Neiman Marcus Group Inc. is extending its supply chain management system to connect more directly with many of the boutique foreign suppliers that provide it with unusual gifts, apparel and other items.
Retailers of apparel and other items sourced from small, foreign suppliers have often had the hardest time establishing electronic data transfers. Neiman Marcus buys from a large number of boutique suppliers of luxury items and channels its orders and communications through locally based agents in Asia and other areas.
In the past, Neiman Marcus received information from these boutique suppliers by phone or fax at its Dallas headquarters, where the data would be manually entered into a computer system. Now, working with a supply chain management application from Qiva, a San Francisco-based provider of supply chain and logistics systems, Neiman Marcus arranges for its foreign boutique suppliers to fax, call or hand their information to a local sales agent who enters their data into a web-based system connected to headquarters.
Although this system still requires manual data entry by the sales agent, it’s an example of how some retailers can extend their web-based supply chain management systems to their most remote suppliers, analysts say.