Optimizing Sales, Logistics and Supply Chains in the DIY, Garden and Pet Supplies Industries

DIY stores are a very important distribution channel for renovation, construction, garden and pet products. The special feature of this type of shop is the great variety of products offered, which is difficult to sell in a similar way. On the other hand, the recording and analysis of the many different products in a uniform system is a great challenge.

  • What common descriptive criteria do wall color and a lawnmower have?
  • How great is the difference in terms of sales of these items, and how many item variants are there for each?

In order to meet this challenge, effective packaging systems, a precise check of the deliveries and stocks in the individual shops and, in the best case, a standardized description are necessary. However, different distribution channels must also be taken into account. The supply chain extends from the shops, logistics centers or chain suppliers to the buyers, and with the many intermediate stations, the complexity of the entire process also increases.

The main challenges in a complex supply chain management process

New technologies and electronic data interchange (EDI) systems can help with supply chain management. Such systems automatically link orders to advice notes and to invoices, so companies automatically know whether the invoice issued corresponds to the quantities ordered and delivered, and have a continuous overview of the quantity status of the goods delivered.

Furthermore, in the event of discrepancies, processes can be automated by generating an email with information on any differences and blocking notifications where the quantity delivered exceeds the quantity defined in the order.

It is very important for the dispatch network to control the accuracy of the deliveries not only in terms of the quantities ordered, but also to match the packaging specified in the electronic dispatch advice (DESADV) with the condition actually delivered. This facilitates packing and verification, as, for example, it can be ensured that there are no mixed goods on a particular pallet.

As part of inventory management automation, it is also possible to continuously and automatically check suppliers for compliance with delivery accuracy - whether in terms of quantity or the right packaging on the pallet. Constant verification also saves time, as less time is spent checking deliveries from trusted supply chains. Of course, all processes are linked to invoicing, and also to the automation of discounting or the marketing of invoices.

More overview in logistics chains: measures at EU level

Activities at European Union level are aimed at harmonizing catalogs for data exchange in the DIY, pet supplies and garden sectors. A dynamic project is currently underway, coordinated by GS1 in Europe together with the Global Data Model Team of GS1 Global Office. It aims to develop a global data model (GDM) for the entire industry  by October 2022. Such databases ultimately facilitate the work of suppliers and recipients, standardize descriptions, make data of better quality, and facilitate communication between stakeholders.

To learn more about the digitalization of supply chain processes, download our latest e-book.

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