As the retail industry continues to navigate fallout from the pandemic, many organizations have turned to digital transformation to support the challenges of supply, demand and logistics. This has been critical to help navigate the unprecedented volatility and has accelerated the vision of supply chain executives by 5 to 10 years. We can no longer depend on historical data to make supply chain decisions and looking forward we are not certain how consumer behavior will continue to change over the next few years as we adjust to a post-COVID life. Recent IBM Institute for Business Value research shows just how much has changed in the last two years alone. That’s why it’s critical to look to real-time data and insights to uncover patterns so we can anticipate and take action on what’s needed to best serve retailers and their customers.

Challenge and opportunity

For Party City, the global celebrations category leader, the pandemic presented a unique challenge and opportunity. With the scaling back of large social gatherings, consumers switched to decorating their homes and having smaller-scale events to celebrate momentous occasions and brighten their days. The way in which people shopped also changed. The usual in-store foot traffic was temporarily modified. Party City quickly pivoted to offer safer shopping experiences like home delivery, curbside pickup and buy online, pickup in store (BOPIS). To continue driving sales while still meeting customer and employee satisfaction, Party City needed to simplify their ordering and purchasing processes to provide seamless services to its online and in-store customers.

“The pandemic presented many unique business challenges for retailers and just as consumers have needed to adapt to new ways of shopping, it was imperative that we improve inventory turns, increase speed and reliability of order fulfillment by removing supply chain friction to help deliver on Party City’s customer promise.

By revamping our end-to-end omnichannel capabilities with seamless integration of our Salesforce commerce platform and IBM Sterling Order Management systems we’re able to power a highly-scalable order orchestration and inventory visibility solution that is helping us continue to successfully pivot towards our next-generation retail format and deliver a blended digital experience.”  —Mark Miller, Party City CTO

Seeing results

To achieve the desired level of success, Party City maintained their business operations by rapidly deploying and scaling new fulfillment capabilities using IBM Sterling Order Management solution, IBM Sterling Inventory Visibility, to meet shifting shopper demands and expectations in real time. This included adding curbside pickup, same day delivery and ship-from-store as well as evolving their retail locations to operate as decentralized fulfillment centers to quickly, and cost effectively, serve customers as part of their omnichannel strategy and customer experience strategy. Though none of these fulfillment options were available pre-pandemic, by the beginning of phased retail re-openings, these new channels became critical to their integrated fulfillment strategy and helped covert customers at a rate 75% higher than the previous year.

Along with making ship-from-store and curbside pickup available, Party City also created a first for the retail industry with the introduction of self-checkout through the Party City app. This allows customers to shop via the app, complete their order transaction and pick up their items without ever having to transact in-store.

Additionally, to become more agile, responsive, and resilient in their back-office processes, Party City partnered with IBM Consulting to transform its finance and supply chain operations with technologies like AI and automation.  The finance transformation roadmap and organizational design, along with the warehouse management strategy, is designed to deliver solutions that improve productivity, reduce overhead cost, and improve service levels to Party City’s suppliers and customers, on resilient and integrated platforms.

Adapting and differentiating with innovative technology

Leading retailers have turned to technology to support a new agile way of working responding to the pandemic-related uncertainty in supply and demand. The resulting intelligent workflows help make retail supply chains predictive, automated, agile and transparent. By modernizing critical supply chain processes with open platforms that take advantage of advanced technologies including AI, blockchain, IoT and hybrid cloud, retailers can quickly deploy new and differentiated fulfillment capabilities that help drive revenue growth and customer acquisition.

As retail clients evolve their digital strategy and shift to integrated, resilient and scalable platforms, it will help them improve productivity, reduce overhead cost and respond to increasing priorities around sustainability. All of this allows leading retailers to provide excellent service to their trading partners and, most importantly, to their customers.

Source

13 comments
  1. I’d have to examine with you here. Which is not one thing I usually do! I take pleasure in reading a post that may make folks think. Additionally, thanks for permitting me to comment!

  2. Youre so cool! I dont suppose Ive read something like this before. So nice to seek out someone with some authentic ideas on this subject. realy thanks for starting this up. this website is something that is wanted on the net, someone with a little originality. helpful job for bringing one thing new to the web!

  3. Great – I should certainly pronounce, impressed with your website. I had no trouble navigating through all tabs and related info ended up being truly easy to do to access. I recently found what I hoped for before you know it at all. Reasonably unusual. Is likely to appreciate it for those who add forums or anything, web site theme . a tones way for your client to communicate. Nice task.

  4. The subsequent time I read a blog, I hope that it doesnt disappoint me as much as this one. I imply, I know it was my choice to read, however I truly thought youd have one thing fascinating to say. All I hear is a bunch of whining about one thing that you may fix when you werent too busy looking for attention.

  5. That is the right weblog for anybody who needs to find out about this topic. You understand a lot its virtually hard to argue with you (not that I truly would want…HaHa). You positively put a new spin on a topic thats been written about for years. Great stuff, just nice!

  6. Hi there! Someone in my Myspace group shared this website with us so I came to check it out. I’m definitely loving the information. I’m bookmarking and will be tweeting this to my followers! Great blog and outstanding design.

  7. Very good written article. It will be beneficial to everyone who employess it, including myself. Keep up the good work – i will definitely read more posts.

  8. What i don’t understood is actually how you’re not really much more well-liked than you may be right now. You’re very intelligent. You realize therefore considerably relating to this subject, produced me personally consider it from numerous varied angles. Its like men and women aren’t fascinated unless it’s one thing to accomplish with Lady gaga! Your own stuffs outstanding. Always maintain it up!

  9. I’ve been surfing on-line more than 3 hours today, yet I by no means discovered any fascinating article like yours. It is lovely worth sufficient for me. Personally, if all webmasters and bloggers made excellent content as you did, the net will probably be much more useful than ever before.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You May Also Like

Across the globe, Apple and its teams find new ways to give

The company’s Employee Giving program has raised over $880 million, with more…

New updates to ensure safer learning at school and at home

The Google for Education team continues to build education services with highly…

Introducing Google’s Secure AI Framework

The potential of AI, especially generative AI, is immense. However, in the…