Takeaways from the RILA trade show

Peter Tulisaari

By Peter Tulisaari Director of Business Development at King Solutions

daca showRecently, King Solutions’ Director of Business Development, Peter Tulisaari, attended a retail trade show put on by the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA). Peter participated in the event as part of an exhibit booth for the Distributors and Consolidators of America (DACA), of which King Solutions is a member.

The event was designed for retail executives focusing on areas such as domestic transportation, distribution, international transportation, warehousing, inventory management, merchandising and store development, among others. Since the retail landscape is ever changing, as is the role of the supply chain for retailers, we thought it would be important for Peter to share a few key takeaways from the event.

Q: Were there any speakers or presentations that you found valuable for King’s customers?
A: One session called “Keeping Score: Carrier, Customers and Shippers of Choice” spoke to an interesting shift in the relationships between shipper and carriers. It was presented by Mike Burns, Vice President, Global Transportation Service, Big Lots, and Michelle Livingstone, Vice President, Transportation, The Home Depot.

The session covered how the balance of power has inextricably shifted from shipper to carrier and for the first time in many shipper’s careers the new norm is a relationship defined by carrier needs and requirements. This shift in power has put new meaning and emphasis on the term “Shipper of Choice”.

Many carriers are using scorecards to rate their customers across multiple dimensions as a means to evaluate both new business opportunities and existing customer relationships. Better scoring customers may receive access to capacity, preferred pricing and management attention. By focusing on key drivers of profitability and efficiency for the carrier, shippers can assist in creating a more fluid network and increasing total available capacity.

Q: How will this affect King’s retail customers?
A: Changes to a retailer’s supply chain demands may mean that products need to be closer and readily available. Also changes within a retail chain’s store layout may increase the number of retail store projects in the upcoming years.

Q: What can we expect from the retail industry over the next few years?
A: Continued innovation. Improved supply chain efficiencies. Changes to the store environments to create a better shopping experience for the customer.

Q: What else do you want King’s customer to know about your experience at the trade show?
A: It’s interesting that pure e-commerce businesses are building store fronts and vice-versa, traditional store front retailers are continuing to expand their e-commerce sales. All of this is a reaction to meet to consumer shopping behaviors and trends. It’s likely that store fronts will continue to retain a large portion of consumers for the look, touch, feel and try on experience you cannot get as an online shopper.

Want to learn more about the changing landscape of the retail industry or find out how King Solutions works with retailers to improve their supply chain? Contact our team today to learn more.