Struggling to have the right product in the right place at the right time is now causing one-trillion dollars in losses every year, and has dragged seven of the top 25 retailers into double digit declines. Brands aren’t faring much better. (Source: NRF Top 100 retailers data 2009 – 2016).
Selling to today’s consumer demands inventory visibility, order certainty, and logistics transparency. Enormous amounts of data must be shared more often, more flexibly, more quickly, and with more trading partners.
Unlocking a forward-thinking world demands innovative solutions. Enter the modern collaborative, distributed, integrated B2B2C data model. This is the only viable solution to an aging supply chain breaking down under the weight of linear methods and rusty technical solutions.
The words vendor & dealer carry with them friction and frustration. Retailers and suppliers should move away from the retailer-as-the-customer, supplier-as-the-vendor mindset and demand a solution based on true partnership.
We believe that no software business model should use the out of date and dysfunctional nature of such relationship roles as a leverage to charge both sides for their connections. That model is parasitic.
For years, industry solution providers have latched their fangs into retailer-supplier partnerships and siphoned off a piece of every transaction, kilocharacter, etc. Worse still, they have distracted and discouraged the ability of suppliers and retailers to meet modern customer expectations of accurate inventory and timely shipping.
Charging transaction fees (such as EDI kilo-character fees, per document fees or per-order fees) is predatory in a world of starving margins and extreme competition. It is also smothering the conversion and retention gains that could ignite growth in brand and retail companies.
We believe in a solution provider that empowers trading partners to reach their optimal potential and reduces the relative expense of doing business as they scale.
Retailers and suppliers are faced with too many questions: How many partner integrations have they had to build? And at what overhead cost to maintain? How many different data schemas and connection types have they implemented knowing that any spec change is going to cost them even more in time and services? How much unified partner intelligence are they missing with these fragmented integrations?
They hate answering those questions because they are too aware of the cost of their partner connections.
And how are solution providers helping them?
By charging extra-ordinary managed services fees, creating bogus sponsored data certifications, and generally evangelizing more of the same complexity with pride.
Retailers and suppliers need a single system with total visibility and control. They need clear, fast communication, without having to translate each other’s data. And, they must keep control of their own technology and information.
Solution providers should support retailers and brands in delighting consumers, not offer solutions that lead to friction. With more friction comes more ways trading partners will fail at meeting consumer expectations. Retailers, brands, and suppliers should not feel nickel-and-dimed and frustrated at every turn.
There should be no masquerading, pretending, or tricking. No more exclusivity agreements used to imprison retailers, suppliers, and their partners for years. They, their employees, and their trading partners should not have to hate their solution provider!
Their 21st century consumers won’t settle and neither should they.