Every supplier in the retail industry is striving to achieve the perfect order – an order that's complete, on time, accurately documented, and damage-free. Of course, these efforts are typically hampered by limited in-house personnel and tight budgets.
As a result, errors are painfully common and suppliers are hit with chargebacks and fees totaling $6 billion to $8 billion annually across the retail industry. On average, compliance deductions are 0.3 to 1.5 percent of gross invoice. With the advent of retail receiving audit software, these numbers are expected to increase substantially. It doesn't take a math wizard to realize how much these charges are hurting the bottom lines of suppliers.
This is why the Retail Value Chain Federation (RVCF) created RVCF Advisors supply chain and compliance consultancy services. Retail suppliers can cost-effectively leverage RVCF's unique expertise to improve and better manage order fulfillment processes and reduce deductions and compliance fees. These benefits will lead to a better customer experience and improve the retailer-supplier relationship with benefits far outweighing the cost of engagement. Initially, the primary focus of RVCF Advisors will be on fashion and footwear floor ready, sporting goods, and outdoor lodge sectors.
RVCF Advisors takes a multi-step approach to improving supply chain performance and profitability. After understanding your business objectives, we begin with a thorough review of your current deductions and customers' compliance requirements to identify recurring issues and assess their financial impact. Next, we conduct an on-site operational supply chain review to pinpoint where these issues are occurring and why. Finally, we work with you (and your retailer customers) to address your existing deductions and design and implement an advanced strategic supply chain solution that enables the supplier to improve scorecards, pass retailer audits and avoid chargebacks in the future. Of course, implementing such a solution is impossible unless front-end issues are corrected first.
For most suppliers, hiring a full-time employee simply isn't viable due to budgetary constraints and very few consultants can provide the same level of hands-on, real world experience as the RVCF team. RVCF consultants know what retailers are looking for and why. They understand the audit process. They can spot and correct problems, resulting in quick fixes that lead to fast ROI, while providing a strategic foundation for long-term success and sustainability.
RVCF Advisors transfers this industry insight and knowledge to supplier management teams and puts the tools and procedures in place to make the order fulfillment process more effective and efficient. This will ensure that the supplier is receiving, interpreting, packing, and shipping the order correctly so the order and carton contents match exactly. In fact, the resulting savings could completely subsidize the cost of these services, which will cost significantly less than a full-time employee.
Meet the RVCF Advisors
Steven Lahr: RVCF Advisors supply chain and compliance consultancy services is being led by Steven Lahr, Principle of Lahr Consulting, LLC. Steven is a 30-year senior supply chain and operations executive who specializes in developing supply chain improvements through operational compliance, vendor integration and flow path strategies.
For the past 14 years, Steven was Director of Vendor Integration and Compliance for Dick's Sporting Goods, where he designed and implemented the company's compliance program. Steven developed and led the vendor integration team for Dick's Sporting Goods and was responsible for improving purchase order writing, implementing sustainable flow paths that accelerated flow of product, and developing operational efficiencies that helped to reduce product lead times and replenishment inventories. Steven has also held a variety of leadership positions with Bradlees and Federated Logistics, contributing the supply chain optimization of both companies.
Victor Engesser: RVCF Advisors supply chain and compliance consultancy services is also supported by Victor Engesser, a 40-year senior merchant and vendor relations executive who specializes in providing retailers with perspective and training to support the development and adoption of category, supplier, and relationship management best practices as well as providing guidance on scorecarding development, supplier segmentation management, and negotiation training.
Victor works closely with RVCF retailer members to support their needs and objectives. He has presented at numerous industry events and conferences on topics including supplier performance management, scorecard development, and negotiations. Prior to becoming an independent retail consultant in 2009, Victor was Vice President of Vendor Relations at Circuit City. In this role he managed multiple areas that supported the corporate relationship between Circuit City and their vendor partners; this included supply chain management and compliance, contract management, cost and deal management, supplier performance reporting and the creation of strategy, process, and policy for merchant/vendor relationship management. During his 17 years at Circuit City, Victor also held numerous senior merchandising positions across multiple buying areas. Prior to Circuit City, Victor was a founding member and senior merchant of the Shop Television Network, an upscale home shopping channel which became the JCPenney Shopping Channel.
Supporting the RVCF Mission
RVCF exists to build more profitable, collaborative relationships between retailers and suppliers. RVCF Advisors supply chain and compliance consultancy services were created with that goal in mind. The RVCF team can help suppliers overcome challenges and optimize operations, which will boost profits for both suppliers and retailers. Contact RVCF Advisors for a free, no-obligation consultation.
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