Focus on Supply Chain: Managing Product Availability

Retailers and CPGs are employing high-ranking supply chain talent as they strive to ensure on-shelf product availability, according to exclusive new research from Retail Leader.

About half of respondents have vice presidents or higher assigned to supply chain. More than eight out of 10 respondents said their head of supply chain reports to the company CEO or president.

About one-third of respondents said ensuring in-stock availability is the single-most-important capability for their company. Cost-containment was the second most popular response, while speed to shelf and managing changing demand also achieved response rates greater than 10 percent. Fewer consider distribution logistics the most important capability.

Optimizing inventory in an environment where shoppers want access to products in more than one channel is the single-most concern among supply chain executives, drawing a 20 percent response rate. The cost of fuel ranked second with a 17 percent response. Food-safety controls were a lesser concern, with 5 percent of respondents saying it is their top challenge.

Retail Leader's economic survey suggests conditions continue to improve, with 47 percent of respondents feeling positive about the current situation and 51 percent optimistic about the next six months.

Q:Does your highest-ranking supply chain executive report to the company CEO or President?

Q:Which ONE of the following is the most important supply chain capability for your company?

Ensuring in-stock availability32.7%
Cost containment21.2%
Speed to shelf15.4%
Managing changing demand11.5%
Warehouse and distribution logistics management7.7%
Formal supply-chain management structure 5.8%
Shipping and logistics management3.8%
Omnichannel-optimized supply chain1.9%

Q:Which ONE of the following is the single-most concern to your supply chain executives?

Optimizing inventory for omnichannel environment20.0%
Cost of fuel16.7%
U.S. consumer confidence15.0%
Cost of ingredients11.7%
Wages and other labor issues10.0%
Environmental sustainability10.0%
The global economy6.7%
Food safety controls5.0%
Value of the U.S. dollar3.2%
Labor shortages1.7%
How would you describe current business conditions? Where do you expect to see business conditions for the next six months?