Retail Supply Chains are Evolving Rapidly with Connected Systems

December 12, 2022

The world of retail is evolving at a feverish pace. Technological advancements are drastically changing how consumers shop online and in stores. Retailers who are finding success are making the shopping experience simpler and more convenient for customers.

Intelligent automation will continue to play a significant role in the evolution of retail. Stores are using new tools to keep customer data up to date to better understand, predict and influence their purchasing decisions.

They are also streamlining various touch points, from forecasting and fulfillment to customer service, to improve supply chains. Automated solutions also help inform merchandising strategies by analyzing historical and real-time data so retailers can make smarter and faster decisions.

New software and services that automate workflows and reduce guesswork eliminate the tedious, repetitive tasks that otherwise drain productive use of time and labor resources. By continuing to push for greater connectivity between their systems and applications, retailers of all sizes are finding ways to co-exist with e-commerce behemoths like Amazon and Walmart.

What will happen next?

The retail industry is evolving rapidly. Physical stores are being transformed by technology and supply chain strategies that let consumers browse and customize their selections, and place orders through their phones. Selected items will soon be delivered by autonomous vehicles, robots or drones. Nearly anything seems possible as intelligent automation continues to be embraced.

As we anticipate grandiose changes in the retail experience (from a workforce and customer standpoint), what can businesses do to further improve their operations to stand apart from competitors and create impactful shopping experiences? The answer is quite simple: embrace readily available technology now to iron out logistical kinks and introduce greater efficiencies to make room for innovation.

Streamlining retail logistics

Retailers need data sharing between systems to occur instantaneously and harmoniously. No one system should be operating independently or require extra work or resources to transfer important insights from one platform to the next.

Connectivity is often focused on improving front-end activities that enhance the customer experience, such as with emails, texts and pop-up ads tailored to their interests. Where connectivity makes the most difference is by having end-to-end visibility in the middle and final mile to create faster fulfillment solutions and lower delivery costs.

To keep up with competitors, retailers can and should connect their systems, including their transportation management systems (TMS), to networks and ecosystems that can automate various stages of the supply chain from order to fulfillment and final-mile delivery.

A modern Shipper TMS platform that’s capable of integrating with internal and external systems and applications helps to streamline end-to-end communications and visibility. With the right setup, shippers can update their customers with critical, real-time insights about shipments, including estimated time of arrival or potential delays, so they’re not left wondering about the status of orders.

Greater connectivity and visibility across various transportation touch points makes it possible to optimize planning and execution for maximum cost savings and customer service. With improved operational consistency, retailers can prevent out-of-stock inventory, eliminate unnecessary trips to the store or online visits if the product isn’t ready or available, and ensure all goods are transported safely to avoid cargo claims and unsatisfied customers.

Achieve Smarter, Faster Decision-Making

PCS Software’s Shipper TMS platform is designed to create connected ecosystems that simplify retail processes, and achieve smarter, faster decision-making. With improved end-to-end supply chain visibility, retailers of all shapes and sizes can implement smoother, streamlined operations that benefit their bottom line and keep their customers coming back for more.

Interested in learning more about how a modern TMS can support your retail operation today and in the future? Request a demo here