The retail industry
The retail sector is huge – within the U.S., it includes 1 million stores and accounted for $4 trillion in revenue in 2013. Within retail are many categories, covering everything from internet catalog sales, to groceries, to convenience stores, to vending machines, to clothing -vehicle dealers are responsible for 20% of total sales, food and beverage stores for 14% and drug and cosmetic stores for 10%. The retail sector is the largest employer in the United States, consisting of over 15 million jobs.
Point of interest: Private labels
Private label brands have boomed during the recession and have closed the gap on major label brands by competing on price and shelf space. This is in large part due to price but consumer confidence in the quality of private label products has increased.
Private label products have existed throughout the history of retailing. During the late 1980s, private label growth was phenomenal, with grocery unit shares reaching over 15%. By that time, private labels products were following the rule “doing it on the cheap.” They were simply copycats of national brand products.
Private label quality has improved dramatically since the days of generic products. Several recent consumer reports studies have claimed that the quality gap between national brands and private label products has been reduced or eliminated. 67% consumers believe private labels offers good value for money, and 62% say buying private label makes them feel like a smart shopper.
Lascom solution for retail product management
The retail industry is faced with the challenges of maintaining market share and profits while attempting new concepts and store formats in an effort to differentiate themselves from other types of retailers. To better compete in a high pressured environment, retailers are increasingly tailoring their product offerings to meet changing consumer interests through constant innovation. As margins are slim, an effective retail product management is essential to compete and grow in the sector. For many retailers, cash flow is uneven because of seasonal demand and promotions. Due to increased demand during the winter holidays, many retailers, including toy, jewelry, and consumer electronics stores, generate a disproportionate share of revenue during the fourth quarter. Back-to-school and spring and fall fashion introductions drive sales peaks for apparel retailers. Even general merchandise stores must improve retail products management to prepare for key selling periods.
Lascom’s solution offers a single repository performing as a “single version of the truth” providing updated data to all participants; for most organizations, the product information repository stores a great deal of data, document, and any other type of information both from internal teams and external participants.
An RFP module to facilitate bidding processes; optimizing RFP process and collaboration with suppliers often means benefiting from a portal with dedicated access to securely input information about proposals, quotation or product specifications. Tight seal front office to avoid information leaks from a supplier to another is key.
Launch wrap-up assistant to optimize in-store promotions; this includes artwork process – Lascom collaborative solution makes it possible to conduct virtual label reviews. Comments can be directly added on the document. Reviewers are then able to approve or reject comments regarding their role -, merchandising and sales promotions.
Lascom offers a supplier portal to improve reactivity on each task. Calendars are shared and collaboration enhanced. The system tracks, manages and optimizes the end-to-end process. The appropriate documentation, such as specifications, instructions and RFP, can be automatically generated, followed and traced.
Enhanced SRM and improved collaboration; To better manage products and projects in retail, smooth and effective collaboration is crucial. Managing collaboration means develop, launch and manage new and existing products through a coherent and structured process where every participant involved is able to find the right information.
Customers’ complaint management tool; once acquitted each consumer complaint triggers highly automated workflows to alert various stakeholders, to capture potential related cost and support the tracking of the resolution. All participants should be informed of the work in progress – containment and preventive actions for instance.
Key functions for retail product management
Benefits for retail product management
Unique and up-to-date information
No information retrieval
Automatic generation of specification sheets, specifications, …
Internal and external exchange cycle reduced by 70%
Tender management best dealt with
Responsibility for the veracity of the data carried by the supplier
Improved traceability of data and exchanges
Improved risk management and customer complaints
Improved visibility into company performance,
Increased ROI of products,
Prioritization of projects with high added value,
Building a strategic vision for the company
Access our guides and whitepapers for your industry :
- Agri-food compliance: a global phenomenon. How can we adapt to it ? – White Paper
- Collaboration as a Key to Success in Retail – White Paper
- Retail: Challenges & Performances – Infographics