Technical Leadership for Successful Project Delivery

retail

The Retail industry covers all companies (large and small) that sell products to consumers (B2C), including high street and online stores, food and non-food products.

As the largest private industry employer in the UK, 300,000 retail businesses employ over 3 million people making up 8% of the UK workforce.

Changes to consumer attitudes effects how they expect to access retailers, with a tendency to favour the ease of digital and online channels over in-store. 43% of retail in the UK is conducted through mobiles and tablets, with the UK leading the market in e-commerce and retail technology, with £91bn worth of online sales in 2021.

Responsiv has worked with Retailers including Waitrose, Hallmark, and Kingfisher (Screwfix, B&Q), providing expertise in IBM MQ and integration; accelerating project delivery for successful business outcomes.

Circular Textiles Economy

Responsiv is investing in researching and creating a circular textiles economy in the UK in partnership with Circle8 and Innovate UK.

This project aims to address sustainability and ethical issues with the textiles industry in the UK, utilising non-reusable textiles (NRTs) instead of sending them to landfill or abroad.

Key Figures

Around 1.05-1.75 million tonnes of textiles is thrown away in the UK annually, 360,000 tonnes of this is clothing that ends up in landfill.

Responsiv's Industry Goal

Our goal is to create a body of information that can be used to support investment in UK recycling facilities and capacity.

Responsiv will collaborate with partners to research improved ways of standardising data categorisations across textile sources for sufficient and valuable recycling supply.

Find out more about our Circular Textiles Supply Chain project by clicking below!

 Related Research

Supply Chain

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Supply chains in all industries were disrupted throughout the Covid Pandemic. Recovering from this and optimising with the lessons learnt is critical to improving lead times and managing staff and customer expectations.

Data shows that the retail supply chain currently contributes to 25% of greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) globally. This staggering number cements the need for retailers to embed sustainable initiatives into their supply chain operations. Other major focal points are the traceability of products and eliminating waste from the value chain.

Supply chain tracability is an important next step for the Retail industry. Being able to identify exactly where an individual component has been and when, and any other related information about the shipment, is key to fulfilling ESG regulations and providing insight to the business and customers about when their order will arrive.

Understanding the complexities of the as-is supply chain is the first step in identifying where optimisations can be made. Knowing who the key players and stakeholders are will help manage expectations and understand who is involved at what stage.

Utilising data and algorithms allows retailers to make all aspects of their supply chain more efficient, accurate, and perceptive to change. For example, demand forecasting or operations scheduling to help retailers predict where inconsistencies in supply chain will arise.

Additionally, algorithms can help build optimal supply chains for retailers. This is because algorithms can deliver recommendations to customers that allow them to see products that appeal to their taste based on previous activity.

Cloud based systems can offer real-time insights and operational overviews. Retailers can unify data and receive predictive insights across operations. From order fulfilment, warehousing and transportation, to procurement and product quality, all these can be improved with the use of the right technologies.

Having the transparency and understanding of where supply chain issues arise through the use of data will allow businesses to make key decisions, use the right resources, and solve bottlenecks. We now need a mechanism to share the right information between supply chain participants in a format that makes sense, quickly enough to be useful and actionable, and securely enough to prevent undermining of commercial models.

Click here for more information on keeping supply chains reliable and sustainable.

IBM API Connect provides all the functions needed to provide a secure and robust API capability.

Responsiv use this technology to deploy robust and high-performance API solutions that include a developer portal to manage external developers, testing facilities including a sandbox to allow external developers to test their software, analytics collection, secure API hosting, and API traffic management that can separate different priority traffic and protect internal systems and resources.

Responsiv Cloud API Platform provides this capability as a cloud service.

To access portals and websites that are intended for people, Robotic Process Automation (RPA) pretends to be a person. This allows businesses to push and pull information through portals intended for people, and to do this task regularly day and night. It’s not real-time but it is much more frequent and cost effective than a manual alternative.

Click here to find out how Responsiv is investing in sustainable textile supply chains in the UK.

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    Sustainability

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    Sustainability has become an industry in its own right. But how does this apply to the Retail industry?

    For years there has been a focus on business and environmental sustainability in the Retail industry; whether that be fair-trade foods or improving production and logistics processes to reduce carbon usage.

    Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) reporting is on the rise following the welcoming of the Effort Sharing Regulation (ESR) in 2018. This means that all participants in a supply chain are required to report on their fuel (carbon), water, and electricity outputs, as well as their equal opportunity statistics. This data may be requested by consumers or up-stream supply chain partners for their own reporting.

    Reducing carbon outputs and having the ability to demonstrate and report this data will become a large part of the Retail industry.

    Creating a more sustainable and efficient economic system by reusing resources and products to their fullest potential is gaining increased traction among businesses, governments and consumers alike.

    Circular economies encourage recycling and reusing products, including clothing. This principle is rising in popularity as a way to solve sustainability issues in the retail market.

    Sustainability has become a key strategy for retailers with the rise of sustainability regulations. Providing consumers and partners with ESG data throughout the supply chain is required as part of these ESG and EPR regulations.

    This data not only makes retailers compliant, but provides them with insight into their supply chain, from energy consumption to CO2 emmissions in manufacturing. The cloud offers a strong data foundation that allows information to be collected, managed, and analysed in one place to create a centralised view of data.

    This means end-to-end visibility on the environmental impact of business decisions.

    Retailers can also accurately measure and understand energy consumption across thousands of processes, devices, locations, and more. By using data, they can get a full picture of carbon emissions and will have the power to optimise and implement new practices.

    Digitising operations for more sustainable practices is another solution. Swapping out old, inefficient and ineffective processes with new material or manufacturing technologies will help to reduce waste, and in turn improve the overall sustainability outcomes.

    IBM Envizi is IBM’s answer to ESG reporting, allowing organisations to record, track, and monitor their energy and usage data. Envizi presents this data in consumable and adjustable screens to allow for report building and decision making based on real-time information.

    Responsiv’s skills in integration means we can work with organisations to connect their systems and data directly to IBM Envizi (or their chosen ESG platform) so they can streamline ESG reporting.

    This data can then be shared as necessary with supply chain partners and consumers as per sustainability regulations such as Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR).

    Responsiv Cloud is hosted on tier 3 UK datacentres. This means they conform to the UK’s grading standards for datacentre security, sustainability, and continuity. Our Cloud offerings are flexible, allowing for scalability as necessary with value based pricing models.

    Responsiv is investing in sustainable textile supply chains in the UK. Part of the task is finding out how different organisations categorise stock (i.e., the industry has non-standardised data), securing competitive data, and understanding the digital capability of retailers and supply chain partners. This project aims to make sharing data within a textiles/retail supply chain efficient for the purpose of supply chain transparency and subsequently ESG reporting.

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      Business Efficiency

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      Improving business efficiency results from reducing business cost and increasing business productivity. This is ‘easiest’ done by streamlining key processes.

      Business efficiency can be improved by reducing process and workflow bottlenecks. For retail organisations, this includes managing supply chain oversight and lead times, automating repetitive and data-heavy processes such as returns and exchanges, onboarding, etc.

      Forbes state that with fewer employees working in stores today, it’s even more important that the ones who are on the sales-floor have ample time to enhance the customer experience. As the Yoobic white paper states, “When store teams spend too much time on tasks, customer experience suffers.”

      Forbes recommend that “stores should get rid of paper-based processes, merge tools like email, phone, and intranet…and digitize complex processes – as task handovers and waiting for approvals is where bottlenecks happen.”

      Simplifying these processes isn’t a per store issue, with the need to address inter-store communications and processes to fully enhance the consumer and employee experience.

      Improving efficiency is at the forefront of retail strategies.

      Utilising technology such as automation, data analytics, and other tools will streamline processes and provide insight into any data collected throughout a process. In turn, inefficiencies can be spotted and bottlenecks removed.

      Aligning strategies across the whole organisation will help with the implementation of any solution. Understanding how a solution will impact and work towards creating efficiency is important to ensure success. Making staff aware and involving them in the process of the changing working practices will mitigate adoption risks; ensuring they are equipped for any disruptions.

      Strategic resource allocation, whether human or technological, streamlines effort to achieve efficiency in the defined areas. This means factoring how any solution will be adopted and implemented, as well as finding ways to free up resources to fulfil these tactics. Having the right resources available for the project reduces the chances delivery will be delayed, improving or maintaining attitudes towards the project.

      Responsiv Consulting help organisations at all stages of their project, with resources available in business analysis and project management as well as our infrastructure, automation, and integration technical skills. This means we have the ability to see a project from conception to deployment and support.

      For example, Responsiv provide process discovery workshops to uncover and record your business process requirements, the technical skills to build automated processes, integrating relevant systems, and support the software and process post-deployment.

      Discovery workshops are a great opportunity to involve key stakeholders from the offset, ensuring they feel seen and their experience and process knowledge is mined as part of the business requirements.

      Responsiv Cloud is available as a managed service.

      This means we deploy, host, manage and support your environments on behalf of your organisation. Your end users get the benefit of software applications and processes on cloud, without worrying about having to support the skills in house. Business efficiency is improved as problems and downtime are managed and resolved more urgently by the provider, allowing staff to continue working.

      Sustainability has become an industry in its own right. But how does this apply to the Retail industry?

      For years there has been a focus on business and environmental sustainability in the Retail industry; whether that be fair-trade foods or improving production and logistics processes to reduce carbon usage.

      Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) reporting is on the rise following the welcoming of the Effort Sharing Regulation (ESR) in 2018. This means that all participants in a supply chain are required to report on their fuel (carbon), water, and electricity outputs, as well as their equal opportunity statistics. This data may be requested by consumers or up-stream supply chain partners for their own reporting.

      Reducing carbon outputs and having the ability to demonstrate and report this data will become a large part of the Retail industry.

      Creating a more sustainable and efficient economic system by reusing resources and products to their fullest potential is gaining increased traction among businesses, governments and consumers alike.

      Circular economies encourage recycling and reusing products, including clothing. This principle is rising in popularity as a way to solve sustainability issues in the retail market.

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