Ralph Lauren to improve supply chain visibility
Ralph Lauren will improve supply chain visibility of all Polo products by stitching QR tags into garments adjacent to the traditional branding tags. The company, which claims that they are the first global retail brand to apply the technology at this scale, will probably set the standard for the fashion industry, which has not yet embraced this kind of supply chain visibility.
The technology will allow consumers to gain authentic information about all stages of the supply chain as well as acting as an authenticity marker against counterfeit products. The introduction of this technology will not only benefit consumers but also supply chain managers. Through the digital tracking of Polo products, Ralph Lauren will have a new level of supply chain visibility, which should glean to greater efficiency and gain a more granular view of operations at supplier level. While Ralph Lauren will start by only rolling this out on Polo products, the company intends to, over time, increase this to further product lines across the brand.
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Coca-Cola to introduce Blockchain
Coke One North America (CONA), which is the technology platform used to manage Coca-Cola franchises, has partnered up with SAP in order to introduce blockchain technology into the supply chain. According to a Business Insider report, the company will implement blockchain technology into its supply chain to improve business between franchises and reduce order fill rates.
The technology will enable franchises to communicate with each other easily to ensure orders can be fulfilled by purchasing bottles from another franchise, when they are in short supply. Currently the process is difficult, slow and expensive as many companies used intermediaries to help find out this information. However, the new blockchain system should remove the need for these intermediaries and as a result make the process faster and simpler. The speed of payment processing will also be quicker. As a result, the company predicts that the introduction of blockchain will reduce order-reconciliation time from 50 to just a few days.
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UPS predicts holiday season returns will be higher than last year
As the holiday season approaches, thanks to the growth of e-commerce and a hyper-competitive retail market, sales are likely to increase before Christmas. However, due to a positive correlation between sales and returns, it remains likely that there will be a subsequent increase in returns. With this in mind, UPS are forecasting that the amount of returns this holiday season will be higher than last year.
As retailers push for early sales in the pre-Christmas period, UPS predicts that they will be transporting more than a million returns a day back to retailers throughout December. They believe that the first peak in returns is likely to be mid-December and according to the company is likely to be triggered by “retailer promotions, which will prompt shoppers to buy gifts early”.
However, unlike the 2018 holiday season, the company predicts that the second and highest spike, which they call “National Returns Day”, won’t occur until January 2nd compared to December 19th last year. While this may be a later date, the company forecasts that there will be 1.9 million returns on this date, which is an increase of 26% compared to last year. After a correct prediction last year, it is likely these forecasts are quite accurate. However, until holiday season shopping statistics for this year are revealed, this will remain unknown.
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Have a great weekend!