Overview

Over the last few decades, retail companies have benefited from technological advancements that increase purchasing efficiency. The faster rate of customer transactions has accelerated inventory requirements. Retailers who cannot keep pace risk being pushed aside by competitors, who continue to grow in numbers – new methods of customer engagement and omni-channel shopping have broadened the scope of the industry, causing never-before-seen price wars and internal budget cutbacks.

To further complicate this situation, the retail industry is dependent on the economic health of its entire supply chain. This poses significant problems, as costly raw materials are sourced from international locations that may experience logistics problems. These factors and others combine to create purchasing challenges such as quality variations, late deliveries, and the overpaying of suppliers.

This report examines the challenges experienced by retail organizations and provides comprehensive solutions.

Challenges

Retail companies experience variations in order quality for several reasons. Using outdated procurement technology, or in many cases, no technology at all, can result in receiving items that aren’t in alignment with company expectations. Item descriptions will likely be inadequate and/or incomplete, terms and conditions will be unclear, and order discrepancies will go unrecorded. In order to serve their customer base, retail companies must be able to guarantee that their goods meet precise requirements. Without such a guarantee, retailers will not be able to contend in an increasingly cutthroat market.

Another difficulty in the retail industry involves late deliveries. When one retailer might have upwards of 10 stores, it becomes extremely difficult to manage shipments without a system for designating the quantities that should be distributed to each store. Suppliers may also be dispersed around the globe, so the chance of irregular orders and inaccurate payments is high when lacking a method for optimal monitoring. A purchase order containing descriptions of all delivery information, payment terms and detailed item specifications (with item images) is critical. The terms and conditions of each order also need to be specific and easily accessible for both buyers and suppliers.

It can be quite easy to inadvertently overpay suppliers, especially in the retail industry, with multiple transactions overlapping and non-negotiable deadlines. The inability to negotiate effectively with suppliers can cause buyers to settle for unnecessarily high prices, particularly if they’re unaware of alternate offers. A lack of target costs and no order consolidations further increases the risk of over-payment – buyers are unsure of their limitations and cannot profit from an economy of scale. To make matters worse, software that is incapable of tracking deliveries creates opportunities for confusion: items may be paid for that haven’t been received. Sadly, this insufficient software might also be expensive – the cost of licensing, implementation, user training, and maintenance can quickly add up.

In Brief

  • Retailers suffer a loss of business if received items aren’t in alignment with expectations.
  • Retailers with a large number of stores struggle to distribute multiple shipments to different locations without the proper tools.
  • It’s difficult to ensure that inventory that has been ordered (and paid for) is actually received.
  • An inability to negotiate effectively causes buyers to settle for unnecessarily high prices, resulting in lower margins.

Solution

Fortunately, quality variations, late deliveries, and the overpaying of suppliers are challenges that can be corrected with minimal effort. Tradogram understands the needs of retailers who purchase locally, regionally, and globally, and has designed a platform that is responsive to varied requirements.

Inconsistent order quality can be corrected through the use of many features on Tradogram, however for the purposes of this report, we’ll focus on two: maintaining a database of items (with categories) and straightforward requests. The ability to organize a database of items into categories allows users to structure their purchasing in a convenient way for their needs. Straightforward requests facilitate high quality orders by allowing users to attach detailed specification files and additional documents with each transaction. Order descriptions are always clear and comprehensive. This results in fully detailed automated purchase orders that contain all the agreed upon terms.

Late deliveries will be a challenge of the past through the use of an internal distribution feature and real-time shipment monitoring. Tradogram’s internal distribution feature classifies shipments to a retailer’s many store locations – quantities and retail prices can be assigned to separate addresses with ease. The real-time monitoring aspect of Tradogram is evident on the dashboard, where the latest purchases, spend per supplier, POs over time, and more can be viewed. Every phase of each transaction is recorded and reported.

Supplier overpayment will be greatly reduced through high-quality negotiations and enforceable approval routing. The ideal terms can be established with the best suppliers to enhance savings. Once the ideal suppliers have been identified, proceed to negotiations: edit offers, convert offers to your preferred currency and UOM, make offer comparisons side-by side to calculate your TCO, and much more. The order approval feature eliminates overpayment by requiring that a manager consents to all purchases – any incorrect orders can be caught in advance.

Tradogram Understands Retail

Retail companies using purchasing software gain an immediate competitive advantage in an industry that is increasingly volatile and dependent on trustworthy supplier relationships throughout a complex international network. Challenges such as quality variations, late deliveries, and the overpayment of suppliers are minimized, and in most cases completely eliminated by implementing Tradogram.

The most successful retailers automate their purchasing to deliver savings, improve inventory management, and ultimately quicken financial growth. They do this while using affordable purchasing software such as Tradogram: for a low monthly subscription fee, retail companies leverage efficient ordering from international locations and secure their market niche.