Which Supply Chain Challenges Will the Retail Sector Face in 2023?

A new year has started again, which means new opportunities in the Retail sector. But a new year also brings new challenges. What challenges will retailers face in 2023 and how can we assist you?

A new year has started again, which means new opportunities in the Retail sector. But to see opportunities we also need to know what challenges there are and we are currently focusing on the supply chain challenges in Retail. What are the key supply chain trends and challenges in the retail sector? According to new research by Supply Value, supply chain managers are mainly worried about inflation, the vulnerability of (international) logistics chains and the growing need to make chains more sustainable. But why is that and what can Retail do to overcome these challenges?


The war in Ukraine, Corona, a shortage of raw materials. There are several reasons why prices have risen sharply all over the world. Wherever you look around you, everyone is affected by it and it is also expected that this trend will not change quickly. As a result, many retailers are faced with the challenge of how to deal with this.

The easiest solution is to pass on these price increases to your own customers. In the short term, this is feasible, but the customers will also be less loyal. Due to rising prices, they are more likely to look for the cheapest provider. Another solution is looking for savings and we think that is the best choice. By making better use of the available data in your systems and by linking and automating these systems, very large savings can be achieved. These savings are therefore visible in the short and long term and will be a stronger tool than raising prices for customers.

Vulnerable Logistics Chains

Over the past 10 years, the focus has been very much on globalizing the supply chains with the ultimate goal of 'cost reductions' and savings. Although Retail has certainly benefited from this (and still do), this has created a major challenge. The supply chains have become quite fragmented, which often causes disruptions and delays because less control is possible. This makes a supply chain vulnerable and how can you be sure with a vulnerable supply chain that the desired stock is produced and delivered on time, for example?

We believe the biggest challenge is getting all the different systems in a fragmented supply chain to talk to each other. This is possible through the correct application of Data Integration and all processes can also be displayed visibly in one dashboard. With such a dashboard, it is possible for the retailer to quickly locate risks and respond to them so that the stock will never be too much or too little. It is also possible to automate communication with the chain partners, which will drastically reduce the process time between the various parts in the entire supply chain. Your relationship with chain partners will improve as a result and you will realize major cost savings.


More and more consumers expect retailers to address sustainability and circularity in their strategies and business processes. This is where the biggest challenge lies because we live in a consumer society. Consumers buy new products because, for example, they are out of fashion (clothing) or because they are already lagging behind in technology (such as smartphones). Retailers generate turnover by offering these 'new' products, but that does not mean that they also make a lot of profit.

By focusing on the available data and turning this data into really useful information (for example through a good dashboard), retailers will be left with less 'old' stock, which will have to be sold at (too much) a loss. This correct information makes it easier to predict a customer's demand and retailers also have to purchase less, which saves a lot on:

  • Raw materials
  • Transportcosts
  • Storage costs (energy, gas for a warehouse)

The end result is therefore a more sustainable business without compromising the customer experience. 

Data is king

The above challenges will be very important for retailers to deal with in 2023. The retail sector is always on the move and without a good flexible data integration strategy (and solution) it will be very difficult to meet these challenges. The available data in your systems (e.g. ERP/CRM/TMS etc) will be leading in making your organization more sustainable, strengthening the supply chain and combating inflation as much as possible without this being at the expense of your customers.

ECS International can assist in this by asking the right questions and implementing the correct Data Integration strategy and solution based on this. Take control of these challenges today and contact us via our contact form or at +31229-574331.