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"The supply chain is the discounter's strategical backbone."
It is all about satisfying the customer (fulfillment) with their just purchased products. But first, was the customer able to buy the listed products at the store? We all know that on-shelf availability of products is key to satisfy customers, especially when the assortment is limited, like at discounters. The so-called “stock outs” or "out-of-stock" lead to lost revenues (directly and indirectly) and dissatisfied customers.
The customers' kitchen is the end station of the supply chain, .... or does it start from there? Anyway, one of the organizational specialisms at any discounter should be the supply chain management. This starts with the simple operational vision of "no out of stocks" and "no high stocks". That means that the goods should be delivered in accordance with the "just-in-time" principle (JIT), with as long as possible expiration time. During the procurement process the Procurement department must already be aware that they need to source a reliable supplier who is able to produce and deliver the products efficiently at the right place and in good time. Also, the ordering system, including forecasting, should be reliable and the stocks should be accurate. After the receiving process the goods must be shelved and ready to be sold.
However, supply chain management is more than forecasting, ordering, producing, delivering, receiving, shelving and checking-out. After the sourcing and contracting process, it continues with gathering the right SKU and supplier data, HACCP / IFS regime and expiration codes, ordering and receiving parameters, VAT indications, category division, etc. All these data-points must be checked and entered into the ERP system, and checked again.
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