How can companies minimize holiday supply chain problems?


‘Tis the season when supply chains are under pressure to meet customer demands and to keep internal business procedures running smoothly. Companies not optimizing their holiday supply chain and procurement processes are subject to risk. Disruptions, unpredictable demand, increased customer service expectations, and the need for faster communication between buyers and suppliers have made maintaining a robust and efficient supply chain a necessity.

The National Retail Federation (NRF) has issued a forecast expecting 2017 holiday retail sales in November and December to rise between 3.6 and 4 percent over last year for a total of $678.75 billion to $682 billion. For many retailers, this is good news as they look to boost their bottom lines. However, for those companies without an efficient supply chain and procurement process in place to manage ever-increasing demand, the heightened strain could spell disaster.

How can companies minimize holiday supply chain problems?

  • Real Time Analytics and Reporting
    • Leverage a spend analytics tool to make data-driven decisions and stay alert to maverick spend. Reports from such tools can help you identify which suppliers, categories and commodities are receiving the majority of your dollars. These are the areas where investing time to achieve pricing reductions and enhance supplier value will be most lucrative.
  • Develop Relationships with your Strategic Suppliers
    • Supplier relationship management is critical for driving procurement value. It’s no longer about just getting the lowest price, especially during the holiday season when delivery time and product quality are top priorities. If supplier relationships are improperly managed, contracts can be neglected and drain a substantial amount of value over time.
  • Get a Handle on Transportation Sourcing
    • Moving raw materials and finished goods from one place to another has always challenged suppliers, manufacturers, and retailers alike. The holiday shuffle and inclement weather add additional challenges. By leveraging analytics and sourcing optimization technology, sourcing pros can analyze price and non-price bid information to make best price and lowest risk decisions.

Are you effectively managing your supply chain risk during the holidays? Give us a call to discuss how we can help!


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