Emergence of omni-channel retail has given rise to complexities in supply chain management. The session “Accelerating Availability: Supply Chain Solutions” explore the different aspects of SCM in the context of omni-channel retail. The session was moderated by Anant Mahale, Director, Intouch Rewards and the eminent panelists were Shohaib Ahmed, President, Tally Solutions Pvt Ltd; Kannan Soundarajan, CFO, Arvind Lifestyle Brands and Arvind Retail Ltd; Samson Samuel, COO, Contract Logistics & CIO, Future Supply Chain Solutions Ltd; Somick Goswami, Director-Consulting PWC; Tony Low, MD & Sr VP, Asia Pacific GT Nexus; and Veneeth Purushotaman, CIO, Hypercity Retail.
Where do the challenges lie?
Mr Samuel talked about complicated inventory management, whereas Mr Goswami pointed out the problem in prioritizing the movement of a particular stock and the disparity between order exposure and order fulfillment. A customer walking-in and walking out without any purchase is an opportunity loss or loss of cost, viewed panelists.
Dealing with return inventory
Though omni-channel retail increase the risk of return inventory Mr Purushotaman commented that online retail is one effective channel for selling return inventory at marked prices thus enabling liquidation of stocks.
All the panelists agreed on the point that customers are the key stakeholder of omni-channel retailing and post-sales services have to be enhanced for betterment shopping experience.
Collaboration with vendors
Trust factor plays an important role here. Absence of trust among retailers and vendors causes absence of visibility. But Mr Soundarajan feels that SOR (Sell Or Return) model brings in visibility.
Importance of GST
For inventory distribution there is an urgent need for the deployment of GST. Effective network model or spoke and hub model is only possible when GST is in place. Mr Soundarajan highlighted the dearth of good logistics companies and space enough to build up warehouses and distribution centres.
All the panelists lamented on lack of uniform regulatory policies for the movement of goods across the country. These are basic fundamentals which are not in place and despite having technologies, such problems can ruin the retail sentiment, viewed the panelists.
In the context of slow economic growth, the retailers are feeling the heat and unanimously agreed that there’s a restricted technology adoption for budget constraint.
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