Survey Pinpoints Top Supply Chain Strategies for 2010

Peak-season sales numbers for 2009 moved in a positive direction overall and this is encouraging retailers to continue their proven strategies in the coming year, according to a recent Tompkins Supply Chain Consortium survey report.

The report, titled “Lessons Learned from a Tough Market,” indicates the top supply chain strategies for 2010.

“The good news about the promising peak season numbers is welcome,” Bruce Tompkins, executive director of the Consortium and author of the report, said in a release. “However, retail companies still have some catching up to do to reach pre-recession sales levels. Using the lessons learned from 2009 will help them move forward with recovery.”

The Consortium polled top retail companies on the supply chain strategies they used to get the most out of people, processes, and technology.

The top four retail inventory planning strategies used by respondents were: reduced inventory levels, increased emphasis on forecasting, improved planning processes and tools, and increased reporting and information.

Nearly one-third of those surveyed did not see any lost sales due to reduced inventory, and two-thirds lost less than 5% of sales due to inventory reductions; 10% posted improved sales numbers.

Another factor in the successful peak season for retail companies was minimal price discounting. In general, survey respondents offered fewer price discounts in 2009 compared to 2008–and also compared to the amount of discounting that was anticipated.

What are the top strategies for the 2010 peak season? optimizing inventory levels and placement; improving forecasting methods; continuing to refine SKU base; and executing initiatives with suppliers more effectively.

To learn more about Tompkins Supply Chain Consortium, visit

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