Optimization of Retail Inventory Control and Quality Assurance

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Summary

A leading retail client was seeking innovative approaches to gain visibility and control over inventory within their supply chain.  Sagence compiled data and industry research to inform techniques the company could use, and worked with their team to explore these possibilities.

Challenge

The retailer continuously optimizes their supply chain in order to maintain their position as a leader in the industry. Specifically, the client wanted to improve their inventory control and quality assurance (ICQA) practices, with the goal of gaining better visibility of their inventory across critical points of control from providers, to distribution centers and stores.  This challenge was compounded by the heterogeneity of their stores and operations.

 

Solution

The Sagence team researched how competitors and supply chain innovators managed ICQA within their organizations, including how they approach ICQA, the structure of purchase orders and accountability of vendors, challenges for companies in different industries (e.g. retail, pharmaceuticals), metrics used to gauge ICQA effectiveness, and ICQA data collection challenges and methodologies.

Additionally, we researched emerging technologies impacting ICQA. Through this research, we identified select use cases on how emerging technologies are used in distribution centers and stores, as well as the benefits and challenges of adopting these technologies.  We also created profiles for startups and established companies developing these technologies, and case studies of companies adopting these technologies. For example, we investigated case studies on companies using robotics and internet-of-things platforms to manage and track inventory in their distribution centers and stores. We investigated how companies applied these technologies and the resulting benefits

Results

The retailer developed an understanding of how competitors and other supply chain leaders managed ICQA in their supply chain, along with how emerging technologies are impacting ICQA. This provided the ICQA team with the support they needed to drive ICQA transformation across the supply chain and to drive conversations with the internal innovation program. The internal innovation program can help the ICQA team pilot specific use cases of emerging technologies in the distribution centers or stores before making any company-wide changes.