Guest Column | October 1, 2013

Retail Margin Risk: Step 5: "Over-communicate" With Your Vendor Trading Partners

Richard Wilhjelm 450 with tagline

In my previous article dated August 1st, 2013, we discussed the value of monitoring transportation performance to ensure on-time deliveries, thus minimizing profit-draining out-of-stocks. We concluded the value was not only in cost reduction and populating the purchase order lifecycle, but also identifying bottlenecks to ultimately reduce supply chain days. These are all key steps to mitigating the margin risks retailers’ face on a daily basis. In this article I touched on the importance of over communicating not only your expectations to your vendor community, but their performance results as well. In part five of our five part series on mitigating retail margin risks, we will examine the importance of over communicating to your vendor partners and some best practices leading retailers are utilizing today to collaborate with their vendors.

“Communication IS Leadership”

One of the best perks of my job isn’t 5 Star Hotels, lavish dinners, private jet travel, or the throngs of admiring fans;it is spending time with highly-successful people at highly-successful companies. One insightful visit was to The Container Store in Coppell, Texas. If you have ever had the privilege of listening to Chairman & CEO Kip Tindell speak at a conference as I have, you know The Container Store takes a culture-first approach to doing business. One of their Foundation Principles listed on their website is”Communication IS Leadership”. An excerpt from their site is as follows:

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