Focus on Suppliers Talks Unification

Author: 8th and Walton

Stan Zylowski of Movista shared a hot word in retail with Andy Schuch on Focus on Suppliers: unification.

Data-driven decision making is key for retail today. But it’s not as simple as it used to be. Information has to be shared among suppliers, retailers, and third party services.

Increasingly, brands rely on third-party services that capture and collect data on everything from logistics to the look of a product on the shelf in a particular store to chargebacks and deductions on invoices. All this data is valuable and can provide actionable insights, but it may not all be available to all the decision-makers.

Often, the various sets of data are available to different people, and not all team members are able to make good use of all the software providing data. It’s not only the problem of Big Data — the sheer quantity of information being captured — but also of multiple streams of data arriving in different places and in different forms.

And suppliers no longer want to wait for weeks while analysts collect and analyze data and create reports.

Unification puts as much data as possible onto a single technology platform. At this point, it’s not clear what platform will be able to handle all this data, or which platform will be chosen by the myriad third party services as a sharing platform. But it is clear that there is a need for unification, in the form of a single platform that can handle all the various sources of data. Movista is one of the contenders.

“It’s not a matter of manipulating the data” says Zylowski, “but of giving people access to the truth as fast as you can.”

In manufacturing, there’s a move toward an open source solution, but security concerns are slowing down the process of developing a single platform that will work with the wide range of machinery included in the modern factory and the Industrial Internet of Things. Will retail learn from the experiences of manufacturing and move more quickly toward unification?

Only time will tell.

Watch the entire first episode of Focus on Suppliers in the video above, and watch every week on KNWA at 6:30 p.m. If you’re a long-time fan of the 8th & Walton show formerly known as Saturday Morning Meeting, the only TV show for Walmart suppliers, be sure to update your DVR settings to Focus on Suppliers.

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