Businesses often view supply chain strategies and product life cycles as separate processes with their own set of sub-processes. While importance is placed on both areas, many miss the mark when they treat these as separate entities that must be dealt with individually. Businesses that want to ensure success must work towards aligning their supply chain strategy with the product life cycle. Michael Grayum explains While the alignment approach might differ from company to company, the core objective is the same; to provide what customers want when they want it. This can be tricky when it comes to today’s retail market which is more complicated than ever before.
Products and their life cycles can vary. Some have life cycles that go on for years while others have cycles that last for months at most. The four major stages of a life cycle include introduction, growth, maturity, and decline. Businesses that want to truly win in the long run will strategize at each of the product life cycle stages. Depending on the stage of the cycle, the financing, marketing, and other strategies are determined by a business. When this is coupled with supply chain strategy, it gives a business more power to be in control of meeting their objectives and maximizing their profits in the long run.
An example of how the alignment between a product life cycle and supply chain strategy works is as follows. Let us say the product you are selling has reached the decline stage which is the last stage of the product life cycle. When you reach that stage, your business must make strategic decisions about what you want to do next. Are you going to offer a completely new product? Are you going to expand on the current product and add something new to it? Or will you work harder to try and revive the product that is geared towards the decline stage by marketing it in new ways? Strategically thinking about both aspects allows you to take a better approach that is more likely to lead to lesser costs for you.
Strategies that align with each product’s life cycle stages might sound tough and simpler said than done. But the alignment can be effectively achieved with the help of assortment planning software. A software solution that helps you plan your assortments has several advantages. You aim to ensure the products your customers want are readily available. If your customers don’t get those products, they will simply move on to another seller especially if you have a product that is easily available from others. If this happens, it hurts your bottom line and you might end up losing on some loyal customers.
A software tool that is made for assortment planning can prevent you from making this mistake. It helps you look at market trends, what the competitors are doing, the products in most demand, and the opportunities available. This enables you to make quick decisions about which products you should stock and which you shouldn’t. This in turn ensures you have the right inventory without additional costs and you can maximize your profits. Price plays a key role in this as shoppers are price sensitive. This is why an AI-powered assortment planning solution is vital for businesses that want to be safe in every aspect.
With the help of predictive analytics, you can make critical decisions in a snap. These decisions won’t be those made on a whim but those that are backed by solid data. Historical trends, valuable customer insights, and retail demand forecasting help you forge ahead without fear. These allow you to adapt to the most efficient supply chain strategies while keeping the product life cycle and customers in mind. An assortment planning software by Intelligence Node helps you stay way ahead of your competitors while driving down costs and increasing profits.
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