Six benefits of Retail Consolidation

There’s no denying the global retail industry has faced a shakeup in recent years. It seems every week, we receive breaking news that another household name — think Debenhams, Carpetright, Toys R Us, Mothercare — is heading into administration, or indeed closing its doors for the very last time.

According to research by the Local Data Company, in 2021 alone 17,000 chain store outlets were forced to shut across the UK. As a result, there is a huge demand for retail leaders to tighten costs and boost efficiency in order to stay ahead of the curb and guarantee a sustained space on the high street.

One key tactic to reduce spend across the board is by streamlining your supply base to create one order, one invoice, and one delivery — in turn, reducing overheads, refocusing essential personnel, and optimising store performance. If you still need some convincing, here are six benefits of moving from multiple vendors to a single, trusted partnership provider.

1. Improved supplier relationships

By consolidating your supplier base, it’s easier to focus on building robust, long-term relationships with organisations who grow to really learn and care about your business needs. The result is a more efficient and responsive supply chain, which leaves employees free to concentrate on the core elements of their roles.

2. Reduced purchasing and process costs

As a supplier base reduces, purchasing power increases – not only can customers negotiate better prices for products and services, but shipping and handling costs will decrease as well. There’s also only one invoice, from a single supplier, which further compounds the cost and time saving benefits.

3. Greater expenditure visibility and compliance

By implementing an easy to use, intuitive procurement system, organisations can take back control of costs and eliminate rogue spending and budget leakage. Our industry-leading procurement platform, SmartPad, is designed to define and digitise workflows for employees – both in the office and at home – so that the right people can procure the right things at the right time, whilst providing procurement and finance teams with full expenditure visibility.

4. Increased productivity within your teams

Supply chain consolidation significantly improves team productivity by freeing time for core, revenue generating tasks and providing a consistent business focus. Leaving colleagues to spend more time on the shop floor, with customers.

5. Boosted CSR performance

Committing to a corporate social responsibility (CSR) strategy is now a non-negotiable priority for most organisations – certainly in the eyes of the increasingly environmentally-conscious consumer.

Not only does retail consolidation offer the ability to minimise the environmental implications of product sourcing and delivery, the curation of strong relationships with CSR-savvy suppliers satisfies the ‘green’ conscience for all concerned.

6. Utilising valuable data

Some (not all) intuitive marketplaces help to collate and make sense of valuable procurement data, which is when the strategic value of a ‘one-stop-shop’ really comes to life. Using the business intelligence insights provided by SmartPad, for example, our customers can transform raw data into meaningful analytics that power procurement efficiencies, cost savings, and maximum value from your supply chain. It becomes easier to identify otherwise untapped trends too, which empowers the C-suite to make better, data-driven decisions.

When it comes to supply chain management and product sourcing, less is proving to be more. And although we’re all well and truly engrossed in the era of the specialist, when businesses fragment their procurement strategy across too wide a supplier base, the logistical, pricing and quality risks soon multiply.

So, the days may admittedly be over for Jack-of-all trade retailers that don’t place customers at the heart of everything they do. However, the days of a trusted, expert one-stop shop are only just beginning – and their place in the market is as valid as ever.

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