(LONDON, 17th SEPTEMBER, 2009) – According to research carried out by 4Retail to gain an insight into the design and sourcing functions across retail, 50% of retailers admitted they did not have an IT solution in their design area and yet this is a segment of their organisation where they felt there was good or very high potential gains in terms of both cost savings and revenue enhancement.
Within the Design and Selection processes the areas where respondents felt there was most room for improvement were lead times and the initial collaboration on designs. The buying and sourcing area also highlighted that potential savings could be made mostly during the product development and at the first costing of the product. In terms of the overall supply chain, many questioned felt they would benefit in terms of cost saving if communication, container utilisation and warehouse management were improved. Furthermore, 60% of respondents believed that if they increased co-operation, collaborated more efficiently and enhanced their internal communication then there would be high or very high scope for sales increases.
4Retail’s survey revealed that the main areas where retailers could potentially save are during the initial design stage, buying and sourcing and the supply chain. The first two are also areas where retailers do not seem to have an IT system that fits their need to manage all the necessary documentation, ensure that it has been signed off by all the right people and keeps everybody in the workflow up-to-date with the latest information. Therefore, more systemic support to help retailers communicate on product designs, specifications and vendor quotations would be beneficial in terms of cost savings and revenue enhancement. A Web based secure collaborative tool could be the answer because it can help retailers communicate more efficiently and effectively. As well as reducing lead times, an on-demand collaborative tool can help cut costs on administration and increase the visibility of processes.
Following the success of the 4Projects online collaboration service for the construction industry, it was clear the principles could also be adapted for the retail sector and the decision to form a new wholly owned subsidiary with a focus on this market was taken. Since then 4Retail has grown its customer base rapidly and seen its system used across the world. With 30 registered companies already on their books and several solutions including 4Design, 4Content, 4Projects, 4Compliance and 4Quality, 4Retail is growing rapidly and seeing its system used across the world.