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  March 2014
 

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3/14/2014
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5/5-7/2014
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From the Desk of Kim Zablocky:
The Ever Evolving Retail Landscape


What does RVCF do that other organizations don't? Yes, we try to bring trading partners together in beautiful remote business settings. Yes, we make them address new initiatives, hash out old problems, and find better ways to do business in the procurement business cycle. Yes, we look at new technology, current standards and best practices to drive the error free flow of goods globally. But, most important, we go where no other organization would ever want to go - into the trenches. With the advent of the internet, e-commerce, and mobility, price optimization is a thing of the past. Speed to market and "Endless Aisle" business practices drive today's winners, whether you're a retailer/wholesaler or a wholesaler/retailer - that's right, the lines are blurred. Thus, to serve the retail industry, you no longer enjoy singularity in just serving traditional retailers. Survivors will be both.

The world is getting smaller. Portals like Alibaba will find their way into consumers' homes. It's just a matter of time before the consumer can purchase goods directly from the factory, bypassing both the wholesaler as well as the retailer. Scary stuff? No, just the evolution of the process. Sadly, I'm old enough to remember all those stores of the past - E.J. Korvette, W.T. Grant (I still have a set of ratchet wrenches from Grants), Gimbels, Caldor, Hills - I can go on and on. What happened to these stores? Wal-Mart and Target. The evolution continues today. Remember Service Merchandise? Now, that was an interesting business model – the great-grandfather of the Amazon business model. The point I'm making is the retail evolution process is speeding up. One can no longer view the retail industry in the traditional sense. The party's over - uniqueness, quality, product safety and speed will ultimately win the day, which I believe will force wholesalers/retailers to bring design and production back to the Northern Hemisphere or reshoring manufacturing. In today's retail environment it's all about inventory flow. But, to achieve speed, trading partners need to be synchronized and every data element of a product needs to be digitalized with attributes including cube, packaging size and weight and, to a greater extent, images. This is one of the reasons we felt it prudent to work with GS1 US and the Product Images and Data Attributes workgroup; we want to move the retail industry forward.

The retail landscape has changed and in order to survive, trading partners have to change with it. Our goal is to facilitate an easier transition and educate the partners so they can successfully achieve the ultimate prize - a better bottom line.

I hope to see you in Florida this May for the RVCF Spring Conference!

Regards,
Kim Zablocky
E: kzablocky@rvcf.com

 
 
 
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