Robust data management could save Christmas

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Following a turbulent year for the retail industry, the disruption to supply chains is reportedly still causing major issues in the run-up to Christmas. As well as dealing with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the global supply chain crisis, UK retailers are also experiencing the full impact of Brexit, leading to price hikes on festive favourites, from turkey to champagne.

As retailers continue to navigate these challenges, Mads Toubro, senior vice president EMEA at data integrity specialist Precisely, suggests that organisations with robust data management strategies will be the ones to weather the storm:

“On top of the global supply chain challenges, Brexit disruption has caused immense issues for UK businesses. With increased checks on products, more paperwork and mounting delays, companies are still suffering from rising costs and lost sales.

“The majority of retailers rely on manufacturers which may have products that need to be exported to multiple storage locations across the world. However, it’s not just a case of routing the goods to the right place – one single product line could have hundreds of different attributes across multiple data objects such as product codes, specifications, and pricing information. This information needs to be collated and managed accurately. However, this data is often inefficiently held in numerous systems, creating hard-to-access silos that make it nearly impossible to manage when relying on manual processes. This results in lengthy correction processes, delaying the export of products, and potentially damaging a company’s reputation with new trading partners.

“For retailers, taking steps to improve data management processes, such as by establishing automated data management systems, can help to alleviate the challenges of disconnected supply chain data by providing a more connected view across the business, as well as helping to ensure a foundation of data integrity. This allows businesses to make faster, and more confident, decisions based on a framework of data that has maximum accuracy, consistency, and context – something that is essential for navigating post-Brexit trade.

“With supply chain disruptions likely to continue well into next year, retailers must focus on improving their data management processes to help mitigate the wider impact of product shortages.”