Black Friday is make-or-break for many retailers, but once the orders are placed and shelves are stocked, the attention tends to turn away from the Supply Chain.
But this season is a little different. Retailers are trying out new strategies to bring consumers in-store or onto their websites. Companies are partnering to ease delivery, fulfillment and in-store initiatives. Meanwhile, store managers are on the front-lines balancing inventory needs with customer experience.
It's easy to get lost in the noise with all these new initiatives, but supply chain managers must keep their eye on the prize and ensure their job is helping sales, too. Professionals are toeing the line between being efficient and cannibalizing brick-and-mortar sales through inventory shifts.
Rod Daugherty, vice president of product strategy at Blue Ridge, recently wrote to me in an e-mail: "In other words, have you done such a good job facilitating your e-commerce fulfillment from stores that you are sacrificing service for walk-in traffic?"