Give retailers what they want with accurate delivery dates, inventory tracking
It's a safe bet that ever since Adam met Eve, men have been
trying (with varying degrees of success) to figure out what
women really want.
And before I get your hopes up, I confess that I don't have
an answer, much less the answer. But what I do have to share
with you are the findings from a just-released study that I
asked our research department to conduct with manufacturers
and retailers who are on Furniture/Today's Beyond The Top 100
I was especially curious to find out what these directional
retailers felt were the most important characteristics they
expect from their suppliers.
The top attribute retailers said what they expect from their
suppliers are accurate delivery dates along with accurate
inventory tracking systems.
Clearly, the recession has created great problems for many
suppliers in the area of delivery, forecasting and inventory
The second item on their list is good customer service. In
today's uncertain selling environment, retailers need to know
that when problems arise, you have trained staff on hand to
help them solve those problems in a timely and efficient
Retailers told us that they want to do business with
companies that are strong and financially stable. Clearly,
they want to partner for the long haul and want to know that
their suppliers have pockets deep enough to stay in the game.
We all know that brand is important. The fact that it shows
up as the fourth-most important criterion for retailers
confirms this. But worth noting is that it is not at the top
of the list.
Next, retailers told us that a warranty program is important.
Post-recession consumers have often become better stewards of
their resources and have clearly communicated the value of a
strong warranty to the retailers they do business with.
Retailers next identified the need for a steady stream of
creative products that emphasize stylish designs as being
Other things that this group of merchants said they need from
suppliers include: Effective sales and training programs,
strong merchandising programs, compelling point-of-sale
materials and exclusive distribution.
While I'm sure you've heard all of these requests before, I
thought it couldn't hurt to share them and encourage you to
compare their list of what they want to your list.
Here's hoping that retailer and manufacturer lists are the