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Identify Hidden Revenue Within Your Supply Chain

4 min read
Oct 28, 2022 9:48:19 AM

You think of your supply chain as many things, but probably not as where you discover hidden revenue opportunities for your retail business. At least not yet. Maybe you think of your supply chain in terms of the product lifecycle –– the process that gets your products from the ideation phase to retailers’ shelves. Or maybe you think of it in terms of the employees that come together to produce, sell and deliver your products.

How you currently think about your supply chain doesn’t really matter because we’re here to change all of that. In this article, we will help you identify the hidden revenue opportunities throughout every phase of your product lifecycle. 

Quick vocabulary lesson to set the stage

We volley around a lot of terminology in the retail industry. So, before we get started, let’s define a few industry terms we’ll be using throughout the piece.

Interoperability: This refers to how your computer or software works together to process information. When purchasing product lifecycle management software, “interoperability” refers to how your new software works with existing and future systems. Using interoperable systems can save you time and money VS onboarding new, incompatible technologies for every workflow need. 

Production management: This term refers to molding your business operations to produce a desired outcome for your company. “Production management” largely refers to the manufacturing/production process of raw materials to create the end product that you sell to customers. Think of production management as how you oversee your business output. 

Knowledge management: This is the process of how your business compiles and shares data. “Knowledge management” refers to handling of data assets, whether they’re shared internally with your team, or with external suppliers, as well. 

Product lifecycle management: This refers to the management of products throughout every phase of their lifecycle –– from ideation to manufacturing, from shipping to sales, from your warehouse to retail shelves. Production management and knowledge management often fall under the product lifecycle management (or PLM) umbrella. The right PLM solution will enable your company to manage and selectively share data, and to increase your speed to market. 

Alright, now that you have the terminology down pat, let’s delve into three places to discover and harvest revenue that’s hiding out in your supply chain.

The touchpoints where revenue hides

It’s not like your untapped revenue is sitting like a pots of undiscovered gold at the end of your supply chain. Your hidden revenue is woven throughout, not just the branches of your business, but in the ways that they interface with one another. 

Let’s take a look at three primary areas where you may be losing revenue.

  • Product data

Getting the right product data to the right people can take weeks of clerical work. Sharing product details in Excel documents and sharing product images in email attachments/text messages can slow down your time to market, which lessens your trend responsiveness. It also wastes hundreds of employee work hours with unnecessary clerical work. 

Refining your product data sharing process can significantly improve your revenue in a short period of time. By reducing unnecessary clerical work, JIA Home was able to decrease the length of their product development cycle by 40%, from an average of 5 weeks per product to 3 weeks.

  • Communication

It takes a lot of communication or “knowledge management” to get products from the ideation phase to retailers’ shelves. Creating and assigning tasks, requesting data, and collaborating with factories can result in additional weeks of busy work ––  busy work that prevents employees from focusing on the parts of their job that they love the most.

The solution? Implement a communication platform that lets employees communicate in real time. Since tracking down and reviewing product images comprises a significant portion of retail busy work, Surefront launched a SmartCatalog feature. With SmartCatalog, retailers, buyers, and suppliers can make notes and update assets right on the product image. So there’s 0 time wasted trying to track down product details and images when bringing products to market. 

  • Publishing products

Modern brands rarely use just one sales channel. And the more channels a customer uses on their shopping journey, the more money they spend. So it behooves brands and retailers to be on multiple platforms. However, publishing products to multiple platforms can be a time and labor intensive process. Each retailer has their own unique specifications for how product data is presented on their platform. Since most retailers would prefer that brands sell with them alone, there’s little interoperability between how to add products to different selling channels. Adding each product to multiple online catalogs isn’t only a time consuming process, it creates too many opportunities for human error. 

Some product lifecycle management solution providers offer something called “product syndication.” All this means is that products are automatically published to the catalogs you choose, with each product listing being uniquely customized to fit retailers’ unique specifications. Product syndication creates interoperability between your business and your customers’ catalogs. The right PLM solution will let you list products on every one of your clients’ catalogs with the click of a button. 

The simple path forward to maximize profits

Identifying the hidden revenue in your supply chain can make a major impact on your bottom line. Your product lifecycle management solution should address knowledge management and give you complete visibility into production, while being interoperable with current and future systems. 

Surefront is the only product lifecycle management solution built for and by the retail industry. Our retail PLM solution lets buyers, suppliers, retailers, warehouse workers and the C-suite communicate with ease. The key is eliminating unnecessary clerical work. A year after implementing Surefront, JIA Home increased revenue per employee by 150%. Surefront guarantees 10X ROI to every single brand, retailer, or supplier that uses our platform. Try our new 10X ROI calculator here to see what Surefront could do for your retail business.

Ready to experience the difference of a retail PLM solution that allows you to swiftly interface with external suppliers? Surefront’s product lifecycle management solution was built by a retailer to service the retail industry’s unique needs. It’s time we got better acquainted. Book a custom demo with one of our product lifecycle management experts today!

Product lifecycle management is a quickly evolving industry with a lot of moving parts. We do all of the research, so you don’t have to. Stay ahead of news & trends by subscribing to our Product Lifecycle Management Blog.

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