Top 5 Supply Chain Headaches Created by Retail

I still remember the very first time I saw this thing called the Internet. It was July 1997 and I got an after-hours glimpse at the German multinational company where I worked. To the music of a vacuum cleaner wielded by cleaning staff, I clicked on the new-fangled Netscape Browser, typed a request into something called altavista.com and saw my first website: Mercedes Benz. My dream was to buy a Mercedes Benz E220D someday—and I wanted to…

Omnichannel Retail Stresses Demand New Tools

Delivering an omnichannel experience to customers has become newest Holy Grail for retailers. At the same time, trying to use old tools and processes to meet these new service level demands creates nothing but headaches. Omnichannel refers to the standard of offering a seamless brand experience to the consumer across all channels: retail store, Internet, and mobile device. The new standard takes “the customer is always right” to the next level, saying that consumers should…

The Ebb & Flow of Retail Supply Chain: Is AI the Answer?

This month puts us well past the holiday season, with its tradition of frenzied holiday shopping. For those, the shopping tradition and the weeks after provide an opportunity for bragging rights about the savings I achieved in my holiday bargain hunting starting at Thanksgiving.  At the same time, it marks a good time for electronics retailers to start getting ready for the next big shopping surge. I think nostalgically of my first experience with holiday…

No Quick Picks: The Right Retail Technology Makes a Difference

If brick and mortar retail is to survive, retailers can’t just sell technology, but they must use technology in new and smart ways. Plus, it can’t be gadgets for the sake of gadgets, but must help customers in measurable ways. What that looks like is continued to evolve. It might be installing iPad stations where shoppers can browse (and hopefully buy) products that they can’t find on the retail floor. It may be putting up…

Retail Needs to Get Its Groove Back

Apple welcomes customers to its first store in Taiwan in July. Photo courtesy: Apple Is retail dead? This became the crux of the matter when I found myself invited to pitch in front of a leading retailer at the Advanced Technology Development Center (ATDC) at Georgia Tech. It was an exciting opportunity that was dulled when the name of the retailer was revealed.  They are losing market share to Amazon, the big elephant in every conference room…

7 Things About Amazon the Retail Supply Chain Needs to Know

Crystal Hanlon Photo courtesy: The Home Depot It was nice a Sunday evening at Orlando Florida. Our company, Smart Gladiator, was one of the Start-Up Technology companies that was selected to represent the Georgia team in the Retail Industry Association (RILA) Retail Supply Chain Conference 2017. The conference was full of educational sessions. Not just a source of subject matter experts discussing the major trends, the event was a great way to network and learn from…

Newest Supply Chain Paradigm Shift Hits Retail

In 1997, I had a half-day training with the leader of the multinational company I had just joined in Bangalore. He started with a story from Steven Covey’s book, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People about paradigm shift: One morning on a subway in New York, people were sitting quietly – some reading newspapers, some lost in thought, some resting with their eyes closed. It was a calm, peaceful scene. Then suddenly, a man and his…

Resuscitating Retail: Big Lessons from Big Winners

It is very easy to look at the adversity, see only doom and gloom and give up quickly. However, real winners see the opportunities behind the challenge. It may be tempting to assume that e-commerce is the new reality, but I believe retail sales still have promise. Let me share a story. Once, a gentleman had a beautiful bone china cup in which he would enjoy his tea, while reading his books. He relished the…