From the Desk of Kim Zablocky: VCF Rebrands to RVCF - Retail Value Chain Federation
I remember riding the train years ago with a friend whose family owned a knit shirt manufacturer of substantial size in NYC. I recall him saying that all organizations like VCF fall to the dark side of retailing. Now, with our rebranding, I see just the opposite – we're shedding light on a trading partner relationship that is in need of support and a neutral gathering place to freely discuss pressing issues, in a macro as well as an individualized environment. Old fashion horse trading and haggling is a thing of the past. Business no longer has the time for such antics. We're all responsive to our ERP systems, tracking PLM, SCM, WMS, and CRM. Errors and disconnects can disrupt the flow of goods from source to market.
Why? Human beings still pull the levers; we still instruct our systems by telling them what to do, how to do it, and how to interact. I remember a software technician telling me, "Computers don't make errors, programmers and data entry people do." That said, we need a faster and more responsive way of interacting with trading partners to isolate and fix disconnects and mistakes that disrupt the flow of goods, especially those that rear their heads at forecasting and planning, leading to out-of-stocks or replenishment issues, point of sale issues, or delays in the payment and/or reconciliation process. It's truly no longer just the "Perfect Order" focus – it's now the "Perfect Sale Cycle," encompassing product sourcing, planning, accurate forecasting, order management and fulfillment, technology/documentation, receiving, and finally, payment. It's all about speed to market, whether the sales are via the internet, mobile, social, traditional catalog or brick-and-mortar channels – and maybe someday via three-dimensional printers expediting same day delivery or even within the hour.
This all requires trading partner synchronization, data flow and perfect execution. If you think this is farfetched, California just approved the first self-driving car available in 2014, all that's required is that someone sits in the passenger seat. The trucker of the future? The iPhone 8. Let's see who gets blamed for the "late shipment" on those PO's!
For all of those looking forward to self-driven vehicles, you might enjoy watching this (there is a brief ad at the beginning).