COVID-19 is changing the way we think about almost everything: the way we live, the way we work, our plans for the future and our evaluations of the past. We hope these times of crisis will be over soon. 

We thought we should try and do our part to help people overcome the challenges that came along with this global crisis. Below we discuss these challenges in detail. Also, if you are a merchandising, planning or supply chain leader at a retailer, our Retail Solutions Head Asena Denizeri is happy to provide free consultation for discussing your specific challenges.

Here are some challenges that retailers face today, along with our suggestions for reducing the negative impact of each:

As the world practices social distancing, businesses make drastic changes to adjust their operations for reducing the risk on human life. Retailers are on the front-line of this crisis as they directly interact with the consumers through their goods and daily operations. The top priority for retailers, of course, is to slow down the transmission rate of the virus while meeting the basic supply needs of the communities they serve.

This requires re-assessing the supply chains to identify opportunities for: 

  • Keeping up with changes in the demand patterns
  • Focusing on sustaining the supply for must-have items
  • Finding alternative and preferably local suppliers to reduce the dependency on shipments from other countries
  • Minimizing direct human interaction throughout the supply chain and sales operations

Digital Transformation and automation have been long-time aspirations for many Retailers. Now more than ever, business leaders need to turn these aspirational goals into reality. We will see businesses putting much more emphasis on digital transformation by adopting:

  • Cloud-based systems for allowing remote work, cross-functional and cross-enterprise collaboration
  • Machine learning models for adapting to changes in demand without planner intervention
  • Automated replenishment solutions minimizing manual inputs to respond to shifting demand for internet channels. 
  • Planning solutions with prescriptive analytics allowing faster decision-making
  • Digital twins enabling businesses to do what-if analysis of tactical inputs and planning parameters such as supplier lead-times, and store replenishment frequency

While the impact of the current crisis is different depending on the country, region, category and customer mix, there is one challenge in common: to act fast. Businesses must stay on top of the shift in purchasing behavior by simultaneously managing demand and supply. 

Solvoyo’s cloud-based Retail Planning and Analytics platform can help you optimize these processes and more. We are here to ensure that all our customers continue to meet their customers’ demands while keeping their employees safe. 

If you would like to further discuss these issues and how Solvoyo can help you pursue digital transformation, please book a free consultation session me.