September 27, 2002, 12:00 AM

Retail industry a strong market for supply chain technology, vendors say

Driven by competition and a heightened need for cost-cutting efficiency, retailers are emerging as the strongest buyers of supply chain management technology, vendors tell InternetRetailer.com.

Driven by competition and a heightened need for cost-cutting efficiency, retailers are emerging as the strongest buyers of supply chain management technology, a number of vendors tell InternetRetailer.com.

"We`re seeing a lot of activity in retail right now," says Bernard Goor, vice president of retail and consumer packaged goods for i2 Technologies Inc., provider of supply chain technology systems. "The retail industry is showing the strongest area of growth across all industries."

Other vendors, interviewed at the Collaborative Commerce section of the Frontline Solutions Supply Chain Week conference this week in Chicago, echo Goor’s assessment. Internet Commerce Corp., Sterling Commerce Corp., EXE Technologies Inc., EC Vision and others cited the retail industry as their strongest current market.

Among the common drivers of supply chain modernization in the retail industry are competition from Wal-Mart Stores Inc., which continues to insist on compliance among suppliers with its Internet supply chain system, and an overall need to increase efficiency in the way products are sourced and distributed to stores, the vendors say.

Goor notes that the hottest areas of investment are in supply chain applications that help retailers plan the delivery of particular assortments of merchandise for in-store displays, followed by applications that replenish stock levels and allocate the distribution of products to the right stores within a chain.

Among the emerging technologies beginning to get more attention, he says, are events-management applications that enable retailers to better manage disruptions in production flow and deliveries, and applications that help retailers price products at the optimal level for driving sales.

 

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