Improving Retail Supply Chain Planning

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Executive Summary

The functional areas of distribution, inbound logistics, and outbound transportation rely on good supply chain volume plans (units or cartons to be processed) as a starting point to build a budget and then to organize and orchestrate resources (e.g., capital, people, 3rd party providers) to handle the planned volume. Without a really good idea of what to expect in terms of supply chain volume from the merchants or inventory management teams (who often report up to the chief merchant), distribution and logistics teams take it upon themselves to develop company unit volume plans. This process of estimating supply chain volume is done as a necessary evil to provide a starting point from which to build an annual budget.

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