There’s an old gunfighter maxim that basically says you’re either quick or you’re dead. That maxim is absolutely true today in many businesses, most especially retail. While many on-line retailers are trying to figure out how to deliver as Amazon does in 2-days with Amazon Prime, Amazon is rolling out Amazon Now: delivery in an hour. A friend recently went to Staples to buy some stuff. He got there before they opened and was frustrated to wait or come back later. Instead, he went on Amazon, and using Amazon Now, he had the same items delivered before Staples had even opened. The bar is rising … everywhere.
Fortune magazine recently reported on the dramatic collapse of fashion retailers J. Crew, Aeropostale, and Ann Taylor. The root cause of the demise: out of fashion fashion on the shelf. Why is it out of fashion? The customer has moved on based on newer trends coming from faster moving retailers like H&M and Old Navy.
Using new, and quicker manufacturing models and faster responding suppliers, these retailers can go from idea to shelf … fast. Most supply chains are chock full of wasteful delays. The customer gets no benefit from these, and nimbler (agile if you prefer) companies are destroying their slower moving competitors.
We recently helped a company cut its time to market by 75%, thus giving them a huge opportunity to out-compete their larger competitor. It was amazing to them how much unnecessary waste and delay was in their current process. They had thought a 20% reduction would be a stretch goal.
You’re either quick or you are likely going to be dead.