Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Retail Tracking

Companies including stores using data mining to increase efficiency and profits.
Earlier this month, the New York Times reported on retailers such as Nordstrom using signals from shoppers’ cell phones to track customers’ progress through their stores, to learn more about shopping patterns and allow them to customize promotions and offerings based on the customers’ individual actions. While some shoppers were outraged by this as an invasion of their privacy, many others embraced the concept, especially if a coupon for sneakers popped up on their phone while they were perusing the athletic footwear department.

The merchants know they have a vital need for the information they can learn from their customers’ actions and habits as they progress through the sales floor, and the bricks and mortar stores are years behind online sellers, who have long mined a treasure trove of data from how consumers navigate through retail websites. Not only does this allow Amazon to offer specific items of interest to a particular shopper, but over time, patterns emerge that enable a company to shape their site into the most efficient configuration.

In the supply chain world, opportunities abound for process improvement using Big Data and analytics techniques. Using these tools gives management a level of visibility into and control of a company’s logistics practices never before possible, with key performance indicators designated by you set up on a virtual dashboard, allowing instantaneous feedback and longterm tracking of costs and trends, problems and opportunities.

The first step is to put the system and reporting in place to capture the data electronically. The second step, equally important, is to have behind the system the software and the human expertise to drill down, identify the key data points from the flood of information, to know the right questions to ask. TOTALogistix has been at the forefront of the application of analytics to supply chain management, and we are ideally positioned to help you catch this wave. The result will be a better, leaner supply chain throughout your company, with quantifiable improvements in efficiency and cost savings. Or you can let your competitors take the lead, and try to follow their example.

And unlike retail shoppers, the packages, pallets and freight bills will never complain about being tracked.

Kirk Shearer
1-800-989-0054 x103

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