The year 2020 was a challenging journey. It was that rough patch that came all of a sudden and left a very deep impact on our lives. Be it professional or personal, things are not the same as they used to be pre-2020 era. Unpredictable times remain surrounds us. The wrath of the Covid19 pandemic is still present and causing situations of serious concern. The retail and manufacturing sector have faced bigger losses than anything. But irrespective of the uncertainty along with the fluctuating market, people are not holding back. Newer trends are trying to be incorporated to create some positive impact. We are still not sure when the pandemic will end. But that does not mean industries will become stagnant. That’s not the solution; moving on is!
As we approach the second half of 2021, it’s necessary to share our overview on how retail partners and procurement industries need to approach the challenging time and keep moving on. The right kind of prerogatives must be set. Here are a few trends that may prove to be beneficial:
Supply chains must be more adaptable as per the requirement of the retailers
This is a necessity. Focusing on adaptable supply chains is the need of the hour. While many are discussing resiliency in the supply chains, being adaptable is a better ploy. As per the visions of the leading procurement consultants, the retail industry is not going to face those minor bumps here and there on the journey. Rather, scenarios can be more critical than measured. So, it is necessary to focus on adaptability in context to the real change that’s taking place.
The pandemic clearly defined the importance of adaptability to the changes. Even the largest of retailers can struggle hard to adapt to the latest demand patterns. Henceforth, SC adaptability is a high prerogative and must be managed on a priority basis. Supply chain adaptability can be best managed by retailers by taking the right initiatives. Better visibility on the stocks and inventories is a must. Add to it the capability to manage on-demand supplies. Focusing on stocks and making it mandatory to store a reasonable amount of the same for emergency purposes. This is the requirement and will ensure a safer future for retailers in times of emergency.
The concept of Omnichannel Efficiency seems to be taking the front seat
Although not much focus was given on this concept earlier, the rise of pandemics allowed industries to reconsider the concept of Omnichannel Efficiency and reap its benefits. The majority of retailers have always tried to overlook this concept but not since the pandemic started showing its ugly effects. With social distancing, the new norm, and frequent lockdowns hampering the industries with a physical presence, the concept of omnichannel shopping is being considered deeply. Be it a curbside pickup or home delivery, omnichannel shopping promises a better efficiency rate to the retail industry. Buying freelancers to manage these tasks also proves beneficial in this era of crisis (read cost-cutting).
The circular economy is the approach to focus at
Sustainability is necessary, not only for businesses but also for the consumers. The concept of circular economy is being appreciated by the industries. The concept of Circular Economy follows the idea of RECYCLE AND REUSE. It helps in better waste management and increases the scope of scrap usage. Rather than throwing the used items completely, finding ways to reintroduce them to the supply chain can help control material cost and improve material efficiency rate. Procurement consultants emphasize strongly the importance of following a circular economy by manufacturing and retail industries. Some retailers even purchase the used items from the shoppers and then re-sell those at discounted rates. And then, there is the concept of renting items rather than selling the same. The concept of circular economy, thus, allows for better sustainability during the critical time and hence, must be adopted for survival.
Artificial Intelligence is growing
The concept of traditional Time-Series forecasting seems to be outdated. It is a long, tedious process to collect historical data for modeling future demand supplies. Time is limited. Things need to be synchronized within a shorter duration and hence, the need for newer technologies has climbed up the ladder. Calculating future demand-supply chains using the traditional Time-Series forecasting seems to be a difficult approach with less accuracy rate. On the other hand, opting for AI-based forecasting solutions seems to be more effective in forecasting the demands and needs, be it the present scenario or the future. Also, AI-based solutions will never require full-time employee association. Rather, buying freelancers can be the best way to manage these solutions with better financial gains and lower investment costs.
Trends keep coming and going. What matters most is adaptability to the situation and how things work out for retailers. See, the pandemic unleashed a lot of challenges for the retailers but still, hope is not lost. Fighting back is the mark of true spirit. Figuring out the latest trends and adapting to the circumstances without shutting down on the business is necessary to come out as an achiever.