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Retail management and SCM

Abstract: Retailing involves a direct interface with the customer and the coordination of business activities from end to end right from the concept or design stage of a product or offering, to its delivery and post-delivery service to the customer. The industry has contributed to the economic growth of many countries and is undoubtedly one of the fastest changing and dynamic industries in the world today. Today retail industry in India is one of the Industries with highest returns which have grown because of various factors like high disposable income, increased proportion of working women etc. .

Key Words: Supply Chain Management (SCM), Retail Management.

Supply chain management (SCM) is the management of a network of interconnected businesses involved in the ultimate provision of product and service packages required by end customers. Supply chain management spans all movement and storage of raw materials, workin-process inventory, and finished goods from point of origin to point of consumption (supply chain). SCM is also called the art of management of providing the Right Product, At the Right Time, Right Place and at the Right Cost to the Customer. SCM encompasses firms activities at many levels, from strategic through the tactical to the operational level. The strategic level deals with long term decisions, regarding location, production, inventory, and transportation. Tactical level deals with level medium term decisions, such as purchasing and production decisions, inventory policies and transportation strategies. The operational level of SC management is concerned with the very short term decisions, such as scheduling, lead time, routing and truck loading. Retailing comprises about 40% of the U.S. economy, and is a major economic engine of the world economy. While the retail sector has always been very competitive, in recent years, the competitive nature of the field has increased dramatically. Customers too have become more exacting, demanding ever-increasing levels of service. Retailers have responded by increasing the variety of their products, becoming more price competitive, striving towards higher service levels, and utilizing advances in computing capabilities and information technologies to improve their supply chain efficiency. However, these developments have also greatly increased the

complexity of managing the retail business environment. Consequently, most retailers have struggled to maintain profitability. Rigorous analytical methods have emerged as the most promising solution to many of these complex problems. Indeed, the retail industry has emerged as a fascinating choice for researchers in the field of supply chain management.

1.1 Types of Retail Operations

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Department store Specialty store Discount/Mass Merchandisers Warehouse/Wholesale clubs Factory outlet

Retail Management System targets small and midsize retailers seeking to automate their stores. The package runs on personal computers to manage a range of store operations and customer marketing tasks, including point of sale; operations; inventory control and tracking; pricing; sales and promotions; customer management and marketing; employee management; customized reports; and information security. The emergence of new sectors has been accompanied by changes in existing formats as well as the beginning of new formats: Hyper marts Large supermarkets, typically 3,500-5,000 sq. ft. Mini supermarkets, typically 1,000-2,000 sq. ft. Convenience stores, typically 750-1,000sq. ft. Discount/shopping list grocer

The traditional grocers, by introducing self-service formats as well as value-added services such as credit and home delivery, have tried to redefine themselves. However, the boom in retailing has been confined primarily to the urban markets in the country. Even there, large chunks are yet to feel the impact of organized retailing. There are two primary reasons for this. First, the modern retailer is yet to feel the saturation' effect in the urban market and has, therefore, probably not looked at the other markets as seriously. Second, the modern retailing trend, despite its cost-effectiveness, has come to be identified with lifestyles. In order to appeal to all classes of the society, retail stores would have to identify with different lifestyles. In a sense, this trend is already visible with the emergence of stores with an essentially `value for money' image.

The attractiveness of the other stores actually appeals to the existing affluent class as well as those who lines of the economic evolution of society.

1.2 Retailing scenario- global view

Retailing in more developed countries is a big business and better organized than what in India. According to a report published by McKinsey & Co. along with the Confederation of the Indian Industry the global retail business is a worth a staggering US$ 6.6 trillion. In the developed world, most of it is accounted for by the organized retail sector. The service sector accounts for a large share of GDP in most developed economies. And the retail sector forms a very strong component of the service sector. In short, as long as people need to buy, retail will generate employment. Globally, retailing is a customer-centric with a emphasis on innovation in products, process and services. With total sales of US$ 6.6 trillions, retailing is the world is largest private industry, ahead of finance and engineering. Some of the worlds largest companies are in this sector: over 50 Fortune, 500 companies and around 25 of the Asian Top 200 firms and retailers. Wal-Mart, the worlds second largest retailer, has a turnover of US$ 260 billion, almost one-third of Indias GDP.


The Indian Retail growth can be attributed to the several factors including: 1. Demography Dynamics: Approximately 60 per cent of Indian population below 30 years of age. 2. Double Incomes: Increasing instances of Double Incomes in most families coupled with the rise in spending power. 3. Plastic Revolution: Increasing use of credit for categories relating to Apparel Consumer Durable Goods, Food and Grocery etc. 4. Urbanization: Increased urbanization has led ti higher customer density areas thus enabling retailers to use lesser number of stores to target the same number of customers. Aggregation of demand that occurs due to urbanization helps a retailer in reaping the economies of scale. 5. Covering distances has become easier with increased automobile penetration and an overall improvement in the transportation infrastructure covering distances has become easier than before. Now a customer can travel miles to reach a particular shop, if he or she sees value in shopping from a particular location.


Organized retailing industry is clocking impressive growth in India. Most of the modern retailers in India have a regional footprint today. However, there are some potential roadblocks that can sour the high-growth retail picture. 1. Real Estate Costs: Most retailers express concerns about the high cost of real estate today. On the other hand, the average purchase ticket size in India is still low. This could lead to a situation of high fixed cost, with low contribution per sale for retailers. High footfalls would be a necessary condition for success. Unless real estate costs become conductive to retail growth, most retail business will take a longer time for break-even. 2. Distribution Costs: A key bottleneck is the absence of distribution networks connecting. Tier-II towns with regional logistics hubs. There is scope for organized logistics players like transport companies/ third party logistics (3PL) players to develop



these distribution networks including warehouses, cold chains and truck/ multi model services connecting these locations. Investments are being made in warehouses and hubs by Indian corporate. Regulatory Aspects: A point that kept emerging in various discussion with the retailers was the dated regulation in the country. For example Weights and Measures Act expects all goods to be available in the factory packed form in the stores. Similarly Agricultural Produce Marketing Committee (APMC) Acts consider even small volume purchase to qualify as wholesale deals. These are also variation among states with respect to aspects like store timings. All these are hindrances that can restrict rapid growth of retailing in India. Skilled Retail Personnel: A key concern has been the expected shortfall of trained manpower to meet expansion plan. With increasing competition from the ITeS industry, retail manpower shortage could become a critical bottleneck that limits players expansion plans. Individual players are taking proactive measures like providing on-the-job training setting up retail academies etc to ensure availability of people with the right skillsets. However, the industry as a would need to step forward and put in place measures to deal with the critical gap.


Successful retailers have a strong hold on operations- be it merchandising, supply chain management or procurement. Tesco leverages its customer data to fine tune its stocks to meet customer requirements. Wal-Mart leverages information technology (with VSAT links etc) to enable supply chain management practice like cross-docking and generates superior margins. 7-Eleven successfully adopted cluster strategy and continues replenishment concepts to outperform its peers. Clearly, managing operations innovatively can provide a significant competitive advantage to retailers. Retailers in India are on the verge of significantly scaling up their operations. To assess the retailers preparedness for the planned rapid growth, we surveyed the retailers in India along three dimensions: Internal processes o Supply chain management practices critical to ensure scalability & managing costs. o Private label management critical from managing margins o Loss prevention: critical for managing margins Real estate space availability and costs: a key enable for growth Availability and cost of financing another key enable for growth.

4.1 Operation Support Systems

ERP System: Various ERP vendors have developed retail-specific systems which help in integrating all the functions from warehousing to distribution, front and back office store systems and merchandising. An integrated supply chain helps the retailer in maintaining his stocks, getting his supplies on time, preventing stock-outs and thus reducing his coasts, while servicing the customer better. CRM System: The rise of loyalty programs, mail order and the internet has provided retailers with real access to consumer data. Data warehousing & mining technologies offers retailers the tools they need to make sense of their consumer data and apply it to business. This, along with the various available CRM (Customer Management ) Systems, allows the retailers to study the purchase behavior of consumers in detail and grow the value of individual consumers to their businesses

Advanced Planning and Scheduling Systems: APS systems can provide improved control across the supply chain, all the way from raw material supplier right through to the retail shelf. These APS packages existing (but often limited) ERP packages. They enable consolidations such as long term budgeting monthly forecasting weekly factory scheduling and daily distribution scheduling into one overall planning process using a single set of data. Leading manufactures distributers and retailers and considering APS packages such as those from i2, Manugistics, Bann, MerciaLincs and Strling Douglas.


Supply chain management is a well-known term that has been highly publicized throughout the business community during the past decade. In its most generic sense, it is a term that refers to the flow of products and services from suppliers to manufactures and retailers through the ultimate destination the consumer. It also refers to the flow of information backwards and forwards through the supply chain between the consumer, retailers, manufacturers and suppliers, enabling the rapid replenishment of existing products or the development of new products to meet changing market demands. But how is supply chain management defined for retailers? Supply chain management factions within a retail environment include the planning execution, optimization and measurement of the following: sourcing/procurement, Collaborative Planning Forecasting and Replenishment (CPFR), demand forecasting (as it pertains to product quantities and time requirements).inventory replenishment, inbound transportation, store logistics and warehouse management. While each of these functions are processes unto themselves, they are all retailed and should in effect, be integrated and considered holistically rather than in isolation, further, supply chain management should be tightly integrated with merchandising assortment planning, marketing (new product introduction), information technology, finance, and human resource management. Supply chain management importance has been gaining momentum and focus from retailers. There are numerous reasons for this. During the past two decades, major changes in supply chain management have been driven across a variety of industries by some common trends. Consumers have become increasingly demanding in terms of their expectation of price selection, availability and quality of both products and services. They are seeking higher degrees of product and services customization. Empowered customers expect on-time delivery, self-service with real-time order configuration and status information and optimally priced product/service bundles. Product life cycles have shrunk dramatically, and as a result, speedto-market and product innovation have become critical to corporate success The development of new technology solutions and the increasing utilization of the Web have enabled optimization and connectively between trading partners. This is evidence by collaborative hubs, e-procurement solutions, optimization algorithms and event management solutions. Supply chains have become increasingly global and complex presenting greater challenges in managing supply and demand. New customer and distribution channels are being developed and then enhanced by technological innovation and geographical expansion. Existing channels are under pressure and require constant change to retain market position. Companies have dramatically increased their use of global sourcing partners for cost and capability reasons extending the number of players involved in delivering value to a customer. Cost reduction continues to be a major corporate agenda item, and the costs inherent in the supply chain management functions tend to be significant in terms of overall

corporate spend. Current margin pressure are severe, and supply chain performance is focused increasingly on the overall business impact and shareholder value.


1. High inventory levels: As discussed earlier, inventory reduction is viewed as a key opportunity for retailers. In fact retail inventory is seen, globally, as the single most important lever for retailers to control costs, particularly during weak economic times. In the IBM/Executive Technology Retail CIO Outlook published in April 2003, the inventory management category was identified by 35 percent of global CIOs as the greatest opportunity to cut costs through investments in technology. Low service level to retail stores: In some cases, retailers struggle to ensure that the right product to available in the right quantities at store level. Some retailers have targeted specific growth categories, but have been unable to translate their growth plans into improved category performance, largely due to operational inefficiencies. Others suffered as a result of consumer feedback, an indication that the retail outlets seemed to have frequent out-of-stocks, affecting consumer brand image for the retailer and increasing lost sales due to out-of-stocks. Out-of-stock represents 2 per cent to 3 percent of additional sales, rather than lost sales. High transportation and logistics costs: Delivering to hundreds of locations can represent a high cost for many retailers. Further managing in-bound product that arrives from all over the world adds to the complexity (such as lengthy lead times) and cost. Retail logistics costs, including distribution centre operations and transportation costs, can typically range from 3.5 percent to 4.5 per cent of sales. Complexities associated with global sourcing: Offering an assortment of products to the consumer that is competitive and of value often means retailers must search the globe for the best possible product at the lowest cost. This means sourcing from around the world, which carries the added complexity of lengthy product lead times and supplier labor management. Supplier product cost could be as high as 70 per cent of revenues depending on the product category. Outdated and /or non-integrated technologies: Retail is an industry populated by a wide variety of solutions areas such as point-of-sale (POS) merchandising and assortment management, business intelligence, financial management and labor scheduling. In most cases, retailers are running legacy applications or myriad packaged software applications that need to be interfaced. Innovation is different throughout the industry: The retail industry will benefits from accelerating the spread and implementations of innovative technology and business practices. Many of the innovations will bring limited benefits even for companies implementing them unless the innovations are widely and quickly adopted within the industry.







Companies today are placing more emphasis on the supply chain to transform their business model. There are radically changing the way an organization sense, thinks interprets and reacts. More and more successful companies are organizing their supply chain horizontally (as opposed to the traditional vertical functional silos) and orchestrating end-to-end extended supply chains, or value chain networks. They are extending the four walls inside their enterprises by integrating more with the outside through sharing knowledge and innovation with suppliers. Retailers are renewing their supply chain practices and defining visions for the further; but at the same time they are fixing the basics cleansing data defining improved

metrics, standardizing business processes and practices training staff and integrating technology all in hopes of developing a low-cost supply chain that competitively positions the organization for the future. 1. Collaborative Planning, Forecasting and Replenishment (CPFR): Retailers are increased in finding ways to reduce inventories and improve their ability to both anticipate and fulfill consumer demand. They are improving their forecasting and merchandise planning activities and finding ways to work with manufacturers and suppliers to reduce cycle times and inventories the entire supply chain. They are also looking at ways to replenish inventory rapidly through auto-replenishment tools and ways to improve working capital such as Scan-Based Trading, Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) assessment. Retailers are assessing and in some cases piloting RFID technology. They are closely watching Wal-Mart and other key retailers to determine the readiness of the technology and the success of rollout efforts. More importantly, they are developing their own business cases to link the use of RFID technology to business benefits and implementation costs. Concerns, while minor, are mostly associated with privacy issues for example, the extent to which retailers have knowledge about the products consumers have in their homes. 2. Buying Optimization: Retail organizations are performing strategic sourcing reviews streamlining their buying practices and policies and investigating the potential for e procurement technologies, particularly for non-merchandise spend. These projects tend to be low-risk but are associated with high reduction in uncontrolled, unapproved spending from 5 per cent to 30 per cent; bulk discount savings of up to 20 per cent; and significant reduction in administrative costs. They are also continuing to review their merchandise buying practices and looking for way to reduce costs improve inventory levels and better manage their base of suppliers. This is particularly important for Canadian retailers who are sourcing products from around the globe. 3. Data Synchronization: Retailers are also looking at ways to synchronize their data with that of their trading partners. It has been shown that inaccuracies in the supply chain contribute to approximately 10 to 15 per cent of total out-of-stocks. In addition standards in data synchronization such as UCC net and ECC net have created a common way for retailers and manufacturers to define product and pricing information. Data synchronization enables rapid purchase order and invoice recondition, eliminates data re-entry and reduces catalogue errors. 4. Reviewing Supply chain network infrastructure: Revisiting the supply chain network is no small feat. Few retailers are increased in reviewing the cost-effectiveness and service levels supplied by distribution centers to retailers. This process normally involves utilization of sophisticated algorithms that take large amounts of data and determine cost and benefits of alternative network designs. These are other retailers who are constructing new distribution centers to support their growth and productivity objectives. 5. Outsourcing non-care functions: At a macro level, the retail industry has not yet unlike other industries, outsourced core business processes such as human resources. However, retailers have outsourced supply chain functions and continue to outsource application management services (not complete outsourcing of information technology, but rather outsourcing of selected application support functions, such as help desk) 6. Legacy application replacement: Some retailers are running portions of their supply chain with custom- developed applications, but more and more of these custom applications are being replaced with packaged with software applications. 7. Supply chain visibility / information flow: Retailers are looking for ways to improve supply chain visibility across the entire pipeline. Supply chain event management tools have provided the capability to view end-to-end view can help identify bottlenecks for

product and information flow, allowing appropriate resolution to take place. Supply chain processes automation. Many supply chain automation applications new exist in retail. Automated data collection is a common application due to the increased use of data collection devices and the high penetration of data warehouse. Also many technologies in the logistics space- such as robotics have improved productivity dramatically justifying their initial capital expenditure While some of these initiatives the implementation of technology retailers are developing business cases to support changes to their supply chain environment. The technology initiatives are usually preceded by a business process improvement initiative and subsequent business case linking the identified process and organizational changes with the technology implementation.


There are a number of tools available to enable effective retail supply chain management. These tools span a variety of purpose some are used to manage planning; some are used for transaction level processing, some are used as optimization algorithms; others are integration tools that link suppliers to manufacturers to retailers. The retail industry is characterized by a plethora of different systems. In fact most retailers have taken a best-of-breed approach to their information technology architecture, as opposed to implementing Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) (which is more widespread in the consumer packaged goods industry). Listed below are examples of off-the-shelf software systems that impact and enable supply chain management in a retail environment. This is not meant to be an exhaustive list of tools, not is it meant to represent a rating of available products. It is simply representative of the potential tools available in each category. 1. Merchandise and assortment planning systems: While some would argue that merchandising and assortment planning functions are not supply chain functions they do have an impact on a retailers supply chain as they impact store service levels and inventory levels. Tools from GERS, JDA, Retek, SAP can be used to assist in the merchandising and assortment planning process. More broadly these tools offer additional capabilities in supply chain management from both a planning and execution perspective. 2. Supply chain planning and optimization: In terms of CPFR and/or any other type of retailer/supplier collaboration, there is a variety of tools available to retailers. Some of the aforementioned tools (from JDA, Retek and SAP, plus tools offered by People Soft and Oracle) offer Web-based collaboration functionality. There are also other specialized tools from 12. Manugistics and Synchra Systems. In addition to CPFR and Web-based collaboration both 12 and Manugistics offer transportation optimization functionality as well as supply chain network optimization tools. They utilize alert-type functionality and exception based management to highlight issues in the supply chain that require management attention. 3. Warehouse Management Systems (WMS): There are a wide variety of WMS products in the market place to support the needs of the retail industry, such as Catalyst the four walls of the distribution centre, but also offer some functionality aimed at inbound and outbound transportation planning and execution. 4. Event management:: There are a number of products, including some listed above which offer event management functionality. These products enable detailed tracking of supply chain events such as products movement or breakdown (ie, supplier downtime) and provide mechanisms to identify alternatives. Products include 12, Manugistics, Red Prairie, SAP and Velocity.

Marketplace and exchanges: There are a number of market place that can be utilized to improve supply chain management. Transportation organizations such as the National Transportation Exchange (NTE) and Freight wise provide a mechanism for retailers and manufacturers to buy action transportation space Simple auction marketplace such as eBay are being used to sell close-out or defective but saleable inventory and supplies no longer required by retailers. The World Wide Retail Exchange (WWRE) offers members functionality such as collaboration data synchronization, negotiations and auctions, demand aggregation, and order management. 6. Procurement tools: While some of the broader off-the-shelf products from JDA, Retek and SAP offer procurement functionality and Web tools to assist in the procurement process, other more specialized e-procurement tools exist (e.g., Ariba, which is being used by STAPLES Business Depot, Target and Hallmark) 7. Data synchronization: As is the case with other areas some of the broader application solutions such as SAP, JDA, Synchra and i2 offer solutions for data synchronization. ECCnet offers retailers a standardized online forum for data, images and bar code communication. Other marketplace tools are offered by Trigo, Lansa and IBM (Web sphere Business Integrator and Crossworlds) 8. RFID: Radio Frequency is a highly popular topic for supply chain professional. The concept of tagging pallets, cases and items with a radio frequency- enabled tag that can be read immediately and enable read-time tracking of product throughout the supply chain is a concept that is expected to transform supply chain management as we know it today. Third party logistics is not a tool in terms of application software but is worth mentioning because it can enable improvements in supply chain. A number of retailers have already outsourced a portion of their supply chain to a third party logistics organizations. An outsourcing relationship, if properly managed can benefit a retailer in terms of improving service levels while reducing overall costs.



A number of retailers are taking the necessary steps to simplify their supply chain reduce overall coasts reduce stock-out occurrences and reduce inventory levels. They are looking at the implications of technologies such as wireless and RFID on the supply chain. Based on knowledge of what supply chain leaders in various industries are planning and doing- both within and outside of the retail industry we have identified the strategies that successfully competitive supply chains are utilizing. They include. Innovative supply chain vision A focus on differentiating competencies Dynamic global sourcing and demand synchronization Use of emerging technologies Innovative supply chain vision: The winners in todays competitive landscape will deploy smart supply chain models that deliver game-changing standards of service at competitive cost. They will connect the end-to-end value chain and differentiate supply chain approaches based on product/customer segments. Successful innovation is the key driver for revenue growth, competitive margin and, in some cases, even survival. Increasingly, this innovation has to be delivered through a virtual network of partners working together in a collaborative environment to bring product and services to market faster, smarter and cheaper, Retailers such as WalMart and Zara have developed game changing supply chains that provide their organization with a competitive advantage. Focus on differentiating competencies. The trend toward global sourcing and increasing use of partners for supply chain activity is set to continue, fueling the

growth of networked value chains. Retailers are already sourcing global products and increasing their use of partners for areas such as logistics, transportation and distribution. Driving this trend is the imperative to not only seek unit cost advantage and secure best market capabilities but also to share risks with partners and create a pay-as-you-use variable supply chain model. Operations excellence in managing all supply chain functions remains a foundation for any world-class supply chain. However a new perspective on operations excellence is required not only is what a company dies but also in what a companys supply chain partners do and how a business orchestrates them. Dynamic Global Sourcing and Demand synchronization: Global sourcing patterns will continue to shift dynamically in search of lower cost sources. In addition retailers will continue to rationalize and harmonize their own global value chain resources in search of more efficient and effective means of satisfying global customer demands. Fast flexible efficient and transparent response to changing customer demands and supply shocks remains the goal for supply chain management and will be essential to compete in this new world. Use of emerging technologies: Innovative new technologies (such as RPFD) continue to emerge that enhance and transform supply chain capabilities and afford new ways to deliver and finance technology infrastructure on a pay-as-you-use basis. This type of model will be a critical enabler that delivers new capabilities, enhance ROI and supports fast modular implementation of supply chain concept across multiple value chain partners. For example a major retailer created a supply chain that is driven by customer demand and supply chain events. The first to implement supplier electronic collaboration which was extend to Value Managed Inventory (VMI) this company is new using RFID tags and scanners for inventory management, auto replenishment and loss prevention.

During the past few decades, retailers have been facing increasing competitive pressures from a number of sources. In a bid to improve profitability and efficiency, retailers are seeking ways to reduce costs, improve efficiency and enhance customer service through efficiency supply chain management. However, to manage the supply chain most effectively, retailers must understand exactly what the supply chain encompasses, its key concepts, and common issues and challenges they may face as they implement a workable strategy.

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