We spend months preparing for this – peak season in the retail supply chain. Whether you’re a supplier, distributor, or retailor, you want to leave nothing to chance. Consumers will be on the hunt to fulfill every wish on their shopping list.  You best ensure it’s readily available!

Stockouts are a nightmare at any time of year, but during peak season the damage is magnified.  Lost revenue, compromised customer satisfaction, negative press – a missed peak season can haunt a business for many a Christmas future. So, how can businesses throughout the supply chain avoid a scary visit from the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come?

Supply Chain Integration

I recently wrote about how supply chain convergence will, over time, deliver great value to us all.  When it comes to Black Friday, the opportunity boils down to this: What if you could know when a truck carrying this season’s “must have” gift is 5 minutes from your loading dock?

Imagine your warehouse or back-of-store associates receiving an alert.  With Santa’s sleigh only minutes away, they finish or pause current tasks.  Hand trucks, forklifts, and totes at the ready, workers converge on the assigned dock door.  Another alert lets workers know the truck in on site. The loading dock door begins to rise. The truck shifts into park, and the trailer doors open.  Warehouse workers immediately begin unloading at full tilt. Moments later a worker is wheeling a tote onto the store floor to replenish shelves. You’ve just saved Christmas for shoppers and protected your Black Friday from a critical stockout. 

Blockchain – the centerpiece of all this integration – will make this possible.  Integration among warehouse management, enterprise resource planning, and transportation management systems - WMS, ERP and TMS, respectively, can ensure you order more stock in time, have the staff to distribute it, and know exactly when it’s arriving.  It’s obvious, but your business may not be the owner of all these systems.  An integrated supply chain will ease the connection and sharing of data among systems and enable visibility across participants in your supply chain.  

The scenario above describes the retail store use case but is equally relevant to manufacturer and logistics participants.  Supply chain integration drives visibility with timely, relevant, and actionable data. This convergence of information into your operations will take your business to a new level of readiness.