Nordstrom has been around for nearly 120 years, but changes in the way consumers shop have forced the retailer to evolve too.
Jason Trusley, Nordstrom’s vice president of strategy and planning, addressed those changes in a presentation on “Reshaping the Retail Supply Chain” at the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) LINK conference Monday in Orlando, Fla.
Trusley was joined by Ganesh Ramakrishna, co-founder of Opex Analytics, founded in 2013 to help solve companies’ supply chain problems, including those troubling Nordstrom.
While the speed of delivery, whether to a warehouse, store, curb or home, all are important analytics, the length of the relationship with customers is just as important to Nordstrom, according to Trusley, who said retailers win when they engage.
“How do you increase engagement through supply chain?” he asked.
Data — particularly clean data — helps.
Ramakrishna said, “Everybody has bad data at a starting point.”
Using that clean data to connect to customers is vital to Nordstrom, Trusley said.
“Loyalty is a big part of Nordstrom’s strategy,” he said.
Nordstrom also has had to make data part of its strategy and beef up its technology staff, knowing that “supply chain is not the sexiest place for data scientists,” Trusley said.
Still, retail has its attraction for those hired to solve supply chain problems.
“Complexity is an inevitability in our business today,” Trusley said.
With that complexity comes a multitude of questions to answer.
“How do we rethink planning and capacity?” Trusley asked.
Nordstrom’s efforts have paid off, Trusley said, reporting “significant improvement” in inventory accuracy and increased speed to intervene when a fix is needed.
“We want to be able to pivot and adapt … where customer demand is,” Trusley said.