A JDA survey, conducted by Incisiv in collaboration with Microsoft, reveals that executives in retail companies plan to invest in efficiency, intelligence, and automation to transform their supply chains and gradually evolve into a "smart business."

The need to seamlessly merge online and offline experiences, as well as fulfill all orders anytime, anywhere, has led retail executives to view the customer experience and capabilities of their supply chain as a factor. key.

According to a new survey by JDA Software, Inc. called Retail C-Suite Viewpoint 2019, which was conducted by research firm Incisiv in collaboration with Microsoft, it reveals that while retailers plan to expand their compliance alternatives and offer thousands of options, its executives still struggle with digital transformation.

In addition, executives believe that artificial intelligence and cutting-edge technologies have a major impact on their business by allowing them to have inventory visibility in real time and take advantage of the value of buyer data, which generates greater operational efficiency, superior business agility and a better customer experience.

"As consumer expectations traverse more formats, store shelves have grown from a physical item to an entire supply chain," said Jo Ann Martin, JDA vice president of Retail Sales Strategy. In addition, the executive added that retailers recognize that expanding compliance options to improve customer experience and support 'shelf anywhere' is critical to their survival and growth, but the survey shows that their digital supply chain capabilities they may be poorly prepared for this change.

Notably, 78 percent of respondents do not have a real-time view of their inventory across all their channels, and half of them believe they do not have the right platforms and tools to support compliance options. In addition, retailers do not yet have a single, accurate source for obtaining data, nor do they have the human capital to obtain such information. According to survey data, almost half of retailers (46 percent) do not trust their data.

Executives need specific high-impact strategies to solve their main transformation challenges: 48 percent work under pressure for short-term goals and 41 percent fight resistance to change. To carry out these types of strategies and meet the expectations of their customers and evolve into a "smart company", executives should be planning to invest in agility, intelligence and automation solutions and strategies.

"Even when retailers try to understand consumer needs, executives are hampered by several core challenges. To achieve a smart business, reach the maturity of digital transformation and keep up with the next evolution of retail, executives will need to successfully eliminate old habits and transform channel-focused thinking into a more comprehensive vision of retail. ” said Gaurav Pant, director of Insights at Incisiv. "The latest technologies, such as the cloud, artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things, are the key enablers for this transformation."

With business agility gaining importance in a digitally transformed world, cloud-based solutions are now an integral part of the IT architecture. Despite the belief by executives that the cloud has more than twice the impact on business agility compared to any other technology - along with artificial intelligence - the survey found that the supply chain and Store systems are behind in cloud adoption. Artificial intelligence has the highest rates of both current experimentation (pilot programs) and future executive adoption, and respondents say they plan a fivefold increase in technology over the next two years.

Greg Jones, director of business strategy for retailers at Microsoft, commented: "These survey results further validate the strategy behind the implementation of artificial intelligence and the cloud as transformative technologies for retailers to gain a competitive advantage by truly leveraging the value of your customer data. Retailers must know their shoppers better than they do themselves, and the powerful technologies at the forefront of digital transformation are the way to do it. ”

JDA presented the results of this survey at the annual event of the National Federation of Retail in United States (NRF Big Show). Attendees were able to learn more about the challenges businesses face in today's changing retail environment, as well as experiment with the technological innovations they are using in various ways.

Survey methodology

Incisiv conducted a quantitative survey of 221 C-level executives from companies across multiple continents, industry segments and sizes to understand their priorities, challenges and plans for digital transformation.