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Ag retailers: do your systems work seamlessly with your suppliers?
More than 75% of ag retailers are actively seeking improvements to their current systems, both for themselves and for their customers, according to our 2018 survey of ag retailers. This is necessitated by shifting demand in a turbulent marketplace, with factors such as unpredictable pricing, the rise of online commerce, and many consumers seeing affordability drive their purchases more than brand loyalty.
Despite the pitfalls, ag retailers are positioned to reap great rewards from innovative connectivity solutions – a supply chain that is connected offers greater value to their customers, while driving unprecedented efficiency and control in the race to remain competitive.
What does seamless connectivity mean for ag retail?
- Complete visibility, even across consolidated businesses with different systems, to track purchasing and order location.
- Intelligent automated systems that can predict and adjust inventory as needed – no more being caught short of a product.
- Elimination of human error from re-entering data manually, and the costs incurred as a result.
- Easier and faster communications between businesses, saving time, money, and stress.
- Identifying inefficiencies in the supply chain to better meet targets.
How do you get there?
Proagrica, the leading provider of digital solutions to the agricultural supply chain, has successfully worked with businesses across 5 continents, and invested heavily in the development of specialist tools to meet the changing requirements of ag retail.
“As an industry we currently have a fragmented data landscape, from which we can derive all kinds of capabilities,” says Lindsay Suddon, Chief Strategy Officer at Proagrica. “Complete connectivity across the supply chain means every business can benefit, including ag retailers and their suppliers. There are trading needs up and down the supply chain – being able to forecast the implications of an event on yields for example.”
“Connectivity allows participants to enter much better trading conversations and move together towards greater sustainability and best practice, while driving profitability. It’s raising the bar for everyone.”
A supply chain that operates on a connected basis aids profitability while enabling ag retailers to offer a better value service to their customers. Agriculture supply chain businesses each have their own ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) system, which is used to manage data, such as orders, confirmations, dispatches and invoices. A supply chain that has data connectivity as a foundation allows these ERPs to speak to each other seamlessly and in real-time, without significant changes in the user experience. As a result, ag retailers can get better value from their suppliers, which in turn makes their business stronger.
What is the future for successful ag retail businesses?
For ag retail organizations, future-proofing is a common concern. Already hundreds of businesses are moving to take full advantage of the data revolution to ensure their bottom line remains strong. The future of the industry will see an end to siloed data systems, and connectivity becoming the norm for businesses wanting to stay competitive and profitable. Ag retailers who adapt and move their systems towards connectivity in the supply chain place themselves at a clear advantage to those who do not, allowing them to properly meet changing marketplace demands.