The story of a yellow dress: ediTRACK team brightens up the Retail Week Supply Chain Summit 2013
ediTRACK joined with the likes of ASOS, Asda and John Lewis to attend this years Retail Week Supply Chain Summit at the Radisson Blu Portman hotel in London. The event is one of the most well attended and respected supply chain events in the UK, and the perfect platform for ediTRACK to showcase innovations in our latest product developments.
Our group company Allport Cargo Services were headline sponsors of the event, so we joined forces with a combined stand and group product offering. Our female team members wore bright yellow dresses to reinforce ‘The story of a yellow dress’, the key message which featured both in our branding and in Allport’s Clyde Buntrock’s speech on driving down lead times.
Our display stand took up a quarter of the exhibition hall, and featured interactive demos on 12 iPads that showcased our end-to-end supply chain service, covering solutions such as range planning, sample management, ethical trade, supply chain and hubs through to the end consumer, and developing an e-commerce platform and localised marketing.
Two bright and busy days
Day one of the two-day event kicked off with early morning refreshments followed by a packed morning of presentations from expert speakers including BNP Paribas’ David Tinsley and Allport’s Clyde Buntrock. During a buffet lunch, attendees congregated in the Allport Cargo Services stand area to browse our demos and we took the opportunity to mingle and speak with exhibitors and delegates.
In the afternoon, attendees had a choice of two different workstreams with interactive Q&As featuring expert panels made up of retail executives and industry experts. The day concluded with a sponsored drinks reception, which allowed for exhibitors and delegates to continue conversations in a more informal atmosphere. The second day followed a similar format, and delegates were invited by Allport Cargo Services to continue their conversations at a hosted VIP drinks and nibbles event at the local pub!
Well-attended with excellent representation from key players
The real draw to this event was the line up of speakers and the rich, relevant content presented and discussed. The two-day event was jam packed with top executive speakers from companies including Shop Direct, John Lewis, Waitrose, Monsoon, Accessorize, Mothercare, Asda, Travis Perkins, Hobbycraft, Marks & Spencer and Morrisons. This presented many opportunities for retailers to network and share opinions and experiences within their own supply chains.
Perhaps due to the tough economic climate, this year’s event seemed slightly quieter than previous years, but there was still a wide range of attendees including representation from logistics companies, consultancies, business schools and universities, right through to retailers including ASOS, River Island, Monsoon, Estee Lauder, Argos, Wilkinsons and Asda.
Allport Cargo Services’ Clyde Buntrock used his keynote presentation to announce the launch of the group’s new solutions suite to the assembled retailers. Encompassing areas as diverse as ethical trading, e-commerce platforms and digital photography management, these new products are designed to create competitive advantage for retailers trading globally.
Hot topics: the economy, supply chain risk, online returns, and the Omni-channel era
The conference kicked off with some recent statistics and some future insights as to the economic climate for retail. This was well presented by David Tinsley, Chief UK Economist, BNP Paribas. The overall picture he painted for the UK was that the next five years will be tough, and that the successful retailers must learn to adapt in order to fulfil changing and more demanding consumer behaviours.
Speakers addressed a range of current industry issues, one of the hottest topics being supply chain risk. Professor Mohan Sodhi, from Cass Business School, discussed the impact of the horsemeat scandal and the Bangladesh building collapse in his presentation, ‘How to manage supply chain risk’.
Chris Haighton and James Harper from Shop Direct gave a good account of ‘How to win the battle of on-line returns’ – a growing issue for retailers as consumers buy over the Internet at increasing rates. They talked about putting measures in place to prevent high rates of returns, ensuring that the consumer knows exactly what they are ordering and that they can be confident on the size, quality and use.
Speakers also addressed the requirement to have a real end-to-end supply chain view in order to adapt for the Omni-channel era that is upon us. Allport Cargo Services’ Clyde Buntrock gave a real insight into how companies can now merge product development, marketing and multichannel logistics in order to drive down lead times and improve product quality. As part of his speech he introduced “The story of a yellow dress”, which addressed the concept of how a yellow dress could be sourced, produced, ordered, shipped and delivered in a seamless way with the use of the latest technologies from ediTRACK, along with the experience and services that logistics providers can provide.
So was the event a success for ediTRACK?
Many distinguished guest speakers attended the event, from leading retailers to industry experts, and it was great to get the company and brand name up in front of such high calibre executives. A relaxed event, it was a good opportunity to get to know influencers within the industry, share ideas and make new connections.