Before we discuss how mobile data collection solutions can help struggling businesses, we need to address just how serious it is that all companies continuously evaluate their supply chain for weaknesses. Just ask Target, the retail giant, which lost billions of dollars due in part to major supply chain blunders as it was trying to grow its business in Canada.
Since 2017 began, shares of Target are down nearly 12 points. The Street noted that much of that has to do with its poor holiday numbers.
"While we significantly outpaced the industry's digital performance, the costs associated with the accelerated mix shift between our stores and digital channels and a highly promotional competitive environment had a negative impact on our fourth-quarter margins and earnings per share," said Target Chairman and CEO Brian Cornell, according to The Street.
A Target spokesman emailed The Street saying that she sees "tremendous opportunity" to grow in areas including supply chain, technology, digital and merchandising.
But this isn't the first time the company has seen opportunities in its supply chain nor the first time it has struggled due to supply chain problems. For example, in early 2015 Target announced it was closing all 133 of its Canadian stores due to setbacks in its supply chain. By January 2015, USA Today reported the retailer had lost upwards of $2 billion since it first announced its expansion in 2011.
Target's Canadian ambitions failed for a number of reasons including:
As you can see, supply chain problems can have a detrimental impact on a company. To upgrade or repair supply chain and supply chain management strategies, we suggest assessing the types of inventory management tools employees use. And if they're still manually entering and extracting data, think about upgrading to mobile data collection solutions, which can help bring their supply chain tactics into the 21st century.
Large corporations, such as Target, likely already use mobile data collection solutions, but that doesn't mean they're using the correct ones. And smaller companies - unaware of how automated systems can benefit them or fearful they may not have the resources to adopt a sophisticated solution - may not use one at all. Instead, these enterprises manually record and extract data. As you might guess, both large and small companies can struggle to keep up with competitors because of how they're managing their supply chains.
To bring their operations up to speed with competitors, they can (and should) commit the necessary resources to upgrading to mobile data collection systems. Here's how companies will benefit when they do make the jump:
When companies use mobile data collection tools, they'll suddenly gain an eagle's-eyed view of their entire organization. One major problem the JDA study revealed was that many companies may not have standard metrics in place to measure their success because data silos exist within their organization. Inventory management solutions help break down silos, allowing information to flow freely from one side of the company to the other.
If there's one important lesson to take away from Target's supply chain blunder, it's this: Every company - no matter whether they're struggling or not - needs to constantly examine their supply chain for vulnerabilities. Then they must strengthen weak areas by creating a comprehensive strategy that addresses the tools employees use to track warehouse processes and how companies can easily integrate automated data collection solutions into their business model.
You may unsubscribe from these communications at anytime.