Procurement in the omnichannel era

Procurement in the omnichannel era

Gopal Iyer Blog, Retail

Businesses today are undergoing massive changes as a result of three enablers: Globalisation, Technology and Supply Chain. This trend is most evident in the retail industry where globalisation has allowed products to be designed for global taste and be produced at the lowest cost; and supply chain fundamentals have supported businesses with flow of goods, information and money. Technology, on …

Brexit – New opportunities for Chinese businesses?

Brexit – New opportunities for Chinese businesses?

Felix Benscheid Blog, Brexit, Retail

With Brexit being the leading creator of uncertainty, especially for European businesses, the undefined current geopolitical situation is heavily influencing international business. Even though some may argue that the impact of Brexit on China will be limited, Brexit and its following agreements will create political and economic opportunities and threats that will not stay unrecognised. The ambiguity on currency fluctuation, …

Deal or no Deal

Brexit: Deal or no deal

William Tickel Blog, Brexit, Retail

If the last 12 months have been any indicator, the only certainty is that we can’t be certain of what will happen in the months and weeks leading us up to March 2019. This said, if the current situation offers us any clues, we should be prepared for the possibility of a post-Brexit-Britain without a Free-Trade deal with the European …

Speed to market

Speed to Market – Challenges and Opportunities

Gopal Iyer Blog, Retail, Supply Chain

Supply chains have now evolved into complex beings, which are networked at multiple levels. These “supply networks” are complex not just in terms of the number of entities, but also in terms of their length. It is not surprising to see these modern day networks extending across the globe, delaying the process and information flows involved. To worsen the issue, …

The omniscient retailer – channels and data

The omniscient retailer – channels and data

Carissa Dzwonek Blog, Retail, Supply Chain

4C Associates’ Carissa Dzwonek explores how omnichannel retailers can leverage the latest solutions to become all-knowing. Omni-channel retail is nothing new. Any business with a bricks and mortar presence, coupled with an online offer can claim to operate across multiple channels. More advanced organisations develop frictionless offers across channels, enabling them to convert customers effectively, regardless of the device or …

How Brexit will reshape the UK Retail landscape

How Brexit will reshape the UK Retail landscape

Emanuel Modrovic Blog, Brexit, Retail

Against the background of a ticking two-year clock, this analysis will argue that Brexit will reshape the UK Retail landscape by shuffling the cards once more. There are 3 key Brexit-related challenges facing retailers: Currency and financial movements This is an effect that has already been hitting retailers operating in the UK. Movements of exchange rates outside of their typical …

Brexit-Preparing for the After Life

Brexit – Preparing for the afterlife

Gopal Iyer Blog, Brexit, Retail

The June 2016 referendum brought to life even the sleepiest of the analysts, with everyone having their views on how Brexit would reshape the UK economic and social structure – most of them predicting a severe and immediate impact. The more structured arguments signalled immediate impacts on services (Forex, stock markets), near term impact on movement of goods (tariffs, import/export) …

Re-opening the Silk Road; a fresh hope for post-Brexit Britain?

Re-opening the Silk Road – a fresh hope for post-Brexit Britain?

Sebastian MacDonald Blog, Brexit, Retail

With UK politics in disarray after the electoral upset last month, we have seemingly learned two key lessons. Firstly £100m seems to be the going rate to secure the loyalty of an MP for 5 years, and secondly public opinion remains firmly divided on parliamentary leadership going into Brexit.   As policymakers and PR gurus spin and spit their way …

Why retailers should look at indirect spend more closely

Why retailers should look at indirect spend more closely

Milan Panchmatia Blog, Retail

4C Associates’ Milan Panchmatia examines how a focus on indirect spend can help retailers impact the bottom line. Most procurement functions do not consider indirect spend the most glamorous area to focus on. In many cases it is an area of spend which is only considered once savings have begun to dry up elsewhere. A somewhat surprising state of affairs …

“See Now, Buy Now” sourcing and the fashion industry

“See Now, Buy Now” sourcing and the fashion industry

Milan Panchmatia Blog, Retail

Changing consumer behaviour has led to a revolution in fashion retail. 4C Associates’ Milan Panchmatia considers how the “See Now, Buy Now” approach will impact established practices. Generally speaking, businesses which sell directly to consumers tend to be those which need to be most reactive to their demands. The propagation of connected devices has led to an increasingly expectant population, …

The future of retail supply chains

The future of retail supply chains

Milan Panchmatia Blog, Retail, Supply Chain

4C Associates’ Milan Panchmatia examines how retailers can adapt their supply chains to take advantage of new opportunities. The retail industry is one of the fastest changing on the globe. New technologies are being developed at a rate never seen before and the level of competition in the field is greater than ever. Small, agile companies are finding ways to …

The challenge of ethical sourcing for fashion brands

The challenge of ethical sourcing for fashion brands

Milan Panchmatia Blog, Retail, Supply Chain

4C Associates’ Milan Panchmatia examines how global fashion companies can balance sustainable supply chains with the need to grow their business. Supply chains are increasingly fragmented and complex. Rapidly changing demand, economic uncertainty and higher levels of competition, mean businesses are constantly having to review their supply lines. Nowhere is this truer than in the fashion industry. Here companies are …

The reverse supply chain challenge

The reverse supply chain challenge

Milan Panchmatia Blog, Retail, Supply Chain

Online shopping has resulted in a wealth of opportunities for retailers, but also an array of new challenges. In this post, 4C Associates’ Milan Panchmatia considers why retailers need to take a closer look at their reverse supply chains. It is no secret that online retail is booming. According to figures from IMRG and Capgemini, UK retailers made £114bn from …

Multi channel, can you make it work?

Milan Panchmatia Blog, Retail 0 Comments

In 2000 I was involved in the music industry. I witnessed first hand the “rabbit in the headlights” strategy of all the major labels, panicking faced with the 10% yearly drop in sales of physical products, such as CDs, while digital was not making any money. They drained CD production departments of all their brainpower and focused 100% of resources …

Amazon eyes up the online food delivery business

Petra Urhofer Blog, Retail 0 Comments

Although Amazon has yet to announce its plans to enter the grocery market, industry analysts are confident a US based service will launch in 2014. Amazon already has some experience in the sector and runs an online grocery service called Amazon Fresh, which only operates in Seattle. Expanding into the US market would allow Amazon to take advantage of its world class supply …

Reducing excess waste in supermarket supply chains

admin Blog, Retail, Supply Chain 0 Comments

Short shelf life is one of the most obvious differences between food products and non-perishable goods. Whereas items such as manufacturing supplies and stationary are fairly straightforward to transport, food products pose numerous challenges. Buyers must pay close attention to a multitude of details, specific to the sector, if they are to optimise operations and drive growth. Fresh Products and …

Microsoft latest tablet surfaces on the UK high street

admin Blog, Retail 0 Comments

The decision to make the Surface tablet available through third-party sellers, hints at a show room future for the high street. Although Microsoft has yet to reveal sales data for its Surface tablet, Steve Ballmer, CEO of Microsoft, has referred to figures as “modest”. There are several possible reasons for this slow uptake, one of which is Microsoft’s decision to …

Supplying the last 50 yards of Christmas

admin Blog, Retail, Supply Chain 0 Comments

Despite having had 10 months to plan for the festive spending spree, many retailers are not taking full advantage of their shopping outlets. A recent YouGov SixthSense report revealed that UK households will spend £792m less on Christmas this year than in 2011. These findings highlight the need for retailers to optimise all aspects of the supply chain process. Increased …

“The Amazon Economy” – a look at the latest from the FT’s eBook series

admin Blog, Retail 0 Comments

In this compilation of articles and insights, a selection of writers from the Financial Times examine the inner workings of one of the most influential companies in existence. In the space of nine articles, The Amazon Economy touches on subjects ranging from disputes with publishers through to warehouse management techniques. The eBook is scattered with interesting statistics and anecdotes about the functioning …

Making cents of online delivery

admin Blog, Retail, Supply Chain 0 Comments

Despite the huge rise in popularity of online shopping, the logistics sector has struggled to turn increased deliveries into a profit. A new survey sheds some light on how the industry can cut costs and keep customers happy. The Hermes’ 2012 Parcel Deliveries Usage and Attitude Survey has revealed that four in 10 consumers are more likely to purchase a product if …

The challenges of seasonal stock

admin Blog, Retail, Supply Chain 0 Comments

As profit margins tighten and businesses continue to search for ways to increase cash flow and mitigate risks, reducing stockholding is an increasingly attractive option for companies. One of the main issues raised by this strategy is the lack of flexibility it affords businesses faced with high, seasonal demand for products. Costs of Seasonal Stock Although there are many potential …

The effects of weather on retailers

admin Blog, Retail, Supply Chain 0 Comments

Unseasonal or extreme weather often prompts speculation regarding its effects on business. Recently, several UK retailers posted disappointing results which a number of media outlets were quick to link to unfavourable weather conditions. However, upon closer inspection, several other factors need to be taken into consideration.Considering all FactorsJJB Sports reported an 8.7 per cent slump in first-half sales for 2012. …

A multichannel approach to fashion retail

admin Blog, Retail, Supply Chain 0 Comments

Fashion retail supply chains are generally acknowledged to be some of the most complex and demanding in the retail sector.The fickle nature of the fashion industry combined with the lead time from design to manufacture and the impact of Far East sourcing all present their own challenges.  In addition fashion retailers have to deal with the complexities brought about by …