staff for deliveries. Plus, the ability to change staff schedules on short notice is being restricted by tighter labor regulations, which makes achieving optimal staffing even more difficult. 

Another factor perpetuating poor store performance is high store associate turnover. The resulting knowledge gap and learning curve required for understanding delivery schedules associated with a complex network can be detrimental to store operations.


Omni-channel Promise

As ecommerce and online ordering increases, having an omni-channel strategy is critical for a store to be successful in today’s marketplace.

Many organizations are using store inventory to fulfill online and pick-up orders. As this becomes more popular with consumers and is an expected service, store visibility will be essential to keeping customers satisfied.

To navigate these three retail industry drivers, it’s important to focus on improving store delivery visibility. Providing transparency of delivery dates, windows and carton/SKU counts to your stores will ultimately improve labor planning, ecommerce fulfillment, and overall store performance.


How Descartes Can Help

Descartes solutions using real-time collaboration and shared visibility help retail stores ensure the right goods are transported to the right location, at the right time and for the lowest cost.

Descartes StoreTrac™ is an easy-to-use tool that provides dynamic data for incoming deliveries to retail stores. Using a simple, streamlined interface, store employees can see updated shipment information, including carton and unit counts, real-time status updates, carton contents, and carrier information. For more information, visit the retail distribution area on our website.