In addition, some of the broader business challenges of implementing technologies to improve retail supply chains have also been discussed, followed by an analysis of challenges associated with shopper and consumer expectations on retail operations.An efficient supply chain involves better inventory management and reducing the time from the procurement to the final delivery. For these purposes, both supply chain strategies and supply chain technologies are integrated into supply chain management to result in an efficient network of logistics. These technologies include transportation, management and communication technologies which work hand in hand to lead to an evolution of the supply chain.Information technology and decision support system are some of the common technologies being used in today’s supply chain management. IT is implemented in the supply chain for strategic planning, virtual enterprise and knowledge management. Another reason why IT is frequently used is the E-Commerce factor of businesses these days(Ngai, 2004). These technologies ensure that a sophisticated analysis of the abundantly available data is made possible and the results are used to obtain a competitive edge in the market(Simchi-Levi, 2003).Business redesigning and the implementation of technology in business are often considered to be complementary with each other. Therefore the integration of technology is bound to change the face of retailing operations. IT is a design tool used for knowledge and business management to produce tangible results such as time reduction, cost reduction and an improvement in the output quality. (Michael Lewis, p. 103)These innovations in Information Technology include Radio Frequency Identification (RFID), Electronic Data Interchange (EDI), Pints of sales (POS) and other Data Mining (DM) technologies. These have radically changed the way retailers do their business and brought about efficiency by reducing labor costs, improving inventoryaccuracy, reducing lead time and increasing the rate of order fill.
The Range of Technologies in the Modern Retail Industry