After moving back to the United Kingdom I wanted to scrub up on state of the retail and supply chain industries; this book seemed like a good place to start. It is great read that outlines supply chain aspects such as how systems have evolved, processes have improved as well as the challenges that have become apparent in the 21st century; a good example being online! Furthermore it provides a number of detailed case studies such as Tesco and how it moved into online order – grocery delivery space.
It is more of a text-book style read with many citations and references to other materials and authors. There is an abundance of statistics however some of them are over 10 years old. In the world of online retailing anything more than 2 -3 years old doesn’t cut the mustard. Yet if you’re looking for a good overview of the industry, the trends, challenges and changes over the past 50 years then this is for you. You do not need to be a retail expert as all concepts are generally defined and explained.
Three key takeaways from the book:
1. Loved this quote in the book: “Most attention has been focused upon collaborative advantage rather than competitive advantage and co-opetition rather than competition”
2. Zara harnesses its supply chain to deliver catwalk looks into stores within two weeks. Wow!
3. If you’re not a brand you’re a commodity. Then prices are everything and the low cost producers are the only winner