Quote, unquote: Supply Chain Summit
Just-style attended the Retail Week Supply Chain Summit, which brought together a number of key supply chain executives to consider some of the greatest challenges facing the sector. Here are some of the most quotable moments from the two-day event:
Stewart Binnie, former Aurora president
A strong brand is the best defence against commoditisation. Brand has to sit at the heart of the corporate strategy. Brand equity is the single most important determinant. Technology is this enabler of the experience, not the experience itself.
Jim Stanway, Wal-Mart senior director of global supply chain initiatives
"In clothing, we did a clothing life-cycle analysis to understand environmental costs in the supply chain and consumer. 75% of impact is post-sale, washing in hot water... We changed 75% of our labels to indicate you can wash in cold water and are now launching campaigns on Facebook to encourage cold water washing."
Jason Keegan, head of GM logistics, Supergroup
"It's finding the right balance between cost and service, we had to increase the service, but we still had to reduce cost. The key thing was turning out everybody's pockets, and I think that the service providers would say they've had their pockets turned a few times over the past few years, but we're not in a good place as a high street retail climate and you have to do what's necessary."
Nike Russian operations director Kaas Nicolai
"The other thing we realise is the importance of strong partners. Your need to have strong partners that are investing for the long-term and in Russia - the behaviour is sometimes is really just investing for tomorrow. People are not really planning a year or two or three years in advance, they don't have a longer vision. If they have money, they'd rather invest outside Russia."
DP World London Gateway commercial director Charles Maeaby
"When making changes to logistics you need to have buy-in from sourcing directors - they have to collaborate."
Asda dot com head of distribution Paul Anastasiou
"We have learned customers are happy when they've placed an order when they know what's going on. From our perspective, keeping customers engaged is absolutely critical. Statistically only 45% of households have someone in between 9am and 5pm each day, so comms are vital. What we learned in a very short period of time, for a while previously, as many customers chased us for deliveries inside of SLAs as for outside of SLAs... it's really important to communicate well in advance to align customer perception and reality."
Cranfield University School of Management's professor of supply chain strategy Richard Wilding
"The retail supply chain is one of the most dysfunctional I've come across."
World Duty Free head of supply chain Dan Curran
"Logistics companies are being criticised for not coming to the collaboration party. But logistics are already very commoditised and weak margins haven't encouraged collaboration."
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