Published25. Sep. 2019

Innovative Approaches to Supply Chain Management Push the Modern Retail Industry

A consumer-centric approach to the entire retail management chain encourages business growth, increased development, and improved customer experience from start to finish.
Retail and Consumer
Supply Chain and Procurement

For more than two decades Ian Perotto has been active in the retail industry in one position or another. From buying departments in the early years, he has expanded his knowledge, experience, and initiative to become one of the premier forward thinkers when it comes to supply chain management. At the 6th Annual European StrategyForum Retail, he will share his expertise about how the new high-tech capabilities and the consumer-centric environment will propel retail establishment growth into a new reality.

Internet and Technology Fuel Real Change for Retail Around the World

Every aspect of every retail business, no matter what product type it focuses on, depends on a holistic and effective supply chain process. At its most basic, this involves procuring inventory, managing shipping, logistics, and delivery, handling stores or other points of sale, and facilitating customer transactions. For the longest time, businesses that sold everything from dog toys to trendy clothing to machine parts focused on growing profits and fueling success and growth.

The increasing globalization and digitization of all retail sales force a new and improved focus on customer interests. It is this type of innovative approach to the entire process that engages forward-thinkers like Ian Perotto to succeed in his work. Currently the Director of SCM Supply Chain Execution Management at METRO AG, he envisions a new reality of end-to-end flow that encompasses every part of the process and maintains focus on the consumer instead of the bottom line.

True Innovation in Retail Processes Come from New Generations of Shoppers

Why? In his recent interview, he reveals that “Customer multichannel experience, digital shops and time to market are still the current challenge on top of the traditional ones.” Anyone who has bought a product in the past few years recognizes that internet eCommerce sales outpace brick-and-mortar shopping in ever-expanding ways.

Technology and the internet alone are old news, it seems. As new generations take the reins of maximum buying power, the paradigm that defines how the retail experience happens continues to diverge from the tried-and-true expectations.

All traditional areas are not enough anymore (locations, price, assortments,..) and the retailer has to equip their customer experience with a “shopping Journey” (real-time information, traceability, community, holograms to digital wear / try stuff, sensorial experience, degustation, training..). Shopping has never been more exciting than nowadays,” said Perotto.

Supply chain management has become more of a force that pushes for interactivity and a personal touch that still remains digitized and virtual. Ian Perotto provides idealistic solutions to the complex problem of customer care, innovative technology, and tried-and-true realities of business success.

Customer Service as the Goal Pushes for New Supply Change Management Techniques

Any retail establishment owner, from the CEO of the world’s largest mega-store to the sole proprietor of a boutique in a small town, understands that customer service and satisfaction top the list of important elements for retail success.

The difficulties they face in delivering that to an increasingly savvy and international consumer base forces them to find innovative solutions that start well before the check-out process.

Ian Perotto understands the importance of focusing on providing the best possible experience for the customer. This is not about a friendly smile or a special discount price, however. With technological developments like artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML), every piece of data from inventory levels to the sales results of particular promotions have a new opportunity to provide change within a business or industry. The increase in available information fuels new decisions and methods, according to Perotto.

I see a new world of opportunities coming. New and more shoppers’ expectations, more information available and much more customer’s demands have to be satisfied. But in the end, the winning solution will be always to be closer to your customers: embrace their demands, realize their overall expectations, onboard them in the company strategy, put them at the center of any decision: no matter the channel or the tool. If retailers will do so, they will have a great future ahead.” The final question about how Ian Perotto sees the future of retail in general sums up the entire concept of consumer-centric development.

At the upcoming 6th Annual European StrategyForum Retail, which focuses on success and competitiveness in the ever-changing sales world, Ian Perotto will help other executives and company representatives learn what he has come to understand in his place at the forefront of supply chain management advancements and innovation.

With the complexities of a global, high-tech, online-based consumer force, it takes a considerable amount of forward-thinking to stay competitive in this new reality. Anyone who does not push toward developing a supply chain management and business development strategy that focuses on the entire customer journey from first brand touch to lifelong loyalty may get left behind in a dwindling obsolete market.

Ian Perotto will be attending the 6th Annual European Strategy Forum Retail in The Netherlands on the 1st - 3rd of April 2020. Interested in joining the event? Click here to attend!