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How can retailers improve logistics and supply chain processes?

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Retail companies looking to improve the efficiency of their supply chain and logistics functions should consider SAP Planner Workbench. Here’s a look at how it can support business-critical functions.

Predicting consumers’ tastes and behavior is tricky business, and retailers that make and sell consumer goods such as clothing and home furnishings have plenty of obstacles when it comes to logistics and supply chain management.

Indeed, CIOs working in such companies are intimately familiar with the challenge of improving inventory turnovers and reducing inventory transportation costs, while simultaneously ensuring popular (i.e., fast-selling) products are adequately stocked. Planner Workbench in SAP ERP Central Component (ECC) is designed to help meet these challenges and improve logistics and supply chain planning.

Planner Workbench is a custom-developed tool that functions more like an intuitive dashboard to enable business users to efficiently perform business-critical functions such as procurement, planning, warehousing and sales functions, so that companies can make the right flow of product at the lowest production cost. Here’s how a few company functions benefit:

  • Procurement planners can use the Planner Workbench to improve materials sourcing by opting for vendors who offer the lowest price of a material and whose delivery dates are within the required timelines. Also available in the Planner Workbench are planning tools like forecasting, to predict a material’s future requirements and stock, and a requirements list feature, to take timely actions on materials that face supply or demand bottlenecks.
  • Warehouse supervisors also benefit. Planner Workbench enables the supervisors to check the warehouse’s capacity to receive goods by suggesting the receiving docks or doors that will consume the least time to unload and receive the delivered goods.
  • Materials planners can leverage Planner Workbench to gain a holistic view of an array of material’s supply and demand situations and are able to take timely actions such as increasing or decreasing procurement or production quantities to prevent supply chain disruptions, reduce inventory and improve efficient delivery of product to customers.

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