The U.S. military may be having a tough time getting anyone to reenlist these days, but a group of prominent retailers is having no such problems. Organizers of the Retail Supply Chain Best Practices Review report that many of the 50 retail companies that participated in the 2004 review have re-upped for 2005.
And why not? Participants in the study, which is an in-depth look at supply chain best practices, have a lot to gain by getting involved. Once the study's completed, they will receive the results in a series of reports and review meetings that will provide very specific insights into both standard and best practices of retail companies within various industry segments. "There is tremendous value to retailers who participate in the next segment of the retail best practices review," says Jim Tompkins, president of Tompkins Associates, which is providing research support in conjunction with The Soleus Group, which Tompkins acquired in May. "It will enable them to look beyond the bounds of their distribution networks and begin to identify opportunities that will strengthen their supply chains."
While the 2004 study focused on inbound supply chain practices, this year's edition will examine distribution center operations, direct-to-consumer operations, and transportation—including international, ocean and truck transport. The research, which will be conducted via a Web-based interview tool, will be led by the five retailers on this year's advisory board—Best Buy, JC Penney, Rite Aid, Safeway and Target.