The major retailers are increasingly setting technical and business process requirements and deadlines for their suppliers. These include radio-frequency identification of bar-coded products, Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) for orders, invoices and stock plus now data synchronisation.
A key part of the retailer evaluating potential suppliers is an examination of their systems. Any failure to demonstrate that these technologies can be supported will result in the supplier falling at the first hurdle.
The systems also need to be robust, reliable and able to deal with high volumes of transactions. Without this either the service level targets won’t be achieved or huge costs of manual processes will seriously erode margins.