Supply chain management-the biggest challenge for retailers

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The biggest operational challenge for the Indian retailers is managing the supply chain properly.

In a debatable session in IRF’08 being held in Mumbai, the panel that includes retailers, retail solution providers and the experts from the supply chain management companies summed up to the bottomline of the fact that the back-end operations in retail need a solid boosting in terms of investment.

Failing to provide a proper data excel for the sector, the experts came up with the same opinion that lack of research, infrastructure, investment, planning and a little far away from the ground reality, the retail operation in India is still lagging behind because of a proper planning into supply chain management.

According to Anshuman Singh, chief executive officer, Future Logistics and Solutions: “We are enough matured in supply chain and logistics for the food retailing but we need to brush up for the apparel, fashion, general merchandise and durable sectors, those are the back bone structure for Indian retailing.”

As Badal Choudhury, head, Apparel and Lifestyle Business, Safexpress, observes: “One needs to outsource the backend operations to experts in the industry. It should be knowledge and research based arm of the industry itself and a very specialized practice, and if not followed in the way, the execution process could be in question.”

The success story for Indian retailing lies in knowing the customers, having enough information about the needs and demands of them, about the product in the categories and of course all these should not be far away from the reality itself which could be well fit into the supply chain management that would hopefully bring the complete loop.

– Sangita Ghosh

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