You’re a major retailer. You’re launching a big new product using a contract manufacturer from China. How big is this for you? Big enough that you’ve booked Beyonce to do a promotion. Her commercials are going to start airing in five days.
Needless to say, you must – must – have the product in stores on the day that Beyonce ad drops. But as the word gets out that this is coming, the stores who carry your product seem to be repeating a familiar refrain: “We have no idea when we’re going to get the product in our stores.”
That can’t happen. But all too often it does because no one has full visibility of the lifecycle of an order. Store merchandisers don’t know how or when to clear shelf space. Store managers don’t know what to tell customers – or even their own inventory people.
The maddening thing about all this is that the data is probably retrievable. But too often it so siloed, and sitting on so many disparate platforms, no one can see the full cycle of the order without going to far more trouble than it seems to be worth.
So everyone guesses.
One of the reasons we designed AgiSight is to eliminate this problem.
Consider this scenario: The retailer wrote the purchase order to the manufacturer in plenty of time to get it into production, onto ships, through the ports, onto trucks and into warehouses and/or store shelves.
Theoretically. But unless you keep calling the manufacturer in China to check on progress, there is no way to know for sure that everything is going according to plan.
AgiSight breaks down the silos that make this so difficult. The retailer will have real-time manufacturer data from China, which will show if the production schedule is on target to complete the apparel manufacturing. Then the data will show which ocean carrier is bringing the goods across the ocean and when – right up to the moment it’s put on pallets.
There is probably a different transportation visibility provider that tracks the trip across the ocean, but that’s no problem. AgiSight extracts the data from that platform and delivers it right to the user’s dashboard.
From there AgiSight will ensure the user can see the data showing the product coming through customs at the port, and then onto trucks. Now there’s likely a different transportation management system tracking the goods, but again, AgiSight simply extracts that data from this distinct platform and presents it to the user via the dashboard. It couldn’t be simpler.
By the time it lands at the distribution center, the key data is living on a warehouse management system. And as usual AgiSight does its thing. It doesn’t matter to the user which platform the data sits on – only that AgiSight can bring it forward and present it via the dashboard.
When it arrives at the store, it’s probably on a store-based data platform. And again, AgiSight does the work of bringing it forth so the user can see that, yes – finally – the product has arrived.
The beauty is that, because the lifecycle of the order was visible from start to finish, the retailer and the store managers could be confident when the product would arrive, and they could plan accordingly. The value of that is immeasurable.
And now they can look forward to the debut of Beyonce’s promo, knowing that they’ll be ready when the customers arrive.