Start 2020 by Preparing for Digital Retail Transformation

This is a guest blog post by Jeff Ashcroft of Supply Chain Network.

A new decade is dawning and the pace of change continues to accelerate as we race head on into 2020.
Nowhere is this more evident than in the retail business, where decades-old leaders are finding new ways to survive, and digital native upstarts continue to gain momentum, with many now even opening stores.

Keeping track of and up to speed on the myriad potential technological innovations emerging as the relationships with consumers, and the supply chains we use to support them, now digitize, is definitely no easy feat.

So where can retail leaders start in their search for real world innovation and applied uses of emerging technology and automation in retail?

When it comes to retail supply chain innovation, there’s no better event than the RILA LINK 2020: The Retail Supply Chain Conference to learn about and network with retail supply chain leaders already starting to implement these future state solutions.

In reviewing the agenda for this year’s event I’ve already identified 9 great sessions on the application of emerging digital technologies, and in some timeslots will have real difficulty picking which session to see and which I’ll have to miss!
  • AI-Powered Forecasting to Drive Cross-Functional Processes
  • How DICK’S Sporting Goods Wins with Omni-Channel Automation
  • Value in the Supply Chain with an End to End Approach
  • Startup Innovation Award Pitches
  • Building a Culture of Innovation and Abercrombie & Fitch
  • Walmart’s Moonshot to the Autonomous Supply Chain
  • Opening Keynote: Levi's Chief Executive Officer Chip Bergh
  • Leveraging Emerging Technology to Drive Efficiency and Improved Service Level
  • Navigating the Big Shift: Tech, Society & Supply Chain
Add to this list the Innovation Start Up Finalist presentations hand-selected from 50 entries, by the The RTech Supply Chain Advisory Council, which is composed of retailer executives who are themselves hands-on experts in retail supply chain technology and strategy. 

And last but not least, there will be over 300 exhibitors with the latest and greatest retail supply chain technology and provider solutions which will be featured in the RILA LINK Expo Experience on-site both Monday and Tuesday during the event.

And as always, this time every year, I like to also share with you my thoughts on the trends to watch in supply chain technology and automation and as we move into 2020. These are:
  • Distributed Logistics
    • Although by itself Distributed Logistics is not a digital technology, this concept is key, and it can only be successfully executed when supported by the utilization of a combination of an advanced Distributed Order Management (DOM) system and Distributed Inventory Flow Forecasting (DIFF) capability.
  • Robotic Automation
  • Matrix Retail
    • Back in 2012 the term Matrix Commerce aka Matrix Retail was coined by myself describing a digital interface to manage all of the complexity around connecting for commerce with consumers in a digital world. Fast forward 8 years and only now are platforms emerging that can address and help retailers manage profitably real time in the digital commerce world of New Retail.
Since 1989 I have been attending this awesome distribution/supply chain conference and the highlight is always the opportunity to network and share ideas with many of the top retail supply chain professionals in the world.

Looking forward to doing so once again next month and if any of the above ideas resonate with you, feel free to reach out and we can grab a coffee to discuss!

Jeff Ashcroft


LINK2020: The Retail Supply Chain Conference

  • Feb 23 - Feb 26, 2020
  • Dallas, TX

RILA's Retail Supply Chain Conference is the only event of its kind - gathering top executives from leading retailers to network and learn.

Go to Event
  • Retail Supply Chain Conference

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