85% of US retailers haven’t completed supply chain digitisation

According to new research released from Gravity Supply Chain Solutions, 85% of US retailers haven’t fully digitised their supply chain

Credit: Gravity Supply Chain Solutions

The research which is based on interviews with 500 retail executives in the US and the UK reveals that only 15% of US retail businesses have completed digitization of their supply chain management processes. Despite this slow rate of digitization, the report finds that 60% of US retailers see supply chain digitization as critical to creating seamless omnichannel retail experiences. Gravity Supply Chain Solutions defines digitisation as using a cloud based platform with real time visibility and automation capabilities.

According to the research, digitisation has improved decision making and customer experience. Among those who have fully digitised their supply chains 76% say that they believe their organization has enough data and insight to make the right decisions about its supply chain following digitization. More than half (55%) of retailers say that order tracking across all touchpoints has improved the customer experience while 53% say customer experience got enhanced by increased personalization of products.

For retailers relying on manual supply chain management processes, cost is perceived to be the main blocker to digitization projects, and this is the case for nearly half (46%) of US retailers whose supply remain undigitised. This concern could be attributed to a fear of such projects failing to deliver a return on investment considering that a further 29% of US respondents cited the inability to justify cost as the most significant blocker to supply chain digitization.

Many US retail businesses that have not completed digitization projects say they do recognize the value in doing so. Those yet to undergo supply chain digitization believe the lower cost of operation is the strongest benefit (according to 44%), followed closely by higher profit margins (40%), and greater customer experience (36%).

 “With strong investment in front-end technologies designed to enhance the customer experience such as smart kiosks, and AR apps targeted ads, it begs the questions why retailers appear slow to digitize their supply chains.” says Graham Parker, CEO of Gravity Supply Chain Solutions “If retailers can’t bring speed to market to meet growing consumer demand, this will disappoint customers, and potentially undermine investments made to improve the customer experience at the front-end. Clearly, the supply chain is the final frontier of retail digitization, and while retailers are anxious about the cost, not moving from manual spreadsheet-based supply chain management towards digitised processes that provide speed, efficiency and informed decision making, could cost them a whole lot more.”

Click here to download the full report.

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