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Supply Chain IT Systems


The retail giant Nordstrom is considered to be an Information Technology success story. Nordstrom commenced the business transition in 2002 when it installed Oracle Financial Systems and by 2004, it was investing further monies building a Point of Sales (POS) system based upon a Fujitsu hardware platform. This $100 million investment was based upon building improved supply chain and inventory management systems. The perpetual inventory system of Nordstrom has increased its level of performance visibility and the firm continues to develop an integrated IT solutions strategy. They are now building SAP for retail solutions and optimizing the supply chain lifecycle even further. This integrated approach to retail development helps drive up sales revenue whilst giving the shopper an improved retail experience and increasing the level of customer loyalty.


The software giant Oracle Corporation has considerably expanded its business operations into the Retail Planning sector. The Oracle integrated planning suite provided end-to-end coverage of the supply chain process and facilitates both planning and decision making. The advantage of this software is that is can be completely customised in order to meet individual customer requirements.


The larger corporate retail firms have been moving towards the use of Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) as part of the global supply chain solutions. The approach has been widely adopted to improve processing and customer service. Retailers such as that of Marks and Spencer in the UK and Kaufhof in Germany are amongst those that have adopted this approach. The approach has helped towards the improvement of inventory management within the supply chain. Essentially a method of electronic tagging of goods. The method of fixing transponders allow the goods to be shipped anywhere and maintain a lock on the identity of same.


Another highly successful retail firm in the global fashion industry is that of L'Oreal and they have adopted the approach of managing the supply chain by the identification of a number of fixed domains : Raw Materials, Packaging, Point of Sale/Promotion, Equipment, Indirect Purchasing and Contract manufacturing. Advanced technology has played an important role. A large international user base rely upon Information Technology within the firm every day. The IT technical team is in charge of all parts of L'Oreal, which includes the Research and Development area and many other company operations. In 2010, a market-leading firm called DKSH was awarded the L'Oreal Supply Chain Excellence Award for an outstanding performance in supplying all L'Oreal plants in Asia Pacific with high-quality raw materials. Critical Success Factors for the group are: - The concept of diversity is a core value for L'Oreal. Diversity initiatives have been recognized by international awards.. Promote equal opportunities for all within our teams. Develop a management culture that respects the contribution of all employees.


Common denominators illustrate Information Technology (IT) having a profound impact on the fashion retail supply chain management. This particularly in the areas of inventory control and planning applications. System integration has been made possible by sophisticated computer software applications from firms like SAP and Oracle.