Web-based sourcing systems are helping retailers take weeks or months out of the 6- to 9-month period it often takes to design, order and receive private label goods, AMR Research Inc. retail industry analyst Alexi Sarnevitz says.
“We’re seeing people getting 20% improvements in production and lead times,” he says. “Retailers no longer have to deal with given lead times from suppliers. They are taking a cumbersome process with limited visibility and multiple versions of the truth, and replacing it with a clear process flow, shared online calendar dates, and knowing at what stage every sourced item is in throughout the design and development process.”
And this is just the beginning, Sarnevitz says. As retailers gain more visibility and control in sourcing, they can hold suppliers more accountable and benefit from an ongoing process of learning how to streamline the entire sourcing process. “They’re taking the existing process, adding visibility and accountability to it, then rethinking the process,” he says.