Agentrics, the retail and supply chain solutions provider,is launching a new solution suite, offered in a hostedsoftware-as-a-service (SaaS) format, focused on enabling a moresynchronised supply chain. The company reports that the service willallow retailers and manufacturers to more effectively collaborate onmanaging their supply chains, leading to more balanced stock levels,better customer service, and an altogether greener and more sustainablesupply chain. The global supply chain collaboration platform beinglaunched follows successful programs supporting customers such asCarrefour, Unilever, PepsiCo, and Best Buy. Agentrics customers havedemonstrated that retailers can reduce out-of-stocks by between twentyand fifty per cent by improving supply chain collaboration using theplatform.
"Untilnow, various attempts at getting retailers and suppliers to effectivelycreate multi-organizational collaborative processes have produced mixedresults," says Wellington Machado, chief executive at Agentrics. "Theproblem has been compounded by a lack of visibility across the entiresupply chain, which you only get from working with a multitude ofretailers and suppliers together."
Research by the Institute ofGrocery and Distribution (IGD) in 2010 revealed that only around fortyper cent of companies believed their collaborative approaches to be anygood, mainly due to inaccurate demand forecasts and out-of-date saleshistory. Most industry insiders claim that availability of resourcesremains the biggest hurdle to effective collaboration.
Currentlyretailers are challenged with a proliferation of data, driven by newproducts, new stores, new channels and continuously volatile consumerdemand. Agentrics' suite of supply chain solutions enables theefficient distribution of this data, while providing the tools andanalysis required for retailers and manufacturers to create actionableinformation and build collaborative processes.
"Whencollaboration programs have not worked, we've felt that the problemshave been primarily driven by a focus on data from a limited number ofpartners, rather than building a program that covers the retailer'sentire supply chain network," says Machado.
The launch of theAgentrics collaboration platform marks a significant event in thecompany's history, a decade on from the merging of the Worldwide RetailExchange (WWRE) and Global Net Exchange (GNX). These organizations wereoriginally created by the world's leading retailers, such as Tesco,Ahold and Carrefour, to provide hosted, SaaS based solutions and drivebest practices in supply chain collaboration. Agentrics claims that amore cohesive structure and aggregated view of data from multipleretail channels will offer significant mutual benefits to all thoseinvolved.
"We want to support our customers and market toachieve a fully integrated business network, delivering efficientprocesses in a spirit of more collaboration and openness," saysMachado. "If you want to build a more effective network driving supplychain efficiencies, we'll make sure you have the information and toolsto help improve availability by connecting your suppliers in acollaborative supply chain synchronisation programme."
Otherbenefits of improved collaboration between retailers and suppliersinclude: reductions in surplus stock; improved availability; easierdetection of missing goods in the supply chain, more streamlineddeliveries to stores; increased sales from improved replenishment andfully-stocked shelves.
"Most retailers today are looking toimprove operational efficiencies, while everyone is becomingincreasingly adept with business and social networking tools,"concludes Machado. "We're taking the next steps towards more securebusiness networking for the benefit of retailers and manufacturers, tobuild sustainable value for all."