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The Formula for Increasing Retailers’ Speed to Market (Part 1)

2 min read
May 6, 2022 2:54:59 PM

We all know that speed to market is important for retailers. That’s a given. But what are the steps to getting to market faster? This three part blog series, The Formula for Increasing Retailers’ Speed to Market, will outline what you need to consider as you work towards a faster speed to market. Read on for Part 1: BUY Fast, and then stay tuned for parts 2 and 3, which focus on distribution and reaction times.

 

Part 1: Buy fast.

Have you had your coffee yet? Ok good, because it is time for a little math. As your professor today, we want to ask the following question: If management of the product lifecycle is a science, and the end goal is being fastest to market, then what is the formula for speed?

The answer? s = d / t. [speed = distance divided by time].

In other words, the less time (t) you spend in the chaos of retail product lifecycle management, keeping track of internal teams, vendors, products, quotes, orders, and workflows, the more your speed to market increases (s) and the farther your business can go into the marketplace (d).

Simple, right? Unfortunately, it isn’t - chaos prevails, and the amount of things that can go wrong as you are presented with product showcases from various vendors, request quotes from them, negotiate on and then convert quotes to orders, and eventually launch your products, is infinite. 

That said, if you streamline your product lifecycle management process correctly, your company can increase its speed to market by 75%. And it all starts with the buyer.

Better “Buyer” Power

As someone in the retail world, you know this: If you sell $1M in product, you now have $1M to buy more products to then go out and sell. 

Buy, sell. Buy, sell. That is the cycle. In order to get to market faster, buyers need to be “open to buy,” which means that they need to sell inventory before they can order more. The more you can buy, the more you can sell, the more money you make – and the faster that happens, the better. 

Speaking of fast, trends come and go quickly. The faster companies can act on the preference of their customers – the current trends – the sooner they can surprise and delight them with products that they will love and, therefore, buy. Being late on the trend means you are more likely to end up with unpurchased inventory which is now out of style or out of date, and will need to either be marked down or disposed of at a complete loss. 

With the right product lifecycle management software, retail buyers can solve this issue by reducing the buying cycle from months to weeks. The time saved allows buyers to spend their days more wisely. Instead of digging through spreadsheets, correcting incorrect POs, and wasting hours on other similar administrative tasks, they can take their time planning and being more strategic, thus ensuring more accurate forecasts. These forecasts allow buyers to purchase exactly what they need, cutting down on wasted inventory. This all means that buyers can wait to place orders until they can closely estimate what they’ll need on hand and, even though those orders (POs) are placed closer to ship dates, suppliers can fulfill those orders in time. 

If you want to move up to 4x faster, with less liability on the books, and a higher degree of fidelity in forecasting calculations, consider a PLM solution like Surefront to help you increase your speed to market. Learn more about Surefront for retailers.

UP NEXT: In Part 2 of The Formula for Increasing Retailers’ Speed to Market blog series, we’ll discuss how you can improve your retail experience with faster distribution. Interested? Subscribe to our blog and you’ll be notified when it’s posted.

 

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