5 causes to outsource your sourcing to a retail community
Effective product sourcing is foundational to a successful digital retail business, especially in this “instant gratification” era. Shoppers want what they want, when and where they want it – or they’ll find another retailer who can accommodate them. Obviously, you want to fulfill their needs and be the retailer they buy from, but whether or not you can successfully deliver depends heavily on the quality and efficiency of your product sourcing.
The task of finding new sourcing options
Before customers can purchase the products they desire from you, you must know the best places to get the items they want or whether you seek to provide the latest trend, brand name, highest quality, lowest price, greatest inventory, quickest delivery or nearest supplier location. Tracking down the information you need to find the right manufacturers and vendors takes time that could easily become a full-time job for many of your buyers.
Finding suppliers for new items is just the beginning. Negotiating a trading agreement, on-boarding them to your system and receiving orders can take months of trial and error before everything is correct. By the time all of the pieces are in place, many opportunities could have passed you by.
Multiply this process by however many products, vendors and manufacturers you’ll need, and suddenly it seems like a Sisyphean task.
Five reasons to outsource your sourcing
Most companies outsource business functions such as EDI or payroll management, procuring the services of a retail network is a new idea companies should consider. With a retail network, retailers have access to thousands of vendors that can provide coveted products and seamlessly integrate with their business, saving time and money while increasing the odds of success. It makes business sense to outsource your product sourcing to an expert in the cloud. Partnering with a retail network that specializes in finding and onboarding product suppliers enables you to devote your precious time to doing what you do best: running your business.
Here are five reasons to outsource your sourcing to a retail network:
- Speed time to value. The old saying “time is money” is even more relevant today than when the phrase was first coined. If you don’t have what the shopper wants when they want it, you lose more than just the sale of that item – you will likely lose the whole order. With a retail network at your disposal, discovery is almost instant, deployments are faster and there are fewer slowdowns during implementation. For example, Puritan’s Pride, was able to increase its SKU quantity by 25 percent within a few months contributing to the company’s significant growth.
- Reduced costs. The old processes and approaches to finding and onboarding suppliers just won’t cut it anymore. Outsourcing your sourcing requires less time, development and resources on your part. By freeing up assets that would otherwise be devoted to implementing, staffing and maintaining your own sourcing solution, you’ll have more time and capital available to grow your business.
- Proven model. There’s no need to reinvent the wheel. Existing sourcing networks make it easy to onboard suppliers – it’s just a matter of tapping into these resources. By tapping into these resources, you could be fulfilling orders within a week.
- Improved efficiency and visibility. Legacy business solutions struggle to keep up with the speed of change in modern business. Additionally, increasingly complex global supply chains require agility and visibility. Retail networks in the cloud make collaboration easy between your business, suppliers, distributors and your customers. Furthermore, they can provide complete visibility on product availability, location, shipping information and more. Imagine the advantages of knowing exactly where your items are with real-time tracking information. As a result, you’ll have access to the information you need to make better decisions faster, compelling the consumer to ‘Buy Now.’
- Scalability. With an internal sourcing process you create on your own, you must consider the limits of its capabilities, your resources and what it would cost to expand. Sourcing is not a one-time event, but an ongoing process enabling you to have the newest and most compelling items available in your stores or online. Many retailers are looking for thousands of new items each quarter to manage seasonal items, fashion trends and the latest consumer demands that change with the wind. Tapping into an agile supplier network can help your business quickly and easily scale to meet your expanding needs, without taxing your internal staff.
Being able to see how all of the pieces fit together—in real time—ultimately helps you operate more efficiently and make better, faster decisions.
Digital commerce offers incredible opportunities to reach more prospects, better satisfy customers and increase sales. However, serving consumers at anytime, anywhere can also be extremely challenging. It takes speed, agility, accurate data, efficient logistics and visibility to ensure shoppers across multiple channels get the items they want, when and where they want them. Trusting your sourcing to a partner like EDI Here can make this part of your business a cinch.