According to new research released from Gravity Supply Chain Solutions, 85 percent of U.S. retailers haven’t completed the digitization processes (using a cloud based platform with real time visibility, and automation capabilities) required to give them full control of their supply chain. Without this, retailers will struggle with speed to market, hampering their ability to efficiently allocate supply with demand with the knock-on impact of reducing sales.
The research which is based on interviews with 500 retail executives in the U.S. and the U.K. reveals that only 15 percent of U.S. retail businesses have completed supply chain digitization. Despite this slow rate of digitization, the report finds that 60 percent of respondents see digitization as critical to creating seamless omnichannel retail experiences.
For retailers relying on manual supply chain management processes, cost is perceived to be the main blocker. This is the case for 46 percent of respondents whose supply chains remain undigitized. This could be attributed to a fear of failing to deliver ROI considering that a further 29 percent cited the inability to justify cost as the most significant blocker to supply chain digitization.
“Clearly, the supply chain is the final frontier of retail digitization, and while retailers are anxious about the cost, not moving from manual spreadsheet-based supply chain management towards digitized processes could cost them a whole lot more.” says Graham Parker, CEO of Gravity Supply Chain Solutions.
Many U.S. respondents that have not completed digitization say they do recognize the value in doing so. For those yet to undergo digitization, 44 percent believe the lower cost of operation is the strongest benefit, followed closely by higher profit margins (40 percent), and greater customer experience (36 percent).
For those who have fully digitized their supply chains, one significant benefit has been better decision-making with 76 percent stating that they believe their organization has enough data and insight to make the right decisions about its supply chain. More than 55 percent say that order tracking across all touchpoints has improved the customer experience while 53 percent say personalization of products has increased.
The most significant learning from this report is that the majority of retailers understand the value of supply chain digitization. Supply chain digitization presents a massive opportunity for retailers to improve customer loyalty and the correct solution can allow them to add analytical, predictive, and AI capabilities in phases to help meet consumer demand in the most efficient way possible.
Want to learn more? Click here to download the full report.
About Gravity Supply Chain Solutions
Gravity Supply Chain Solutions is the developer of state-of-the-art technology that gives unprecedented 24/7 visibility of entire supply chain networks. By uniting manufacturers, logistics service providers, and retailers on one platform, Gravity improves collaboration and decision-making at every stage of the supply chain. With dedicated offices in five major cities around the world, Gravity is a global solution for global operations.