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RILA Conference Highlights Changing Marketplace

Posted on February 22, 2017

Retailers and manufacturers adopting better product availability and higher replenishment efficiencies to match consumer expectations

The Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) – a trade association for the retail industry to promote and protect the interests of its members – recently held its annual Supply Chain Conference in Orlando, FL, Datalliance reports. The three-day conference featured speakers from some of the largest retail brands like Abercrombie and Fitch, Neiman Marcus, Walmart, REI, Finish Line, and Home Depot. However, the company that drove much of the conversation did not even attend the show. Amazon’s influence on the retail industry was repeatedly mentioned in keynote addresses, breakout sessions and talk among attendees.

Retailers understand that efforts to cut costs and shorten delivery times are changing how retailers view their replenishment strategies. Free shipping for an item used to mean waiting a week for your package. Now, there is pressure in the industry from online retailers, like Amazon, offering free same-day deliveries in limited areas. Retailers are working hard to keep up by focusing on omni-channel replenishment to keep products on the shelf and available online.

Greg Sandfort, CEO of Tractor Supply Company, delivered RILA’s Supply Chain opening keynote. In his address, Sandfort discussed the importance in creating a supply chain that was responsive and reliable, “If I can’t get the product to the customer at any time and any place – I’ve failed.”

As it has become apparent that the digital world can bring profits; budgets and stock allotments that were once marked for retail initiatives are being rethought. These changes are also guiding service providers like Datalliance, a leading vendor managed inventory and collaborative replenishment software company.

“Forward-thinking manufacturing brands realize they need to adjust,” said Tom Hoar, Director of Sales for Datalliance. “We have meetings with global companies that want to know if our vendor managed inventory software can help get their products to retail shelves and manage their inventory for e-commerce. The answer is an absolute yes and that is very appealing to manufacturers as they want to increase revenue and in-stock percentages with their long-standing retail partners, but also meet the needs of digital storefronts.”

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