Stock in the Retail Supply Chain: How do your strategies measure up?

Managing stock is always challenging. And nowhere more so than in retail.  Changing fashions, unpredictable weather and erratic economic conditions that have us coming out of recession one minute and going back in the next, all serve to make getting stock levels right a real headache.  And these are just the factors that are outside of our control.  Other drivers of stock – unrealistic sales targets, buying for quantity discounts, trying to fill containers to reduce transport costs and straight...

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Stock – No longer a dirty word

For some years now stock has been a dirty word in the minds of many supply chain strategists. The advent of lean supply chains has led us to believe that stock ties up capital and is simply unnecessary in the modern connected world. And yet at a recent meeting of supply chain leaders the discussion took on a very different flavour. Stock is now being seen as a strategic tool to defend a business from the risk of supply chain...

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Supply Chain Modelling – what exactly is it and what can it do?

What image does supply chain modelling conjure in your mind? Perhaps you imagine the supply chain like a map in a second world war aircraft control room, with girls moving trucks around the country using long croupier poles; perhaps it could be the scale models of trucks of various sorts that sit on the shelves of your office at home. These days however it is likely to be a computer based model, which may well be far less interesting to...

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The Last 50 Metres – an old problem still unsolved

Over the last few years we’ve got used to Internet retailers reporting stellar growth figures. 40%, 60%, even 100% growth has not been uncommon for individual retailers, and the market as a whole has been growing at close to 40%. Over the last two or three years that growth has declined. So is this a trend that is to continue or a blip caused by the recession? Has the novelty worn off or is it simply a sign of the sector...

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We’re not making the most of railway freight for UK distribution, WHY?

We’ve all seen column inches given over to railway being a greener and more efficient method of transport but does that really have any impact on the use of the network for railway freight transport as opposed to passenger traffic? According to the Department of Transport statistics from 2010, in recent years around 9% of freight moved in the UK each year has travelled by rail but this figure had declined in each of the previous 3 years. Rail is...

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