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December 1, 2023

The Digitalization of Decision-Making in Retail and Fashion

Retail and fashion leaders share how they’re addressing their most pressing retail planning and decision-making challenges.

The Takeaways:

1. New Balance's implementation of o9 Solutions for supply chain planning automates manual processes, improves forecast accuracy, and provides greater visibility into their supply chain. Scenario planning capability helps optimize inventory levels, and balance fill rates across suppliers.

2. Canadian Tire is shifting its focus from micro to macro to better manage demand volatility and respond to consumer demand fluctuations. This helps them make more informed decisions about inventory management and production planning to mitigate the impact of forecast and receipt delivery volatility.

3. Efficient distribution planning is critical to balancing inventory levels while minimizing excess inventory and associated carrying costs. Leveraging technology can help forecast inventory needs and SKU productivity, optimize inventory policies to balance presentation values with weeks of supply, and avoid markdowns and lower margins that impact the success of new product introductions.

4. Keeping the customer at the center of transformation efforts is crucial in retail, and change management is critical to ensuring the successful adoption and implementation of new processes and technologies. Cross-functional teams' buy-in, sponsorship, and good outcomes and outputs are important for positive transformative change.

5. A structured approach to change management is key, including understanding user concerns, getting C-suite buy-in, designing processes before selecting technology solutions, and having a clear understanding of the ROI. Additionally, defining metrics for success and measuring progress against them is crucial.

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